Hungary
Capital: Budapest

Country Code 36, $1=237Ft, 26 Aug 99
Min. Traveling Cost: $20/day

Popular Destinations
Budapest, Danube Bend, Eger, Pecs, Gyor,
Most visitors only spend time in Budapest.
Hungary centre of Europe borders with seven countries: Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia.

INFORMATION
Tourist Offices: Tourinform is the national organization. The main branch in Budapest has multi-lingual staff.
Lots of free brochures and maps in various languages.
Staff are knowledgeable and helpful to supply accommodation info or find accommodation.
You can ask questions by e-1-mail: tourinform@mail.hungarytourinform.hu, hungary@tourinform.hu,
Useful Publication
Budapest Week
Weekly magazine with a special supplement for tourists - an essential guide to Budapest 100Ft, but you can get for free at American Express.
Budapest Sun 158Ft, www.budapestsun.com
Panorama issued monthly with map, listings from Tourinform.
Budapest in your pocket - published 5 tmes a year, essential city guide, very useful for travelers, 258Ft Hightly Rec
Web Sites:
www.hungaryinform.hu, www.tourinform.hu
www.miwo.hu, www.budapesthotels.com, www.datanet.hu/ftur
www.travellers-hostels.com, www.budapest.nethotels.com
Train http://elvira.mavinformatika.hu


Language
National Magyar: different from most European languages. Closer to Japanese, Mongolian, Korean.
Foreign English, German, Russian.
Many speak foreign languages.

Weather (General) /Season
Weather: Very hard to generalize weather.
Summer: Jul to Aug. Generally dry and pleasant but it sometimes gets very hot (35 C.) or very chilly. Better to have a summer jacket. It occasionally rain sheavily with thunder.
Autum: Sep to Nov.
Winter: Nov to Feb. It snows and gets very cold.
Spring starts March.
In autum & spring, it rains regularly but very light.
High season Best season:Summer: July & August, Many travelers visit in Budapest, but it is not so hard to find budget accommodation.

VISA/IMMIGRATION
Visa related useful information: www.mfa.gov.hu/consul.htm
No Visa req.: USA, UK, Japanese, Hong Kong, Singapore.
Most can stay 90 days.
Visa Req.: Australia, New Zealand,Cost for Visa in
Viena, Austria Aus-, NZ
Prague, Czech Aus-, NZ
Bratislava, Slovakia Aus-, NZ
Warsaw, Poland Aus-, NZ


BUDGET Min. Traveling Cost: US$25/day
Room (bed) 1000Ft+ Room (double) 2,500Ft+
During summer time(July August), many college dormitories are open to tourist. Their price is very cheap, charged per person even though you don't share with anybody. Guest houses are available only in Budapest, 1200-2000ft.
Coffee(Bar) 50Ft+ Coffee(cafe) 100Ft+
Mineral water 1liter 100Ft
Big Mac meal, 319Ft Ice Cream 50Ft
Coke(market) 80Ft Coke(restaurant) 150Ft
Beer(market) Beer(restaurant)
breakfast 300Ft

Opening Hours
Government: M-F 8-17:00
BANK: Varies. M-Th8-16:00, F8-13:00
Post Office: M-F 8:00-19:00, Sa8:00-13:00. Some open later. See local info.
Shops : Varies. Food shops/shopping centers M-F 7-19:00, Sa7-14:00. On Sunday only the 24 hr shops so called Nonstop shops and large malls are open.
Museums: Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, shorter in winter.

CURRENCY/EXCHANGE
BANK/EXCHANGE : Many banks and money changers will change foreign currencies. The rate varies. Usually good rate for cash at money changer.
Lattest Rate:
OTO Bank:
Cash/TC 1 Euro=243.56/245.63Ft, 1 GBP=355.77/358.8Ft, JPY100=179.78/181.63Ft, US$1=198.94/200.63Ft
www.otpbank.hu/otpportal2000
click English, then Rate
IBUSZ: Cash
1 Euro=246.50Ft, 1 GBP=360Ft, JPY100=182.50Ft, US$1=203.50Ft
www.ibusz.hu/szolgaltatas/valuta.phtml?menu_id=105&lang=en
T/C: Changable only at bank. Many banks in Budapest can change T/C. But in local cities, you have to go to specified bank. Commission varies between banks. Sometimes between branches. OTP banks usually does not charge any com.
ATM/Cash advance:Many ATMs and many banks have cash advance services.
Rates at Airport: T/C com : ? rate : US$1 =?


