Budapest FAQ: Tips & Info for Budapest Tourists

Here are the most frequently asked questions of Budapest travellers as gathered by TopBudapest.org. If you feel that we left out essential questions and answers, please help us by sending the additional information in an email to us: TopBudapest [at] gmail [dot] com, or you can add your comment right here.

Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest

Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest (photo by Pedro Szekely)

Budapest FAQ

Where is Budapest Hungary? –  Budapest FAQ

Budapest, the capital city of Hungary is in Central-Eastern Europe. More details and map images here.

Is Budapest a safe city?  – Budapest FAQ

The answer is a definite yes with some caution. See more details about how safe Budapest is and what recent crime levels are.

Where is the city centre in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

There are 23 districts in Budapest: districts 5, 6 and 7 are usually referred to as city centre districts. On maps you will see District V, District VI, District VII, respectively. Read more about Budapest city centre here.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary (photo by Pedro Szekely)


Which side is better, Buda or Pest in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

The Buda side is calmer and the Pest side is more active. You can hear the silence at night on the hilly Buda side, while you can hear the nightlife on the Pest side. So which is better for you? Read more tips, infos on Buda or Pest here.

What visa is required for Budapest Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

Entry visas are not required for EU citizens, and tourists from the USA, Australia, Canada if you stay less than 3 months. More details on Visa Hungary here.

Which is the best Budapest route planner?  – Budapest FAQ

Depending on what means of transport you wish to use (car, public transport, bicycle, foot) various Budapest route planners are available to help you on your way.

Soviet soldier statue in Budapest

Soviet soldier statue in Budapest (photo by Zsolt Andrasi)

How Long Should I Stay in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

Stay minimum 3 days, possibly more. Read more about How Long To Stay in Budapest?

What is the Currency in (Budapest) Hungary?  – Budapest FAQ

No, it is still not the euro, it is the Hungarian Forint (HUF or Ft).

More tips and info on the Hungarian currency here.

How much do things cost in Budapest Hungary?  – Budapest FAQ

In this FAQ, we answer questions like ‘How much is a beer in Budapest?’ ‘How expensive is Budapest?’ Our conclusions is that Budapest is relatively cheap for a western traveller. Locals will complain about Budapest being expensive, as they will evidently compare it with their average wages, which are really low. The city can indeed be pricey for a Hungarian.

But if you are a lucky western European, British, Canadian, American, etc. you will find great things and good value for money.

Read more on some average prices in Budapest, Hungary: How Much: Budapest Prices

Budapest and the Danube

Budapest and the Danube (photo by Pedro Szekely)

How much shall I Tip in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

The average tipping is 10%. Read more on who and how you need to tip in Budapest?

What are the Opening Hours in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

The general rule is that almost all places of interest (shops, museums, restaurants, etc.) are open from 10am to 5pm from Mon to Fri. However, there are variations. And of course groceries open much earliers. See more details on Budapest opening hours

Car Rental in Budapest Hungary?  – Budapest FAQ

Renting a car in Budapest Hungary? While it would be really fun to have the need for speed in a revamped vintage Trabant-horse cart, you cannot get such post-communist vehicles, so you will have to make do with normal modern cars from economy cars through mini vans to limousines. But before you rent a car, here are some tips for Car Rental Budapest

Can you drink the tap water in Budapest Hungary?  – Budapest FAQ

Yes, tap water is safe to drink. Read more info on drinking waters in Budapest.

What is the Weather like in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

Budapest is most friendly around late May, early June and at the end of August or early September. Read more about the current and the general weather in Budapest, Hungary.

What time zone is Budapest Hungary in?  – Budapest FAQ

Budapest Hungary time zones:

  • Winter: GMT+1 (GMT plus one)
  • Summer: GMT+2 (GMT plus two)

So if you fly to Budapest Hungary from London or New York, you will lose time when you come here, and gain time when you go back to the UK or USA.

How to make phone calls?  – Budapest FAQ

The country code is 36, and the city code of Budapest is 1. More phone tips with some examples of various calls on Budapest country and city codes.

Emergency Phone numbers in Budapest?  – Budapest FAQ

The top emergency numbers are Ambulance: 104 (in English: 00-36-1-311-1666), Police: 107, Fire Department: 105. See more useful phone numbers in Budapest.

Budapest city centre

Budapest city centre (photo by Zsolt Andrasi)

What plug do you need in Budapest Hungary?  – Budapest FAQ

In Hungary, electricity is supplied at 230 V, 50 Hz. Hungarians use 2-pin plugs with rounded metal rods, which are different from the ones used in e.g. the USA, the UK or Japan. A good quality transformer for Hungarian plugs is about 20 euros or 30 USD and can be bought at bigger electric stores in Budapest (e.g. MediaMarkt or Saturn).

