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Budapest, Hungary

Proposal for OOoCon 2008

Key Question

In 400 words or less, answer this question: Why is your location and the date you propose the best for OOoCon 2008?

Mandatory Information

Location (country, city, conference center/university)

Proposed Date(s)

Team Lead (main contact person)

Peter SZAKAL (szakal.peter (at) (Open SKM Agency Kft.)

Team Members

Local events that are taking place in parallel (or right before/after)

open to anyone interested in e-learning and languages

Seventh International Conference on Distributed and Parallel Systems

Special visa or entry requirements, e.g. vaccinations

Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.

EU citizens are not required to obtain a visa.

The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. All these countries issue standard multiple-entry Schengen visa, which allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all the member states.

Non-EU citizens are required a visa in order to enter Hungary unless a special agreement exists between your home country and Hungary. These countries are: The United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, New Zealand. If you are one of these nationalities, you may enter Hungary without a visa for stays of up to 90 days in any six-month period.

A visa is required for citizens of the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, China, Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, India, Iran, Jemen, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malta, Morocco, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Peru, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Seychelles, Serbia, South-Afrika, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Obtaining a visa If you require a visa to visit Hungary, please check the following page:

If you are still unsure whether you require a visa, please check the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

NB. No vaccinations are required to enter Hungary.

Optional Information

Large local deployments (for user keynotes and success stories)

Names of local developers (for developer sessions)

Names of local vendors/partners (potential sponsors)

Travel costs

Hungary is located in the center of Europe therefore all big, worldwide known airlines (like British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Alitalia, SAS, Aeroflot, etc) are flying to Ferihegy Airport. The Hungarian national airline – MALEV offers also every day connections to all European capitals.

It is difficult to give a price quotation for the flight costs, because nowadays it depends on several conditions – e.g. the class, the period of the week and the time of the booking, the current booking situation of the flight, etc.

An average flight ticket from the European countries to Budapest may cost between EUR 250 and EUR 450 (retour) but flying by low cost airlines can make big savings.

Low cost Airlines flying to Hungary: Air Berlin, Air Finland, Air Lingus, EasyJet, FlyNordic, Germanwings, Ryanair at the lake Balaton, SmartWing, Wizzair

Accomodation costs (youth hostel, hotel)


September is a favourite period of tourists for city breaks, so the organisers are ready to make block reservations for the participants at guaranteed rates to make hotel bookings easier. Please find a list of recommended hotels below in different categories which could be offered for accommodation. They have all easy access by public transportation to the conference venue. The rates are informative and will be fixed upon the final agreement with the hotels. Take a look at a selection of some hotels in Budapest and their prices.

Rate in € Rate in €
Hotel sgl room dbl room
Sofitel ***** 190 220
Hilton WestEnd ***** 170 190
Novotel Congress **** 120 150
Buda Mercure **** 110 130
Mercure City Centre **** 110 135
Gellért **** 80 shw / 120 bath 170
Flamenco **** 110 120
Mercure Metropol ***+ 95 105
IBIS Centrum *** 90 100
Mercure Duna *** 80 95
Bara *** 70 80
Atlantic **+ 52 70
Griff Junior * (shower) 29 39

All rates on the list are valid for 2008, with breakfast buffet (continental breakfast in Griff Junior), inclusive of taxes and service.

Average meal costs

You can enjoy fine dining at reasonable prices in Budapest, but it is good to know the price category to which the restaurant belongs. To help you we have indicated the different categories below (per person for a three-course meal without tip):

Expensive: over €19 (HUF 5,000),

Moderate: €7-19 (HUF 2,000-5,000)

Cheap: around or under €7 (HUF 2,000)

See list of Cheap Restaurants in Budapest.

Please note that smaller restaurants often only accept cash.

Additional Services offered for the Open Office Conference

Transfer from Airport to hotels

Organized by the Airport Minibus service, which transports passengers directly to their hotels or to any private address in Budapest and back (reservations for return journey should be made 24 hours in advance).

Price for individuals: €10 / person / one-way

Groups: €80 / bus/44 person / one-way

Transfer from hotels to gala dinner venue and back

Price: €40 / bus /44 person /five hours

Transfer from hotels to congress venue

Price: €85 / bus /four hours

Supplementary Information

The Call for Location states: user feedback from previous conferences suggest that the ideal location will:

  • have a strong local community
  • attract strong sponsor support
  • have a low-cost/free conference centre with conference venues close together
  • have facilities where people can pass the time, socialise, and mingle with other conference delegates close to the conference building(s)
  • have a range of low-cost accomodation with easy/cheap transport to the conference location
  • attract the largest number of community contributers
  • facilitate the attendance of a large number of Sun's developers (who are in Hamburg, Germany)
  • be accessible by cheap flight and train tickets
  • be aligned with a large IT event (e.g. CeBIT, Systems, Comdex)
  • provide low-cost broadband Internet access (e.g. wireless LAN in the rooms)
  • allow for video and audio streaming (e.g. via the support of a company)

Electrical appliances

Hungary’s electricity network operates at 230 Volts (50 Hz). Plugs are two-pin continental size.

