Getting around in Budapest
Banking & Money
• Legal tender: FORINT (Ft, HUF). Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Ft. Banknotes: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 Ft
• There is no obligatory daily minimum amount of Conversion. When changing money, remember that most payments are still made in cash. Money can be exchanged in exchange offices, banks, travel agencies, hotels, post offices and in countless ATMs. Banks and travel agencies offer the best rates. The exchange offices are generally open 0900-2100, those in the Inner City (Váci utca, Deák Ferenc utca, Vörösmarty tér, Kristóf tér) are open round the clock. No commission is charged for the transactions. Exchanging money on the black market is illegal, nor can you get better rates.
• Any Forints you have left can be exchanged back up to 20,000 Ft: above that only with the exchange receipt.
• Exchange places and the larger post offices also cash fixed sum travellers Checks and bank Checks in convertible currency listed by the National Bank of Hungary. EUROChecks made out in Forints can only be exchanged together with the check book, up to a limit of 35,000 Ft per check (no more than 3 checks at a time), mainly in the post offices.
• All the major Credit cards are accepted in Hungary in places displaying the emblem at the entrance. All post offices make cash payments against credit cards.
• Postal Cheques can be cashed in larger post offices.
Here you can convert your currency into Forint to see up-to-date rates:
"The whole city in your pocket" is the motto of the Budapest Card, introduced by our office in 1997. The Card offers its holder more than a hundred services:
- unlimited travel on public transport
- free entry to 60 museums and to some sights
- sightseeing tour for half price
- reduced price tickets for cultural and folklore programs
-discounts in restaurants and spas
-discount for the airport minibus service, car rental, sports facilities and in many other places
The services of the card are detailed in a 100-paged, colored publication in Hungarian, English, German and Italian languages.
This publication introduces the use of the Budapest Card and the servicing enterprises.
(with photo, address, opening hours, entrance fees and discounts)
for 48 or 72 hours
HUF 5200 for 48 hours
HUF 6500 for 72 hours
Each Card is valid for one adult and one child up to 14 years of age.
More than 250 places in Budapest: main metro ticket offices, tourist information bureaus, travel agencies, hotels and the airport, and abroad at major tour operators, and several representations of Malév Hungarian Airlines.
Can be used in the following fields:
Museums and sights
Baths and spas
Catering and restaurants
It's highly recommended!
Embassies in Budapest
You can find detailed information on all missions in Hungary on the page of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Passports & Visas
Tourists from most countries can enter Hungary on producing a valid passport, while citizens of the European Union need their identity cards only. No visa is required for citizens of most European countries, except Albania and Turkey.
Of non-European countries no visa is required for citizens of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, the Seychelles, Singapore, the United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela.
• Visas can be obtained at the foreign missions of Hungary. The visa fee is higher if you apply for one at the highway border crossing points, at Ferihegy International Airport and the Budapest International Boat Station. Visas are valid for 90 days.
• Should you lose your passport, you must report it to your I country's consulate, or, in the absence of that, at the embassy. For | addresses, phone numbers and office hours, contact the tourist information offices. Otherwise addresses and phone numbers I are under the heading "Külképviseletek" in the phone book.
You can get more information on the homepage of Travel Document Systems (www.traveldocs.com) TDS is a visa agency that has been helping international travelers since 1985. They work closely with the U.S. Passport Agency and Embassies representing many governments, so that international travelers can depart on very short notice, for many worldwide destinations.
The main Public Holidays are as follows:
• 1 January - New Year's Day
• 15 March - National holiday marking the anniversary of the uprising against the Habsburgs in 1848
• 20 August - St Stephen's Day, Day Of Constitution
• 23 October - Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and the proclamation in 1989 of Hungary's democratic constitution
• 25/26 December - Christmas
ARRIVING TO BUDAPEST
• You will land at Budapest Ferihegy Airport 2, Terminal A or B, I which is 24 km from the city. Terminal A: flights of Malév Hungarian
Airlines, Terminal B: all airlines other than Malév. Entry is smooth, with fast passport control. For customs clearance you can use the usual green and red corridors.
• Order our Airport Transfer! Fixed prices!
• The Budapest Transport Company BKV runs a "Reptér-Busz" service between the Kőbánya-Kispest terminus of M3 (blue line) and the airport. Fare to be paid to the driver.
• Air Traffic and Airport Administration (LRI) operates Centrum buses between the city (Erzsébet tér, Hotel Kempinski) and the terminals. They depart every 30 minutes from 0530 to 2200. Journey time: 45 min. Fare to be paid to the driver.
• Airport minibuses, run by LRI as well, are a kind of collective taxi at a reasonable price, which travel between any requested destination in town and the terminals. Ticket on arrival at the Airport Passenger Service desk, where you can buy also your retour transfer ticket. Before departure call 296-8555 and the service will pick you up at your hotel or apartment and take to the airport
• Passenger information:
Flight schedules: 235-3888 and www.malev.hu
Arrivals, departures: 296-7155
Lost and found Terminal 2A: 296-8108, Terminal 2B: 296-7690
• MALÉV Ticketing - City Office:
V., Dorottya u. 2. Tel: 235-3565 Mon-Wed, Fri 0830-1730, Thu 0830-1800
• 38 foreign airlines have offices in Budapest. For addresses, see the Budapest phone book.
• If you arrive in a private aeroplane, the following airport is open: LRI Terminal for small planes (Ferihegy 1)
Public, border crossing point. Tel/Fax: 296-6292, Fax: 296-8449
• Budapest has two large international railway stations: Keleti (VIII., Baross tér) and Nyugati (VI., Nyugati tér), both having metro stations.
