Booze / Weed in Budapest – what is allowed?
As for marijuana, it is absolutely forbidden and punished in Hungary. See details below.
The legal age of alcohol consumption (just like any other adult things) is 18 years of age in Hungary. See details below.
Alcohol consumption and purchase is legal for citizens over 18 years old. You can drink alcohol in bars, pubs, parties, festivals or at home, but you are not allowed to drink alcohol in public places, and of course, in educational and health institutes. The brown bag solution is not of help here, so even if you carefully wrap a bottle of wine in a brown bag and sit down on a park bench you may be punished for illegal alcohol consumption. Officially, you cannot walk about drinking beer or any alcohol in the street, but it would be a lie to say that you will not see occasional youngsters or some hardened junkies with beer cans or wine bottles around pubs, 24/7 stores at night.
Some tips for tourists
As you will be a tourist in Budapest, we would like to remind you that getting drunk in a foreign country has the disadvantage that it may not be as simple to get to your hotel / accommodation in Budapest as in your own country of residence. You do not speak the local language, to start with, and you may not know the streets like the back of your hand. So we suggest that you should drink moderately, and stay sober enough to be able to call a taxi and get home at night. Or get some very reliable friends or locals to take care of you. It may be very useful to write down the following info on a piece of paper: the address of your accommodation, the phone numbers of some of the best Budapest Cab companies, the phone number of the National Tourist 24/7 service in case you get into some unexpected trouble (better to be preventive and cautious, right?). Put this note in your pocket instead of your wallet.
The most popular alcoholic drinks in Hungary
Anyway, the two most popular alcoholic beverages are beer and wine, but stronger spirits also score high on the stats, especially the brandy-like ‘palinka‘ (say: paa-link-ah), the bomb-shaped Unicum and other spirits like whiskey, vodka, etc. There are many who swear on the Beer – Unicum combo, while others like to add some fizzy water to their wine, creating a bubbling lighter beverage called froccs (say frotsh). There are tons of bars and pubs in Budapest of all kinds with a wide range of national and international drinks, such as the most purchased alcoholic drinks: Guiness, Heineken, Jack Daniels, Smirnoff Vodka, Absinthe, Tequila, Jager, Martini, Sangria, Port wine, etc.
Drinking booze is basically considered a traditional part of party life (see some of the best Budapest pubs and clubs here). So much so, that many young people get their first alcohol experience in some no-parent party at the age of 14 or 16. We assume, based on past statistics, that in the typical touristy areas and inner city places, you will not have to be watchful due to alcohol related road accidents, but if you should be driving in the countryside, you need to be more careful on Friday and Saturday party evenings, when some young drivers feel too confident to drive in a drunk state.
Drugs, Grass in Hungary
As for drugs even the milder drugs like weed, it is very important to keep in mind that both drugs and marijuana dealers and consumers, are punished in Hungary. Don’t smoke grass to avoid hassle and imprisonment. The ‘legalize it’ movement is quite weak in Hungary, despite the fact that there are strong supporters of following the less strict drug policy of the Netherlands.
As even marijuana is forbidden, you are discouraged to accept a joint passed around, as the material in it may not be of good quality. Your health is more important, and you are more important to your friends and family than a one night party.
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!
Share your own Budapest experience whether it was a fantastic trip, a negative experience or a pleasant surprise. Send your Budapest photos, tips to TopBudapest [at] gmail [dot] com, or simply comment below.