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Acquiring Hungarian Currency

My husband and I will be taking a Viking River Cruise, and arriving for out first visit in Budapest, on Christmas Day. Since we are staying a few days after our cruise, we will need to change USD or Euros to Forint's.
I am assuming we will use ATM's as we do in our travels to other countries. I am just worried about arriving during a holiday season when those ATM's might not be restocked a few days, or as prevalent as in other countries.
Does anyone have any experience in Budapest at Christmas and using ATM's?

Posted by
114 posts

Thanks for your answers. It's good to know that getting currency in not an issue. The Eyewitness Budapest guide book led me to believe it might be more difficult.

Posted by
10892 posts

I have been coming here (in Budapest today) a few times a year for a dozen years now. Call your bank and tell them you are going to Hungary and I promise that between ATM and credit cards you will get the best rate for the greatest convenience.

Posted by
11153 posts

I can't speak to the Christmas season, but ATM's are as prevalent in Budapest as in any other city, i.e., they're everywhere. There are also currency exchange booths, some of which give decent rates; my hotel recommended the one nearby with the best rates (I had some leftover Czech koruna from a previous trip; otherwise, I use ATM's exclusively for cash). I assume many of the exchange booths will not be open Christmas Day, however.

Posted by
4205 posts

As you probably know, the ATMs in Budapest will give you only forints, so don't overload or you'll have to exchange them for euros or other currencies as you cruise up or down the river, with attendant fees or bad exchange rates. I wouldn't worry about ATM availability in Budapest.

Posted by
1455 posts

Great post!! I'll be taking a Viking Cruise in October and will be in need of money, too.
I doubt if ATMs will be empty on Christmas day. It shouldn't be any different than the States, where ATMs are everywhere.

Posted by
10892 posts

You will not have any problems. If you find you have a lot left over at the end of the trip send me a PM and I will give you an address to mail them to. Thank you.

haha james. Ya you won't have any problems with the ATMs. In supermarkets, if you don't have forints, you can just use euros to make your purchase.

haha james. Ya you won't have any problems with the ATMs. In supermarkets, if you don't have forints, you can just use euros to make your purchase.

Posted by
10892 posts

Try real hard not to use the euros. The shops, etc, will apply their own exchange rate and it wont be a good one. Figure a 10% loss at best. Almost everyone takes credit cards (but ask before running up the bill) these days and your US bank will give you very favorable exchange rates.

Posted by
114 posts

Thanks for all the helpful replies...and I will probably not have enough left over currency to bother you with, James. :-)
After all, I am going at Christmas and I am sure I can spend it somewhere!