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Hungary
Official Name:

Republic of Hungary

Last Updated: July 21, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Six months validity recommended; three months validity beyond planned departure date from the Schengen area required.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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10,000 Euros or equivalent 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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10,000 Euros or equivalent 

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U.S. Embassy Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary

Telephone: +(36)(1) 475-4400

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(36)(1) 475-4400

Fax: +(36)(1) 475-4188 or +(36)(1) 475-4133

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Hungary for information on U.S.- Hungary relations.

Hungary is a party to the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may enter Hungary for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your 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.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Hungary.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting 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 and water cannons to control crowds.

Extreme ethnic nationalist groups have gained popularity in Hungary in recent years advocating intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and LGBTI persons. Although these groups are not explicitly anti-United States, you should avoid public demonstrations and confrontations with their members.  The U.S. Embassy shares information on demonstrations, strikes, explosive device/suspicious packages, and weather-related events in the “Safety and Security Messages” section of the U.S. Embassy Budapest website.

Crime: 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. Passports, cash, and credit cards are favorite targets of thieves.

General tips to avoid becoming victim of a 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).

See the Department of State and FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Hungarian authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. Report crimes to the local police by calling 107 or 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at (36)(1) 475-4444.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can assist you with a variety of needs, including:

  • 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 victims’ compensation programs in the United States
  • 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.

For further information:

We do not pay medical bills.  Medicare does not provide coverage overseas.

Hungarian doctors are generally well trained and many speak English. Adequate medical care is available to address most health concerns, but the quality of hospital facilities and nursing support may not be comparable to U.S. standards. 

  • Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
  • Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  Be prepared to pay bills first and claim reimbursement from your insurer later.
  • If traveling with prescription medication check with Hungary’s MFA to ensure the medication is legal.
  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are widely available at pharmacies.

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, Some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

  • 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, you are entitled to ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances:

  • 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:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex relationships or the organization of LGBTI events in Hungary. Though conditions are improving, entrenched societal LGBTI discrimination continues to make overt LGBTI identity difficult. 

See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights Report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues: 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. 

Students: See our students abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

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.

Ambulance: 104
Police: 107
Fire: 105
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 phone 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. 
  • Alternately, 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.

Please refer to our road safety page for more information. We suggest that you visit the website of Hungary’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

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 Budapest Transport page. Public transportation outside of Budapest is not as  dependable.   

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.

Recommended Taxi services to use when travelling in Budapest:

  1. City Taxi: (36) (1) 211 1111 or download the City Taxi App.
  2. Taxify: Please download the Taxify App.
  3. Fotaxi: (36) (1) 222 2222 or download the Fotaxi App.

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.

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