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Can I pay with Euros in Budapest?

Would you like to pay with Euros in Budapest? Hungary has been a member of the European Union since 2004. Does that mean that the Euro is an official currency for payments in Hungary? No!

When Hungary first joined the European Union in 2004, everyone expected Hungary to quickly introduce the Euro. That didn’t happen. Instead, the economy of the country has become worse and the current politics point more in the direction away from Europe, instead of moving closer and closer to Europe.

What does this mean for you as you come to Budapest? Can you pay with Euros in Budapest?

hungarian forint

Is Euro an accepted payment currency in Budapest?

Even though the Hungarian Forint is the official currency of Hungary, most stores and restaurants accept payments by Euro. Many will say that they only accept Euro bills (not coins). But, there are a few things you should be aware of.

If you want to pay in cash.

Euro payments are normally accepted if you pay by cash. This is nice if you have brought Euro bills to Budapest. But, it isn’t always smart to use your Euro bills as you pay with cash in Budapest. Why is that?

Most restaurants and stores calculate with terrible exchange rates. If the real exchange rate of 1 Euro is 410 Forint, you will often see that restaurants and stores calculate with a much lower rate, for example, that 1 Euro is 370 Forint. As a consequence, you will end up paying much more than if you paid with the local currency.

What can you do about this? You can either go to an exchange office and change your Euro to Forint, or you can withdraw Hungarian Forint with an ATM. Would you like to learn more about the Hungarian currency and how you can find the best exchange rates? Click the link.

If you want to pay by card.

If you pay with your VISA or MasterCard, your bank will calculate with the exact exchange rate. But, you better be aware that many terminals will ask you in the payment process whether you want to pay with Euro or with the local currency (HUF). If you get such a question, pay in the local currency because you will end up paying less in this way.

A lot of things have changed in 2022…

The value of the Hungarian Forint has dropped a lot compared to the Euro and the US Dollar in 2022. As a result, prices in Hungary have increased a lot. To secure their income, many tourist companies now fix their prices in Euro instead of having fixed prices in Forint. In such cases, you have to pay the Euro price anyway. But, in most cases, the Forint price is the one that you should be looking for.

You can pay with Euro in Budapest, but you pay less if you use the Hungarian Forint

That is the answer to this question. If you have further comments, or questions, or want to share your experience paying with Euros in Budapest, use the comment field below.

Updated information about river cruises and public transportation in Budapest.

We love to create new content in our Budapest Guide. But, it is very important to update the content we have written earlier. That is why we have spent quite a lot of time today updating articles we wrote a long time ago. As a result, you can now see the correct prices if you read about the prices for public transportation tickets, and you can also see the new prices of the different river cruises in Budapest.

You probably don’t hear this in the news every single day, but Hungary is one of the countries in Europe that is suffering the hardest due to inflation at the moment. That is why we have seen a drastic increase in the prices of most goods. Not only have the gas prices skyrocketed, but so have the grocery prices. The official number tells us that the prices have increased by about 40% since the start of 2022, but for many products, the reality is much higher. While you could easily buy cheese for 5 Euros per kilo in January, you are now lucky if you find anything cheese costing less than 10 Euros per kilo. That is just one example.

budapest a beautiful city

This is a negative spiral because customers have less money to spend, and thus they buy less (but pay more). To earn more, producers ask for more for their products, and the prices increase.

That is why you will see that the prices for the different river cruises in Budapest have increased a lot. The programs are still cheaper than what a similar program would cost in big cities elsewhere in Europe, but seen with the eyes of a local, it all feels very expensive.

Luckily, the prices for public transportation in Budapest haven’t increased a lot, meaning that it still feels cheap to buy a single ticket, a day ticket, or maybe a 3-day pass for public transportation in Budapest.

Would you like to see the updated articles about river cruises and public transportation in Budapest?

We look forward to having you as our guest in Budapest!

Free parking in Budapest

free parking budapestAre there any free parking spots in Budapest?

Thank you for the question! This is a good question and, at times a tricky question. The local government has removed more and more of the free parking spots in Budapest, but there are still some. Here we will write about some of those free parking spots.

First of all, in large parts of the city, it is free parking on Sundays and after 22.00 in the evening (on the other days). However, this is in general, so make sure to check it out as you park your car just to know if this is valid for where you would like to park your card as well.

