According to law, Hungarian stores may accept any major foreign currency. However, most of them take only HUF (Hungarian Forint, the local abbreviation for it: Ft). There are many money exchange offices which change foreign currency at very good rates. Never change money at dealers in the street. Nearly all hotels take EUR and USD. Bank cards and ATM's are widely used and accepted.
For guests visiting both Budapest and Vienna, we recommend the Danube hydrofoil cruise. It takes 6 hours to get from Budapest to Vienna or vice versa. The fare is 79.00 EUR / person one way or 99.00 EUR / person for a return trip. For more details, visit the Budapest-Vienna Hydrofoil Website
Arriving by Car
Fuel prices are the same as in Western Europe (about 1.00 EUR or 1.25 USD per litre).
The distance is about 20 km / 14 miles between the city center and the International Airports (Ferihegy I and Ferihegy II). Unlike in some other countries, Budapest hotels don't offer free airport shuttle service to guests. We recommend you the following methods to get to your hotel:
Taxi with Advance Reservation: When you book a hotel at www.Hotels-in-Budapest-Hungary.com, you have the option to book airport-hotel and hotel-airport transfers on the reservation form. Our polite English speaking driver will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to the hotel at a flat rate:
by taxi/cab (max. 4 persons): 5 800 HUF (about 23 EUR / 27 USD) one way.
by minivan (max. 8 persons): 11 600 HUF (about 46 EUR / 55 USD) one way.
The transfer rate is not per person but the total amount payable.
Airport Minibus Service: The airport offers a city-wide "shared ride" shuttle van service between any apartment, hotel, office or residence and the Ferihegy 1 and 2 International Airports. Tickets can be purchased at the Airport Passenger Service counters near the Airport exits. A single ticket costs 2300 Ft (about USD 10.50 or EUR 9.50). Since the minibuses deliver passengers together who stay at different hotels, the travelling time is longer than by taxi.
Not recommended options
Taxi without Advance Reservation: We strongly discourage you to take a taxi without advance reservation. There is a very high chance of being cheated by the taxi driver. If you choose this transfer method, then do agree with the driver on a flat rate before getting in.
Cheapest: Public Transportation It is also possible to reach the city center by public transportation. If you have little time to spend in Budapest or if you have much/heavy luggage we don't recommend this option to you. It takes at least 1 hour to get to the city center and an additional time will be needed to reach your accommodation. If your accommodation is not close to a public transportation line from the city center, than you have to change for other lines or even take a taxi. Costs:
1 ticket costs 170 HUF (0.60 EUR or 0.70 USD). 2 tickets per person and one change (from the bus for the underground) are required to the city center.
The city center is quite large so you may have to use other public transportation to get to your hotel.
If you have to take a taxi, it costs officially max. 280 HUF / km (1.20 EUR or 1.40 USD) but there is a chance of being cheated by the driver. If possible, order the taxi by phone
(Phone Directory: http://www.t-com.hu/english/residential/main.vm)
Public transportation is good. The network covers all Budapest, services run frequently in the daytime, but infrequently from 11pm to 5am. In the rush hours (7am-9am and 4pm-6pm), public transportation vehicles are congested.
There is an official limit on taxi fare rates. If you take a taxi it may not cost more than 280 HUF / km (1.20 EUR or 1.40 USD), however there is a chance of being cheated by the driver. If possible have the hotel personnel call a taxi for you or order the taxi by phone from a taxi company.
Driving a Car
Car traffic is crazy like in every major European city. Rent a car only if you are or can get used to getting around in a metropole. All central parts of Budapest have imposed parking fees ranging from 150 HUF (about 0.60 EUR or 0.75 USD) to 500 HUF (about 2 EUR or 2.50 USD or) per hour.
If you have an expensive car (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, VW, etc.), park it only in parking houses or guarded parking lots. They have slightly higher rates than if parking in the street but your car is safe.
Car rental rates are high - starting at 35 EUR / day for the cheapest car (inclusive taxes&insurance).
Restaurants have to display a copy of their menu at the entrance. Order from the menu only to avoid unexpectedly high meal and drink prices.
Fast Food Restaurants: Cheeseburger from 0.60 EUR or 0.75 USD
Pizzeria: Pizzas from 3.25 EUR or 4 USD
Hungarian restaurants: Main meals from 5 EUR or 6 USD
City center restaurants: Main meals from 7 EUR or 8 USD
Elegant city center restaurants: Main meals from 10 EUR or 12 USD
Drinks at restaurants: from 0.60 EUR or 0.75 USD per bottle (2 dl).
From January 2006, restaurants are allowed to charge a service fee to the guests. The service fee must be shown on the menu. In case the restaurant doesn't have a service fee (most restaurants don't have), a tip of 10-15% is usually given to the waiter upon payment.