Hungarian cheers with beer

Cheers in Hungarian: What to Say to Impress the Locals!?

Want to go on a trip to Hungary and would like to impress with saying cheers in Hungarian?

Did you ever find yourself in social situations where knowing how to raise a toast or just say ‘cheers’ in the local language can be a fun and interesting way to connect with people from different countries? So, how about saying cheers in Hungarian?

With its long history and many traditions, Hungary is a place where learning a few basic phrases can make a huge difference. So, let’s look at how Hungarians celebrate, how to say things like cheers and the national drink of the Hungarians.

Let’s dive in!

How do Hungarians say cheers?

Hungary is in the heart of Europe, and its history is full of interesting things. One funny thing is how they say cheers when they are drinking with friends.

Hungarians say Egészségedre! (pronounced as eh-gae-shae-ged-re). In English it means To your health! So, when Hungarians drink and say this word, it means they wish their friends good health.

cheers in hungarian - hungarian wine fields
Hungarian wine fields

If you ever go to Hungary and see its beautiful wine fields or eat its delicious local food, remember to use this word when drinking. It’s a nice way to show that you respect their customs.

If you’re in Budapest or close to Budapest and love wine, I would really recommend the Half-Day Tour from Budapest to Etyek. Besides tasting some great wines, there’s also a lovely dinner included and the tour will take you around 4,5 hours:

✅ Check prices and book your tour from Budapest to Etyek here!

How to make a toast in Hungarian?

Toasting has its own tradition in Hungary. When making a toast, Hungarians often look each other in the eyes, say “Egészségedre!” and then clink their cups. But there is an interesting tradition: don’t clink your beer cups together.

This comes from the war against the Austrians in 1848–49, when the Austrians are said to have clinked beer glasses to enjoy their victory. Hungarians chose not to clink beer glasses for 150 years to honour those who died.

Even though that time is long gone, some people still do what they used to do.

In Hungary, there is a special way to make a toast that has been passed down for a long time. This is what you can do to leave a great impression:

  • First, get everyone’s drink ready.
  • You might say something nice or just get everyone’s attention before anyone drinks.
  • Then tell them to raise their glasses, but before everyone drinks, you should look into each other’s eyes. This eye contact is very important because it shows respect and friendship.
  • Everyone then says Egészségedre! This word means to your health! and means that you hope everyone is healthy and happy.
  • Now everyone can take a sip from their glass!

Hungarians started this toast a long time ago as a way to bring people together and wish each other well.

The eye contact and the word Egészségedre come from old ways where looking at someone showed trust and wishing them good health was the best thing you could do for them.

What is the national drink of Hungary?

People in Hungary love and are proud of a drink that is unique to their country. The name of it is Pálinka! But Pálinka is more than just a drink as it has a long history in Hungary.

Fruits are used to make this strong drink. Imagine making the taste of ripe apples, juicy plums, or sweet cherries into a warm, powerful drink. Yes, this is Pálinka. But what is the origin of this drink?

cheers in hungarian - palinka
Different types of Palinka

People in Hungary wanted to find a way to keep the taste of their favourite foods even after the season was over. They learned how to make a drink from those foods that could last for a long time. This is how Pálinka came into the world.

Pálinka grew into more than just a drink over time. People would drink it to keep warm in the winter. When things were going well, they would share it to have a party. And it has been said that it’s a medicine against heartache (I would still take it easy, though).

There are many stories about Pálinka in Hungary. Old tales say that this drink can help with minor illnesses and make a sad heart feel better again. Even though these are just tales, it shows how much love and respect people have for their beloved Pálinka.

Can you drink in public in Hungary?

Most places in Hungary, especially in the main city of Budapest, do not allow people to drink alcohol in public!

It is against the law to drink alcohol in public places like streets, parks, bus stops, and other open spaces. These rules are in place to keep the peace and keep people safe.

If you are caught drinking in public, you might have to pay a fine or you’ll have throw away your drink. There are some exceptions, like at festivals or public events, where drinking might be more acceptable or there might be special places to drink alcohol.

cheers in hungarian - ruin bar
The famous Hungarian ruin bars

But even at these events, it’s important to drink in moderation and pay attention to where you are.

