Hungary Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Hungary Traveler Information guide.
At AARDY we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Hungary Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Hungary.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: Six months validity recommended; three months validity beyond planned departure date from the Schengen area required.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 1 page per stamp.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not required for stays under 90 days.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: Amounts more than 10,000 Euros or equivalent to declare at customs.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: Amounts more than 10,000 Euros or equivalent to declare at customs.
Embassies and Consulates
Szabadság tér 12
Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4400
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4400
Fax: +(36) (1) 475-4133
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Hungary for information on U.S.-Hungary relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens may enter Hungary for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Hungary is a party to the Schengen Agreement, which allows for free movement between certain European countries.
- Your U.S. passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
- You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
- For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries please see our Schengen fact sheet.
- Visit the Embassy of Hungary’s website for the most current visa information.
- For residence permit information please visit the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality’s website.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Hungary.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Although Hungary is generally a safe place to visit, you should use caution and stay alert. Be especially careful in train stations, crowded tourist areas, crowded buses, trams, and metros. You should avoid demonstrations and political rallies. In a few instances where demonstrations have turned violent, authorities have used riot police to control crowds.
Ethnic nationalist groups have gained popularity in Hungary in the past years advocating intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and LGBTI persons. Although these groups do not engage in violence and are not explicitly anti-United States, you should avoid public demonstrations and confrontations with their members.
Crime: Passports, cash, and credit cards are favorite targets of thieves. The Embassy regularly receives reports of pick-pocketing on the trains between Budapest and Vienna. Be especially mindful of your belongings when traveling this route.
General tips to avoid becoming a victim of crime:
- Do not walk alone at night.
- Keep your belongings secure at all times.
- Do not accept food or drink from anyone but a server (there have been reports of foreigners being drugged for robbery or sexual assault).
Victims of Crime:
Hungarian authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in Hungary. Report crimes to the local police by calling 107 or 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at (36)(1) 475-4400.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is generally available throughout the country, but to a much lesser degree in rural areas. Outside of the greater Budapest metropolitan area, it may take much more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. While the quality of doctor care in Hungary is good, hospitals and medical facilities may not be of U.S.-quality, particularly outside of Budapest. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
- Carry your passport with you at all times. Local police may require you to show documentation to establish your identity upon request. Hungarian police may take you into custody if you attempt to prove your identity with documents other than a passport.
- Hungary has a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Penalties are severe, including significant jail time.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Special Circumstances regarding money and customs:
- Travelers’ checks are not universally accepted in Hungary.
- ATMs are readily available.
- Western Union is the most prevalent international money transfer company and has many locations throughout Hungary.
- Visit the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary website for information about import and export of potentially restricted items.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Hungary. While improving, entrenched societal LGBTI discrimination continues to make overt LGBTI identity difficult.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Hungarian law requires that all government buildings be accessible to persons with disabilities. However, many buildings are still not up to standard. Most buses, trams, and metro stations are not equipped with lifts for travelers with disabilities.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Hungary to ensure the medication is legal in Hungary. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
- Doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash at the time of service and usually cannot bill your insurer directly, even if you have coverage overseas. Be prepared to pay bills first and claim reimbursement from your insurer later.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are widely available at pharmacies.
The Embassy maintains a website with more details about specific medical care providers.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Roadside assistance, including medical and other services, is available. English is usually spoken at the emergency numbers listed below. If you call and the operator does not speak English, dial 112.
24-hour English language emergency assistance: 112
Highways and urban roads are generally in good condition. As in most European countries, you must pay a toll to use Hungary’s highways. Payments must be made either at a gas station or online.
- Areas under construction are not always adequately marked or blockaded.
- Be on the alert when driving in rural areas. Rural roads are often narrow and poorly lit.
- Pedestrians, tractors, and farm animals often share the use of rural roads.
- Train crossings are not always well-designated.
Additional information on road conditions is available from “Útinform” at (36)(1) 336-2400.
Traffic Laws: Hungary has zero tolerance for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Prison sentences for DUI violations or accidents caused by impaired drivers are severe.
- Police often conduct routine roadside checks and administer breath-analysis tests.
- Police stop vehicles regularly to check documents.
- Use of hand-held cell phones while driving is not permitted.
- Car seats are required for infants.
- Children under age of 12 may not sit in the front seat.
- Seat belt use is mandatory.
- You can drive in Hungary with a valid U.S. driver’s license for one year as long as you have a certified Hungarian translation of the license attached. After one year of residence you must obtain a Hungarian driver’s license. More information is on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
- International driver’s permits (IDP) issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the National Automobile Club are acceptable when used with a valid state driver’s license.
Hungarian police issue traffic violations in the form of a postal check that reflects the amount of the fine. You may pay the fines at any Hungarian post office. Police will confiscate the passport of a person who chooses to contest the fine and issue the person an “invitation letter” to appear at the police station to resolve the dispute. Police will return the passport after resolution and/or payment of the fine.
Public Transportation: Public transportation in Budapest is excellent. Budapest’s tram, subway, and bus service is reliable and – for the most part – clean. You may find more information online at the Budapest Transport page. Public transportation outside of Budapest is not as dependable.
- To avoid being a subject to on-the-sport fines in public transportation, you must follow rules for purchasing and properly validating your ticket. For detailed information regarding public transportation ticket purchase and validation, please refer to Budapest Transport page.
- Taxis in Budapest are plentiful and generally inexpensive. All taxis are yellow, marked accordingly, and should have meters. The Embassy urges all travelers to insist on using a metered taxi, and to avoid entering into agreements with taxi drivers to an unmetered fare.
- Hungary’s train service is generally reliable. See more information about Hungary’s train system. The Embassy regularly receives reports of pick-pocketing on the trains between Budapest and Vienna. Be especially mindful of your belongings when traveling this route.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Hungary’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Hungary’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Hungary. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.