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Currency in Budapest—- when and where to exchange US dollars or use vis

We will be on a Viking Cruise in April and want to know if I should get the Hungarian currency prior to leaving the USA.
Will be in Bucharest at the end of our trip. What is the best way to exchange this currency?

Need to tip drivers with local currency and want to be ready.
Thanks.

You mention Budapest in the title and then also Bucharest, which is the capital of Romania. Are you visiting both, or is it a typo? They’re very different places!

Posted by
24 posts

We will be in Budapest, Hungary. As well as Bucharist, Romania. So, I need information about whether I should get currency here in US or wait until I get to those countries. Need to have currency to tip and buy meals. Would debit or credit card be the best alternative for buying something?
Thanks.

Posted by
8148 posts

The normal way to get cash is from an ATM when you get there. This would be cheaper than exchanging cash at a bank in another country. Not all banks will accept US$. Perhaps the cruise ship has a currency exchange, but that may cost more than an ATM.
Is there an ATM where the ship docks?

I would suggest you would need local currency for paying for transport (taxi or public transport), meals, incidentals (ice cream?). Tipping is optional, not a necessity.

Posted by
8158 posts

I suggest you consult Viking. Cruise lines often have ATMs on board the ships, or the Purser's desk will exchange US$. At the very least, Viking can advise location of ATMs at each port stop.

Posted by
5487 posts

Would debit or credit card be the best alternative for buying
something?

That depends on your credit and debit card terms...I would read those carefully before traveling. Get a 0 foreign exchange credit card like Capital One, and find out how much your bank will charge you to use an ATM overseas via debit card linked to your checking account (my credit union charges 1% per transaction).

Posted by
13676 posts

Do not withdraw too much money in either place, especially in Bucharest (where things are cheap). It may be difficult or impossible to change your leftover money into dollars.

Posted by
9305 posts

And if at all possible only use ATMs with bank names on them for better rates. Make a charity your last stop in each country and donate what you have left over.