- 9th century: Hungary has a rich history dating back to when the Magyar tribes migrated and settled in the Carpathian Basin.
- 1000: Hungary became a Christian kingdom under the rule of King Stephen I.
- 1526: The Ottoman Empire conquers Hungary, and the country becomes a province of the empire for the next 150 years.
- 1541: The Ottoman Empire partitions Hungary into three parts.
- 1566–1686: Hungary experiences a period of relative stability and prosperity under Ottoman rule, with a flourishing of Ottoman culture and architecture.
- 1683: The Ottoman Empire's siege of Vienna fails, marking the beginning of the empire's decline in Europe.
- 1699: Treaty of Karlowitz marks the end of Ottoman rule in Hungary and sees the country transferred to Habsburg control.
- 1711–1716: Hungary experiences a period of Ottoman reoccupation during the Austro-Turkish War, with the Ottomans increasing their control over the next two decades.
- 1739–1791: The Ottoman Empire loses more control of Hungary, with the Habsburgs gradually re-establishing control over the country.
- 1791: The Ottoman Empire officially cedes control of Hungary to the Habsburgs, ending more than 150 years of Ottoman rule in the country.
- 1867: After the Ottoman Empire's defeat in the Austro-Turkish War, Hungary becomes part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, one of Europe's major powers. The Austro-Hungarian Compromise establishes the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, with Hungary gaining significant autonomy within the empire.
The Golden Age
- 1872: Hungary's first parliamentary elections are held, leading to the establishment of a liberal constitutional monarchy.
- 1867–1914: This period of relative stability and prosperity is known as Hungary's "Golden Age", characterised by rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and cultural flourishing.
- 1908: Austria-Hungary occupies and annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina, increasing tensions with neighbouring Serbia and Russia.
- 1879: Austria-Hungary signs a Dual Alliance with Germany, solidifying its position as one of the great powers of Europe.
- 1894–1895: Tensions between Hungary and the other ethnic groups within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including the Czechs and Slovaks, come to a head, leading to a series of political crises.
- 1882: Austria-Hungary signs a defensive alliance with Italy, further consolidating its position as a great power.
- 1900–1914: Hungary continues to experience political and economic stability, with a growing national identity and pride. The country becomes increasingly influential within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its army and economy continue to grow.
1900 - 1945
- 1914–1918: Hungary participates in World War I as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country experiences significant losses and economic disruption during the war, and the empire eventually collapses.
- 1918: Hungary declares independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a democratic republic is established.
- 1919–1920: Hungary becomes a communist state under the rule of Bela Kun, who goes on to wage war against Romania and Czechoslovakia. Romanian troops eventually occupy Budapest and hand power to Admiral Miklós Horthy.
- 1920: The Treaty of Trianon sees more than two-thirds of Hungarian territory given to Romania and Czechoslovakia, displacing a third of native Hungarian speakers.
- 1938: Hungary begins to align itself with Nazi Germany, and the country's anti-Semitic laws begin to be enforced.
- 1940–1941: Hungary occupies and annexes parts of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia, expanding its territory once again and increasing its influence in the region.
- 1941: Hungary enters World War II on the side of the Axis powers. The country experiences significant losses and economic disruption during the war, with its soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front and in North Africa.
- 1942–1944: Hungary's Jewish population, estimated at around 800,000, is subjected to increasing persecution and violence, including deportations to concentration camps and forced labour.
- 1944: Soviet forces begin their advance into Hungary, and the country becomes a major battlefield of the war.
- March 1944: German forces occupy Hungary and install a puppet government, increasing violence against Hungary's Jewish population.
- October 1944: Soviet forces enter Hungary and defeat the German army, leading to the establishment of a communist government in Hungary.
- 1944–1945: Hungary experiences significant losses and economic disruption during the war, with many of its cities and towns being heavily damaged or destroyed.
- 1945: Hungary becomes a satellite state of the Soviet Union and begins to implement communist economic and political reforms. The country's Jewish population, which had suffered greatly during the war, begins to rebuild and recover.
- 1945 to 1949: Under communist rule, Hungary experiences a period of industrialisation and modernisation but also suppression of political dissent.
- 1956: The Hungarian Revolution breaks out, a nationwide uprising against Soviet rule. Khrushchev orders the Red Army to forcefully suppress the uprising and abolish the independent national government. Hungary is immediately subjected to merciless repression; thousands of Hungarians die, and hundreds of thousands more flee to the West.
- 1968: Economic and political reforms begin, focusing on decentralisation and market liberalisation.
- 1989: The communist government is abolished, and Hungary begins transitioning to a multi-party democracy.
- 1990: Hungary holds the first free elections since World War II. The conservative government is replaced by a coalition government led by the liberal Hungarian Democratic Forum.
- 1991: Soviet forces leave Hungary, and The Warsaw Pact is dissolved.
- 1999: Hungary joins NATO following a referendum in 1997.
- 2004: Hungary joins the European Union.
- 2006: A socialist-led coalition government takes power and implements social and economic reforms to reduce income inequality and increase economic growth.
- 2006: Protests break out in Budapest after Prime Minister Gyurcsany admits his party lied during the election campaign.
- 2008: Hungary is one of the countries hit hardest by the global financial crisis, leading to economic hardship for its citizens.
- 2010: A right-wing government elected led by Viktor Orbán focuses on reducing the budget deficit and implementing business-friendly reforms.
- 2011: Hungary amends media laws to align with EU press freedom regulations. The country also approves a new and controversial constitution without the checks and balances necessary for a modern democracy.
- 2014: Orbán's government is re-elected and continues its focus on fiscal discipline and economic reforms.
- 2017: The EU threatens to suspend Hungary from the EU due to the country's attempt to close down the liberal Central European University.
- 2018: A liberal-right coalition government takes power, promising to address income inequality and improve social services.
- 2020: Hungary enacts emergency measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including widespread lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings.
- 2021: Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is re-elected for a fourth consecutive term; his government continues to face criticism for its handling of the pandemic and its increasingly authoritarian policies.
►Read Moving to Hungary for more on modern day life in the Pearl of Danube
Are you an expat living in Hungary?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Hungary. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.