Explore Hungary's beautiful natural features as well as its incredible culture and history on your next trip.
Hungary's international airport is Budapest Ferihegy Airport. All EU-flights, that fly to/from Schengen Zone countries (EU countries that have joined the Schengen Agreement of free passage of people and goods amongst themselves), arrive at and depart from Ferihegy 2A, whereas all non-Schengen Zone flights, including overseas flights, like Delta use Ferihegy 2B. General Aviation Terminal Ferihegy 1 handles all private air traffic, but also low-cost carriers use this terminal.
Hungary has a temperate climate variable by seasons, but generally very pleasant. The best time to visit is spring and fall, although there is plenty to see and to do during the rest of the year.
The currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF).
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 HUF
Bank notes: 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 HUF
Banks, Currency Exchange
Banks are usually open between 8.00 - 16.00 on weekdays. Some banks are open on Saturday, but all are closed on Sunday. ATM and currency exchange offices are available throughout the country.
Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Checks
Major credit cards (AmEx, Visa, Mastercard, Diners, Cirrus) can be used in the member shops and businesses. Look for the logo displayed at the entrance.
ATMs operate 24 hours a day. Major credit cards and banking cards are accepted.
There is usually a commission of 1% for cashing traveler’s cheques at banks. Please note that most stores will not accept traveler’s checks.
You can use your bank or credit card to get cash at post offices throughout Hungary. More than 3200 post offices nation-wide provide this service.
The official language of Hungary is Hungarian. English is widely spoken in Budapest but not in the countryside.
Immunization: not a requirement for entering Hungary. Persons diagnosed with an infectious disease are not permitted to enter the country.
Medication: Tourists are permitted to bring medication for personal use. Products containing narcotic substances can only enter with the special permission of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Medication prescribed abroad can be purchased in pharmacies at full market price. Only a limited selection of over-the-counter drugs are available in Hungary.
Emergency and ambulance services are free of charge in cases requiring immediate medical attention. All other medical treatment is regulated by international treaties.
Ambulance telephone no.: 104
Health insurance policies taken out abroad cover the cost of the first, and only the first treatment in Hungary. In all other cases, the cost of medical treatment must be settled at the rate set by the medical institution. The institution determines which credit cards are accepted for this purpose.
Pharmacies: Budapest's pharmacies (gyógyszertár in Hungarian) are well stocked and can provide medications for most common ailments. Each of the 23 districts has an all-night pharmacy open every day, a sign on the door of any pharmacy will help you locate the closest one.
Public Toilets: Relatively few public toilets exist in Budapest, locals and tourists alike use the restrooms in cafés and restaurants. Quite often a small fee of 100 HUF is paid to an attendant after using the facilities.
Restaurant prices in Hungary generally do not include a service charge and it is therefore customary to give a tip, generally equivalent to 10-15% of the bill.
Driving license: When operating a motor vehicle, citizens of the European Union and countries that had signed the Vienna Convention on Public Roads can use their national driver's licenses, all others are required to have an international license. Foreign driving licenses are valid for one year after entry.
Liability insurance (Insurance can be taken out at the appointed insurance companies) and Green card: Liability insurance is mandatory in Hungary. For vehicles from countries that are members of license plate agreements, the plate and country sticker is acceptable as proof of valid insurance. Citizens of all other countries must present a green card. Without the green card, the owner is required to taken out insurance at the border before entering the country.
If you are not familiar with the city, it is easiest to get around by a taxi cab. In Budapest these vehicles are equipped with yellow number plates and usually have a yellow "TAXI" sign on the roof. All cabs must be equipped with a meter. The meter should be turned on while travelling and the driver should provide you with a receipt showing the exact fare upon arrival to your destination. Pre-ordered cabs offer lower rates than those hailed on the street. The taxi companies assume full responsibility for their employees. Phone orders are handled 24 hours a day by call-center attendants speaking foreign languages. Never hail a cab on the street!
A Hydrofoil runs on the Danube, connecting Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna in both directions.
Regular lines connect Budapest with resorts along the Danube Bend in northern Hungary.
Several companies offer river cruises along various parts of the Danube.
Lines on Lake Balaton
Regular lines and ferryboats run on Lake Balaton where varied and enjoyable programs await visitors.
Sailing Boat Harbors on Lake Balaton
Sailing fans can choose from 10 large harbors.
Hungary's international airport is Budapest Ferihegy Airport.
Volánbusz operates 500 domestic distance coaches to 100 cities of the country daily, creating a direct link between many European countries and the most important regions and resorts of the country and Budapest.
The largest transport service provider in Hungary, the MÁV-Start Zrt (MÁV), which has been operating for 160 years already, carries more than 150 million passengers year to year to any destinations chosen by them.
Train tickets can be bought at the railway stations and railway ticket offices in Budapest and the countryside; online; or by your mobile phone.
Narrow Gauge Trains
Railway transportation is popular all over the world, and narrow gauge railways have an increasing role to play in many countries. There are several light railway lines in Hungary, chiefly for the purposes of tourism and hiking.
MÁV-Start Zrt. Széchenyi-hegyi Children's Train
Children's Train is very popular among the children of Budapest and those visiting the capital. It is 11.2 kilometers long. What makes it special is that children between the ages of 10 and 14 do all the work, except, of course, for the jobs of engineer and stationmaster. There are six stops between the two terminals, each leading to popular hiking destinations in the Buda Hills.
URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Budapest takes pride in its well-developed public transportation network. Services are reliable and cheap, however, some precautions are recommended if you are travelling on a crowded vehicle, as these are often frequented by pickpockets.
Transportation tickets should be purchased before boarding the bus or entering the subway and need to be validated upon entry. Machines either punch the ticket or validate it by cutting the corner and stamping the date and time of travel.
Tickets are often checked while riding the vehicles or at the subway exits by controllers wearing arm-band and a photo-ID. You should always keep your ticket at all times till you exit the station or leave the vehicle.
Tickets are available at Underground stations, Tobacconists, Newsagents, Tourinform offices, and automated ticket machines at some bus and tram stops.
It is worth investing in Budapest Card which offers unlimited travel on all forms of public transports, free or reduced admission to museums and other sights and discounts on organized tours, car rental, at thermal baths and at selected shops and restaurants. It is sold at Tourinform offices, travel agencies, hotels and main metro stations.
In most cities outside Budapest, full fares on public transport cost anywhere approx. HUF 200. For a surcharge, tickets can be purchased from the driver. Miskolc, Debrecen and Szeged have bus, tram and trolley lines, while all other cities offer only local bus services.
US citizens do not need a visa for tourist or business negotiations travel to Hungary.
Hungary has a temperate climate, similar to the rest of the continental zone. January is the coldest month (-1 C average) and August the warmest (21,3 C average).