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Euros vs. Forint

I’m going to Budapest at the end of the month. Should I exchange my money to forints or euros? Note: I’ll also be going to Vienna and Bratislava

Posted by
4955 posts

You'll need both: Forint for Hungary, Euros for Austria and Slovakia. I always get mine when I get to the country in question from the first ATM machine I find.

Posted by
6788 posts

Ben, were you assuming that you could use either currency in Hungary?

Posted by
4637 posts

Forint in Budapest, Euro in Vienna and Bratislava. Even if some stores or restaurants let you pay in Euros it is to their advantage, not yours.

Posted by
427 posts

you can bring any currency to Budapest and exchange it their at numerous exchange booths. the rates are posted daily. I do this each year I travel there. euros bring a greater exchange rate when converting them to forints. the reverse is not true.

Posted by
5789 posts

If you must buy FX at home to bring to Europe, Euros are the second most commonly held reserve currency, the USD being the most held reserve currency. In theory it should be easier to exchange a reserve currency.

My example is departing Prague with excess CZK heading for Norway. The FX kiosk at the airport would only exchange my CZK for either USD or EUR currency and would then exchange the USD or EUR to NOK. (I just converted the excess CZK to USD and used my ATM card in Norway).

Of course, the best answer is to not buy EUR or Forint before arriving and just get what you need using an ATM.

Posted by
15045 posts

You can get forints from an ATM at the Keleti train station when you arrive in Budapest.

Posted by
13716 posts

There is a Euronet and and two OTP ATMs in Keleti. Do yourself a favor and dont use the Euronet ATM. The exchange rate is miserable. OTP is a major bank in Hungary and trustworthy. I know they have ATMs in the station because they show up on their websiite and on maps, but i dont know where in the station they are located. One appears to be near the front of the station the other on the north side near where the Taxi pick up is located. By the way, for a taxi, dont use the que, call one.

Posted by
427 posts

you can use both in Budapest. don't buy forints at train stations the rates are not in your favor, wait till you get into town.

Posted by
13716 posts

you can use both in Budapest.

Yes, and no. Most anyone will take your euro, but don't expect a decent rate of exchange. Plan on loosing 10% on average. Go to an ATM with the name of a bank on it, and if offered a choice always choose to have the sum sent to your bank in forints, never dollars. Your bank will always give you the best exchange rate. For a couple I would suggest you draw out 20,000 forints (also expressed as HUF or Ft) x the number of days of your visit. Then supplement that if necessary with your credit card. Credit cards also provide a great rate of exchange and, again, if asked you want to be billed in forints and not dollars.