Detailed information about travel documents and customs can be found in this booklet published by the Hungarian Customs and Finance Guard, providing useful information for tourists travelling within the European Union or travelling from a non-community country (third country) to any Member State of the European Union. For further information about the custom procedures, please consult the homepage of the Hungarian customs authority.
To enter Hungary you need to have a valid passport (or in some cases valid ID), the validity should exceed 6 months. Visa for EU citizens: no visa needed if the planned stay is no longer than 90 days, and the purpose of visit is not employment or other income-earning activity. Also there is more NON-EU countries for whom no visa need, please ask information about it at Hungarian Embassy, Consulate in your county or for more information please visit the home page of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Hungary
Hungary is part of the Schengen Area of 25 European countries. For non-Schengen EU, USA and Canadian citizens a valid passport is sufficient to enter Hungary. Citizens of other countries should check whether visa is needed for them when entering Hungary (for more information please visit the home page of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Hungary)
Foreigners planning to visit Hungary for a period longer than 90 days, or with the purpose of employment or other income-earning activity, should apply for visa. For rules, exceptions and for contact to local Embassy of Hungary please check:. http://konzuliszolgalat.kormany.hu/
Citizens and visitors of Hungary are subjects of the set of constitutional rights (for example, everybody has an innate right to life, human dignity, freedom and personal security, and freedom of speech is also due to everyone). The Constitution and laws are in harmony with the European standards. In terms of criminality, Hungary statistically belongs to the countries that are moderately infected by crime. The risk to become a victim, however, is not bigger or not smaller than in any other European countries. Tourists can be affected mainly by pickpockets and beggars.
Police officers may ask people to identify themselves. All kinds of official documents are acceptable for the purpose of identification that authentically proves the identity of a person. For instance: ID card, passport, and driving licence.
For the maximal security of the visitors security guards will service the conference venue from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, and in addition they provide surveillance for the exhibition area around the clock on all days of the conference. Handy tips for all foreign citizens travelling to and staying in Hungary: http://www.police.hu/english/change-in-border-control-procedure
Arrive to Budapest – airport transfer: Budapest has one international airport, the Budapest Liszt Ferenc Nemzetközi repülőtér (Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport; code: BUD). From the Airport you have to take the bus number 200E, and go until the final-station, called: Kőbánya-Kispest M. This is the final station of the metro line M3. Both airport terminals are connected to the final station of Bus number 200E, and easy to find it. The bus terminates at the same level as the arrival part is.
Budapest taxi prizes are fixed from August 2013. Base tariff: 450HUF (1,5€), destination based fee: 280HUF/km (0.95€/km), time based fee: 70 HUF/minute (0,2€/minute). Depending on your destination, a trip from airport to Budapest central hotels costs between HUF 6 500 - 9 000HUF. (22-30 €).
Arrive to Budapest - by train : Budapest has 3 international train stations. These are the Nyugati Pályaudvar (Western Railway Station), Keleti Pályaudvar (Eastern Railway Station) and the Déli Pályaudvar (Southern Railway Station). All of them are connected to the Metro lines, the western to the line M3, the Eastern and the Southern to the line M2. The Western Railway Station is also connected to tram line 4 and 6. If you arrive in the night to the Eastern station, don’t stay there for long time, that neighborhood isn’t the safest after sunset.
Arrive to Budapest- By coach : The international coaches arrive to Népliget buszpályaudvar (Népliget bus station), or to Stadion buszpályaudvar (Stadium bus station). The Népliget is connected to metro line M3, the Stadium to metro line M2.
Money - The currency of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). One Euro is about 300 HUF. There are coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 HUF, and notes: 500, 1 000, 2 000, 5 000, 10 000, 20 000 HUF
You can find many change offices in the city, especially at the frequented attractions. But pay attention on the changing rates, for example at the airport, or the international train-stations they give only 260-280 HUF for one Euro instead of 290-300 HUF.
Obligation to report cash at the external borders of the European Union - Any passenger entering or leaving the European Union that holds:
- 10 000 or more euros or its equivalent in cash (even if in different currencies), or
- any readily cashable securities of equivalent total value (such as bonds, shares, traveller’s cheques, etc.),
shall declare it to the customs authority. Such declaration shall be made or presented at the customs authority (or other competent authority) where the passenger enters of leaves the European Union.
In addition, certain member states of the European Union apply further verification and declaration rules on cash transactions within the European Union. It is worth to get informed about such rules at the Hungarian consulate of the countries included in the journey.
Purchase of excisable goods from other member states for personal purposes
Excisable goods purchased in any other member state by private individuals conducting not business activities shall be free of duty in Hungary, provided that such goods are carried or transported directly by the private individual. Exception is made for liquid combustibles and fuels exceeding commercial quantities if they are not transported in Hungary in the regular of complementary fuel tank of the vehicle.
