What’s the currency in Budapest? Can I pay with my creditcard in the Hungarian Capital? And how much do I tip? Those are all valid questions when you are going on a citytrip to this amazing city. On this page you will get answer to the most asked questions about money and how to pay in Budapest.
The currency in Budapest and Hungary is the Hungarian Forint. Shortened as Ft. or HUF. The euro is not introduced (yet) here.
Yes, you can pay with your creditcard in a lot places in Budapest. Especially in big stores, restaurants and if you take a taxi in Budapest with Fötaxi you can pay with your creditcard. On markets, smaller restaurants and in little shops most likely you can’t pay with creditcard. So make sure to always bring some cash.
It’s not really recommendable to exchange your money in Budapest. It’s better to just get money from a machine. If you do want to exchange money, here are some tips:
Tip 1. Don’t exchange your money on the airport. The exchange rate overthere is way to high.
Tip 2. If you really want to exchange money go to IBLA change in the city centre. Here the price you pay is reasonable. The address is: Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 5.
It’s very common to tip in a restaurant in Budapest. Please take into account that the waitors here earn less than 2 (!) pounds an hour. So they are depending on tips from their customers. In restaurants you tip 10 to 15% of the total bill. Check the bill before you tip though, since a lot of restaurants already include service costs. If that’s the case you don’t need to tip anymore.
In a taxi you tip around 5 to 10%. Or you round up the charge with about 100 to 200 forints if you are travelling in the city itself. If you come from the airport a tip of 500 forints is more common.
If you just go for a drink somewhere it’s not necesarry to tip. But again bear in mind the low salaries. So if you go to a bar of just for a coffee a tip of 50 forints per drink is well appreciated.
In Budapest you can find ATM machines on a lot of places. So you don’t need to worry about that. Take into account that taking money from a machine in Budapest will cost you some additional money.
Tip 1. Don’t get money from an ATM on Budapest airport. The exchange rate here is extremely high. If you go by public transport or taxi to the city and don’t have Hungarian Forints yet, this is how to do it: buy your tickets for public transport from the machine with your debit card or buy your busticket online. In the taxi you can pay with your creditcard (debit cards are not accepted). Or even better: order a taxi online on forehand and arrange paying from home.
Tip 2. Get your money from a ATM machine which is physically connected to a bank. Here the exchange rates are the lowest you can find. ATM’s which are not connected to a bank ask for higher fees.
Tip 3. If you get money from an ATM it might give you the option to either pay in pounds or in HUF. Always choose the ‘paying in HUF’ option. It might be tempting to choose paying in pounds, because you straight away see the amount you will pay. But its more expensive than choosing the ‘paying in Forints’ option.
If you want to know what the daily cost in Budapest are, than read my blogpost ‘Is Budapest Cheap‘.