Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Hungarian Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
Hungary uses the forint. Notes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 forints. Coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates, hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency.
Hungary has 230 V at 50 Hz, with a type C or F socket. America's electrical currents are 120 V at 60 Hz, with a type A or B socket, so you'll need a converter and an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is widely available in major cities throughout Hungary. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés in main cities that allow you access, usually for a small charge.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
Most shops are open from 10:00 a.m.-6 or 7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Favorite items to bring home to family and friends include embroidery, Herend and Zsolnay porcelain, wooden toys, sausage, salami, bags of paprika, caviar, wine, brandy and handicrafts.
We suggest the following tipping rates:Hotel housekeepers $1-3 per day (or the equivalent in the local currency), Taxi drivers won't expect a tip, but rounding up the fare on the meter is appreciated, Restaurants and bars 10-15% of the total bill. Don't leave the money on the table; give it to your waiter or waitress directly.
For travel within cities, buses, underground trains, trolleys and trams are a good option. Tickets should be purchased in advance.
To travel between cities, use the Hungarian rail pass, the InterRail One-Country pass or a motorcoach.
Generally, casual jeans or slacks, shirts, sweaters, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are all you'll need. If you plan on an evening at a nicer venue, dressier clothes may be called for. If you are traveling in the spring or autumn, you might want to bring a warmer jacket or coat in case the weather is cold, and a waterproof jacket can be useful any time of the year. If you will be traversing forests, grasslands or lakeside areas, long-sleeved shirts, pants and boots can protect you from ticks.