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Euro vs Forint in Budapest

I understand that Forint is the currency in Hungary but I’ve been watching videos other than RS on YouTube and they’re referring to costs of meals in Euro. It makes me wonder if in super touristy areas esp in Budapest if they advertise menu items and accept Euros for payment. I’m taking a couple of guided walks as well and if so can I tip with Euros? I guess in a roundabout way what I’m asking is do I need to take out Forints at an ATM when I arrive? Or can I get by with using my credit cards everywhere and then using any leftover Euros to tip with? We plan on going to the Great Market Hall as well. Do vendors there prefer cash or plastic?

Posted by
630 posts

Forints are currency of the realm in Hungary. Using any other currency will translate into less value in the exchange. Credit cards are widely accepted, but having some forints at the ready is always a good idea.

Posted by
20565 posts

My experience is that you will always receive the best prices using local currency so I would use the Forint for purchases other than credit card. If the price of the meal is shown in euro and your comfortable with that price, then pay it in euro.

Posted by
2081 posts

Vendors pay a fee for credit cards, so cash is always preferred--and since the forint is their currency, that's what should be used. If you are balking because it's what I call an "odd" currency not easily mentally converted like euros or pounds, print this conversion chart from the Coinmill, I use it every time I visit Hungary. https://coinmill.com/HUF_USD.html

Posted by
1868 posts

We were in Budapest last week and used the Forint currency on small items & places that did not accept Credit Cards. Our tour guide & apartment preferred to be paid in Euros. We had planned on paying our taxi driver with credit card when we arrived, but FoTaxi's credit card system was down. The driver accepted Euros. We brought a small amount of Forints & Euros pre purchased from our home bank. I also used the helpful currency converter that Christa recommended.

Posted by
10673 posts

Most every place takes credit cards, but never hurts to ask first.

Some businesses, like Airbnb's, work in Euros.

Lots of tourist restaurants and souvenir shops list in Euros and Forints. The Euro price will be significantly more expensive than the Forint price. If for no other reason, they don't want to have to change the price every day when the exchange rate changes.

Posted by
759 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
The reason the videos are quoting costs in Euros is because the common viewer doesn't have a clue if 2900 forints is a reasonable price for a lunch. Most people think that means it is very expensive. I mean 2900 is a big number. But 9 euros is more likely understood. And why don't they quote in USDollars? Foreign exchange rates fluxuate. The Euro and forint tend to move up and down in tandem relative to the USD. Yes there are changes in rates between the Euro and forint but not as noticeable for Americans.

Recently, for example, the dollar has risen in value relative to these two currencies. $1 use to buy about .88 Euro and now buys a bit more at .90 Euro per USDollar. The same has happened in Hungary. $1 use to buy 280 forints, and now 1 USD buys 290 of them.

And I do know that this is the age of computers, but it is easier to find the value in print of the Euro versus the USD than for the forint

Expect to use forints in Hungary even if the hotel lists their prices in Euros. They list their prices in Euros for fear of the forint plunging. Have you familiarized yourself with the leader of Hungary? Same applies to Turkey.

AH, and beware of this offer while traveling over seas. Would you like us to charge your card using USD or forints. Choose the local currency. Your credit card will give you a better exchange rate than the restaurant or hotel.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
10673 posts

They list their prices in Euros for fear of the forint plunging. Have
you familiarized yourself with the leader of Hungary? Same applies to
Turkey.

Can you take a breath of air without making it political? If you are going to be so obsessed at least learn the subject so you can get it right.

Posted by
1038 posts

And why don't they quote in USDollars?

Because most people visiting Hungary are more familiar with the Euro.

Posted by
937 posts

Yes, I know to make sure that I’m charged in the local currency vs dollars when I use my cards. I’ll make sure to take out some forints from the ATM when I arrive, maybe $100 worth since I will only be in Budapest for 2.5 days. We booked a Tuktuk tour and they asked for € cash payment so it looks like I’ll have to hold on to those. I only started traveling to Europe after the E.U. was formed so I cannot even imagine keeping track of all the currency when moving from country to country! This trip, I will have to deal with euros, Swiss francs, Hungarian forint and Norwegian Kroner! I’ve only had to use euros and £ in my travels before. This will be interesting.

Posted by
10673 posts

Unless they specifically said otherwise, the tuktuk folks will take Forints if that's what you have. People like that quote in Euros cause the are 110% tourist orientated and the work mostly in the river boat tourist zone. They might not do the most favorable conversion though. I actually got on one once and since I dont carry Euro I know I paid them in Forints. Oh, Forints are as often called HUF, as it's faster to write. So watch for USD, EUR and HUF.

My trip in a few weeks will also be a 3 currency trip. I have a box full of Monopoly Money from all the trips.