If you want to drink alcohol in Hungary, the best places to do so are (ruin) bars, restaurants, or private parties. Just make sure you always know the rules and customs of the place you’re in to avoid any unnecessary issues.

Cheers in Hungarian: FAQs

The information below is related to saying cheers in Hungarian with some other examples of Hungarian phrases to impress the locals!

How do you say basic phrases in Hungarian?

Even though Hungarian might seem hard at first sight, you can get by with just a few words. However, it’s doesn’t relate to a lot of other European languages so it might take some time before you get the hang of it!

Here are a few basic Hungarian phrases with the English translations that might help you out:

  • How are you: Szia! (see-ya)
  • Goodbye: Viszlát (veesh-laht)
  • Thank you: Köszönöm! (koe-soe-noem)
  • Yes: Igen (ee-gen)
  • No: Nem (nem)
  • Please: Kérem (keh-rem)
  • Pardon me: Elnézést! (el-nez-esh-t)
  • I apologize: Sajnálom (shy-naa-lom)
  • My name is..: Az én nevem… (az ayn nev-em)
  • I don’t understand: Nem értem (nem air-tem)
  • How are you?: Hogy vagy? (hodge vadj)
  • Good morning: Jó reggelt! (yo reg-gelt)
  • Good afternoon: Jó napot! (yo na-pot)
  • Good evening: Jó estét! (yo esh-tayt)
  • Good night: Jó éjszakát! (yo ay-szah-kat)
  • Water: Viz (veez)
  • How much?: Mennyibe kerül? (men-yi-be ke-rul)
  • How do I find the toilet?: Hol van a WC? (hol van a veh-tsay)
  • I’m in love with you: Szeretlek (ser-et-lek)

I hope these words and phrases help you have simple chats in Hungarian to impress the locals all over Hungary!

How do you ask for beer in Hungarian?

When you’re in Hungary and you feel like having a beer, there’s a simple way to ask for one. You can say Egy sört kérek (pronounced as Ehj shurt keh-rek).

This is how Hungarians say A beer, please. And if you say it like Ehj shurt keh-rek, you’ll sound just right! It’s a relatively easy phrase to remember, and it will help you get a tasty beer to enjoy while you’re there.

By the way, some of the best Hungarian beer brands are Dreher and Borsodi – very recommendable to try out!

If you want to know more about Hungarian beer or if you’re interested in crafting beer, the Hungarian Craft Beer Tour in Budapest is a great way to do so:

✅ Check prices and book your Hungarian Craft Beer Tour in Budapest here!

What do Hungarians say before eating?

People in Hungary have a unique way of wishing each other a good meal. And luckily, Hungary has some fantiastic national dishes like Gulash for example.

People often say Jó étvágyat! (pronounces as: yo ay-tvah-yat) before they start eating. It means something like Enjoy your food! or I hope your food tastes good.

Gulash dish
Hungarian Gulash dish

Whether you’re with family or friends, it’s a nice thing to say when you’re about to eat. So, if you are having a meal with someone from Hungary, saying this phrase is a nice way to join in and show you your knowlegde.

What do Hungarians say when you sneeze?

Besides clinking glasses or saying your wishes before dinner, some Hungarians might also say Egészségedre! when you sneeze in Hungary, which is basically the same as cheers.

Yes, in this case it also means to your health! You’ll find that it’s a flexible phrase that you can use in different situations.

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    The Wrap-Up: Cheers in Hungarian

    So, how about saying cheers in Hungarian? Remember these words for the next time you are in Hungary or with Hungarian people. It’s a great to impress and surprise them!

    When you raise your glass and say Egészségedre! you are not only celebrating the moment, but you are also making a connection with the Hungarians. You also have the the possibility saying cheers in Hungarian all over the world when you meet them.

    If you’re looking to say in the capital city of Hungary, check out my post about Budapest. And if you fell in love with Hungary and looking for a new adventure, check out my post about the best places to live in Hungary!

    If you want to know how to say cheers in other languages, check out my post about saying cheers in Polish!

    Let’s drink to that!

    Your restless voyager,


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