Commercial quantities of excisable products shall mean any quantity exceeding the following quantities:
- 40 litres of motor fuel in addition to the fuel contained in fuel tank of the vehicle, 20 liters of any other fuel, 50 litres of kerosene, 100 litres of diesel oil in addition to the quantity contained in the fuel tank of the vehicle of power machine, and 1000 litres of biodiesel
- 800 cigarettes,
- 200 cigars and 400 cigarillos
- 1000 grams of smoking tobacco
- 110 litres of beer
- 20 litres of intermediary alcohol products
- 10 litres of alcohol products
- 90 litres of wine and sparkling wine together (out of which sparkling wine shall not exceed 60 litres).
Rules applying to individuals arriving to Hungary from third countries outside the European Union
Duty-free personal luggage. Goods included in the personal luggage of passengers arriving to Hungary from any non-EU country shall be free from duty if:
- they consolidated value exceeds not 175 euros, and
- they are introduced with occasional – non recurring - nature, and
- they serve exclusively for the personal use of the passenger or his/her family, or are obviously intended as a gift.
- The nature and quantity of the personal luggage shall not suggest commercial import.
If the above conditions are met, individuals having completed 17 years of age may take into Hungary, free from duties the following quantities:
- 200 cigarettes, or
- 100 cigarillos (small cigars weighing not more than three grams per piece), or
- 50 cigars, or
- 250 gram of tobacco for smoking, or
- any mix of the above goods in proportional form.
As regards cigarettes, each such passenger may take into Hungary – free of duties – not more than 2000 cigarettes per year (10 cartons), which is the average consumption in Hungary.
Hungarians pay Health Care payroll tax to cover medical treatment expenses. For EU citizens a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is available from health centres and it covers for most medical care. It will certainly not cover non-emergency treatments or emergency repatriation. Citizens from other countries should find out if there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their home country and Hungary.
In Hungary, foreigners are entitled to first-aid and ambulance services only when they have suffered an accident and require immediate medical attention. Follow-up treatment and medicine must be paid for. We recommend for the visitors of the conference to ensure themselves with valid healthcare coverage or insurance for the time spent in Hungary.
Electricity : 230V AC, 50Hz, socket looks like: ₀₀
Language: The Hungarian language is spoken only by the Hungarians . As an agglutinative language, it’s really hard to learn and speak without mistakes. But also as an agglutinative language, it’s really colourful, has many variations for words and so we have wonderful literary words. The language origins from the Ural-Altaic family of languages.
Etiquette in Hungary - Hungary is a family-oriented society with Central Asian roots. Close friends kiss each other on the cheek when greeting; although a predominantly male culture, women are treated as equals, but you should address a woman after she has addressed you first, or has been introduced if accompanied. You might be invited out for horseback riding, if so, accept. In terms of other etiquette, standard procedure applies i.e. be polite and respectful and you should be fine.
Climate - Hungary has a continental climate. The summer is warm and sunny, with low humidity. However, in the summer you can experience sudden and intensive rain showers, which come suddenly and go away fast, even in the middle of a hot day. The temperature is the highest in August and July. The average temperature is between 28 and 30 degrees, but at Budapest it’s sometimes higher than 35 degrees. The nights at Budapest are warm in the summer. After a hot day, the temperature usually stays above 20 degrees until the morning. If you come during the summer you should bring clothes mainly for the warm weather, but it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella or a raincoat with you.
- The autumn from the end of September is cloudier and has long and slow rainy periods. The temperature is lower, so you should bring some warm clothes instead of the summer clothes and an umbrella as well.
- During winter, the average temperature is between 0 and -5 degrees in Celsius. However 5-10, and also the -10-15 degrees are possible to be.
- The spring is similar to the autumn, but with less rain and cloud. From the middle of April the sunny weather allows to wear summer clothes many times.
So in general we have hot summers and cold winters. The weather is changeable, so always check it out before coming here.
Public Transport - Lines are mainly operated between 4.30am till 11.30pm, every few minutes. Some exception applies to late night buses and trams. Budapest has 3 metro lines, the M1 (yellow, other name: millennium underground), M2 (red), M3 (blue), and M4 (green), Tram route 4 and 6 on Nagykörút (Grand Boulevard) are the busiest tram lines of the world, with the longest passenger trams (Siemens Combino – 54 metre long).
You can buy tickets at the stops of the metro lines, and the most frequented transport hubs. One ticket is enough for one journey on any traffic line. On the metro lines if you change at Deák Ferenc tér you don’t have to validate another ticket. There are monthly tickets as well. You can use student ticket if you have a valid student ID card from the European Union, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein. Otherwise you have to buy the total-cost ticket. If you stay for longer term then one day, plan to travel more than 12 times, and have a student ID from the countries above it worth to buy a monthly student ticket.