Budapest Taxi Numbers – Budapest FAQ

Learn how you can get an easy transfer from Budapest Airport T1, T2 to the city centre, or why you should not flag down a taxi in Budapest and where you can call a reliable cab in Budapest Hungary.

Where are airports in Budapest Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

While there are over 40 airports in Hungary, you will most probably use Liszt Ferenc International Airport Budapest (formerly called Ferihegy). Budapest Airport is about 20km (15 miles) from downtown Budapest. There are two terminals, T2 or Terminal 2A and 2B are for standard international flights, while Terminal 1 or T1 for short is managing cheap Budapest flights. Warning: the two terminals are about a 5-minute taxi or bus ride from each other. See its location compared to the city center on the Budapest Tourist Map indicated with an airplane icon.

Matthias Church Budapest

Matthias Church Budapest (photo by Pedro Szekely)

When are the public holidays in Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

You will find a comprehensive list of public holidays in Hungary on Budapest Blog.

What is the best beer in Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

Hungarians seem to prefer local beers, and Czech beers, especially pilsner-style lagers. See the list of best Hungarian beers here.

What is the best wine in Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

There is no such thing as a single best Hungarian wine, of course. For the recommended wine list and wineries, wine shops read our FAQ about the Best Hungarian Wines.

What are the best restaurants in Budapest? – Budapest FAQ

Our Budapest restaurant guide has detailed info about the best restaurants and diners – including Budapest restaurants in the Michelin guide, and a general restaurant FAQ (about tipping, booking a table, etc.)

Which is the best bath in Budapest? – Budapest FAQ

The best thermal bath in Budapest is probably Szechenyi Spa Bath, but Gellert is very famous for its mind blowing Art Nouveau mosaics. Read our guide on Best Baths, Budapest, or go directly to our Szechenyi Bath FAQ, or Gellert FAQ.

How many People live in Budapest Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

About 10 million people live in Hungary and on the decrease. There are roughly 1.7 million residents in Budapest and more than 3 million in greater Budapest. Read more about Hungarian population here.

What religion are people in (Budapest) Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

Most Hungarians are Christian 66% being Catholic, 28% Protestant. Read more about Hungarian religions here.

What’s the official language in (Budapest) Hungary? – Budapest FAQ

The official language of Hungary is Hungarian. Are you interested in more funny details about Hungarian language?

How many days is it worth spending in Budapest? – Budapest FAQ

Plan at least 3 days for Budapest, but possibly more, say 5-7 days to make the most out of your stay in Budapest Hungary. It’s a fantastic city with a lot to offer in a safe and friendly city environment with a fabulous architectural heritage, nice green spots (even caves), warm baths with healing qualities and parties, loads of pubs, bars and restaurants, and great markets and flea markets to hunt for little treasures. But Budapest still has a lot to improve, and we hope that you won’t feel let down.

More?

We are always open for more tips, questions and answers, so do not hesitate to share your Budapest FAQ here in a comment.

 
Comments

I am going to be visiting Budapest by myself over the Christmas holiday, I was wondering if you had any tips as to what a single traveler could do on Christmas Day

Hello Tayler, I have written a detailed reply but it disappeared…
The gist of what I wrote is that Dec 24, 25 and 26 are basically very untouristy in a sense that many places are closed (Dec 24 is the most festive of all Xmas days in Hungary). That being said, there are still many things going on in Budapest.
The question is what kind of programme do you have in mind. The Nutcracker ballet is on all 3 days at the Budapest Opera House: http://attractions.topbudapest.org/buildings/budapest-opera-house (La Bohéme opera is on Dec 25), or there is a concert at A38 party ship to mention a completely different event and style: a38.hu/en/program/kesh-esti-kornel-ivan-the-parazol-libido-tesco-disco.
The Museum of Fine Arts is closed on Dec 24 and 25 but open on Dec 26 http://attractions.topbudapest.org/museums/museum-of-fine-arts-budapest-szepmuveszeti-muzeum
I would definitely go to one of the quirky ruin pubs locals love, but I have no idea if that’s your cup of tea.
What are your preferences, interests, what kind of events would make your Christmas holiday nice?

HI

I’m thinking of going in the new year around 3rd jan I have a few questions

will it be unbearably cold?
I’m going with my new boyfriend we are in our late 20’s is there cool stuff to do? live music ? quirky stuff? jazz bars?

i like the idea of the nutcracker !
thank you

Hello pompom, I have no idea what is unbearable to you (English tourists as well as tourists from the North of Europe can cope with our winters much better than locals…), but Jan is sure to be one of the coldest months in Hungary, with below zero temperatures by day and night too. It is better to put really warm light and breatable clothes into your luggage just in case.