Weather, Temperature and Time

Temperate zone, continental climate, four seasons. The average temperature in the first part of September is 20-25° Celsius/daytime and 12°-15° Celsius/night time, and the weather is usually sunny and sometimes windy.

Local time in Hungary is CET (GMT +1 hour, summer time – March to the middle of October – GMT+2 hours).

Currency / Credit cards

The currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). 1 EUR = approx. 250-260 HUF

Most hotels, restaurants, department stores and shops accept major credit cards, like American Express, Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard, Diners

Social activities (half day programs)

Budapest sight-seeing bus tour with English-speaking guide: includes visit to the interior of Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. Price: €18 / person

Cooking Courses: Visit the Budapest Market Hall, then prepare three Hungarian speciality dishes with the help of our expert chef. Following this guests can enjoy their own dishes, accompanied by a selection of Hungarian wines.Price: €48 per person

Visit to the Opera House: a tour of the backstage of the stunning building, including a glass of champagne and a short concert given by an opera singer. Price: €36 / person

Danube sight-seeing, includes drink and informative tour. Price: €33 per person. The tour can be accompanied with lunch or dinner on the boat. Surcharge: from €20, depending on meal.

Excursion to Szentendre (artists village, 20km north of Budapest): Walking tour through the narrow atmospheric streets, museum visits and shopping possibilities. Coffee and cakes in a traditional café. Price: €42 per person

Excursion to Gödöllő Royal Palace (20km east of Budapest): Guided tour of Central Europe’s largest Baroque palace, and the preferred residence of Queen Elisabeth (also called Sissy). Coffee and cakes included. Price: €45 per person

All the above prices include transportation costs by private bus, English-speaking guide and entrance fees, and apply to a minimum of 30 persons.

Special event

Hungarian evening at the Lázár Equestrian Park in Domonyvölgy. Date: 04 September 2008. Number of guests: 120-150 persons (max. 300). Itinerary of horse show, incorporating a guided bus tour of Budapest and dinner:

5.00pm: Departure from the Conference venue for guided bus tour, taking in Budapest’s Danube bridges, the UNESCO-protected Andrassy Street, Opera House and Heroes Square (with a photo stop), and City Park.

On arrival at the Lázár Equestrian Park (6.30pm, approx) guests are welcomed with “palinka” – a local form of fruit brandy – and some home made salted cakes, or “pogacsa”. There is the possibility to participate in carriage riding around the park, and visit the stables and small museum, which displays trophies and medals won by the world-champion coach-driving Lázár brothers.

The evening continues with a frenetic horse show, including:

Four-hand drive, pony-driven carriage. Nomadic warrior archery display: on horseback, spear throwing, jumping through fire. Horse riding display: featuring a contest between the horsemen. Fun games involving the guests: knocking over a bottle with a whip.

Puszta-five event.

“Queen Elizabeth” horse display by “Sissi” riding side-saddle, in costume. After the horse show a tasty traditional Hungarian dinner with wine will be served in the “csárda”, while Roma musicians entertain the diners.

Transfer to Budapest after dinner, arriving at the hotels or conference venue at 11.00pm.

Price: €45 / person

The price includes bus transfer, English-speaking guides, the above scheduled events, dinner (three-course menu, 2x200ml wine, mineral water, coffee)

Price is valid for a minimum of 30 participants.

Budapest cafés

After an intensive day of meetings and conferences, do as the Budapesters do and unwind over strong, flavoursome coffee and a sweet cake in a traditional, cosy café. There were over 400 coffeehouses in Budapest at the turn of the last century, which entertained everyone from soldiers and aristocrats, to poets and actors, and some of the best (Café Gerbeaud, Café New York, Café Central, Anna Café, Buena Vista…) remain in business to this day.

Thermal spas and historic bath houses

Budapest is the city of spas and Turkish baths. After a long working day, there is nothing better than relaxing in a Hungarian spa to refresh yourself for the following day, not to mention the cold refreshing beers to cool you down during and after a soak in a thermal bath, a sauna and a massage. Budapest’s most celebrated Turkish baths are: Bath Széchenyi, Bath Gellért, Bath Rudas)

Other useful links

Hungarian Tourist Board This is the official site of the Hungarian Tourist Board Tourinform. Now nicely re-designed, it offers useful information for anyone considering a trip to Hungary.

Travel to Hungary A comprehensive, easily-navigable website offering practical and clear tourist information on Budapest.

State Opera House Many of the requests we receive concern events at the Budapest State Opera House. This beautifully laid-out site tells you all you need to know (in English).

Herend Website of Hungary's most famous porcelain factory. The site is easy to navigate, reflects the elegance of Herend’s hand-painted figures and dinner sets.

Budapest Week This bright, lively, well-designed site includes business news and restaurant listings, as well as upcoming performances and exhibitions (in English).


Conference wiki

A copy of the proposal in ODF.

A copy of the proposal in PDF.

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