Groundhopping in Hungary

As one of the world’s truly iconic footballing dynasties, it’s little surprise that there are numerous gems to discover when groundhopping in Hungary.

From Budapest’s historic “big four” to the historic provincial towns, good beer, local food, and interesting grounds are always guaranteed.

Here’s what you need to know to get acquainted.

Cities / Regions I Have Visited:

Groundhopping in Hungary is about visiting unique stadiums such as this one - the Hidegkuti Nandor in Budapest.

Football in Hungary

The Hungarian football pyramid consists of two national tiers, followed by a third regional tier. As of the 2021/22 season, it is structured as follows:

Tier 1

  • OPT Bank Liga (12 clubs)

Tier 2

  • Merkantil Bank Liga (20 clubs)

Tier 3

  • NB III Central Group (20 clubs)
  • NB III Western Group (20 clubs)
  • NB III Eastern Group (20 clubs)

At step 4 and below, there are a further 7 tiers of increasingly localised county leagues. Tier 10 is the lowest step of organized association football in Hungary.

There are currently no plans in place to restructure the Hungarian football pyramid.

Ticket Information

In the majority of cases, it’s possible to purchase match tickets in advance online (although you may need to provide a form of ID, such as a passport number). The Hungarian government implemented a controversial and much-derided fan card system in 2014 (which included the taking of biometric measurements), but this was eventually abolished after fierce opposition and widespread stadium boycotts.

You can also buy on the gate, as we did when we attended an MTK match in November 2021. Luckily, matches rarely sell out; using 2021/22’s OTP Bank Liga attendance figures as an indicator, top-flight stadiums are only 26% full on average.

ClubStadiumCapacityAvg. AttSatiety
Ferencvárosi TCGroupama Aréna23,6988,14534%
Debreceni VSCNagyerdei Stadion20,3403,89419%
Budapest Honvéd FCBozsik Aréna8,2002,73733%
MOL Fehérvár FCMOL Aréna Sóstó14,1442,45217%
Kisvárda FCVárkert2,9932,27476%
MTK BudapestÚj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion5,3221,74633%
Gyirmót FC GyőrAlcufer Stadion4,5001,66537%
Paksi FCFehérvári úti Stadion6,1501,66027%
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FCVárosi Stadion4,5001,60936%
Újpest FCSzusza Ferenc Stadion12,6701,56612%
Zalaegerszegi TE FCZTE-Aréna11,2001,23011%
Puskás Akadémia FCPancho Aréna3,8161,03927%
Source: TransferMarkt

At €8, average top-flight ticket prices are, in most cases, low. This is perhaps unsurprising given the average monthly salary in Hungary.

Ferencvárosi TCGroupama Aréna€6€21€14
Debreceni VSCNagyerdei Stadion€4€10€7
Budapest Honvéd FCBozsik Aréna€6€17€12
MOL Fehérvár FCMOL Aréna Sóstó€4€10€7
Kisvárda FCVárkert€4€10€7
MTK BudapestÚj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion€5€21€13
Gyirmót FC GyőrAlcufer Stadion€4€6€5
Paksi FCFehérvári úti Stadion€3€6€5
Mezőkövesd Zsóry FCVárosi StadionNA€NANA
Újpest FCSzusza Ferenc Stadion€4€14€9
Zalaegerszegi TE FCZTE-Aréna€7€11€9
Puskás Akadémia FCPancho Aréna€1€3€2
Source: Official club sites

Note: All prices above are for full adult day tickets (i.e. not including discounts, youth, concessions etc.)

Useful Resources for Groundhopping in Hungary

There are several groundhopping blogs that focus on Hungary. Two of my personal favourites are:

  • Kevin McLuskie: A well-written and shrewdly observed blog by Budapest-based Celtic fan Kevin McLuskie.
  • Sub Story: No, not more 50 Shades fan fiction, but the groundhopping/football musings of Daniel Cochran, a Middlesbrough fan based recently in Budapest.

Rough Guides and the Hungarian tourism board also offer a wealth of valuable information on getting to (and around) Hungary.