General advice is to never to leave values in your car because, as in all other cities, there are people in Budapest as well who like to steal valuables from cars, so if you have lots of valuable stuff in your car, you better go to a secure parking lot instead with guards, to make sure that you, your car and your values stay safe!

Free parking in Budapest

Some parking spots are free all the time, and these are some of them.

1) Arena Plaza parking lot

The parking lot belonging to the Arena Plaza shopping mall can be used for free. It is not super central, but by walking a bit you can reach the Keleti Palyaudvar, and there you will find two metro lines, making it easy to get on from there in town.

November 2022 update. You can now only park for free for 2 hours in Arena Plaza. After this, all the following hours will cost 300 HUF (appx. 1 Euro). The parking lot is possible to use during the opening times of the Plaza itself.

2) Bikas Park

This is not very central, but this location has a metro station and from here you can easily travel to central locations using public transportation. It is also nice to know that this entire region has free parking, so if you are unable to park at the large parking lot on the Bikas park, then you can also park for free in the streets around the park. Be aware of the fact that it is a local market at Bikas Park every Saturday, so all cars have to be removed from the spot before the market starts (they have to be removed latest on Friday evening before midnight).

This is a great place to leave your car if you come to Budapest by car and want to do a day of sightseeing before you travel on in the evening. You can also leave your car here for days, but that isn’t a normal thing to do. If you leave your car here, make sure not to leave it from Friday to Saturday as it will be removed due to the market (which is a great local market in Budapest).

Take a look at our Budapest calendar.

Would you like to find out what’s happening in Budapest when you come to visit the city? Or are you looking for a special program and maybe you want to make this event the focus of your trip to Budapest?

If you like to run, then there are several marathons arranged in Budapest every single year. Would you rather drink wine? Then you can come to Budapest for the annual wine festival in the Castle area (in September) or maybe to the Rozalia festival in June?

There are many options. We have just updated our Budapest calendar with information about quite a lot of upcoming events in 2023. In other words, head over to the calendar to find out what’s going on in Budapest!

We hope you will come to Budapest in 2023. And if it is still 2022 when you read this article, do not forget that the fantastic Christmas markets in Budapest have opened already!

Is the Hungarian Parliament far from the City Park in Budapest?

Before you arrive in Budapest it is hard to know about the distances between the different attractions. The Hungarian Parliament is one of the most beautiful buildings and attractions in Budapest. But, if you want to do a nice sightseeing walk in Budapest and walk from the Parliament to the City Park, how far will you have to walk?

walk from the hungarian parliament

There are several ways to answer the question. First of all, if you are a tourist, then you want to walk on the most scenic road to the City Park. In other words, you should walk from the Hungarian Parliament to the St. Stephen’s Basilica. From there you should walk along Andrassy avenue until you reach the Heroes Square. And when you have walked across the famous square, you are located in the City Park where you can find the zoo, the Szechenyi bath, the Vajdahunyad castle, and lots of other sights and attractions.

The shortest walking road from the Parliament to the City Park.

The shortest road is exactly three kilometers. But, it is a quite boring road and you will miss all the beautiful attractions, so do not follow the primary suggestion from Google Maps if you are to do this walk.

Do not walk like this… neither of the recommendations here is recommended.

If you are in a hurry, these are the fastest tracks, but they are not the best. Instead, follow the path recommendation below. It is approximately one kilometer long, but it is a way nicer path. Along the way, you will walk along the most famous boulevard in Hungary (Andrassy Avenue). There you can see the Hungarian State Opera, lots of fashion stores, and beautiful buildings, and you will also see famous museums such as the Terror House museum, and much more.

walk in budapest
This is the nicest way to walk from the Parliament to the City Park and the Heroes Square in Budapest.

I hope these instructions have given you some useful information about how to walk between these popular areas and attractions in Budapest. If you have any similar questions, please use the comment field and I will do my best to answer.

Michelin-star restaurants in Hungary (2022-23).

Would you like to eat the best possible food in Budapest? As of November 2022, Hungary has seven restaurants with one Michelin star and two restaurants with two Michelin stars. Would you like to book a table in any of these restaurants? In order to get a table, you need to make your reservation months in advance, but if you are late, you can still give it a try.

