Fact file: Hungary

Did you know?
You cannot import paprika into Hungary.
Hungarian Magyar
None required for UK citizens for stays of up to 90 days.
Getting there
The capital's Budapest Ferihegy airport has flights to and from 30 European cities, including regular flights from London.
Flying time from London
Three hours.
Getting around
The Volan bus network is the most extensive in Hungary, so if you're going off the beaten track it will save you countless changes and take you to places the trains can't reach. Trains are great for major destinations - MAV runs comprehensive, reliable and uncrowded services. In summer, passenger ferries operate on the Danube and Lake Balaton. Roads are generally good; speed limits are strictly enforced with big fines. Hitch-hiking is legal and there is a service in Budapest matching drivers and passengers. Cities have well-developed local transport, taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced.
Forint (Ft), divided into 100 filler.
Litre of petrol 70p; bottle of beer 30-40p; moderate restaurant meal £5-£7; 36-exposures roll of film £3.30; short taxi ride £1.50.
It's a country for all seasons, but if you don't like rain May and early June are out. Summer - July, August and September - is warm, sunny and crowded; Budapest grinds to a halt in August. Autumn is beautiful in the hills around Budapest and in the north. Average temperatures: Winter -7C to 10C (20F to 50F); summer 10C to 26C (50F to 80F).
Time difference
One hour ahead of GMT in winter, two hours ahead in summer.
International dialling code from the UK
00 36
220V, 50 Hz AC. Take an adaptor for UK appliances.
Opening hours
Grocery stores and supermarkets open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, department stores from 10am-6pm. Most other shops stay open till 8pm on Thursday but close at lunchtime on Sat. Post offices open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, and 8am-1pm Sat. Banking hours vary but they usually close around 4pm Mon-Thurs and 1pm on Friday. Museums open 10am to 6pm Tues-Sun from April to October.
Health - Before you go
The UK has a reciprocal health care agreement with Hungary but you may be safer taking out travel insurance in case you need to be repatriated due to accident or illness which would not otherwise be covered. If you intend to do lots of forest trekking between May and September, it might be sensible to get an FSME (meningo-encephalitis) vaccination.
Health - When you are there
Your UK passport will get you hospital treatment and other medical care for emergencies, but you will pay charges for prescribed medicines, ophthalmic and dental treatment. Mosquitoes are a nightmare around the lakes so go armed with insect repellent. Also watch out for the forest tick, which can cause encephalitis.
Beware pickpockets, car thieves and burglars. Crime is increasing dramatically in Hungary, although Budapest's still safer than many Western cities.
Police - tel 107; ambulance - tel 104 (1 111 1666 in English); fire - tel 105. British Embassy, V Harmincad utca 6. Tel: 266 2888.
Win the favour of barmen by enthusing wildly about Hungary's brilliant football team of the 1950s.
Hungary is not in the Pet Travel Scheme, so the usual quarantine regulations apply.
Top tippers, the Hungarians. They tip everyone from toilet attendants to doctors: 10-15% is fine. If a restaurant adds a service charge to your bill, leave a modest tip as well. Don't leave it on the table - that would be considered rude - but arrange how much you will give. Avoid tipping only if you want to make an explicit protest about your service.
Tourist office
Hungarian National Tourist Office, 46 Eaton Place, London SW1X 8AL. Tel: 020 7823 1055 / 020 7823-1032.


+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

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