Money Advice for Budapest Travellers
The days when a credit card in Budapest was about as much use to you as alka seltzer in Algiers are long gone. Most half-decent shops, restaurants and hotels will take payment by plastic with Visa, Mastercard and American Express being the most commonly accepted. Of course there are still a fair few places where producing your flexible friend will earn you little more than a scowl so always have some forints about your person.
Until Hungary successfully adopts the Euro (estimated to be no sooner than 2010) the nation will continue to be served by the trusty forint (Ft.). Although available in coins worth 1, 2, 5, 20, 50 and 100 Ft, the jingle of change won't impress anyone in Budapest. Even 100 Fts is worth only a paltry 27 pence! However, the notes will give you a decidedly satisfactory feeling of flushness, as you finger a wad of notes worth up to 20,000 forints each. Bling Bling!
ATMs (Cash Machines)
Unlike some other cities in Eastern Europe ATMs are actually both commonplace and reliable in Budapest, so finding that money dispenser shouldn't prove a quest of epic proportions. What's more ATMs normally give some of the best exchange rates, so bringing your card with you is not only convenient but economical.
Travellers cheques are going out of fashion these days, thanks to the ease and security of taking your credit or debit card around with you. If you are a stick in the mud then you can change your cheques at most major banks, and you can always argue that you've got some emergency money should anything happen to your card (just keep the cheques in a separate place for heavens sake!).
Bureaux de Change
Exchange rates can vary drastically from money changers to bank bureaux de changes. The banks normally offer better deals and are less likely to rip you off! Bring your calculator if you want to be extra safe.
Marian from Ireland Reply
I left my card at home. Can I withdraw money from bank in budapest
Nathan from United States Reply
in response to the two ladies above...I use www.xe.com for exchange rates, but they fluctuate on an almost hourly basis. You can google it "100 Huf = how many $" and it should come up.
Hailey from United States Reply
How much is 100 budapest dallors worth in the U.S.?