Hungary

10 M
Population
Forint
Currency
Safety and security

Crime

Take sensible precautions against petty crime. Bag snatching and pick-pocketing are common, especially in Budapest. Be particularly careful on busy public transport, in train stations, at markets and at other places frequented by tourists. Theft of and from vehicles is common. Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

Some restaurants and bars have been known to charge extortionate amounts and take tourists to cash points to demand more money. Always ask to see the menu and price list before ordering drinks or food and check your bill carefully before settling up. You should report any such incident to the police.

Some taxi drivers are accomplices in these frauds. They may receive a commission to recommend certain bars, clubs and restaurants to passengers. Never ask a taxi driver to recommend a bar or club. If a driver offers to take you to one, or you are approached on the street with an invitation to enter a club, treat that advice with caution. As a general rule it is better to phone for a taxi from a reputable local company. Be careful in establishments where menus do not properly display prices.

There have been some reported instances of drinks being spiked. Be sure to buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times.

Don’t use street money changers. Take care not to accept bank notes that are no longer valid but which are still in circulation. There have been a small number of reports of taxi drivers deliberately passing these notes to tourists - as well as notes from neighbouring countries that are not valid in Hungary.

Road travel

In 2015 there were 647 road deaths in Hungary (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 6.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2015.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. You must use headlights on roads outside towns even in daytime. In winter, you must equip your car for severe conditions.

Hungary operates a toll system for the use of some major roads in the country. You must buy a motorway vignette at a petrol station, post office or online in advance, in order to use these roads. Further information about driving in Hungary can be found in the guides provided by the AA, RAC and European Commission

Rail travel

If you travel by overnight train, try to avoid travelling alone and secure your compartment from the inside.

Public transport in Budapest

Foreign visitors are often caught out by the ticket system in Budapest, and fined by ticket inspectors. Follow the passenger information notices, which are usually printed in English. Validate your ticket before starting your journey (before you get to the platform if travelling by Metro; and immediately after boarding buses, trams or trolley buses). Keep your ticket until the end of your journey and show it to inspectors on request. You have to validate another ticket every time you change lines.

A special ticket is required for use on the night service network.

For more information on ticket conditions and prices, visit the website of the Budapest Transport Authority.

Customs Regulations

Community regulations ensure the free movement of goods between EU member states. This means that no customs procedures are required for exporting goods from Hungary to another EU member state and/or for importing goods from a member state to Hungary. The export and import of goods purchased for non-commercial purposes (for personal use or as gifts) while travelling is not restricted, however, the transport of certain goods (such as: pets, hunting weapons, alcohol and tobacco products, medicines containing drugs, etc.) within the European Union is restricted or subject to special permissions.

Check the customs regulations before entering or leaving Hungary on the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary website.

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Carry your passport at all times. You must be able to show some form of ID if requested. A photocopy is not acceptable.

Hungarian laws on the possession and use of drugs are strict.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

Visas

If you’re a British citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Hungary. If you intend to stay more than 90 days, you must register with the nearest regional Immigration Office. For further information, contact the Consular Section of the Hungarian Embassy, London.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Hungary.

Haulage vehicles

If you are driving a large haulage vehicle through Hungary, make sure you have full vehicle documentation. International loads must be supported by a TIR carnet providing a full inventory of the goods being carried. You must leave a financial bond with the Hungarian customs when transiting Hungary with a cargo. The financial bond, minus an administration fee is returned on leaving the country. If you are planning to transit Hungary with consignments of humanitarian aid as relief following a disaster, or medical aid, you should contact the Hungarian Embassy in London in advance to apply for a waiver.

Fines

Entry into Hungary can be barred if you have failed to pay a previous fine in Hungary. Contact the Hungarian Embassy in London for guidance on paying any outstanding fines before you next enter Hungary.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

If you’re visiting Hungary you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Hungarian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Money

The local currency is Hungarian Forint.

Legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU applies in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros (or equivalent) or more; this includes cheques, travellers’ cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU and will not apply to those travelling within the EU.