Many people believe that the best restaurants in Hungary are all located in Budapest. That is almost true, as seven out of the nine restaurants in Hungary with Michelin stars are located in Budapest. But, there are two exceptions, and one of those exceptions has two Michelin stars. In other words, you can find delicious food outside Budapest as well.

michelin stars in hungary

Michelin-star restaurants in Budapest.

The seven restaurants with Michelin stars in Budapest are.

Two Michelin stars.

  • Stand (Chefs: Tamás Szell and Szabina Szulló)

One Michelin star.

  • Babel (Chef: Kornel Kaszas)
  • Borkonyha (Chef: Ákos Sarkozy)
  • Costes (Chef: Levente Koppany)
  • Essencia (Chef: Tiago Sabarigo)
  • Rumour (Chef: Jeno Racz)
  • Salt (Chef: Szilard Toth)

Michelin-star restaurants outside Budapest.

The two restaurants with Michelin stars outside Budapest are.

Two Michelin stars.

  • Platan Gourmet, Tata (Chef: Istvan Pesti)

One Michelin star.

  • 42, Esztergom (Adam Barna)

Tata and Esztergom are two cities not very far from one another, so you can easily visit both these during a trip to Hungary and to Budapest. Tata is located a 45-minute drive from Budapest, close to the highway in the direction of Györ, Vienna, and Bratislava. Esztergom is a beautiful city next to the Danube, especially known for its fantastic basilica on the top of the hill (the largest church building in Hungary). It is on the border with Slovakia, meaning that you can easily cross the Maria Valeria bridge and also visit Slovakia on your trip (if that sounds interesting).

If you go by car, it should take approximately 60 minutes to drive from Budapest to Esztergom.


Have you been to any of these restaurants? Do you have any comments or thoughts that you would like to share? Write a comment below.

It is Christmas market time in Budapest!

The Christmas market at Vörösmarty square has already opened, and recently, we also got to know the dates for the fantastic Christmas market in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest. If you haven’t booked your flight tickets yet, go ahead and do so right away. But, be sure to arrive in time, as the Christmas markets close on December 31st (Vörösmarty square) and January 1st (Szent Istvan square).

Would you like to know more about the Christmas markets in Budapest? You can find much more information on our Christmas markets in Budapest page.

what's up in budapest

What else is worth knowing about life in Budapest right now?

Life goes on as usual. There are no masks (unless you have to go to the hospital), restaurants are running with business as usual, and stores are open as they normally are. What might be new and interesting is the fact that two restaurants in Hungary got rewarded with two Michelin stars. One of the restaurants is named Stand and it is located in Budapest. The other restaurant is named Platán Gourment and it is located in the city of Tata (a 50-minute drive from Budapest in the direction of Vienna). If you have time and money, these restaurants are for sure worth visiting.

There are also several restaurants with one Michelin star. All of them are located in Budapest with the exception of one.

  • 42 (Esztergom
  • Babel (Budapest)
  • Borkonyha (Budapest)
  • Costes (Budapest)
  • Essencia (Budapest)
  • Rumour (Budapest)
  • Salt (Budapest)

We hope you will enjoy your stay in Budapest and that you will eat a lot of good food while here.

Is it safe to visit Budapest and Hungary with the present situation in Ukraine?

Have you been waiting for COVID to disappear so that you could finally come to Budapest (again)? But, as you finally started to plan your trip to Budapest again, the entire conflict between Russia and Ukraine showed up and suddenly you got one more reason to worry. But, do you need to worry about the conflict if you are coming to Budapest and to Hungary?

Hungary has more than 2150km of borders and the biggest part of this is the border shared with Slovakia at a total of more than 650km. The second-largest border is shared with Romania (443km), then followed by Austria with which we share a border of 366km. But, what about Ukraine?

The smallest border part in kilometers is with Slovenia (only 102km), and then comes Ukraine with which Hungary has 133km of common border. And yes, that can be experienced these days as the number of refugees entering Hungary from Ukraine might have reached 500,000 already.

But, it is very important to understand that on the Ukrainian side of the border, there are several cities and villages in which a large part of the population speaks Hungarian. So far, these villages and cities haven’t been attacked at all, meaning that they are still doing good, even though they are a part of Ukraine.

