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Hungary, Euros or Forint?

I noticed when I was booking our hotel in Budapest that the rates are quoted in Euros. Are Euros acceptable cash throughout Budapest? I had assumed we would have to get Forints but thought it was worth asking. Thank you.

Posted by
84 posts

My info is a bit stale, from September 2016, but we changed only a small amount into Forints. This was used for incidentals like snacks, etc. and seemed to have been appreciated by the small places & kiosks. BEWARE the ATM in St Stephens Square!
Fun travels ;)

Posted by
21243 posts

They may accept euro BUT they get to set the exchange rate and it will not be in your favor. Always use the country's currency for the best rates.

Posted by
213 posts

I spent a week in Budapest in May and I did not experience a restaurant, shop, or bar that accepted euro's as cash. When paying by CC at various museums and restaurants, we were given options to pay in euros or forints but, as the prior poster noted, always pick the local currency as you risk getting really screwed with the exchange rate if you don't. If using an ATM, use one at a bank.

Also, if you wanted opinions from more frequent Hungary travelers, you may want to post this in the Hungry section, as the resident RS Forum Hungary aficionado James could give his 2 cents.

Have fun.

Posted by
6570 posts

Many of the international reservation systems--flight or accommodations--can bill you in any currency you wish. But you come out better using the local currency.
They're right about the Forint being used everywhere. Sometimes shops that service the River Cruise industry will have prices in both Euros and Forints, however you would at least be taken advantage of a little on the currency conversion.
We were also in Budapest for 8 days a month ago, and found the place to be a bargain--in comparison with other major European cities.

Posted by
12545 posts

Major hotel chains and a lot of AirBnb type places prefer that you pay in Euros. The place I stay, and have stayed for nearly a decade, markets in euros and prefers euros. There are a number of restaurants and souvinier shops in District V that accept Forints or Euro. I am guessing that because they don't want to change their menu with every exchange rate fluctuation the euro cost runs a bit higher typically. Taxis will also take euros at a slightly inflated rate of exchange. Most any restaurant will accept euros if that's all you have but not at a good rate.

Other than accommodations, if you run into a lot of places with prices marked in euros, you are in the wrong neighborhood if you really want to see Budapest. Go to an ATM and get some Forints.