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Hungary - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Hungary. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, occurs, particularly at markets, on public transport and in railway stations, shopping centres and tourist areas.
Safeguard personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, on overnight trains and lock your compartment 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.
Be particularly wary of individuals experiencing roadside emergencies (for example, a smoking engine or flat tire) as this is a tactic used by thieves to persuade drivers to pull over and then steal items from the distracted driver’s car.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave your food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Avoid accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Some restaurants and clubs do not list prices, particularly in the business district of central Pest. Ask to see a menu with prices 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 establishment’s 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 Overseas Fraud for more information on scams abroad.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations occur periodically in larger urban centres and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Extremist groups have used national holidays, such as August 20 (St. Stephen’s Day), 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 finding adequate parking in large cities can be a problem.
The bus, tram and metro are a reliable means of transportation.
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.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Exercise normal security precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, including 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.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Hungarian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary and its consulates for up-to-date information.
Hungary is a Schengen area country. Upon arrival, Canadians are required to present a passport that must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from the Schengen area. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives 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.
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-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
Canadians do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for longer than the 90 days in any 180-day period, you must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa prior to travel. For more information, see Schengen area.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - May 2, 2017 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Eastern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Eastern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in Eastern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Satisfactory medical care is available, but emergency services may be inadequate. Medical services usually require immediate payment. Private clinics are available but are considerably more expensive. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and Hungary are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). 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.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Hungary. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Hungarian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Hungarian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
You must carry adequate identification, such as your passport, at all times. Photocopies are not accepted. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it is lost or seized.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Traffic regulations are strictly enforced.
Seat belt use for the driver and all passengers in the car and the use of car seats for infants are mandatory. Children shorter than 150 cm are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat.
Turning right on a red light is prohibited.
Headlights must be on at all times outside of inhabited areas.
The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless they are fitted with a hands-free device. Radar-detection systems are also prohibited.
A reflective vest, a first-aid kit and a warning triangle are mandatory in all vehicles.
Snow tires are mandatory in the winter.
There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Police often conduct routine road checks in which breathalyser tests are administered. Breathalyser tests are systematically administered following an accident. 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 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 driver’s licence 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 driver’s licence is returned once the dispute is settled.
Additional information regarding road safety and regulations can be found on the EC’s Road Safety website.
Fare payment on public transit is mandatory. Tickets must be validated at the start of a journey and must be shown to inspectors upon request. Violators are subject to fines or arrest and prosecution.
The currency is the forint (HUF).
The economy is mostly cash-based and automated banking machines are widely available. Credit cards and euros are accepted in Budapest and some other major cities. Most stores prefer cash, although credit cards are widely accepted at bigger stores and are becoming more commonly accepted elsewhere. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted. Do not use unofficial moneychangers.
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 European Union or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on EU currency legislation and links to EU country sites, visit the European Commission on cash controls website.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Floods and snowstorms may have widespread impacts, as Hungarian cities and villages may not be well equipped to deal with severe weather.
Every year, flooding occurs in the spring in the northeast region of Hungary, along the watershed of the upper Tisza River, causing severe damage to housing and displacing families. Periodically, Hungary also experiences flooding along the Danube River.
During snowstorms, parts of the country may be isolated for several days as services close down.
Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Budapest - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Budapest and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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