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Before you arrive in Budapest doing a little research on the locals ways and language will give you extra confidence when you visit. Hungarian (Magyar) belongs to the Finno-Ugric group of languages, rather than Indo-European like most of Europe's languages. Consequently understanding and speaking Hungarian poses great difficulty to foreigners even though its spelling is logical. English and German are widely spoken in Budapest and hotel staff may speak several languages. However, learning a few words of the local language will be met with appreciation. Try starting with the basics such as 'szia' (hello) and 'koszonom' (thank you).
Read more on this destination in The AA Citypack Guide to Budapest.
What to take: There are several key items to remember when preparing for your visit such as: passport, money, travel documents, credit cards and any medication you may need.
Passports & Visas UK, US and Canadian citizens need to have a valid passport to enter Budapest. For the latest passport and visa information, check your relevant embassy website before you travel.
Customs Allowances for goods bought outside the EU: Alcohol: 1 litre of spirits over 22% volume, OR 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other liqueurs, PLUS 2 litres of still table wine. Tobacco: 200 cigarettes, OR 100 cigarillos, OR 50 cigars, OR 250g of tobacco. Perfume: 50ml, Eau de toilette: 250ml.Goods bought inside the EU for personal use: Alcohol: 10 litres of spirits AND 20 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other liqueurs, AND 90 litres of wine, AND 110 litres of beer. Tobacco: 800 cigarettes, AND 400 cigarillos, AND 200 cigars, AND 1kg of tobacco.
Embassies & Consulates The UK embassy address in Budapest is IV, Harmincad utca 6.
Money matters The Hungarian currency is the forint (abbreviated to HUF or FT). It is circulated as coins up to 100Ft and as notes above that up to 20,000Ft.
Visitors with disabilities While facilities for those with limited mobility are improving in Budapest, it's true that many streets and public buildings remain difficult. Several new buses now have low floors and ramps including buses 4,15,16, 26 and 78. Trams 4 and 6 and trolley-bus 70 also have low floors. Other routes have less regular buses and trolley-buses suitable for disabled passengers> these are indicated on timetables with a wheelchair symbol.
Lost property & theft: For insurance purposes, report lost or stolen property to the police as soon as possible. Ask at your hotel for the nearest police station.
- 112 - International emergency hotline
- 104 - Ambulance
- 105 - Fire services
- 106 - Police