MAIL/TELEPHONE
Post office: M-F 8:00-19:00, Sa8:00-13:00
Some at train station open later.
Neighbour Europe Other
post card 28Ft 90Ft 100ft
letter, 20g 36Ft 140Ft 150ft
small percel surf 250g

500Ft

500Ft

600Ft

small percel surf 500g

800Ft

800Ft 950Ft
small percel surf 1kg 1400Ft 1600Ft 1900Ft
small percel surf 2kg 2700Ft 3000Ft 3500Ft
Airmail special service 17Ft/20g
Telephone Country Code 36
UK

USA / Australia / Japan
1 min.: 135Ft?

139Ft?
Police: 107 Ambulance: 104
Inquiry:Domestic 198 Inquiry: Int'l 199 Operator(Int'l) 190
Local call: 20 Ft.
Public phone: Coin 10, 20, 50Ft/card 800Ft and 1800Ft
You can buy calling card(3,000Ft) at any Master point shop which gives you at least 20% discount.
Emergency numbers American Express: 00800-11120
Colletct Call Call 190 and ask Home country direct for other countries
USA 06-8000-1111
UK 06-8000-4411
Australia 06-8000-6111
Japan 06-8000-8111


ACCOMMODATION
University dormitories:
Available during July and August. Rooms are usually double, but charges per person. There are so many rooms available , not necessary to share. The problem is that many managers cannot speak English so very hard to make a reservation over the phone. You can get help from Tourinform to book for free.
Travelers Guest House:
Available only in Budapest. Facilities are dormitory. Cost from 1200Ft/p, normally 2000Ft.
Official IYH:
Only in Budapest. Very expensive, more than 3000Ft/p
Private rooms:
Local travel agents, such as Ibiz, can find private rooms for you. cost from 2000/p + fee
Hotels
Tourinform has all information. They sometimes book a room for you for a small fee.

FOOD/DRINK
Cheap restaurants are called etterem. Paprika is a standard ingredient
! Warning: Some tourist restaurants charge for dishes you have not ordered. Make sure the amount of your bill is correct. Some drinks prices are listed per quantity.
Food
Bogracsgulyas Goulash soup
Jokai bableves pork & bean soup
toltott kaposzta stuffed cabbage rolls
paprikas csirke chicken with sour cream & paprika
Gyumolcsleves fruit based cold soup,
retes apple strudel
palacsinta fruit pancakes
Restaurants
Budapest has numerous cafes, many are interesting to visit, far superior to Vienna's and much cheaper.
Drink
Coffee(Kave) excellent and cheap,
beer Very cheap.
Wine Hungary produce excellent wine. Tokaj, Egri Bikavar (Bulls Blood) are very famous.
Palinka brady based liqueurs, szilvapalinka plum. Unicum
Unicum bitter liqueur

TRANSPORT: International(Border Infomation)
AIR:
Ferihegy Internatioal Airport
Terminal 1:
Out of international service, 20km from Budapest.
Terminal 2A: Malev use this terminal, 24km from Budapest.
Terminal 2B: new terminal replacing T-1.
Exchange is available but the rate is 5% lower and need 1% com. for T/C or cash.

