Nicknamed Pearl of the Danube amongst others the beautiful city of Budapest was formed in 1873 through the joining of Buda, Pest and Old Buda (Óbuda). As the largest city in the Republic of Hungary, Budapest is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre.
The beautiful Danube River both divides and connects peaceful, hilly Buda in the west and the flatter, lively Pest in the east. Óbuda, the oldest part of Budapest, is also on the west side of the Danube and is an extension of Buda to the north. Seven bridges and two railway bridges join Buda and Pest, and six islands on the Danube are located within city limits.
Population: 1,7 million
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1 (Central European Time)
Climate: Budapest has a humid continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature in June/July is 24°C.
Country Calling code: +36 City Code: 1
Currency: Forint (HUF)
Electricity: 220 volts AC and the European-style plug (two circular metal pins). If your appliance has a 120/240-volt switch, all you will need is a plug adapter – otherwise, a current converter is required
Electric Plug Details: European Round two-pin
Food & Drink
With so many restaurants in Budapest choosing a place to eat out is not an easy task.
The city is undergoing a culinary revolution: new places open up month by month; others disappear from the constantly evolving gastronomic scene.
Please find below a guide to prices you can expect to pay for dining in Budapest:
Small Bottle of water: 165.70 HUF (€0.54)
Coffee: 400-650 HUF (€1.29 -€1.94)
Large Beer: 400-600 HUF (€1.29 -€1.94) or more if you have a thing for craft beers!
Low: 1 000-1 400 HUF (€3.24-€4.53
High: 7 000-15 000 HUF (€22.66-€48.56)
Hungary's official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). There are a number of places which accept Euros too, but the exchange rate merchants tend to use is significantly lower than what one can get at a normal exchange office ora bank. The HUF coins' denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200, while the banknotes are HUF 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 and 20000.
ATMs and credit and debit cards
In Hungary you will find a dense network of ATMs (cash machines) which will accept all major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Plus, Maestro, Cirrus and others). The majority of shops and restaurants also accept cards.
Tips for visitors:
Cards which a shop or restaurant accepts are usually displayed in the window of the premises. If you don't see your card name there, ask before purchasing anything whether your card will be accepted.
Tips aren't usually left by guests on the table. Should you wish to tip staff, add around 10% onto the bill or round it up.
Emergency telephone numbers
Emergency Services 112
Calling the ambulance, the police, the fire service and the general emergency number (112) are free of charge. Should you need medical assistance Budapest, the best option is to call Falck's 24-hour English-speaking hotline; they are very helpful and informative, and they can get you a doctor that speaks your language, or at least English. (06-1-2000-100)
The Hungarian police also has a number for foreigners to call (Tourist Police). This 24-hour hot-line was set up specifically to help English-language speakers report crime. The office is based at V. Vigado utca 4.
Important phone numbers:
Fire service: 105
Central help number: 112
General enquiries: 197
Domestic enquiries: 198
International enquiries: 199
Auto club help number: 188
Tourist Police (0-24): 06-1-438-8080
24-hour medical assistance in English (Falck SOS Hungary): 06-1-2000-100
24- hour pharmacy: District 6, Teréz krt 41. (telephone: 06-1-311-4439) near Oktogon