This post covers money-related issues for visitors who need clarification on the official currency of Budapest or which currency they should bring to Hungary.
By sticking to this post, you will have some valuable money tips for Budapest.
What Currency Is Used in Budapest and Hungary
The official Hungary currency is the Forint (HUF), Budapest's preferred and most widely accepted form of payment.
While Euros might be accepted in some tourist-oriented establishments, the conversion rates are often unfavorable, so it's best to have Forints with you.
Here is the denomination of Hungarian Banknotes and Coins:
- Hungarian coins are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Forint. The 1 and 2 Forint coins were discontinued, but prices are still given in these amounts, and the total is rounded to the nearest 5 Forint when paying in cash.
- The banknotes are available in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, and 20,000 HUF denominations.
While the official currency in Hungary is the Forint, some businesses in Budapest, exceptionally those catering to tourists, may accept Euros.
However, the exchange rate these businesses provide may not be as better as that offered by a bank or currency exchange office.
Just like Euros, the US Dollar and British Pound are not commonly accepted in Budapest.
While some souvenir shops or tourist-centric businesses might accept them, the exchange rate could be more favorable.
Understanding Forint Exchange Rates
The exchange rate for the Hungarian Forint varies, as with all global currencies, and depends on current financial market conditions.
The most common conversions are from Euros, US dollars, and British pounds.
As of June 2023, the following exchange rates apply.
- $1 equals approximately 345 HUF, and $100 equals approximately 34,532 HUF.
- Є1 equals approximately 371.18 HUF and Є100 equals approximately 37,117.93 HUF
- 1 GBP equals approximately 431.66 HUF, and 100 GBP equals approximately 43,165.93 HUF
There are several ways to exchange currency in Budapest:
Currency Exchange Offices: These are located around the city, at the airport, and near shopping markets, especially in tourist areas. Check the exchange rate and commission beforehand. We include 3 recommended exchange offices below.
Banks: Banks often offer better exchange rates compared to exchange offices. However, they may also charge a small fee. Remember that banks in Hungary usually close early in the afternoon, and most are closed on Saturday.
ATMs: Withdraw Forints directly from a local ATM or cash machine, as they often offer competitive exchange rates. This method can be the most convenient as ATMs are commonly found around the city.
However, check with your own bank about any applicable foreign conversion fees.
Cash vs. Credit Cards
Credit cards, visa, and Mastercard are widely used as payment methods, but some smaller places or markets may only take cash.
Furthermore, having a small amount of local currency on hand is helpful for small transactions like tipping, paying for a taxi, or buying items at local markets.
How much cash you carry with you per day depends on your personal spending habits and daily plans. Having around 10,000 - 15,000 HUF per day should suffice for meals, local transportation, and small incidental purchases.
Fees associated with card transactions
Remember that while using credit or debit cards can be convenient, there may be foreign transaction fees associated with their use abroad.
These fees vary by bank and card type, so it's recommended to inquire about potential charges before your trip.
The Best Places to Exchange Currency in Budapest
Here are the 3 best places to exchange money in Budapest, Hungary. They have numerous offices throughout the city; you can opt for the nearest one. Also, check the relative exchange rate before visiting any of them.
Ibla Change Penzvalto: Located at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ut 5, 1065, Budapest, this exchange office is recognized for its swift and dependable services.
They have a well-placed staff network throughout the city.
Contact them at +36 1 217 9564 or visit www.iblachange.hu. The office is operational from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Correct Change: Nestled in the heart of Budapest at Szent Istvan krt. 23, 1055, Correct Change is committed to customer satisfaction.
They provide competitive rates and comprehensive answers to any queries about rates and commissions.
Reach them at +36 1 302 3863 or through their website, www.correctchange.hu. Their service hours extend from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Exclusive Change: Conveniently positioned at Terez krt. 21, 1067, Budapest, Exclusive Change operates over 90 branches across Hungary.
They offer a unique pre-order service that allows customers to book their exchange in advance, adding to the overall customer experience.
Contact them at +36 70 457 7572 or explore more at www.exclusive.hu. They serve from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions about the Forint
Should I exchange money before I travel to Budapest?
We suggest you wait to exchange money before you reach Hungary, as the Forint is an exotic currency and will cost you more. Instead, you can exchange money when you reach Budapest.
What is the best way to pay for things in Budapest?
Not all places accept euros and dollars in Budapest. So the best way to pay for things is through the local Hungarian currency, Forint.
How much cash should I carry in Budapest?
Regarding all cash and card money, approximately 10,000 HUF or equivalent currency will be needed while walking around Budapest.