Hungary - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Hungary. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Petty crime (pickpocketing, bag snatching) occurs, particularly at markets, on public transport, in railway stations, in shopping centres, and in other areas frequented by tourists.
Theft of passports also occurs. Safeguard personal belongings on overnight trains and lock the door from the inside.
Car thefts and highway robberies also occur. Drivers should be cautious when stopping at gas stations and highway parking areas, especially after dark.
Another reported practice involves individuals staging roadside emergencies (for example, a smoking engine or flat tire) to persuade drivers to pull over. Thieves then remove personal belongings from the distracted driver's car.
Demonstrations occur periodically in larger urban centres and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Extremist groups have used March 15, date of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, and October 23, Republic Day, to stage demonstrations during commemorative events.
Highways are generally in good condition. Rural roads may be narrow, badly lit, and poorly maintained.
Traffic congestion and parking in cities can be a problem.
Only use officially marked taxis. Whenever possible, call a taxi through a dispatcher rather than hailing one on the street. Ensure that the meter is on and charging the appropriate rate, which should be displayed in the taxi. If you think you have been wrongly charged, take note of the taxi information, ask for a receipt, and contact the taxi company to report the incident.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Some restaurants and clubs do not list prices, particularly in the business district of central Pest. Ask to see a menu where prices are clearly listed. Avoid discussions regarding overcharging as they could lead to violence.
Some scams involve surcharges on final bills for drinks or meals. Travellers unable to pay the bill have been accompanied by the bar or restaurant security guard to a cash machine and forced to withdraw funds while being threatened. Do not ask taxi drivers to recommend bars or clubs as they are sometimes accomplices in these scams.
Male travellers have been approached by young women in public areas with invitations to socialize. Some have fallen victim to criminal activity and been presented with very large bills for drinks and entertainment.
See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
General safety information
Exercise normal security precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times, especially on public transportation. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
You are strongly encouraged to call the police of the Tourinform office at 1-438-8080, 06-30-30-30-600 and collect 800-36-000-000. They offer a 24-hour service in English and German.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Hungarian authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary and its consulates, for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of their expected departure from the Schengen area. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
* The 90 days begin upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area.
The following 26 countries comprise the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Schengen area has common rules regarding visas and controls at external borders:
You do not need visas for short-term visits of up to 90 days within a six-month period. Your stays are cumulative, and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. Some countries require that you register with local authorities within three working days of your arrival.
It is important to get your passport stamped when entering the Schengen area. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen port of entry could create difficulties during subsequent encounters with local police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area.
After 90 days of stay in the Schengen area, you must leave for another 90 days before you can re-enter.
If you overstay the permitted 90 days in the Schengen area, you may be fined or deported. To visit for longer than 90 days, you must obtain a long-stay national visa.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. Please consult our Children page for more information.
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing entry. Consult the World Health Organization’s country list to obtain information on this country’s requirements.
The Agency strongly recommends that you consult with a travel medicine clinic or health care provider preferably six weeks before departure.
The Agency publishes travel health advice for Hungary.
Satisfactory medical care is available, but emergency services may be inadequate. Medical services usually require immediate cash payment. Private clinics are available but are considerably more expensive.
Laws & Culture
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention FAQ for more information.
This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Hungary to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Hungarian authorities.
Carry adequate identification at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentence or heavy fine.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Traffic regulations are strictly enforced.
Seat belts are mandatory. Turning right at a red light is prohibited. Headlights must be on at all times outside of inhabited areas.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. Police often conduct routine road checks in which breathalyser tests are administered. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences.
A motorway vignette (permit) is required when travelling on highways. You may purchase these electronic vignettes at a post office or gas station. You must keep receipts for one year if the gas station does not issue stickers as proof of payment.
Police do not collect fines on the spot for traffic violations, but they do issue a ticket indicating the amount of the fine, which can be paid at any post office. Police may retain the passport of a traveller who disputes a fine or offence. They will then issue a receipt and letter requesting that the traveller report to a police station. The passport is returned once the dispute is settled.
Fare payment on public transit is mandatory. Violators are subject to fines or arrest and prosecution.
The currency is the forint (HUF).
The economy is cash-based. Credit cards and U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are accepted in Budapest and in some other major cities. Most stores prefer cash, although credit cards are widely accepted at bigger stores and are becoming more and more common. Do not use unofficial moneychangers.
For information on valid Hungarian banknotes, consult the central bank of Hungary website.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the web page of the European Commission on cash controls.
Natural Disasters & Climate
Floods and snowstorms may have widespread impacts, as Hungarian cities and villages are not as well equipped as those in Canada to deal with severe weather.
Every year, flooding occurs in the northeast region of Hungary, along the watershed of the upper Tisza River, causing severe damage to housing and displacing families. Hungary experienced severe flooding along the Danube River in early June 2013.
During snowstorms, parts of the country may close down and be isolated for several days.
Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Share this page
- Date modified: