Smoking is still quite prevalent in Budapest, Hungary.
Smoking at Budapest Restaurants (photo by John Fraissinet)
Luckily for smokers, unluckily for non-smokers, there are still many public places where smoking is allowed. Although the EU is working on making Europe less nicotine-dependent, smoking is popular amongst Hungarians and seems to be a hard nut to crack.
Smoking is not allowed in Hungary in educational institutions (primary schools, secondary schools, universities, colleges, etc.), movie theatres, public transport vehicles, and so on and so forth. Since 2012 smoking is forbidden in restaurants, cafes, buffets, etc. in Hungary (basically anywhere where you can eat for a few forints). These days, however, there are loads of restaurants, cafes in Budapest, where you can smoke right at the entrance, and as a non-smoker, you may be disturbed by the smoke.
To be on the safe side, pick a Budapest restaurant with an open air, heated terrace. There are two ‘restaurant streets’ in Budapest, where you can surely find such a diner: one is Raday street, close to the Liberty Bridge (Szabadsag hid), and the other is Oktogon square (halfway between Deak square and Heroes square) – both restaurant streets are centrally located in Budapest.
Budapest favors smokers – so if you smoke, you do not have to feel a subhuman citizen, you do not have to sneak behind a building, and hope to be unnoticed. You can sit in a park, etc. and see the world go by puffing away your favorite cigarette, sipping your coffee and reading your paper, or website on your pda.
If you are a smoker, you can buy all kinds of cigarettes in Budapest, or even find some special cigar stores. You do not have to crave for your favorite make as most of the big brands are sold in Hungary (there are many 24/7 stores too, with about 20-30 types of different makes.)
In order to reduce the risks of second hand smoking affecting your fellow citizens, smokers are kindly asked to keep a fair distance from families, and not to smoke where kids are staying in a closed room. Thank you.
Check out Budapest FAQ for more useful tips!
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