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Trip to Hungary

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When you arrive you'll be given an information pack with maps and other useful information such as places of interest, restaurants, public transport and things to do in Hungary. You'll also receive a Customer Care helpline number that you will be able to use at any time should you need assisstance in any way. Please print out your Customer Card.

Fast facts about Hungary

Full Name
Republic of Hungary
Capital City
92 966 sq km or 35 894 sq miles
10 001 000 inhabitans, 2 000 000 living in Budapest
Time Zone
GMT/UTC +1 (Central Europian Time) (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October)
Hungarian (official). German and English are widely spoken. Some French is also spoken, mainly in western Hungary
68% Roman Catholic, 21% Reformed (Calvinist) Protestant, 6% Evangelical (Lutheran), 5% other
HUF (Ft) For the current exchange rate on the forint, click here.
Credit Cards
ATM can be easily found in most populated areas of Hungary. Most international credit cards are accepted throughout the country: Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Diners Club.
Country Dialing Code
+ 36
Electricity, Electric Plug Details
European plug with two circular metal pins, 230 V; Plugs C & F. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.
Weights and measures
Hungary has a continental climate; hot in summer, cold in winter. The temperature is highest in July/August and lowest in winter when it often falls below freezing. May and June can be wet but spring is beautiful. The summer is warm, sunny and exeptionally long. The beginning of the autumn is very sunny; November is one of the rainiest months of the year. Winter is cold and snowy.
Coldest month:
January (1.1°C).
Warmest month:
July/August (25.7°C).
Citizens of the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, some Asian countries and most European countries do not require visas. Nationals from these countries can stay in Hungary for a maximum period of 90 days during the six months following the date of first entry into Hungary. A separate permit is required for longer stays. Visas are not available at the Hungarian border or Hungarian airports.
In the restaurants 5-10% of the bill is usually paid as tip. If you are satisfied with the service you receive, hotel maids, tour guides and drivers would appreciate a tip. Tipping: Tip waiters 15-20% and taxi drivers 10%. Tip Gypsy musicians 100-200 Ft.
U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport.
Health precautions
There are no special health requirements or precautions to take when visiting Hungary.
Travel tips
  • Learn a few words of Magyarul, the Hungarian language - any effort at all on the part of a foreigner to speak the language will be appreciated.
  • Do check to see if a shop or restaurant actually accepts credit cards before you buy anything. Just because they have the sticker on the door does not mean they'll accept your card.
  • Do kiss the friends you've made on both cheeks.
  • Don't clink your beer glasses. Hungarians have not done this since the Austrians hanged the Hungarian generals who led the revolution of 1848 and toasted the executions with beer.
  • Don't try to bargain in shops. The prices posted are the prices paid.
Transfer to the city
Transfer to the city: An airport bus leaves for the city centre every 30 minutes, and there is an airport minibus service that takes passengers to any destination in the city as soon as the bus is full. Tickets can be purchased in the Arrival Hall at the Airport Minibus counter.
A good range of restaurants is available. Table service is common, although there are many inexpensive self-service restaurants. A typical menu offers two or three courses at inexpensive rates. Fine dairy and pastry shops (cukrászda) offer light meals. Specialities include halászlé (fish soups) with pasta and Goulash gulyás soup. Western goulash is called pörkölt or tokány. Stuffed vegetables, sweet cakes, gundel palacsinta (pancake) and pastries are also popular. Eszpresszó coffee bars and Drink bars offer refreshments. Gerbeaud’s is probably Budapest’s most famous coffee-house. Tokaji (strong dessert wine) or Bull’s Blood (strong red wine) are recommended. Pálinka or barack (apricot brandy) is a typical liqueur. Imported beers and soft drinks are also available. There are no licensing hours, but the legal age for drinking in a bar is 18 years. Minors are allowed to go into bars but will not be served alcohol.
In Hungary there is a 25% tax on goods, which is included in the sales price. Foreign visitors are entitled to a refund of the VAT on the purchases they take out of the country with them when departing. Like in other European countries there is a system for a swift safe cash refund of the VAT called Europe Tax-free Shopping. Most shops which are of interest to tourists are affiliated with this service. In Hungary likewise e-shopping is getting more and more popular. Moreover e-shopping is the best example for cross-border shopping. Sitting in front of the computer and searching for the best product by reading, looking and asking information via emails make shopping easier, faster, cheaper; however it does imply more uncertainties. Taking advantages of the e-market however worthwhile, but before “going e-shopping”, the consumer should definitely pay more attention. E-shopping can be performed only by the help of owning a bank card. Giving personal details and about the consumer’s card on the Internet are inevitable. The consumer should make sure that he is giving these private details away on a secure site of the chosen seller. The secure site means that the site can protect the data given for the purchase from hackers. In case the seller asks for special personal details which does not really belong to the shopping, we should be suspicious and not proving those data. Before paying, the consumer should always confirm his order.

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