Transport:
Airport Minibus:
both airports to any address in Budapest. 1,500Ft
City Bus: Airport to Erzerbert ter bus station. Every 30 min. 600Ft
Public Bus: Red #93, From only Terminal 1 to Kobanya-Kispest Metro Station. need 2 tickets(95Ftx2)
Taxi: Ariport to Budapest. About 2,000Ft
TRAIN:
International trains from major foreign cities, such as Vienna, Munich, Bratislava, Bucharest, to Budapest.
Many local trains also connect cities near borders.
Arad(R) - Bekescsaba(H), Subotica(R) - Szeged(H),
Komarno(S)-Komarom(H), Kosice(S)-Miskolc(H), Wiener Neustadt(A)-Sorpron(H), Osijef(Y)-Pecs(H)
You have to pay international-train fare for international trains. To avoid this high fare, you have to CHANGE trains on border.
Under 26: international fare discount about 30%.
Rail Pass: Interail, Europass, Euroflexpass are valid.
Info for the time table: www.elvira.hu/
international Fare: informacio@mav.hu
BUS: Services are available between most major cities.
Also available between local cities near the border.
Arad(R)-Bekescsaba(H)
BOAT: Hydrofoil boats are running from Vienna, Bratislava.
During July & August, 2 boats/day, Spring/autum, 1 boat/day, Winter no service. See Vienna or Budapest section for more details.
Int'l ferry: Sturovo(S) - Ezstergom(H) runs every hour
8:00-16:00, Summer 8:00 - 20:00? Currency exchage available. 100Ft

TRANSPORT: Domestic
AIR There are a few airports, but not many scheduled flights
TRAIN Very cheap and many trains are running. Trains with [R] require compulsory seat reservation, 480Ft, ones with
[P] require compulsory supplement, 200Ft. Hungary Card: 7,935Ft, allows you to have 50% off for 7 return journeys and 33% off for 3 single journeys. valid until April 15, 2005. This card allows you to have 20% discount for associated hotels and restaurants and 20-100% for some museums, and ,more. www.elvira.hu/
BUS Many services throughout the country. The fare is almost same as train's. Usually no reservation.
www.menetrendek.hu/cgi-bin/menetrend/html.cgi
BOAT Danube river: Hydrofoil boats and pleasure boats are running on the Danube, Budapest to cities on the Danube Bend, such as Esztergom, Visegrad, Szentendre
High season(July,August) everyday. Low season (Spring/Autum) only weekend. Winter no service.
Lake Balaton: ferry(late May to October) and pleasure boats(July, August) are running
Domestic train fare s2nd class, unit Ft
10km 88Ft 80km 698Ft 200km 1844Ft 400km 2966Ft
20 162 90 802 220 1986 450 3168
30 238 100 906 240 2130 500 3372
40 312 120 1094 260 2272 550 3576
50 386 140 1284 280 2416 600
60 490 160 1468 300 2558 650
70 694 180 1656 350 2762 700

LOCAL TRANSPORT
Except Budapest, in most of the cities, sightseeing spots are located in the center, which are small enough to walk around. Most cities have good bus/tram systems.
Metro:
Excellent system in Budapest.
Bus/Tram:
Excellent system. the cost is also very reasonable.
Many different types of fare, single, day, 10-ride, weekly, monthly. Single ride tickets are available from kiosks. Usually no tickets sold on board, sometimes sold extra charge. Other types are sold at offices. The fare system is honesty system.
Tickets must be validated on board by stamp machines. Day tickets also need validation by the machine. Occasional inspections.
Rent-A-Car:
Available in major cities.
Rental bicycle:
Available in some tourist cities, but not so many.
Tax:i:
All metered 80-100Ft/km
Better to call taxi by phone for security reasons and cheaper. See Budapest city section for more details.


CUSTOMS
Tipping Round up the bill at restaurants/cafes. Make sure your bill does not include a service charge.
Dress Casual.
Cheers It is considered rude to clink glasses in a toast.


HEALTH
In most major cities, hospitals/clinics have good facilities. Most doctors can speak English.
Health Hazards None
Tap Water Is drinkable in most major town. Sometimes very delicious.
Emergency number Ambulance 104

SAFETY INFORMATION/ Emergency
Very safe. One problem people may encounter is cheating in bill s in restaurants. See Food section above.
Pick-pockets must take care in tourist area.
Don't leave valuables in cars.
Police 107
Credit Card Visa/Master Card 06-800-12701

SHOPPING
General opening hours: Varies. Food shops/shopping centers M-F 7-19:00, Sa7-14:00. On Sunday only the 24 hr shops so called Nonstop shops and large malls are open.
Bargaining: Most shops have fixed prices, Bargaining in markets.

