a VirtualTourist member from Racine
We are traveling to Budapest and wondering, are Euros (or Dollars) generally accepted in Budapest? Also, credit cards?
Thanks in advance,
You may find some places which accept teuro (not USD) but imo it is always best to use the legal currency of the country you are visiting, not least because if euro *are* accepted you can guarantee that you will be getting a poorer exchange rate...the seller must cover his or her own exchange costs.
So I'd very strongly advise you to pay in forints when you are paying in cash.
I've found card payment to be widely accepted in Budapest. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted across Europe, although some places will also accept Amex, Cirrus etc..it all depends. If your cards are Visa and/or Mastercard you should have no problems with places which accept cards. But you should be aware that not everywhere will accept card payment, especially for small amounts. Also, if your card does not have chip & PIN you are unlikely to be able to use it in any automated machines (e.g. those for railway tickets).
So...forints for cash and cards are ok as long as their logo is one which is widely recognised. The card will always be charged in forints, not euro, as forints are the legal currency.
Do make sure you tell your card provider that you will be in Hungary during x dates, to minimise the chances of your card being refused on suspicion of fraud.
They are accepted, but you will stand to lose money due to low exchange rates. For major purchases, you could still use Euros, but for smaller purchases you will lose money if you do not have the local currency.
Yes they are accepted. However, you will get lower exchange rates if you use them in restaurants or for shopping. There are many exchange offices all around Budapest and you can get better rates there. Also, try to avoid exchanging money at the airport as they apply commission and give low rates. Credit cards are widely accepted in restaurants and big shops. You can check my Budapest page for some useful tips.
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The best is to have Forint and VISA card. You can exchange USD or Euros in any bank or exchange office. If you have time, you can walk around touristic areas and compare exchange rates in the exchange offices as they tend to have different rates. And they usually have better rates than banks. If need cash right away, you can take out money at any ATM machine. In general, using VISA (MASTER) cards is not a problem and most places (shops, restaurants) accept cards. Enjoy Budapest. Its my number 1 city :)
Thanks a lot for your help and comments.