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Be curious on Instagram: the most popular PM questions answered

We would like to dedicate this post to all those curious minds, who are eager to get to know Budapest and aren't afraid to send us PMs: your questions are answered below and to all of you, who won't be afraid to ask from now on! More and more travellers from around the world are choosing Budapest: our amazing city is ranked no. 8 in the "15 best places to visit selected by travellers" chart of the Europe's Best Destination website. Our team members are passionate travellers, therefore we wish to hand over the know how from planning a trip to Hungary to helping you easily navigate here and also by giving a more complete experience making the most of your time over here.

Q: Is Budapest expensive?

A: Expatistan did a quite a fair research based on 2,958 prices entered by 352 different people. Based on today's exchange rate 1 EUR = 320 HUF, 1 USD =275 HUF, 1 GBP = 366 HUF (We rounded up the decimals to get an integer.) Here are some essentials you can compare with your home country's, you can reach the whole list on Expatistan's website. We have also added our personal experience to the prices below.

  • A basic lunchtime menu - most places do 2 course + a soft drink = 1800 - 2000 HUF
  • 2.25 liters of Coca Cola = 430 - 550 HUF (Try to buy it in the supermarkets)
  • 0.5 liter local beer in a can from the supermarket = 250 - 400 HUF
  • A jug of local beer (500 ml)  in the pub = 450 - 600 HUF (Craft beers are tend to be more expensive, 650 - 1500 HUF!)
  • 1 bottle of wine, good quality, Hungarian, not the fancy ones like Shiraz or Tokaj = 1750 - 3000 HUF
  • Marlboro Gold 20s = 1250 HUF (We still don't recommend you to smoke! )
  • Combo meal in a fast food resto (McDo's, Burger King, etc.) = 1500 - 2000 HUF
  • 1 cappuccino = 450 - 650 HUF (The new wave coffee places tend to be more expensive)
  • Metro ticket - valid for one journey = 350 HUF
  • 24 hours travelcard = 1650 HUF 
  • 72 hours travelcard = 4150 HUF

Q: What is the weather like in Budapest?

A: Well, the best is to check it on the Morecast App, as it can tell you exactly - tried and tested in several countries by us - the highs and lows of the temperature in the next 24 hours, the UV index, the sunny hours, the rain, etc., plus you can plan ahead for the next 14 days. Currently - as of the beginning of June - 28 degrees is the average daily temperature with lots of sunny hours and occasional showers, making the air quite refreshing afterwards.

Q: I'll be in Budapest for 1/2/3/7/10 days, what should I do?

A: If you write us a PM, we will ask you about your habits, and gastronomy preferences, therefore we can recommend you some tried and tested places. Soon we will be posting articles about useful tips and tricks if you have 24/72 hours in Budapest or coming over for a long weekend.

Q: What are the best things to buy in Budapest as souvenirs?

A: Wine, some cool books, Budapest branded garments and if you are comfortable in the kitchen: some spices! 

  • WINE: visit Bortársaság (Bor = Wine, Társaság = Society) and their frienly and English speaking stuff will guide you through the Hungarian wine region and suggest wines for your culinary preferences. Here is the full list of their shops, in the downtown area, Klassz at Andrássy Street is open on Sundays, plus the ones in the shopping centers. 
  • BOOKS: Fabulous Budapest is a family travel guide that also gives an insight into the history and culture of the Hungarians. The beautifully drawn maps, countless photos and text boxes will give you a colourful and enjoyable experience as well as a better understanding of the city and its people. You can buy it in the Libri and Líra bookshops. Our other fave is Budapest Bites written by Zsófia Mautner and available as an e-book as well! Did you know that Hungarian cooks began using paprika only centuries after the Turkish occupation in the 16th and 17th century? Can you imagine a Hungarian cookbook without a goulash recipe? You don't need to. Budapest Bites contains the best one. Among the recipes you'll find some that are fully traditional, such as the pörkölt or almost old-school such as the crépes stuffed with chicken paprikash, while others show a bit more refinement. For example, the popular Hungarian spread, körözött, is here prepared with the addition of beer, and the dough for plum dumplings has roasted poppy seeds for that extra zap! Budapest Bites introduces contemporary Hungarian cuisine, gives a historical perspective to the past of our gastronomy and shows an overview of Transylvanian, Jewish, Turkish effects. The author of this spectacular cookbook is Zsófia Mautner, the famous Hungarian cooking TV show host and writer, who is pioneering a fresh approach to traditional Hungarian food and shares the secrets of delectable local specialties. The book is perfect for anyone interested in Hungarian culture, gastronomy or would like to try our recipes at home.
  • GARMENTS: Tisza shoes, and they have a shop at WestEnd Shopping Center as well. BP Shop is one of the coolest youthful, casual and hip brands to crop up in the past few years. Their garments are must-have items in every trendy youngster’s wardrobe, but you might also be able to spot a few iconic BP caps or T-shirts while browsing the Instagram accounts of international celebrities.
  • SPICES: It's an amazing experience to visit Fővám Market alone,  you can buy the popular paprika powder there and chillies. For the kick-ass chilli factor we recommend you the Chilion brand , you can buy their products on weekdays at Bio Bello: District 13., Hegedűs Gyula u. 32.

Q: Is Budapest a safe city?

A: You need to be as careful as you would be in any European cities: don't go to rough areas especially in the night, don't change money in the street, check the cabs you are about to sit.

  • TAXI: all licensed cabs are yellow, have yellow licence plates, and are marked“Licensed Budapest taxi” on the driver’s door. You have taken a licensed Budapest taxi if you can see the driver’s photo ID and the table of fares on the dashboard and the insides of the passenger doors. All fares are licensed: the minimum fare is HUF 450, the standard fare is HUF 280 per kilometre, and there is a waiting charge of HUF 70 per minute. Cash and
    bank cards are both accepted.
  • EXCHANGE: Do not agree to change you currency to forint with strangers in the street. Use licensed bureaux de change instead, and make sure you get a receipt like Interchange, Correct Change. For current mean exchange rates, visit the homepage of the central bank: www.mnb.hu
  • RESTAURANTS: Before you order, make sure you are familiar with the prices and service charges, which you can usually find on the menu and wine list. Tips are not obligatory, but if you choose to give, the customary rate is 10 per cent of the bill. Be wary of overfamiliar strangers or attractive women in the street who accost you and suggest a “good place,” where you are expected to pay for their drinks – at extortionate prices.
  • SMOKING: Tobacco products can only be purchased at licensed tobacconists, the “Nemzeti Dohánybolts.” Smoking is forbidden in indoor public spaces such as bars, restaurants and pubs, and out of doors in the following cases: in public transport stops, and within 5 metres from the entrance of businesses and workplaces. Elsewhere, smoking is allowed at designated places only.
  • ALCOHOL: Alcohol consumption is forbidden in public spaces. Persons under 18 years of age cannot be served alcohol, nor can they enter the tobacconists. Certain places of entertainment may also bar them from entering.

More info: https://www.budapestinfo.hu/useful-tips

Q: How can I get a work permit in Budapest?

A: This one is a tough cookie, especially if you are not in the EU. Firstly, the same process runs here as well, depending on your qualifications and work experience you need to look for a job, a good way is to start at LinkedIn. Secondly, you must check it in your home country if you need a visa. There are quite a lot of international companies based in Budapest in the IT, Telco sector, marketing placements are also available. We recommend you to look for hubs such as Facebook group of expats living in Budapest to get some tips.

We are looking forward to your questions via PMs on Instagram! 

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