January is really the low season regarding festivals and the like, but there is always something going on in Budapest.
For quirky pubs, you should check out one of the popular quirky ‘ruin pubs’: http://topbudapest.org/bars-pubs (see here as avantgarde pubs). I would also recommend visiting a nice retro place http://www.taskaradioeszpresszo.hu/
as well as going to a concert at Gödör Club by Deák tér where all metro lines meet in the heart of the city (there is no January event calendar on their site yet).
Last but not least I would recommend Millenaris Park, a great place http://www.millenaris.hu/ but again the January concerts and programmes are not available on the website yet. Check back at the end of Dec.

Student on A Budget

Hi, I am going to Budapest from 7 to 10 April.

I was wondering, other than on accomodation. Is it possible to get by on about 80 Euros? Like is Budapest a very good walking city?

Hi Student on a Budget,
yes, it is not a big stretch, in fact for a student it is absolutely possible to get by on about 80 euros for roughly a week in Budapest if you have already paid for your accommodation and all you need to spend money is on
1, public transport
2, basic food and drink (preferably bought from the grocery shop)
That’s the sort of budget a Hungarian student usually gets by on…
This amount – 80 euros – does not include entrance fees to museums, performances, movies etc. (unless you make a few days really really low budget and eat 3-4 sandwiches – made by you rather than ready made – a day, and drink water, but no beers and fancy soft drinks), but maybe you could afford a beer or wine at the end of the day. :)
You can get relatively cheap warm meals (lunch time only) from places that are still functioning Hungarian style retro fast food restaurants / canteens like Pajtás Étterem at Batthyany square or you can find some more affordable restaurants (attractive midday lunch break getaways) like Mákos Guba diner on Krisztina körút (both on the Buda side). Or, if you are cool, you could get easily invited to a home made dinner by one of the students… (but take a bottle of drink as an entrance gift if you want to be friendly)
YES and yes! Budapest is great for walking, lots to see and discover! :)

Hi, I would like to know how much does a day in Budapest cost, in euro or dollars, after paying for hotel. will 80$ a day be enough?

Hello Jim, in addition to the accommodation costs, you will most likely spend a couple of thousand Hungarian forints on the public transportation in Budapest (the sights / attractions in Budapest are pretty spread out). There are great prices and 2-3-7 day passes, so you should be still fine.
You could spend 80 USD on a lunch and dinner at a good but affordable restaurant (menu or a la carte too, but please check the prices – here are some of the best restaurants in Budapest) – say 15-35 USD on each, and still have some money left for entrance fees, or a couple of beers / wines at a night bar (see our list of recommended Budapest bars).
In short, you can decide where to eat, and how much you wish to spend on entrance tickets and fees – a visit to one of the baths would certainly be a good investment, while saving some USD for the exhibitions and other attractions shouldn’t be a problem – museums, churches, castles, etc. tend to be on the cheaper side.
80 dollars is a comfortable but not too luxurious daily spend (minus about 25 USD for the 7 day public transport pass)
Hope this helps – let us know how you managed from your budget.

we are an Australian mature aged couple arriving in budapest in the afternoon ( July 2012) and want to do the folk show and Dinner cruise which concludes at around 11.30pm. The meeting point for show and cruise is Danube Palace .I note Metro closed so what is the best way to organise a taxi to my buda hotel ( Mercure Buda). at the end of my cruise .

Also what would be the approximate taxi fare from my hotel to the Palace. tour organiser offering pick up at about 20 Euro

Hello Tom,
yes, unfortunately Budapest metros don’t run so late, and your quickest option to Duna Palota (Danube Palace) in Zrinyi street, which is the bus (16 or 105) only runs by day time. So you had better call a taxi company via phone, here are some taxi companies in Budapest, which have a long established reputation. You can call them yourself to try and arrange a taxi after the night performance

I think this is a really short distance, something like 2.5 km (1.5 miles or so), and should not cost more than HUF 1,500 – 2,500 (approx. 7-10 euros), so you are definitely better off calling your own cab after the night performance. There are several Budapest taxi fare calculators
here is a thread about taxi prices http://topbudapest.org/faq/getting-around-in-budapest/budapesttaxi#comment-180
or you can simply try Fotaxi (currently the official taxi company at the Budapest Airport too, not the cheapest, but has some good cab drivers who speak good English)
http://fotaxi.hu/Kalkulator#main-menu
Have fun at the Hungarian folk show, they are beautiful and well staged!

