Useful Information

 

HUNGARY

State of form: Democratic Republic, a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.
Area/Population: 93.030 sq. km/10,092,000 people (1999 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. Kékesteto (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
Public/bank holidays 2013

1.January, 15.March, Easter 31.March-1.April, 1.May, Whitsun 19-20.May, 20.August, 23.October, 1.November, Christmas 25-26.December.
In some cases weekdays might be changed for off days connected to holidays. 

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, and petrol stations, but often not in museums, supermarkets and train or bus stations. 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 tack 10% service onto the bill (indicated on the menu).

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/1,837,000 people (1999 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: 

* Airport Minibus delivers passangers from the Airport to any required place in Budapest and back. The journey cannot be broken.
Cost: HUF 3.200/oneway ticket and HUF 5.500/return ticket for one person between the Airport-city-centre.
* Local bus No. 200E operates between the Airport and  the Blue line Metro terminal station of Kőbánya-Kispest. Cost: HUF 350/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, 5th district Belgrád rakpart (between the Erzsébet Bridge and the Szabadság Bridge)

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), 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/2013

The public transport is free of charge in Budapest for the European Union citizens over 65 years.
single ticket valid for one journey: HUF 350
ticket booklet for 10 trips:               HUF 3.000
one-day-pass:     HUF 1.650
3-day-pass:         HUF 4.150
7-day-pass:         HUF 4.950
2-week-pass:       HUF 7.000
one-month-pass: HUF 10.500

BUDAPEST CARD

24 hours or 48 hours or 72 hours Budapest cards including the following services:

 

  • free travel by all public transport in Budapest 
  • discount on admission to museums, sightseeing tours, programmes 
  • discount in shops, restaurants, thermal baths and more 

 

Prices/2013 (valid until 31.March):

HUF 3.900 for 24 hours
HUF 9.900 for 48 hours
HUF 7.900 for 72 hours 

One card is valid for one adult plus a child under 6 years.

Postal services 

Post offices (posta) generally open 8-18 hrs. from Monday to Friday and 8-12 hrs. on Saturday.
Keleti train station post office open: 7-21 hrs. from Monday fo Friday and 8-14 hrs. on Saturday
Nyugati train station post office open: 7-20 hrs. from Monday to Friday and 8-18 hrs. on Saturday
Non-stop (except of bank holidays) post office: TESCO Budapest, 14th district, Fogarasi út

Stamps/2013

on letters and postcards to European countries up to 20 g: HUF 235
on letters and postcards to other countries up to 20 g:        HUF 270 

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.

Usual Hungarian cell telephone numbers: Telenor: 20, T-Mobile: 30, Vodafone: 70 If a cell telephone works through a foreign cell company the Hungarian cell numbers and normal telephone numbers will have to be dialed as they were international calls +36-20.. or +36-30... or +36-70... or +36-1...or +36-72... etc. whilst through a Hungarian cell company the Hungarian cell numbers will have to be dialed as domestic calls: 06-20... or 06-30... or 06-70... or 06-1...or 06-72...etc.

Safety 

By Western standards, Hungary is a relatively safe place and the risk of violent crime remains low. Visitors should take precautions against car theft and pickpocketing.

Cautions 

In restaurants and bars menu and drink prices are advised to be checked before ordering especially when in the downtown of Budapest attractive young women (literally "consumption girl") want to join your companionship. 

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

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