GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

Hungary lies in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe. The greatest distance from north to south is 268 km, and from east to west, 528 km.

Area: 93,030 km2   
Population:  10,197,119 persons
Population density: 108 persons/km2. Sixty-three percent of the population live in towns.
Capital:  Budapest (territory: 525 km2; population: 1,775,203 persons)
Time zone:   Central European  (GMT+1)
Summer season:  From the last weekend in March to the last weekend in October + 1 hour
Official language:  Hungarian
Type of Government: republic
Public administration: 

19 Counties and Budapest

 

Export Customs Regulations
The following items can be taken out of the country without a permit:

For persons over 17 years of age:

  • 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 250 grams tobacco to non EU countries, 800 cigarettes to EU countries
  • 1 litre of distilled alcohol, 2 litres of wine to non EU countries, 90 litres of wine and 110 litres of beer  to EU countries
  • 250 ml eau de cologne, and 50 g perfume

It is not recommended to carry raw meat, home-made meat products and milk products with you when travelling since the import of them is restricted in almost all countries.

Other restrictions also exist depending on the country you are travelling to so please check before taking any goods out of Hungary.

Currency Regulations
Travellers may carry and take HUF and convertible currencies out of the country without any restriction of denomination or value. If the value of the currency brought in or taken out of the external border of the European Union exceeds the limit of Euro 15,000 it must be declared at the customs office.

We highly recommend that guests do not bring too much Hungarian currency with them but consider bringing a small amount and changing currency when here or using credit/debit cards for purchases/cash withdrawal.

Health Issues
Immunisation: not a requirement for entering Hungary. Persons diagnosed with an infectious disease are not permitted to enter the country.
Medication: Tourists are permitted to bring medication for personal use. Products containing narcotic substances can only enter with the special permission of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Medication prescribed abroad can be purchased in pharmacies at full market price.

Emergency and ambulance services are free of charge in cases requiring immediate medical attention. All other medical treatment is regulated by international treaties.
Ambulance telephone no.: 104
Health insurance policies taken out abroad cover the cost of the first, and only the first treatment in Hungary. In all other cases, the cost of medical treatment must be settled at the rate set by the medical institution. The institution determines which credit cards are accepted for this purpose.

For EU residents the European Health Insurance card can be used for free emergency medical treatment.

Currency Exchange, Banks

Currency
The official means of payment in Hungary is the Forint (Ft, HUF).
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 HUF
Bank notes: 200, 500, 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, 10.000, 20.000 HUF

Banks
In Hungary banks are usually open between 8.00 - 16.00 on weekdays. Some banks are open on Saturday, but all are closed on Sunday. ATM machines and currency exchange machines are available throughout the country.
The credit cards used most often - AMEX, Diners Club, EnRoute, Euro/Mastercard, JCB, VISA - can be used to withdraw cash from banks and ATM machines and to pay bills in hotels, restaurants and shops. Emblems at the entrance mark the shops where credit cards are accepted. Most banks have their own automated networks.
You can use your bank or credit card to get cash at post offices throughout Hungary. More than 3200 post offices nation-wide provide this service.

Traveller's Cheques
Traveller's cheques can usually be purchased in major banks.

Electric current

230V 50Hz

Emergency Calls

Emergency Calls, Patrol Service

International emergency call centre: 112
Ambulance: 104
Fire Department: 105
Police: 107
The above phone numbers can be called free of charge.
Hungarian Automobile Club's Emergency Phone: 188

Holidays

January 1: New Year
Mach 15: National holiday
Religious holidays: Easter Monday, Pentecost Monday
May 1: Labour Day
August 20: Constitution Day, St. Stephen's day
October 23: Proclamation of the Republic
November 1: All saints day
December 25-26: Christmas