Hi there im 25 from singapore currently on a work related course in marseille, im looking to head to budapest alone from the 8th to 15th feb … How much do u think i’d need and wats a good hostel to stay in the city? Is clubbing/partying expensive in budapest? Are the famous hot baths pricey? Thanks in advance for your tips, cheers :)

Hi Malik, it depends on how much you wish to spend and what your preferences are. Budapest can be very cheap and very expensive like any big city in Europe.
There are great hostels in Budapest, here are some of the best with links to hotel price comparison sites http://topbudapest.org/hotel/hostels-in-budapest
There are party hostels and quieter hostels, many in the city centre, and many away from the city centre of Budapest. The hostels outside the downtown areas are cheaper.
Here is out Budapest on a budget guide:
http://tenthingstodo.topbudapest.org/by-interests/budget-things-to-do-in-budapest
with tips for Budapest cheap restaurants, eateries and salad bars, vegetarian places to eat, etc.
Partying is cheap, there are lots of bars with no entrance fee, a beer is about 2-3 Euros in pubs, 1 Euro in shops roughly. Besides costs of accommodation (which can be as low as 9 Euros per night in a hostel off the city centre), you can buy a 7 day Budapest travel card to cover costs for travelling, which is about 1.5 Euros per day. Then the rest is easy if you eat at cheaper places (2-3 Euros for a snack menu, or for a cheap lunch at a Budapest eatery).
The cheapest historical thermal baths in Budapest are Kiraly Bath
http://baths.topbudapest.org/turkish-baths/kiraly-baths (slightly ruinous)
and Veli Bej baths
http://baths.topbudapest.org/turkish-baths/veli-bej (recently restored)

Hi –
Travelin to Budapest in April with my college age granddaughter and my son (her father). my grandmother and grandfather were from Temerin and came to US in the early 1900’s. couple of questions: I knew my grandfather had a band and played the mandolin in Temerin.. Is there a place to look up info on them from the 1900’s?
Is there a place in budapest that I could look up birth certificates for them?
Is it safe to travel to Temerin from Budapest? And the best way to go (without my driving)?
Are we safe walking around at night?
Thanks for any help you can give us!

Hi Joan, I believe you can visit Temerin from Budapest by taking the Budapest Belgrade train and getting off in Novi Sad, then there must be either train or bus connection, please search for the details.
The trains from Budapest to Belgrade are quite frequent and comfortable, also reasonably priced. There are bus trips on a regular basis between the two cities, or you can even hire a car if your son wishes to drive or you hire a personal driver, which would be quite costly (in this case you need to let the Budapest car rental company know that you wish to take the car to Serbia). But I think the best option is to take the train to Novi Sad then getting to Temerin from Novi Sad on the Budapest Belgrade train line.

If your Budapest visit was scheduled for July you could even see the Illes Day Promenade in Temerin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp15JaxAARs

As for more information about Temerin, now Serbia, please ask a Serbian travel forum, as honestly I have no idea how you could look up info about Temerin of the 1900s, unless you go to the national library on the Buda Castle Hill (Szechenyi Library) and manage to get help from their archives. Or even better, you could try to locate the local library or notary in Temerin, which still has lots of Hungarians living there (about one third), and try to get some help from them.

Budapest has some offices where they specialize in looking up ancestors, and they have special permissions to look up birth certificates. I don’t think individuals are allowed to see birth certificates as you need to have a permission. The archives are very restricted.

Yes, Budapest is quite safe to walk around at night, especially if you stay away from dark side streets and walk on the well lit areas. In April, there are quite a few locals and tourists enjoying the night spring weather in Budapest.

April is quite nice in Budapest, check out our events guide 1 week before your trip, by then the upcoming events will be in the calendar: http://budapesteventsguide.com/

Hi Joan, just wanted to update the above info: you may want to try to check the Hungarian National Archive in the Buda Castle in Budapest
http://mnl.gov.hu/angol/bal_menusor/main_menu/research.html
I think the data you need will be restricted, but maybe not, so it is worth at least a short visit to the Archives building, which is anyway beautiful and in the tourist hot spot up on the Castle Hill.
Quote:
At the National Archives of Hungary everyone can do research free of charge regardless of nationality, occupation, age or religious belief. This right can be exercised only with respect to public and personal interests of others. The archives has to do its best to guarantee the long-term preservation of archival materials and by law it also has to ensure a protection for personal data. In order to fulfil this duty certain records or record groups that are especially valuable, often requested or in bad condition cannot be examined in their original form, only in copy. Because of data protection research of the records can be restricted. Access to these records are subject to conditions by rules of law. Conditions of research are regulated by the Archives Act.

Here in this huge database they have some data about Temerin too
http://193.224.149.8/adatbazisokol/adatbazis/50
The details are restricted so it only shows you some number for making further research in the searchable database of microfilmed parish registers generated before 1895.

I am not sure if it helps in your family research, but maybe you can find something.

Trackbacks for this post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.