Useful Information

HUNGARY

State of form: Democratic Republic, a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004. 

Area/Population: 93.030 sq. km/ 9,781,000 people (2017 estimate). 

Geography

Hungary lies in the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe. The landscape consists mostly of plains in the east, low hills to the west and small mountains to the north. Kékestető (1014 m) is the country's highest point in northern Hungary. The major rivers are the Danube and the Tisza. The biggest lake is Lake Balaton that is the "Hungarian sea", located in Transdanubia. The country is divided into 19 counties. Budapest is the capital of Hungary. 

Visa

Europen Union citizens can stay in Hungary as long as they please. USA and Canadian citizens can stay visa free for up to 90 days. Citizens of most other countries need a visa before entering Hungary. 

Local time

Hungary is in the Central European Time Zone (CET). GMT + 1 hours Summer time (from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October): GMT + 2 hours

General Public holidays

 1 January, 15 March, Easter, 1 May, Whitsun, 20 August, 23 October, 1 November, 24-25-26 December and 31 December. 

In some cases weekdays might be changed for off days connected to holidays if the holiday is on Tuesday or Thursday.

Electricity

Electrical current in Hungary is 220 volts/European plugs.

Language

The official language is Hungarian that is a unique one. The only language that Hungarian is supposed to be related to is Finnish, but not in a communicative level. The most popular foreign language is English among young people, though more learn than speak. Elder people speak German that reflects the Austro-Hungarian connections back to centuries.

Names

Hungarians give their family name first, thus Kovács Ádam is Ádam Kovács. The letters "né" at the end of a name indicate a married woman; thus Kovácsné is Mrs. Kovács; Kovács Ádamne is Mrs. Ádam Kovács.

Money

The Hungarian currency is the forint (HUF or Ft). Cards are accepted by most tourist-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, stores in the shopping districts, petrol stations, museums, supermarkets and train or bus stations, but often not in small shops and food markets. Travellers' cheques can be cashed in banks but are not accepted in shops.

Money exchange

Exchange offices do not usually charge commission, but rates can vary widely. The best rates are at banks and travel agencies. Additionally, 24-hour exchange machines offer convenience as well as good bank rates.

Tips

 In Hungary, it's usual to round up the bill or to tip 10%. A few places count service charge onto the bill  - it is always indicated.

 

BUDAPEST

The capital city Budapest is situated in the heart of Hungary located on both sides of the River Danube. 

Area/population: 525 sq. km/1,756,000 people (2016 estimate). 

Geography: one-third of its land covers the hilly western bank of the River named Buda whilst two-thirds covers the plain eastern bank named Pest.

Addresses

In Budapest there are 23 districts indicated either by a Roman number in the address or the two digits in the middle of the four-digit postal code also identify the district (thus the postal code 1051 indicates a building in district V). The house number is written after the name of the street/square, e.g.: 1052 Budapest, Aranykéz utca 4-6. = Budapest 5th district, 4-6. Aranykéz Street.

Floors

In Hungary floors of a building are numbered not from the ground floor (földszint) but from the floor above it, the first floor (I. emelet). After that comes the second floor (II. emelet) and so on. A few buildings have a mezzanine (félemelet) between the ground floor and the first floor.

 

Arrivals in Budapest

By air

 Budapest' international airport: Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport with two terminals (2A and 2B). 

Shuttle service

- Official Airport Minibus (miniBUD) delivers passangers from the Airport to any required place in Budapest and back. The journey cannot be broken. 

Cost from HUF 1.900/oneway ticket per person. Price depends on the destination address. 

- Local bus No. 100E operates between the Airport and  rcoss-Metro terminal station of Deák Ferenc tér. Cost: HUF 900/ticket.

By coach 

9th district, Népliget bus terminal/from Western Europe.

14th district, Puskás Ferenc Stadion bus terminal/from Eastern Europe.

By train

Major train stations in Budapest: 

Keleti (Eastern) train station 

Nyugati (Western) train station 

Déli (Southern) train station

By boat

International pier: 

Budapest, mostly between the Chain Bridge and the Szabadság Bridge on the Pest side, while between Margaret Bridge and Chain Bridge on the Buda side

By car

Parking: Street parking is restricted in central Budapest and in bigger cities. Parking spaces are scarce and coins will be needed to insert in the indicated parking meters during weekdays between 8-20 hrs. The receipt should be placed in the wind-screen of the car. Visitors' cars are not exempt from penalities. If parked illegally, police may remove the car or lock a clamp to the car wheel, resulting in great inconvenience and a heavy fine.

Public transport

The BKV (Budapest Public Transport Company) operates Metro lines (M1-yellow, M2-red, M3-blue, M4-green), blue local buses, red trolley buses and yellow trams. Services generally operate between 4:30 and 23:30 hrs. On the main routes buses and trams run as well during the night with the same fares. Uniform tickets should be bought in advance and purchased on buses, trams, trolley buses, metrolines, castle bus, cogwheel rail and suburban trains (HÉV) within the city borders. Tickets are available at the ticket offices in metro stations, news stands and ticket-machines. On a few routes the tickets can be bought straight from the busdriver with some supplement.

Prices/2019

The public transport is free of charge in Budapest for the European Union citizens over 70 years.

single ticket valid for one journey:   HUF 350 

ticket booklet for 10 trips:              HUF 3.000 

for further info please see https://bkk.hu/en/tickets-and-passes/prices/

Postal services

Post offices (posta) generally open 8-18 hrs. from Monday to Friday and 8-12 hrs. on Saturday.

Telephone

Dialing code for Hungary: 36 

Dialing code for Budapest: 1 

For long-distance calls inside Hungary: 06 

Calls from Hungary abroad: dial 00, then the country code, city code and the local number.

Cautions 

Be careful with private cabs to avoid overcharged bills! 

If you park your car somewhere in the street do not leave any value or document that will catch one's sight. 

At exchange counters when they post seemingly good rates, ask how many forints you'll get for US$ 1 or EUR 1 or GBP 1! 

Don't change money on the street! 

There shouldn't be any reason to show up your money in the street if one asks to do it.

Always be aware of pickpocketers when being in a crowded place.

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