• MÁV (Hungarian State Railways) runs the Railbus Service, which takes passengers to any address in town. Information, reservation of return journey: Tel: 353-2722, Fax: 353-2187.
• Tickets can be purchased at the railway stations, in the office of Wasteels (Keleti Railway station, Mon-Fri 0800-1900, Sat 0800-1300 or in the MÁV Ticket Office (VI., Andrassy tit 35. Mon-Fri 0900-1800 April-Sept.; 0900-1700 Oct-March).
• Information on international services: Tel: 461-5500 (day and night).
• The following international rail passes are valid in Hungary: INTER RAIL, BIJ, EURO DOMINO, RES, CITY-STAR-TICKET. Passengers from non-European countries may use EURAILPASS, EURAIL FLEXIPASS, EURAIL SAVERPASS, EURAIL YOUTHPASS, EUROPASS SAVERPASS, EUROPEAN EAST PASS, HUNGARIAN FLEXIPASS.
• Volánbusz Rt., being a member of Eurolines, operates scheduled services to and from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
• Coaches from and to Western Europe use the V., Erzsébet tér station, while those from and to Eastern Europe the XIV., Népstadion station.
• Information on international and domestic coach services:
Why don't you ever travel differently? There is a scheduled hydrofoil service on the Danube, calling at Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest between early April and end of October.
• Voyage time: from Vienna to Budapest 5 hours, from Budapest to Vienna 6 hours. After the voyage, which takes you through scenic areas, you arrive in the heart of the town.
• Information in Budapest: Mahart Passnave Tel: 484-4025, Fax:318-7740.
• information in Vienna: MAHART Office 1020 Vienna, Handelskai 340. Tel: 43-1/729-2161, Fax: 43-1/729-2163.
BY CAR OR MOTORCYCLE
• In terms of documents, you only need a valid driving licence, registration document, green card and a country sticker to enter Hungary. Third-party liability insurance is obligatory in Hungary.
Stickers are introduced on motorways Ml and M3 - available at highway border crossings and filling stations. Just before reaching Budapest, at Budaörs on the joint section of Ml and M7 (from Lake Balaton), you will find the information bureau of the Tourism Office of Budapest ("• p. 3), where you can pick up a copy of the Budapest City Map and other information materials.
• International traffic rules generally apply in Hungary. Drink-driving is strictly prohibited: the alcohol level in your blood cannot exceed 0.0 promille. Dipped headlights are always compulsory for motorcyclists, while for passenger cars only outside built-up areas. Seat belts are compulsory on the front and the rear seats. Motorcyclists must wear helmets. The use of a cellular phone while driving is not allowed.
• You will have no problem with buying fuel. The filling stations that are well-known in Europe offer the usual services across the country, however credit cards are not accepted everywhere.
• The Hungarian Automobile Club operates a 24-hour international breakdown service in Budapest.
Tel: 345-1755 (GB, D).
• If a foreign citizen is involved or causes an accident, the police must be called and minutes taken. The claim has to be settled with the insurance company, which is the Hungarian partner of the driver's insurance co. Information Tel.: 372-5377. The police must be called when the accident has involved any personal injury. You can leave Hungary in a vehicle with damaged body only if you produce a certificate made out either at entry into Hungary or on the spot of the accident.
POSTAL SERVICES, PHONING
• Almost all phone books of the World are available at the Belvárosi Telephone Centre (V, Petőfi Sándor u. 17).
• Public phones operate with 10, 20, 50 and 100 Ft coins or phone cards. Phone cards are available at hotels, post offices, filling stations and newsagents.
• To make a local call, dial the number required.
• International call: 00-Dial tone-Country access code, area code, subscriber's number.
• Inland call: 06-Dial tone-area code, subscriber's number. Instructions on use of the phone in foreign languages are displayed in the public phones which can generally be called back.
• Mobile phone numbers have 11 digits. Depending of the service provider, the first four digits could be 0620, 0630, 0660 or 0670. If you call a mobile phone from a phone box, you must dial all the 11 digits. If you call one that is in the same network, you don t need to dial the first four digits, but if the other mobile phone is operated by another provider, you must omit 06 only.
• Emergency telephone numbers: general emergency 112 (English, German spoken), ambulance 104, police 107, fire brigade 105, international information 199.
• Emergency treatment is free of charge for foreigners. Hungarian doctors are highly qualified and helpful. Several
drugs are available over the counter in pharmacies. Pharmacists will certainly help you to find the Hungarian counterpart of your usual medication. Payment is subject to your insurance policy, which, as a rule, cover the first treatment
• 24-hour medical care is offered by Falck SOS Hungary, which also has an ambulance service (II., Kapy u. 49/B. Tel: 200-0100).
• 24-hour dental services: SOS Dental Service (VI., Király u. 14. Tel: 267-9602).
• Pharmacies with night service: II., Frankel Leó út 22.; III., Vörösvári út 86.; IV., Pozsonyi út 19.; VI., Teréz körút 41.; VIII., Rákóczi út 39.; , X., Kada út 120-122.; XII., Alkotás u. 1/B.; XIII., Szent István krt. 28.
• Hospitals, Clinics: American Clinic (I., Hattyú u. 14. Tel.: 224-9090, Mon-Fri 0830-1900, Sat 0830-1200, Sun 1000-1400), International Medical Services (XIII., Váci út 202. Tel.: 329-8423, 0900-2100), R-Klinika (II., Felső Zöldmáli út 13. Tel.: 325-9999, 0700-1900).
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