Facts about Hungary - Magyarország

  • Landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
  • Capital: Budapest
  • Official Language: Hungarian (Magyar)
  • Form of Government: Parliamentary Republic
  • Accession to the European Union: May 1, 2004
  • Area : Total - 93,030 km2 (35,919 sq mi)
  • Population: 9,942,000
  • Religion: 54.5% Roman Catholic, 21% Reformed (Calvinist) Protestant, 6% Evangelical (Lutheran), 18.5% other
  • Time zone: Central European Time (GMT+1)
  • Daylight savings: between end of March and end of October CET+1 (GMT+2)
  • Electricity: 230V 50Hz
  • Electric Plug Details: European plug with two circular metal pins
  • Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Driving: Drive on the right.
  • Internet TLD: .hu; .eu
  • Date code: yyyy.mm.dd.
  • Telephone country code: +36

Climate

Continental, with the average temperature (listed in Fahrenheit / Celsius):

  • January: 29F / -1,6°C
  • February: 39F / 1,1°C
  • March: 41F / 5,6°C
  • April: 51,8F / 11°C
  • May: 60F / 15,9°C
  • June: 66,2F / 19°C
  • July: 69,8F / 20,8°C
  • August: 68F / 20,2°C
  • September: 61,5F / 16,4°C
  • October: 51,8F / 11 °C
  • November: 40,6 / 4,8 °C
  • December: 32,72F / 0,4°C

Please note this is an average temperature scale. In August it can be 30-35 Celsius during the day and sometimes below 20 Celsius at night.


Custom regulations

In addition to personal travel luggage, limited non-commercial quantities of goods may be brought into Hungary duty free:

  • Alcohol – 1 litre of high proof spirits, 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer (applicable to passengers over the age of 17 only) in case of arriving by air.
  • 200 cigar or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250 g of tobacco (applicable to passengers over the age of 17 only) in case of arriving by air.
  • Customs duty does not apply if the total value of the goods, in addition to the personal travel luggage, does not exceed 430 Euros in case of air travel and 300 Euros in case of land and water travel.
  • Electronics: photo camera, non-professional video camera, laptop computer, portable typewriter, portable musical equipment with the necessary accessories - such as disks, records, photographic films up to 10 rolls.

Pets

Accompanying pets must have a health and vaccination certificate or the so called pet passport, dated no more than one week prior to arrival or a unique identification (tattoo or microchip) in the pet's body.


Currency regulations

Passengers entering or leaving the European Union, carrying EUR 10,000 or more in cash (even if in different currencies), or any equivalent instruments (such as securities, bonds, shares, traveller's checks etc.) must file a written declaration. You can download the declaration from the following website:

Taxation and Customs

Such declaration shall be made at or presented to the customs authority upon entering or leaving the European Union. If you have questions regarding custom regulations, please contact the Hungarian Customs and Finance Office. E-mail: vam.info@mail.vpop.hu

Website: Hungarian Customs and Finance Guard


Leaving Hungary

Non-commercial quantities of items purchased or received are not subject to custom duties in Hungary but might be subject to the custom fees and regulations of the destination country.


VAT refund

Non-resident travellers may apply for a refund of up to 27% of the general sales tax (AFA) 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 AFA, must exceed 50,000 Ft.
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

In general, shops are open Monday through Friday, from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., on Saturday from 9.00 a. m. to 1.00 p. m. Stores do not close for lunch.

Food stores and shopping malls are open Monday through Friday from 7.00 a. m. to 7.00 p.m., on Saturdays from 7.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Some private stores (many of these are open for 24 hours) are open on Sundays as well.

Tax-Free Shopping:

Look for the Tax - Free Shopping emblem when you buy.
The total sum of the bill (VAT included) must be at least 50,000 HUF. Ask the shop assistant for a detailed VAT invoice, VAT-refund form and a “Tax - Free” envelope. Attach the official receipt or the credit card receipt to the documents. Have all documents stamped by Hungarian Customs before leaving Hungary.

No more than 90 days is allowed to pass between the purchase date and the date of the customs stamp.
No more than 183 days is allowed to pass between the date of the customs stamp and the date of reimbursement.
Travelling by airplane: After receiving your boarding pass (but before going on board), see the customs office.
VAT reimbursement is not possible without a Hungarian customs stamp!
For further information: Global Refund


Health issues

Immunisation: not a requirement for entering Hungary. Persons diagnosed with an infectious disease are not permitted to enter the country.

Medication: Tourists are permitted to bring medication for personal use. Products containing narcotic substances can only enter with the special permission of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Medication prescribed abroad can be purchased in pharmacies at full market price. Only a limited selection of over-the-counter drugs are available in Hungary.

Emergency and ambulance services are free of charge in cases requiring immediate medical attention. All other medical treatment is regulated by international treaties.

Ambulance telephone no.: 104

Health insurance policies taken out abroad cover the cost of the first, and only the first treatment in Hungary. In all other cases, the cost of medical treatment must be settled at the rate set by the medical institution. The institution determines which credit cards are accepted for this purpose.

Pharmacies

Pharmacies (gyógyszertár in Hungarian) are well stocked and can provide medicaments for most common ailments. The city has an all-night pharmacy open every day, a sign on the door of any pharmacy will help you locate the closest one.


Money

  • Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF), internal sign: Ft
  • Coins:5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 HUF
  • Bank notes: 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 HUF

Banks, currency, exchange

Banks are usually open between 8.00 - 16.00 on weekdays. Some banks are open on Saturday, but all are closed on Sunday. ATM and currency exchange offices are available throughout the country.

Credid cards, debit cards and checks

Major credit cards (AmEx, Visa, Mastercard, Diners, Cirrus) can be used in the member shops and businesses. Look for the logo displayed at the entrance.

ATMs operate 24 hours a day. Major credit cards and banking cards are accepted.

lly a commission of 1% for cashing travelers cheques at banks. Please note that most stores will not accept travelers checks.

You can use your bank or credit card to get cash at post offices throughout Hungary. More than 3200 post offices nation-wide provide this service.


Tipping

Restaurant prices in Hungary generally do not include a service charge and it is therefore customary to give a tip, generally equivalent to 10-15% of the bill.


Telephone, FAX

  • Hungary country code: + 36
  • Budapest area code: 1 (+7-digit number)
  • Szeged area code: 62
  • International pre-dial: 00 + country code + local number
  • Domestic long distance pre-dial: 06 + area code + local number

Cell-phone numbers are 9-digit, after dialing 06, the first two numbers depend on the telephone company: 20, 30 or 70.
Public phones require 10, 20, 50 or 100 Forint coins, or a pre-purchased phone card (sold at newsstands, supermarkets, hotels and post offices).
Fax machines are available for tourists in main post offices and in many city hotels' Business Centers.
International collect calls can be made from a private line or public payphone. A coin or phone card has to be inserted to initiate the call.
International operators:
AT&T 00 8000 1111
MCI 00 8000 1411
SPRINT 00 800 0 1877

Important telephone numbers

  • Ambulance: 104
  • Police: 107
  • Fire department: 105
  • Directory Assistance: 198
  • International Directory: 199
  • International Emergency Call: 112
  • Tourinform nonstop help and information: +36 1 438 80 80

Post office services

Post offices are usually open from Monday to Friday, from 8-16h.
There are one main post office in the city center of Szeged and several in every ditsrict.


Internet

There are Internet cafés all over Budapest and Szeged and a growing number of hotels and cafés offer WiFi access for laptop users.

There are free wi-fis in most of the hotels, bars and trains.