Is it safe to visit Budapest right now?
The Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest – Source: Pixabay

What is the situation in Hungary?

The Hungarian people have done a wonderful job taking care of the people arriving in the country from Ukraine. Locals have opened up their homes and their wallets, and the government is also working with helping refugees coming to the country. Many of the refugees travel on to elsewhere in Europe from Hungary, while some reside here, hoping to stay here until the situation has calmed down in Ukraine so that they can return to their country once again.

As a tourist in Hungary…

If you come to Hungary as a tourist, you will most likely not notice anything at all. You might hear more of the Ukrainian language than normal, but since you most likely are unable to discern the languages you don’t know, you will not know whether the people you hear speak Hungarian or Ukrainian or any other language that you don’t know.

If you think about security, then there is no need to worry at all. It is considered a negative thing in general that the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Órban has a quite close friendship with Vladimir Putin, but if you think about the security of the country, then that might actually give it a little additional piece of security (if you fear Putin attacking areas outside Ukraine).

What about COVID?

Are you still worried about COVID as well? You might need to use a face mask on the flight carrying you to Budapest and to Hungary, but there is no need to use a face mask elsewhere in Hungary (besides if you have to visit a hospital or medical facility). There are still quite a lot of COVID each and every day and there are still quite some people dying due to COVID daily. However, people mostly live their lives like before COVID and all programs are available as they would normally be.


No matter what, you can come to Hungary without any worries. Get ready for a nice river cruise on the Danube, some tasty Goulash soup, and maybe a sweet sip of some wine from Tokaj?

It is time for Christmas markets in Budapest again (2021)!

After a break in 2020 due to COVID, the Christmas markets in Budapest will once again shine and bring joy to the local population and tourists in 2021. The famous Christmas markets at the Vörösmarty square and the Szent Istvan square will open on November 19th. This is great news for those who want to drink some hot wine, buy souvenirs, and for those who long to taste some Hungarian Christmas fair food.

Christmas market in Budapest recommendations

It has been promised that the Christmas markets in 2021 will be made better for the local population as well. Normally, it has been considered a very expensive experience to eat on these markets, and that is why it is a requirement that all the companies serving food at the Christmas markets should offer meals costing no more than 1500. Of course, there will be plenty of meals costing a lot more, but there should be some cheaper options on their menu to support and to help make this event worth visiting, also for the locals.

New in 2021 is the fact that a vaccination passport is required to visit the Christmas markets. We do not know how they will actually do this, but there is supposed to be such a requirement. It might be that they will have guards checking the validity of your vaccination at the different entry points to the Christmas market. If such a thing will take place, then you can show it with your cell phone or a vaccination proof (card).

No matter what, we really look forward to be able to enjoy the beautiful Christmas markets in Budapest together with all of you once again!

Hungary is now open to people with vaccination passports!

Are you living in an EU country? Have you received your vaccines and now you have a valid vaccination passport? If your answer to those questions is yes, then you are currently very welcome to visit Budapest.

Traveling within the EU has become quite a lot easier since July 1st, and the same is true for people who would like to visit Budapest. If you have a vaccination passport you are free to enter the country without any need of going into isolation. You can travel straight from the airport to your hotel and later walk the streets of Budapest, drink a coffee, sip a glass of Tokaj wine, and then eat a nice Goulash in a Budapest restaurant.

budapest travel covid
Source

Since July 4th, Hungarians no longer need to wear a mask inside stores. There is no guarantee for how long these regulations will remain like this, but hopefully, the worst is over and tourism will return to normal within not so long.

What if I come with kids?

Adults with a vaccination passport can bring their kids along. Children under 18 years traveling with vaccinated adults do not need any further tests or vaccination in order to enter the country.

What if I don’t have a certificate?

If you have gone through COVID within the last 6 months and have official papers to confirm that, you are still allowed to enter the country with no need to be in quarantine.

If you don’t fit into any of the groups above, the best is probably to stay at home and get a vaccination!

Would you like to know even more?

You can find the official information about entering Hungary at http://www.police.hu/en/content/information-on-general-rules-of-border-crossing

The information might be a bit hard to understand, but if you read it through a couple of times, you should find all the answers you need!