Fire and rescue services
Petty crime occurs in Hungary. Theft from vehicles and highway robberies also happen. Be careful on public transport, in tourist areas, at petrol stations and in highway parking areas. Use secure parking facilities.
Some clubs and restaurants overcharge. Disputes about overcharging can lead to violence. Always check the price of food and drinks before you order. Be aware that taxi drivers may get a commission for taking you to these places.
Drink spiking can happen in Budapest bars and nightclubs. Stick with people you trust when you go out. Never accept food or drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended.
If you're travelling on overnight trains, always lock your cabin. Never leave your bags unattended.
Full travel advice: Safety
Ticks are common in country and forested areas from spring to autumn. Tick-borne encephalitis is a risk. After visiting forests, check your body for ticks. Remove ticks as soon as possible. Watch tick sites for signs of infection.
West Nile virus (WNV) occurs throughout Hungary. There's no vaccine to prevent it. Use insect repellent. Make sure your accommodation is insect-proof.
Medical treatment is adequate but many medical facilities are below standard. Facilities are limited in rural and border areas. Doctors may expect up-front cash payment.
Full travel advice: Health
Penalties for drug crimes can be severe. They include long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Local authorities can ask to see your ID at any time. Always carry your passport. A photocopy is not acceptable.
Smoking is banned in some places. Large fines apply.
Heavy fines exist for minor driving infringements. Penalties for serious driving offences include jail.
Full travel advice: Local laws
Hungary has strengthened border controls. Expect delays at these border crossings. Monitor the media. Ask transport providers about border conditions.
Make sure you get a clear entry stamp in your passport. Get this when you enter any country in the Schengen area.
It's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level above 0%. Police can take your licence away.
Full travel advice: Travel
The Consular Services Charter tells you what the Australian government can and can't do to help when you're overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Hungary.
For limited consular assistance, contact the Canadian Embassy, Budapest.
You can access the full range of consular services from the Australian Embassy in Vienna, Austria.
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Petty crime occurs in Hungary on public transport and in tourist areas.
Theft from vehicles and highway robberies also occur.
If you're travelling on overnight trains, keep your cabin locked. Never leave your bags unattended.
To protect yourself from crime:
be careful on public transport and in tourist areas
be wary of offers of help from friendly strangers or taxi drivers
use secure parking facilities
be careful at petrol stations and highway parking areas, especially after dark
Some clubs and restaurants overcharge. This is more common in the Pest business district.
Always check the price of food and drinks before your order.
Be aware that:
disputes about overcharging can lead to violence
security guards may force you to pay
taxi drivers and others may get a commission for taking you to these places
Drink spiking can happen in Budapest bars and nightclubs.
To reduce the risk of being drugged:
stick with people you trust when you go out
never accept food or drinks from strangers
never leave your drink unattended
Same-sex relations are legal in Hungary, and laws forbid and punish sexual discrimination. However, homophobia does exist.
Harassment and violence against homosexuals has occurred.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Extremist groups have used national holidays to stage demonstrations. Be careful of protests around:
15 March — Revolution Day
20 August — St Stephen's Day
23 October — Republic Day
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
avoid protests and demonstrations
listen to the media for updates on events and possible unrest
follow the advice of local authorities
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Hungary, they can still happen.
Terrorists have staged attacks in European cities in recent years. Targets include:
public transport, including train stations
places of worship
areas that attract large groups of people
places popular with foreigners
Security services have stopped a number of planned attacks.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
be alert to possible threats in public places
follow the media for any new threats
report any suspicious behaviour
take official warnings seriously
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it is safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Hungary experiences severe weather, including:
Flooding is common in the north-east region along the upper Tisza River and the Danube.
During snowstorms, parts of the country may be isolated for days.
If there's a natural disaster or severe weather:
follow the advice of local authorities
check the media and other local sources for updates
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
what activities and care your policy covers
that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
have a basic health check-up
ask if your travel plans may affect your health
plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Hungary. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a risk in forested areas. Ticks are common in country areas. They are active from spring to autumn.