Customers who want to use any of the services of BKV have to hold an appropriate ticket for the given line which can be validated.
|Examples on ticket prices|
|Single ticket||HUF 350-450 (1,2-1,5 €)|
|Budapest 24-hour travel card||HUF 1 650 (6,5 €)|
|Budapest 48-hour travel card||HUF 4 150 (13,5 €)|
|Budapest 72-hour travel card||HUF 4 950 (16,5 €)|
|Budapest Card for 24 hours*||HUF 4 900 (19 €)|
|Budapest Card for 48 hours*||HUF 7 900 (27 €)|
|Budapest Card for 72 hours*||HUF 9 900 (33 €)|
Smoking - is forbidden in every bus, tram, underground stops, railway stations, underpasses, bars, restaurants, schools, hospitals, casinos, and at the airport. Cigarettes can be bought only in a few shops, called “Nemzeti Dohánybolt”. They look like a sex shop because they have an 18 in a red circle and the windows are darkened. You can buy alcohol and cigarette only if you are at least 18 years old.
- Restaurants, night pubs and shopping centers are very common in Budapest. Restaurants are usually open from 11am to 12 pm; pubs open till 2-4am. Shopping centers are open from 10am to 9pm. (Sunday all shops are closed in Hungary)
· Non-EU resident travellers may apply for a refund of up to 27% of the general sales tax (VAT) on goods purchased in Hungary, with the exception of works of art, collections and antiques, under the following conditions: the total value of the goods on one original invoice, including VAT, must exceed 50,000 HUF. Not more than 90 days may elapse between the time of purchase and the time of export. The goods must be taken out of the country unused, in their original packaging.
· Shopping centres are open six days a week, other shops from 10 am until 6 pm during the week. On Saturday shops mostly close at 1 pm and remain close on Sundays, but some of them may have different opening hours. Malls are open from 10 am to 8 pm.
· Feel free to use your credit or ATM cards. These are accepted by all major stores and ATM-s can be found all over downtown Budapest. Another safe method of payment is Travelers Cheques, which is also accepted by most of the hotels.
· You are not supposed to take valuable antiques out of the country without a special permit, which must be available at the place of purchase
- Shops Are Closed on Sunday-according to a new regulation that came into effect in March 2015 shops larger than 200 sqm cannot be open on Sunday (they can choose three Sundays/year when they will be open – like during Christmas time or around Easter). Only smaller ones (less than 200 sqm) and family owned shops where family members work will be open on the last day of the week. In shopping centres only food courts are open and the cinemas.
Larger Malls (Plazas) in Budapest
Westend City Center, Árkád , Arena Plaza, Mammut 1-2. , Duna Plaza, Pólus Center, Asia Center, Allee, Campona , KÖKI terminal
WestEnd City Center (Address: Váci út 1-3.)- M3 metro, trams 4-6 Nyugati tér station Open: Mon-Sat 10.00-21.00, Its striking architecture and around 400 shops make West End City Center the most impressive and largest Budapest shopping malls. An ideal place for shopping, you can enjoy cinema city, lot of restaurants, coffees, etc, even if you don’t have much time because it’s centrally located next to the Nyugati Train Station. Underground you’ll find a Spar supermarket, a Libri bookshop, and several toy shops. You can find also small halal restaurant, vegetarian restaurant between restaurants in the underground level.
Arena Plaza (1087 Budapest, Kerepesi út 9) - has almost 200 stores, including many world famous brands. There are also lot of restaurats, coffees, hypermarket, cinema city have opened Central-East-Europe’s biggest multiplex cinema in the centre - the only IMAX cinema in Hungary. Arena Plaza’s shops and restaurants are open from 10h to 21h from Monday to Saturday.
Corvin Plaza (H-1082 Budapest, Futó utca 37-45) - The newest shopping centre of Budapest with 100 shops.
Árkád Budapest (1106 Budapest, Örs Vezér square) - on three floors, the Mall caters to its discriminating customers by offering a close to 170 mix of specialty retailers and services. The Center also offers restaurants, quick-lunch bars and coffee shops
Duna Plaza (1138 Budapest, Váci út 178.) - it is one of the oldest shopping centres of Budapest with 200 shops, restaurants and a Palace Cinemas Cinema.
Köki Terminál (Vak Bottyán u. 75. H-1191) - the newest shopping mall in Budapest has opened on 14th October 2011. It has a very good location, at the end station of the Metro line nr. 3, Kőbánya-Kispest. Here is a train station and a bus station as well. This is the end stop of the airport bus, bus nr. 200. It has more than 200 shops and restaurant.