Hungarians make full use of the rivers and lakes in their country. The country is known as a leader in water sports. Hungarians enjoy swimming, canoeing, sailing, surfing and playing water polo. Families enjoy the thermal springs near Lake Balaton. Other popular recreation activities include cycling, hiking and tennis. Many Hungarians belong to sports clubs where they take part in sports such as gymnastics, weight-lifting, boxing and track and field.

 Soccer, or Foci as it is called in Hungarian, is one of the country's most popular sports. Major soccer matches are held at the Népstadion stadium, which seats 76,000 fans. Two of the best-known soccer clubs are Ferencvárosi Torna Club and Újpesti Torna Egylet. Matches are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Soccer dominates the radio and TV sports news.

The Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix was first held in 1986. It takes place every summer, usually during the second week of August. The 1996 Formula I race in Budapest was won by a Canadian, Jacques Villeneuve.

 The Budapest Marathon or Mars Budapest is held early in May. The 42-km long run begins at the small town of Visegrad and follows the southward course of the Danube into Tabán Park in the centre of the city.

 Did you know? 
Ernó Rubik, a Hungarian, invented the Magic Cube, commonly called Rubik's Cube. The ballpoint pen was also invented by a Hungarian, Laszlo Bíró.
Hungarian sports stars include Ferenc Puskás, a famous soccer player in the 1950s, and Krisztina Egerszegi, who won several gold medals for swimming in the last three Olympics and was the youngest athlete ever to win a gold medal for swimming.

 A favourite pastime is chess. Hungarians play it in cafes throughout the country. Judith Polgár and Susan of Hungary are the world's leading woman chess players.

 Hungarians enjoy travelling. Hungarian citizens can get special rates to travel by bus to neighbouring countries. Tickets are much in demand. Sometimes Hungarians who have emigrated to other countries re-apply for citizenship in order to take advantage of these benefits.