Budapest Travel Information
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
Hungarian (Magyar) is the official language, but German is widely spoken, especially in the areas close to the Austrian border. English is spoken in tourist areas and most hotels.
A reciprocal health agreement with countries in the EU provides nationals with free emergency healthcare on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. All big towns have pharmacies, but anyone requiring specific medication should bring a supply with them as local medicines may be unfamiliar. Tourists should make sure that if they're travelling with prescribed medications they bring along a letter from their doctor stating conditions and prescribed medication. Public health facilities are good but comprehensive travel insurance is still recommended.
Taxi drivers, waiters and other professions in the service industry expect a tip of 10 to 15 percent in Hungary. Waiters should be handed the cash, rather than have it left on the table.
Most visits to Hungary are trouble free, but normal precautions against petty crime should be taken. Pick pocketing and bag snatching is a risk on crowded public transport and other places frequented by tourists. Visitors should make use of hotel safes to store valuables and not display conspicuous wealth. It is also always a good idea to carry copies of important documents such as passports.
Hungarians are generally open and friendly, readily striking up conversation. Men and women greet each other by shaking hands, and close friends kiss each other lightly on each cheek. Older men may bow to women and kiss them on the hand.
A handshake is the standard form of greeting when doing business in Hungary and in mixed company it's usually women who initiate. Conservative suits and ties are standard business dress and businesspeople should be addressed by their title and surname.
Business cards are often exchanged; Hungarians usually list their surnames first. It is useful to have a local representative when doing business in Hungary, acting as an interpreter and go-between. It is important to invest time in building relationships; socialising is a key element and face-to-face meetings are vital.
Punctuality is important on all occasions and cancelling a meeting at the last minute may be detrimental to a business relationship. There may be plenty of red tape to get through too so negotiations can be slow-moving. Business hours are usually from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
The international access code for Hungary is +36, and the area code for Budapest is 1. Most contracts enjoy cheap roaming charges, while WiFi is available in most cafes, hotels and restaurants.
Travellers over the age of 17 arriving by air from countries outside of the EU can import the following duty-free: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco; 4 litres of wine, 16 litres of beer and either 1 litre of spirits containing more than 22% alcohol or 2 litres of alcoholic beverages containing less than 22% alcohol; and other goods up to a value of €430.
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