WORLD HERITAGE SITES
W1 Budapest and its environment
W2 Pannonhalma Abby and its enviroment
Taka a bus from Gyor, 15km
13th C Bacilica, Crypt, 15th Cloister, 18th C. Library
Not all area are open to visitos. Please contact Tourinfo or contact T096-570-191, F570-192
W3 Hollok village: Village remaining old tradition and live style. Many festivals are held.
Transport: Daily bus frokm Budapest Nepstadion Jun-Aug. Only Su Sep-May
W4 Aggtelek caves: Very long caves continues to Slovakia.
There are a few caves open to public.
Baradla is open 8-18:00 for summer, 8-16:00 for winter.
Tours:
Aggtelek short tour: 1km
Baradla Cave: 2.2km and 2 hr tour start from Voros Lake
Josfavo Tour: 1.4km 1 hr from josfavo entrance
Long tour: 7km from Aggtelek to Josfavo caves.
Tourinform: Baradla oldal 1, T343-073
Transport : take a bus from Eger or Miskolc

SPAS
There are many spa resorts throughout Hungary. Many of them have thermal baths, swimming pools, resort hotels. Some of offer medical treatment only which requires a letter from a doctor

WINE
There are several wine regions in the country. Most of them has excellent wines. The most famous are: Takaj, Eger, Villany. The complete list of regions is as follows.
Csongrad, Hajos-Baja, Kunsag, Aszar-Neszmely, Badacsony, Balatonfured-Csopak, Balatonmellek, Etyek, Mor, Pannonhalma-Sokoroalja, Somlo, Sopron, South Balaton, Mecsekalja, Szekszard, Villany-Siklos, Bukkalja, Eger, Matraalja, Tokaj-Hegyalja, Zala, Tolna


OTHERS
Voltage Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz 2 pronged-rounded Plug type, Bring transformers/adapters with you , difficult to find locally.
Photo/Quality Generally good.
English Newspapers
English Radio FM 102.1Mhz, New every hour 5:00-22:00


FESTIVALS/PUBLIC HOLIDAYS. See local info
EVENTS
Hungary's major celebration is the Budapest Spring Festival (March), a two-week cultural extravaganza of local and international performances, conferences and exhibitions. Other important events include: the Budapest Film Festival (February), which premieres new Hungarian films; Buso Procession (Mohacs; February also),
the nation's top Mardi Gras; Sopron Festival Weeks (Sopron; June/July), showcasing ancient music and dance performances; the Folk Arts Festival (Nagyki August), one of the biggest and best events of the year; and Jazz Days (Debrecen; September), which is Hungary's top jazz festival.
2000
Jan 1 PH New Year's Day
Mar 15 PH National Day/Revolution Day
Apr 4-5 PH Easter Monday
May 1 PH Labor Day
May 24 PH Whit Sunday/Monday
Aug 20 PH St Stephen's Day
Oct 23 PH Republic Day
Dec 25-26 PH Christmas.

FESTIVALS in 2001
Dates are probably adjusted with calender every year.
Jan 1 Budapest, New Year's concert at the Opera House.
Feb 25 Mohacs, Buso Procession: Originated in Balkans. Held on the Sunday 7 weeks before Easter. People wear monster-like costumes to defeat cold winter and welcome spring. The Sunday is the largest. On previous Thursday, the childrend's procession is held.
Mar 16 to Apr 1 Budapest, Budapest Spring Festival
Folk arts performances.Also similar festivals are held in Debrecen, Gyor, Kecskemet, Sopron, Szentendre and others.
Apr 15-16 Holloko(UNESCO's Heritage site), Easter Festival
Jun 22-Jul15 Sopron, Sorpron Fesival Week
Jul 9, 10 Visegrad, Int'l Tournament, Visegrad Palace.
Jul21-29 Eger, Castel festival.
July Kiskunsag, Shepherd & Horse Festival
Jul1-Aug27 Szeged, Open-air Festival
Aug 1 - 8 Budapest, Pepsi Island Festival
Aug 20 Debrecen, Flower Carnival
Aug 16-20 Budapest, Craft Fair
Aug 16-20 Budapest, Formular - Grand Prix
Sep 4-9 Budapest, Wine Festival

@ INTERNET @
Internet is available in large cities only, Budapest, Pecs.
Many charging about 10Ft/min. or 500Ft/hr.

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