West Nile virus (WNV) occurs throughout Hungary. There's no vaccine to prevent WNV.
To protect yourself from disease:
use insect repellent
wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
check your accommodation is insect-proof
Check your body for ticks during and after visiting forests. Remove any whole ticks as soon as possible. Watch any tick sites for signs of infection.
Medical treatment is adequate, but hospitals vary in quality. Many are below the standard of Australia.
Medical facilities can be limited in rural and border areas.
There's no private in-patient hospital facility in Budapest.
Some doctors speak English, but it's not widely spoken by other hospital staff.
Doctors and public hospitals may expect up-front cash payment for services.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for possession or trafficking of drugs can be severe. They include long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Local authorities can ask to see your identification at any time. Carry your passport at all times. A photocopy is not acceptable.
Smoking is banned:
on all public transport stops in Budapest
within 5m of entrances to public buildings
in restaurants, bars and cafes
Large fines apply.
Heavy fines exist for minor driving infringements. Penalties for serious driving offences include prison.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Hungary recognises dual nationality.
In rare situations, such as a state of emergency, you may have to do military service. This applies if you're:
a dual national
aged between 18 and 40
Get advice from your nearest embassy or consulate of Hungary before you travel.
Hungary is part of the Schengen area with many other European countries. In some cases, you can enter Hungary without a visa.
Otherwise, you'll need to get a visa before you travel.
Hungary has strengthened border controls, particularly with:
Carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area.
Keep up to date on border conditions. Check local news sources and ask transport providers.
Make sure you get a clear entry stamp in your passport. Get this when you enter the Schengen area for the first time.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always carry your passport with you.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service.
If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.
Get a local police report and seek a 'letter of facilitation' from the Canadian Embassy in Budapest. Carry the letter with you to the Australian Embassy in Vienna, where you can arrange a replacement passport. See Local contacts
The currency of Hungary is the Forint (HUF).
Only change money at banks or authorised dealers. Don't use street money changers.
Most banks have ATMs that accept major international cards.
Check any banknotes you receive are valid. Some outdated notes are still in circulation.
If you're travelling between Hungary and a non-EU country, declare cash or equivalent to the value of 10,000 euros or more. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
If you don't declare cash or give incorrect information on entry or exit, you'll be fined.
You can drive on your Australian driver's licence for 1 year. You must also have either:
a Hungarian translation of your licence
an International Driving Permit (IDP)
Get your IDP before your travel.
Highways are usually in good condition.
Driving in rural areas can be dangerous due to poor road maintenance and lighting.
Snow tyres are not mandatory in winter, but check with your insurer.
You must keep car headlights on at all times when driving outside of towns.
If you are driving on the M1, M3, M5 and M7 motorways, you must display a vignette. This is a toll card you can buy at petrol stations, post offices, and online.
Police don't issue fines for traffic offences. They issue a ticket showing the amount of the fine. This can be paid at any post office.
Police can keep your passport if you dispute a driving fine or offence. They will issue a receipt and a letter asking you to report to a police station. The passport will be returned once the dispute is settled.
Driving with a blood alcohol reading above 0% is an offence. Police can take licences away from drivers under the influence of alcohol.
Some taxi drivers get commissions to take passengers to bars, clubs and restaurants.
Never ask a taxi driver to recommend a bar, club or restaurant.
Be wary of drivers or friendly strangers who invite you to clubs.
If you travel on public transport without a ticket, you'll be fined.
To avoid a fine, follow all passenger notices. They're usually printed in English.
If you plan to join a Danube river cruise, read:
Make sure you consider border crossings and travel with your passport.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Hungary's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
family and friends
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Call 438 8080 for a 24-hour tourist helpline for crime victims, run by the Hungarian National Tourist Office.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Hungary.
Ganz utca 12-14
Phone: (+36 1) 392 3360
Fax: (+36 1) 392 3390
You can access full consular services from the Australian embassy in Austria.
Phone: +43 1 506 740
Fax: +43 1 513 1656
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.