#BUDAPEST INFO #Recommended #Useful /

HINTS AND TIPS – Part 3. Useful information

Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, this year more than half a million travellers have chosen it as the best destination of Europe. According to the organisers, European Best Destination (EBD) the Hungarian capital leads the ranking for various reasons such as the rich culture, world heritage sights, value for money, gastronomy and above all, it is one of the safest cities in the world. However, just like in any other busy capital, it’s worth to keep your wallet safe and check the prices before you go to a restaurant as tourists may be overcharged. For those who are planning to visit Budapest, please welcome the third part of our little series of ‘Hints and tips’ – with some useful infos to stay safe and have an unforgettable experience in this magnificent city.

In case you need information, there are official tourist information offices known as Budapest Info Point. You can find one info point at the airport and 3 others in the city centre at Deák Ferenc Square, Heroes Square and the Buda Castle. 

  1. The Hungarian Forint

The Forint is the currency of Hungary and its abbreviation is either HUF or Ft. It is advisable to have some cash with you, some places such as small shops and cafés only accept cash, however you can pay by credit card at most places.

The coins are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Forints.

The bank notes start from:

  • 500 HUF approx. 1.56 €
  • 1000 HUF approx. 3 €
  • 2000 HUF approx. 6 €
  • 5000 HUF approx. 15.61 €
  • 10000 approx. 31 €
  • 20000 approx. 62 €

To exchange money it is better to go to an official currency exchange and try to avoid street vendors.

Here are some INTERCHANGE offices in the city centre where you exchange money.

Close to the Vörösmatry tér:

Interchange - Deák Square

1051 Budapest, Deák Ferenc tér, M2 metro station, distribution hall,

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In the middle of the Váci Street, close to Ferenciek tere:


1052 Budapest, Kígyó u. 2.

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Close to Deák Ferenc tér and Erzsébet tér:


1075 Budapest, Károly krt. 25.

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Close to Astoria and the Great Synagogue (Dohány Str.):

Close to Fővám tér and the Great Market Hall:

  1. Useful words

The Hungarian language is a difficult but funny one. It is worth to learn some basic words to get by as not all Hungarians speak English, especially the older generation doesn’t as they grew up in the Soviet era.

Probably the first words you will hear in Budapest will be:

  • Szia or Sziasztok, it means Hello or Hello everyone.
  • Jó napot! – Good morning
  • Jó estét! – Good afternoon
  • Jó éjszakát! – Good evening
  • Köszönöm means Thank you and if you are brave to say it the people will most probably respond Szívesen, which means You’re welcome.
  • Egészségedre! This is an important word if you go for a drink and it means Cheers!
  • Viszontlátásra! Viszlát! It is common to hear this word among Hungarians or even in the bars and it means Goodbye.
  • Igen means Yes
  • Nem means No
  1. Restaurants and bars

It is always worth asking for the menu that shows the prices before deciding on which restaurant or bar to enter. This way you can avoid overcharging. If you enjoyed your food and liked the service, it is expected to give some tips, normally between 10 and 12 % of the bill. Some places include tips automatically in their bills, if you are not sure about it do not hesitate to ask your waiter. 

  1. Markets and supermarkets

Budapest is full of supermarkets where tourists can find whatever they may need. The biggest ones are Spar, Aldi, Tesco Express and CBA. All of them are open until 8 or 9pm on weekdays and until 5 or 6pm at weekends. There are some grocery shops open for 24/7 such as Manna and Roni, they are mostly located in the city centre at districts V., VI. VII. and XIII.

  1. Tobacco Shops

In case you smoke you can buy a packet of cigarettes in the National Tobacco Shop – Nemzeti Dohánybolt in Hungary. This is the only place where tobacco is sold in Hungary and you can find these shops in almost every corner in the city. It has a brownish round logo with a big T in the centre. Some of these shops are open 24/7. They may ask for your ID so make sure you have it with you as they cannot serve anyone, who is under 18.

If you are interested in more Budapest hints and tips, please check our previous articles:

HINTS AND TIPS – Part 1. Get to the city centre
HINTS AND TIPS – Part 2. Getting around the city

Photo: Pixabay

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