Information on Visa and Frontier Crossing

 Between the EU countries, Norway and Iceland the citizens of the member states, Norway and Iceland are not required to have a passport. During their travel within the European Union they have the choice to prove their identity with ID card or passport.
 Hungary shall implement the common visa policy in its everyday practic. According to the European visa policy:
A national identity card is needed for entry into Hungary for citizens of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finnland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
 A passport is required for entering Hungary for citizens from Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway and Sweden.
 Citizens of the following European countries are required to have a visa to enter Hungary: Albania, Belorussia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, Ukraine.
 Border crossing controll within the EU remains as it was before (Schengen rules) in case of Sweden and the new EU member states (Hungary and Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) until they become members of Schengen area.
 For the travel of children they need either their own passport or their own ID card or in the lack of them they need to be registered in one of their parents' passport.
 Foreigners who wish to visit Hungary for more than 90 days and who intend to work or engage in other income-producing activity need to apply for a visa.
 A visa can be purchased at a Hungarian consulate or foreign representation in the country of residence. If there is no such mission there, foreigners can turn to any other Hungarian diplomatic mission or consular post. The Hungarian honorary consular offices are not entitled to issue visas, however they have all the necessary forms, and may also accept visa applications that they forward to the nearest diplomatic mission or consular post.
For more information please visit the web pages of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

Transport

DRIVING

Dipped headlights must be used when driving outside of towns and villages. The speed limit in towns and villages is 50kph unless otherwise stated, 90kph outside of towns and villages and 130kph on motorways. To travel on motorways a vignette (toll) must be purchased in advance. These can be bought from most major fuel stations. The minimum period for a vignette is 10 days. Dipped headlights must be used at all times outside of towns and villages. All vehicle documents must be carried at all times, along with a valid driving licence and passport. Drivers must also carry a red warning triangle, yellow or orange safety vests (for the driver and all passengers), spare bulbs and fuses (and the tools to change them) and an uptodate first aid kit.

 

BUS SERVICE
 
International & domestic services
Volánbusz operates 500 domestic distance coaches to 100 cities of the country daily, creating a direct link between 17 counties and the most important regions and resorts of the country and Budapest. During the day there are coaches in every hour or more often in the direction of Eger, Salgótarján, Gyöngyös, Jászberény, Kecskemét, Székesfehérvár, Veszprém, Tatabánya and Győr, many lines go to the Mátra, the great plain, lake Balaton or other destinations.
 
RAILWAY TRANSPORTATION

The largest transport service provider in Hungary, the Hungarian State Railways Shareholding Company (MÁV), which has been operating for 160 years already, carries more than 150 million passengers year to year to any destinations chosen by them.
We are more than happy to help you with our train facilities to discover the most beautiful regions and our most prestigious villages.
Would you wish to go for a swim in the" Hungarian Sea", Lake Balaton or get the real taste of the life on the Great Plain in Hortobágy, the Puszta, or admire the beauty of the National Historical Memorial Park at Ópusztaszer, where you can observe the legendary panorama painting of Árpád Feszty; we are always there for your service.
Pick any of the destinations you wish to see and we will make sure, you have a safe and comfortable journey with the MÁV.
 
Railway information
MÁVDIREKT (inland): 06 40 49 49 49
      (abroad): +36 1 371 94 49
internet: www.elvira.hu
 
Ticketing information
Train tickets can be bought at the railway stations and railway ticket offices in Budapest and the countryside.
 
Narrow Gauge Trains
Railway transportation is popular all over the world, and narrow gauge railways have an increasing role to play in many countries. There are several light railway lines in Hungary, chiefly f or the purposes of tourism and hiking.
Felsőtárkányi Line (Felsőtárkány - Sziklaforrás - Stimecz House - Sziklaforrás - Felsőtárkány):The railway reaches the Stimecz House at the end of its 5-kilometre-long run. From this point you can walk further into the Bükk hills on marked hiking trails. The "Őserdő" ("Jungle") and the "Látókövek" are easily accessible from its upper terminus.

Szilvásváradi Line (The Riding Track of Szalajka-völgy - Fátyol-vízesés (Szalajka Valley - Veil Waterfall): This popular 5-kilometre-long railway line in the Bükk hills goes to the famous Trout Ponds and ends at one of the most beautiful sights in the Bükk National Park: the Fátyol-vízesés (Veil Waterfall), where the water of Szalajka-patak (the Szalajka Stream) descends through a 17-metre line of steps and evaporates in the air like a veil. From this point you can go on foot to the prehistoric Istállóskő cave or move on to Bükk Plateau. If we decide to go back to Szilvásvárad on foot, we should be sure to visit the Museum of Forestry.

