What if your Budapest stay includes a Hungarian national holiday?
Avoid Hungarian rallies on national holidays
The left and right wing parties, and Hungarian people in general have different views about how the country should be led best.
The relatively young democracy (born in 1989 in Hungary) still breeds its controversial affairs.
Around some historical national holidays, you might witness some rallies, demonstrations in the streets of Budapest, mostly in the neighborhood of the Parliament area, i.e. Kossuth square and Szabadsag square, and around the Heroes square / Hosok tere.
Avoid these areas on Hungarian national holidays.
See the list of Hungarian National Holidays and keep in mind that March 15 and Oct 23 are the highlights of airing political dissatisfaction.
In 2009 Feb, the US Embassy wrote (just before the upcoming March 15 national holiday): “During the upcoming months, the probability of both scheduled and unscheduled rallies, protests and demonstrations is high.
Over the past two years many of these gatherings have involved direct police action. Here are some tips for personal security if you get caught in one such action:
- Immediately leave area, by the quickest means, by personal vehicle, on foot, by taxi, or by public.
- Know where you are and have a plan. Do not picture the city as constantly charged with tension and political rallies. But do check out the dates of March 15, Oct 23, and avoid the neighborhood of the Parliament.
- Budapest citizens will also help you to keep safe from accidental confrontations around these dates. Before leaving your country, check out the latest news what is going on in Budapest.
Definitely DO NOT DO: Further Budapest warnings
- Do not have valuables with you. Learn from general Budapest warnings.
- Do not travel unprepared. Save the Budapest crime emergency phone numbers to learn how to contact the Hungarian Police just in case.
- Do not stay near the Parliament and the Heroes’ Square on Hungarian national holidays
- Do not take marijuana, drugs in Budapest. What about alcohol?
- Do not go to dangerous night clubs in Budapest.
- Do not hail down a taxi in Budapest.
- Do not buy HUF / Forint from a street vendor in Budapest.
- Do not board Budapest public transport vehicles without a ticket.
- Do not cross the road without checking the traffic in Budapest.
- Do not expect some cultural conveniences in Budapest
- Do not take valuables with you to Baths in Budapest – or preferably in the city.
- Do not go to Budapest Airport unprepared – there are 2 Budapest terminals – approx. 5 min car travel from each other: even though T1 is getting closed, T2 is a bus stop away from T1 train station.
- Do not go to touristy restaurants in Budapest – to eat pricey food of lower quality.
Check out Budapest FAQ for more useful tips!
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