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Currency to Take

My husband and I will be taking a Christmas Market River Cruise but will be staying 5 days in Budapest..When we eat out...go to the
Market..what currency should we use...
thank you everyone for your feedback
Lorraine

Posted by
8293 posts

You should use the local currency, I.e., forints, available at ATMs. Some places will accept others, such as euros or dollars but at a very bad exchange rate.

Posted by
20435 posts

Always use the currency of the country you are in. Think about. What is your local WalMart is going to do if a tourist offers to pay in British pounds? You can take small amounts for an ATM. In all likely hood the river cruise ship will offer a money exchange. The rate may not be great but for a small amount it will not make much difference.

Posted by
2065 posts

Forints are available at any ATM. One thing I do prior to travelling to any country that doesn't use the euro is to print a wallet-sized conversion table from coinmill.com, helps give me a general idea of how much something costs. Not food, museum fees, etc so much as the random souvenir. Right now 2000 forint is about $7 US, so to avoid buying a surprisingly pricey bunch of stuff I like to have a guideline, whether using cash or credit card.

Posted by
10369 posts

As Norma said. Tell me where you are staying and maybe I can tell you where the nearest ATM is located. Most if not all of the larger establishments will take credit cards. You know the rule: if asked you want YOUR bank to convert the funds, not the proprietor's bank. Makes a big difference in the exchange rate. If not asked you can be pretty safe in assuming that YOUR bank is the default. The Christmas market in Budapest opens mid-November so you should get to see that too. I generally spend cash because I have it, but I am pretty certain that most of the major vendors at the market will take cards as well.

A few pics from some past Christmas' http://1drv.ms/1VREs5q

Christmas is a good time of the year to be in Budapest. The theaters are alive, the restaurants cozy and the lights spectacular. It can be approaching 10F or sweater weather. There can be a foot of snow or clear and dry. But its always good.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by
10369 posts

Right now the exchange rate is in a sort of difficult range to do in your head. My rule right now is 5,000 forints (HUF) is about $20.00 I use the 5,000 number because that is a popular bank note. They come in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 and 20000. The real rate that you could actually expect to get is going to be close to 275 to the dollar when dealing in cash and 280 when using a Visa card (minus and transaction fees) so this errors in your favor.

Posted by
7 posts

I'm wondering how much to withdraw from the ATM when we arrive in Budapest. We will need cash for public transportation, meals, and admittance fees-really everything except the hotel and train tickets as they're already taken care of. We like moderately priced meals w/wine & beer, very little shopping with perhaps a nice dinner one evening. We'll be there 3 days and nights arriving midafternoon and leaving midmorning. Any thoughts on how much we should plan on spending so we can intelligently choose an initial amount to withdraw?

Thanks for your help.

Neil

Posted by
10369 posts

Everyone's spending style is different . Remember your credit cards will work most places, give good exchange rates and are convenient. Still you might want to withdraw about 40,000 forints ($140) for "walking money". There are ATMs all over the place if you need more. You can Google OTP Bank and there is a page with the ATM locations on a map if you want to identify a few in advance. But I wouldn't over think it. There is enough English spoken in Budapest and enough really good folks who will help you if you need it. Nice people the Hungarians. If you have any Forints left over, let me know and I can give you an address to mail them to.