Hungary - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Hungary, a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria has a total land area of 35,919 square miles and a population of over 10 million. Hungary is a high-income economy that enjoys strong trade, fiscal, monetary, investment, business, and labor freedoms. Investment in Hungary is lucrative, for corporate taxes are low and regulations are minimal - not laissez-faire for the government scrutinizes security-sensitive areas. Foreign investment enjoys all protections and privileges as domestic capital. The major economic sectors are renewable energy, tourism, information technology, automobile, textiles and food.

Travel Resources:

Hungary is one of the more popular tourist destinations of the world. With its highly developed transportation system, it is easy for visitors to get around. Hungary has earmarked a sizable part of its territory as protected natural reserves. Royal Palace of Budapest, Chain Bridge and the Parliament, Great Synagogue, and Heviz are some of the major attractions. Hungarian cuisine please all and the more popular dishes are the goulash, the Hungarian hot river fish soup, foie gras made of goose liver etc.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Hungary978-1741046946$1899 maps and comprehensive information to cover all interests!
Rick Steves’ Budapest978-1598802177$13Great guide with sections on Sights, Thermal Baths, Self-Guided Walks and Tours, Sleeping, Eating, Budapest with Children, Shopping, Entertainment & Nightlife, and Transportation Connections. The logistical information along with his insights on restaurants is outstanding!
Michelin Map Hungary978-2067123083$101:400,000 Scale. Budapest City Map. Driving focused with times and distances.
Hungary Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FD5E1Q$8


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Hungary were a set of six stamps released in 1871 showing Franz Josef I. Each stamp in the set (Scott #1 to #6) is valued at over $200 mint and $90 used. Franz Josef I was the Emperor of Austria who was also King of Hungary from 1867 to 1916 following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. Hungary released a set of five stamps between 1874 and 1876 in the Crown of Saint Stephen theme. The set (Scott #13 to #17) catalogs for around $450 mint and around $15 used.  Stephen I was the first King of Hungary (1000 to 1038) and his canonization is celebrated as a state holiday commemorating the foundation of the nation. The Kingdom of Hungary lasted for 946 years. Varieties on these themes dominated Hungarian stamp issues until the turn of the century.

Hungary released a long set of twenty stamps between 1900 and 1904 showing Franz Josef I wearing the Hungarian Crown and Turul and Crown of Saint Stephen. The set (Scott #47 to #66) catalogs for around $600 mint and around $70 used. Turul is a mythical bird like a large falcon which is the most important bird for the Hungarian people (Magyars). It is a symbol of the Huns (nomads who migrated to Europe around AD 370) and the ancestor of Attila (ruler of Huns from 434), representing god’s power and will. Hungary released a set of six stamps in 1918 in two themes - Charles IV and Queen Zita. The set (Scott #127 to #132) is inexpensive and catalogs for around a dollar mint or used. Charles IV of Hungary was the last Emperor of Austria (reigned as Charles I), and the last King of Hungary (1916 to 1918). With the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 that precipitated World War I, Charles became heir-presumptive and started his reign following the death of Franz Josef.  Queen Zita, wife of Charles was the last Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.

Other issues of Hungary enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A souvenir sheet released on May 6, 1932 for the second Hungarian Philatelic Exhibition in Budapest. The souvenir sheet (Scott #486) catalogs for around $120 MNH and $100 used. The design shows a portrait of Franz Liszt, the Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher whom some regard as the greatest pianist of all time. Another stamp in the philatelic theme was the March 12, 1950 issue (Scott #870) showing the Philatelic Museum in Budapest. That stamp catalogs for around $5 MNH or used.
  2. A set of eight stamps released on September 11, 1945 in the Reconstruction theme. The set (Scott #700 to #707) catalogs for around $40 MNH or used. It was issued to mark the World Trade Union Conference in Paris between September 25 and October 10, 1945. The designs show construction, manufacturing, railroading, building, agriculture, communications, architecture, and writing.
  3. A souvenir sheet released on August 21, 1960 in the Winter and Summer Olympics of 1960 theme. The sheet (Scott #1336) catalogs for around $15 MNH or used. The design shows Romulus and Remus Statue and Olympic Flame.
  4. A set of two stamps released on March 22, 1991 to mark admission to CEPT. The set (Scott #3284 to #3285) as a pair catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The designs show the Post Office of Budapest and the Post Office of Pecs. Romulus and Remus are Rome’s twin founders according to its foundation myth.
  5. A souvenir sheet (Scott #3788) released on March 14, 2002 to mark the centenary of the Parliament Building. The sheet catalogs for around $5 MNH or used. The building is one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings and a popular tourist attraction in Budapest which lies on the Bank of Danube. Many similar souvenir sheets on different themes have been released by Hungary over the years. It is a collectible theme with each sheet cataloging in a similar price range.  
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Hungary were issued during the reign of St. Stephan in 1001 AD. The first gold coins were issued during the reign of King Charles Robert in the 14th century. The first coin of the modern era was a Silver 10 Krajczar released in 1837. Gold Trade Coins existed prior to this and they are all valued well into the 100s. The issue is valuable cataloging for around $650 UNC. Reform coinage debut in 1892 with the introduction of Bronze Fillers. The design shows Crown of St. Stephen in Obverse and Denomination inside Wreath in Reverse.

Numismatic items of Hungary include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Ancient Coins$15 and upFamous Madonna and Child Copper Coins of the 18th century starts around $15. VF Graded versions starts around $30. 15th century and prior coins in VF starts around $50. Silver Denars from the early 16th century in VF starts around $100.
Other Coins$1 and upCommon UNCs starts around $1. Silver Pengos from the 1920s and 1930s starts around $20. Recent Silver Proofs start around $25. Low Mintage Proofs starts around $50 and can go into the $100 range. Gold coins go well into the 100s and 1000s depending on mintage, bullion value, and rarity.
Paper Money$3 and upBanknotes from the 40s in VF starts around $3. UNCs from the period starts around $10. Recent Specimens start around $50. Bundles and early specimens go into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Paprika, lace, antique, arts, dolls in traditional costumes, and hand puppets are famous from the region.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Art$10 and up19th century historical photo prints and posters start around $10. Canvas art prints start around $30. Original paintings and drawings start around $100. Works of Bakoni, Ulrich Geza, Joszef Harencz, Egon Wallburg, Gyula Julius, etc fetch well into the 100s and 1000s.
Pottery$15 and upHollohaza Porcelain figurines start around $15. Signed and Numbered Herend and Kalocsa pottery start around $50 and go well into the 100 and 1000s.
Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10. Vintage porcelain handpainted vases start around $50. Hollonza handpainted figurines start around $100. 17th century and older maps along with exquisite 19th century silver cups and statues and figurines go well into the 100s and 1000s.
Militaria$10 and upWW era military patches along with communist era medals start around $10. Excellent soldier and other merit badges start around $40. Larger plaques, and 19th century medals start around $100.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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