The Mátra Light Railway (Gyöngyös - Gyöngyössolymos - Lajosháza - Gyöngyössolymos - Gyöngyös), (Gyöngyös - Mátrafüred - Gyöngyös): The station is situated near the Mátra Museum in Gyöngyös. The line which goes to Mátrafüred is 7 kilometres long. The other line goes through Gyöngyössolymos in Nagy-völgy (Big Valley) and takes its passengers to Lajosháza. The 11-kilometre distance is covered by the train in 35 minutes. From Lajosháza you can choose from several trails leading to the higher parts of the Mátra Hills or a local circular route.

Shopping

In general, shops are open Monday to Friday, from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., on Saturday from 9.00 a. m. to 1.00 p. m. Stores do not close for lunch.
 Large shopping centres, entertainment complexes, and some private stores (many of these are open for 24 hours) are open on Sundays as well. Ecseri, the flea market of Budapest, is highly popular with tourists. It is located at Bp., XIX. Nagykőrösi út 156. Open: Monday through Friday, 8.00 a.m.- 4.00 p.m.; Saturday, 6.00 a.m.- 3.00 p.m., Sunday, 8.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.

Time Zone

Central European time (GMT+1)
Seasonal adjustment (to daylight savings time): between the end of March and the end of October: Central European time +1 (GMT+2)


Post Office Services

Post Offices

Post offices are usually open from Monday to Friday, from 8-18h.


Telegram, Post-Fax

At major post offices or in the Information Office of 
Magyar Telecom (Budapest V. Petőfi Sándor u. 17/19) faxes can be sent or received. (Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 8-20, Saturday 8-14; closed Saturdays and holidays).

Post Office ATM ("Postamat") Service

Over 3200 post offices across Hungary provide cash withdrawal services for those with bank or credit cards.

Telephone

Country Code for Hungary: 36
City Code for Budapest: 1
Domestic long-distance call prefix: 06
International calling prefix: 00 (wait for the dial tone, dial the country code and city code (they are listed in the phonebook), and then dial the required number)

Useful Phone Numbers:

  • Telephone wakening service: 193
  • Domestic telegram service: 192
  • Directory inquiries: 198
  • International directory inquiries: 199
  • T-Com Inquiry Plus: 197
  • Special inquiry: 267-6767
  • Inquiry about issues (yellow line): 397-9797
  • Domestic announcement: 191 (when phoning parties that can't be called directly, it allows users to call them through a telephone exchange)
  • International announcement: 190 (to make an international call through a post office)

Telephone numbers in Budapest consist of 7 numbers; phone numbers elsewhere in Hungary consist of 8 numbers, one-digit area code first. Additional services: Hungary Direct, Country Direct, Green number and Blue number.

Public Phones
The public phones work with 10, 20, 50 and 100 HUF coins or with phone-cards available at hotels, post offices, petrol stations, newsagents, kiosks and street vendors.
The minimum charge for a call is 20 HUF.

Public safety

 Exchange your currency only at official exchange bureaus, travel agencies, official exchange offices or ATM machines.

 When travelling in a taxi, use officially registered taxi companies and, before starting out, make sure that the taxi is equipped with the driver's photo ID, and that the rate chart is displayed and the meter is on. At the end of the trip you must receive a receipt; if the driver fails to provide it, always ask for one!
Only uniformed police and immigration officers with proper identification are entitled to check your identity or to ask for your ID.
In places of entertainment always ask for a menu with a price list before making an order! In Hungary, a service charge is not customarily part of the bill. It can only be added to the bill if it is explicitly stated on the menu. The business is required to issue a receipt for all costs and services printed by a cash register; the waiter's hand-written bill is not accepted as proof of purchase.

 

Other

A very good website worth checking before travelling to or within the EU is this:  http://europa.eu/abc/travel/index_en.htm  it has lots of useful information and worth checking out.

 

Disclaimer

Please note that we cannot and will not be held responsible for the accuracy of any of the information above. It is intended as a guideline only and travellers should check with the appropriate authorities for up to date laws and regulations.