Being part of the E.U., Hungary has had to modify its laws regarding gay and lesbian rights, though some older gay people say they had it better under Socialism. Either way, sexual orientation is not a legal issue in Hungary, but it is still a social one. Gays and lesbians have a tendency to stay invisible as much as possible. Budapest has held an annual Pride March, but in 2007, there was a violent outbreak prompted by far-right protestors. The 2008 parade was attacked with acid-filled eggs by the far right group, the Magyar Garda, causing the 2009 parade to be postponed twice. Other times of the year, there have not been any problems of major concern.
In Hungary, there are far fewer lesbian events and no bars specifically for women. In Budapest, there are only two exclusively gay bars and both are for men only. Budapest is not a hotspot for those seeking a primarily gay orientated vacation. The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA; www.iglta.org) is the trade association for the gay and lesbian travel industry, and offers an online directory of gay- and lesbian-friendly travel businesses; go to their website and click on “Members.”
Spartacus International Gay Guide
(Bruno Gmünder Verlag; www.spartacusworld.com/gayguide), an excellent travel resource to the top worldwide cities and resorts, includes Budapest and other cities in Hungary. It is available at many bookstores, or from any online bookseller.