European residents are not required to hold a visa to enter Hungary if their stay does not exceed a period of 90 days, neither are US or Canadian citizens. Australian and New Zealand natives, as well as some others, need a visa. To ensure you have the right requirements contact your nearest Hungarian Embassy.
The official unit of currency in Hungary is the Forint (Ft). Notes come in denominations of Ft200, Ft500, Ft1000, Ft2000, Ft5000 and Ft10000 and Ft20000. Coins used are Ft1, Ft2, Ft5, Ft10, Ft20, Ft50 and Ft100.
The official language spoken is Magyar (Hungarian). German and English are widely spoken/understood also.
Hungary has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.
Check to see if any medical cover you may have covers you in Hungary, if not it is best to take out health insurance before travelling.
Hungary’s biggest threat medically is from insects called Kullnacs which, when bite, can cause inflammation of the brain. Make sure and have insect repellent with you.
Hungary is one hour ahead of GMT and 6 ahead of EST.
Newsagents/grocery stores, department stores and shops generally stay open between 9am-6pm Monday-Friday and until 8pm on Thursdays. On Saturdays they tend to close some time round 1pm-2pm.
Banks open from Monday-Thursday from 8am-3pm and on Fridays from 8am-1pm.
If you want information about the country the Hungarian Tourist Board have offices called Tourinform in most towns and cities. These are the best places to get information and brochures.
There is an added tax (VAT) of 16% on new goods being bought in Hungary.
Banks are the easiest place to change money and travellers cheques. The latter have better exchange rates than cash. You can also get money from ATMs using either your credit card or your Bankcard if it can be used overseas. Tourist offices, hotels and exchange offices can also change money.
When making international calls from public telephones using either pre-paid phone cards or coins. Dial 00, followed by the country’s international code and the area code (dropping the 0) and the local number.
Hungary’s international access code is 36.
Sending letters to other European countries costs between 27ft-90ft.
In restaurants a service charge isn’t added to your bill and it is customary to add approximately 10% to the bill. Just like in America, most people in the service industry so if you get your hair cut, or when you get a taxi (once you’re happy with the service) leave a tip.
Holidays in Hungary are New Years Day (1st January), 1848 Revolution Day (15th March), Easter (varies annually), Labour Day (1st May), Pentecost/Whitsun (19th and 20th May), St Stephen's Day (20th August), Remembrance Day (23rd October), All Saints Day (1st November) and Christmas (25th and 26th December).
It is good to note Hungary’s public holidays before travelling as banks and most shops close on these days.