To enter Hungary you must have a valid passport as evidence
of your citizenship and identity. Under international treaty
or regulation, certificates entitling the holder to cross
the Hungarian border also qualify as passport, e.g. the identity
card in the case of nationals of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg,
Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
In Hungary, taxis have yellow licence plates and must have
a metre able to give receipts.
Budataxi: 233-3333, City Taxi: 211-1111, Fotaxi: 222-2222,
Radiotaxi: 377-7777, Tele5 Taxi: 355-5555, 6x6 Taxi: 266-6666.
Charges (general guide only): Basic charge: HUF 50, Rate per
km when booked by phone: HUF 80-100, flagged down in the street:
HUF 99-130 Waiting charge per min HUF 16-20.
The post offices are generally open 08.00-18.00. Two offices
near two railway stations are open 08.00-21.00: Nyugati Station
(VI., Terez krt. 51.) and Keleti Station (VIII., Baross ter
Letters: standard-size postcards to neighbouring countries
HUF 24, to other European countries HUF 65, to the rest of
the world HUF 80. You need a HUF 30 stamp on standard-size
letters up to 20 grams, and HUF 100 on other sizes. The charge
for letters and postcards sent by air mail is HUF 14 per 10
grams. Stamps are available at the post offices and tobacconists.
Telegram, telefax: MATAV Rt. Service Point: Budapest V., Petofi
S. u. 17/19. (Mon to Fri 08.00-20.00, Sat 08.00-15.00)
Emergency & Directory Inquiries
Ambulance: 104 (see also Medical care)
Fire brigade: 105
The official currency is the forint (1 forint = 100 filler).
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 forints. Bank notes: 100,
200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 forints. Currency may
only be exchanged at official places, and the receipts must
be kept until departure. Buying and selling currency outside
the official places carries a great risk which tourists should
be well aware of.
The National Bank of Hungary (Budapest V., Szabadsag ter 8.)
is open Monday to Friday 10.30-14.00. The commercial banks
are open Mondays to Thursdays 08.00-15.00, Fridays 08.00-13.00.
All banks are closed on Saturdays. There are numerous bureaux
de change in the Inner City (District V) and the Castle Area
(District I) open throughout the weekend. Money can also be
exchanged at hotel reception desks, and also at travel agencies
on weekdays. Automatic exchange machines and ATMs operate
after hours in Budapest.
Restaurant prices in Hungary generally do not include a service
charge and it is therefore customary to give a tip, generally
equivalent to 10-20% of the bill. Tips are also given at the
hairdressers, the beautician, in taxis and to other service
The international code for Hungary is 36, for Budapest 1.
Long-distance calls within Hugary: 06. Domestic operator:
191, international operator: 190.
Sending a telegram in Hungary by phone: 192. Public telephones
are operated by coins or by card. You can use 10, 20, 50,
100 forint coins in pay-phones. Phone-cards of 50 and 100
units are sold in post offices, newsagents and tobacconist.
No vaccination is required to enter Hungary. Tourists may
bring in medicines for personal use up to the value of 5000
HUF. Preparations containing addictive drugs may be brought
in only with the special permission of the Ministry of Welfare
When to Go
Though it can be pretty wet in May and June, spring is just
glorious in Hungary. The Hungarian summer is warm, sunny and
unusually long, but the resorts are very crowded in late July
and August. Like Paris and Rome, Budapest comes to a halt
Autumn is beautiful, particularly in the hills around Budapest
and in the Northern Uplands. November is one of the rainiest
months of the year, however. Winter is cold, often bleak and
museums and other tourist sights are often closed. Animal
lovers will also want to skip this season: half the women
are draped in furry dead things throughout the winter.
Baggage allowance on most schedules flights is 20kgs (44lbs)
although some airlines offer increased allowances of up to
30kgs. Generally, hand luggage is limited to one piece per
person weighing under 5kgs (11lbs). Permission to take larger
items on board, such as pushchairs and bicycles etc. should
be obtained from your airline before travelling. Exceeding
the allowance stated on your ticket will incur an extra charge
(which must be paid when checking-in).
To enter Hungary as tourists, in the case of European countries,
nationals of Albania and Turkey needs a visa. In the case
of countries outside Europe, visas are not required by nationals
of Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus,
Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama,
Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, Seychelles, Singapore,
United States of America, and Uruguay.
Tourists from the former Soviet Union (with the exception
of Uzbegistan and Kazahstan) need either a letter of invitation,
tourist voucher or mission order otherwise they need a visa.
In case of Kazahstan and Uzbegistan visa is required in all