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How much cash?

We will be in Budapest for 3 days before joining a Viking River cruise that spends almost 2 more days in port. I plan on using my credit card as much as possible, but how much cash would you recommend withdrawing from an ATM for 2 people?

Posted by
37 posts

Small shops may like cash payments only and budget for food and expenses of 50 euros or dollars per day

Posted by
21731 posts

You withdraw as needed. The is the whole idea behind using a debit card. We tend to use a little more cash than others since we find it more convenient for smaller purchases. We always like to have at least 50 to 100 dollars equivalent in local currency in case that credit card doesn't work. Often will leave the tip in cash since the credit card receipt does not have a line for a tip. If I was going to be in Budapest for a few days I would pull 20, 25,000 forints from a local ATM. And then resupply as needed.

Posted by
21731 posts

We ended our Viking cruise in Budapest and spent about four days before moving on. We couldn't get a flight home out of Budapest so we finally moved on to Vienna before we found a flight home.

Posted by
13564 posts

The odds of you wandering into a place that won't take your credit card are remote Very remote. Still, as mentioned above carrying 20 to 25000 forints ($55 - $70) isn't a bad idea for convenience. Everyone is different, but 15,000 forints ($40) per day, per person is probably a good guess above any large one off entrance fees. What ever is left towards the end you can use for the taxi to the airport ( no more than 9,000), or for a good night out on the town.

But the concept of running on cash and replenishing as needed tends to waste time looking for bank ATMs. Avoid the EURO machines if you have the option as the fees are high. Heck, unless you have a no fee card, replenishing even at bank ATMS can set you back $3 each pop.

The problem with using too much cash is you end up with too many coins.

Four other tips, 1) most bank ATMs are in interior rooms accessed by swiping any credit card and pushing the door inward. 2) You can find bank ATMs on Google Maps. 3) even taxis take credit cards. 4) tell the waiter what you want to pay including the tip before he runs your card. No one will think bad of you for leaving a cash tip, but its a bit strange. If you pay in cash, hand him the money and tell him how much change you want back to include the tip.

But the most important thing you can do is get a TravelCard for the duration of your trip.

Do these things and they will think you are a Traveler and not a Tourist. 🤣

Posted by
14925 posts

Don't take 20,000 from an ATM - take out 18,000 or 19,000. You will want those small bills for those small purchases :-)

Posted by
27 posts

We’re in Budapest now and using very little cash. Pre cruise leaving tomorrow on the Danube- we did need small bills for leaving a tip for the house keeping staff at the hotel and for toilets at the Great Market Hall and for the trolly tickets

Posted by
229 posts

I did not need cash for anything in Budapest last week. even tips are included on credit card payment. the only place you may need cash is if you want to use public restrooms! you need hungarian coins or euros there. avoid them - go to a cafe, eat pastries and use restrooms there

Posted by
8 posts

I found it easy to find bank atms and withdraw small amounts of cash ($20), in contrast to Prague, which has a totally ridiculous atm situation.

Posted by
264 posts

We exchanged $100 US dollars in Forints before our trip. $50 us dollars in florints for each of us. We were there only 3 days and used the credit card whenever we could. We tipped our guides in cash. And paid small snacks and trinkets with cash. We still had 2000 florints left over and went on a snack and water spree at the airport to use it all up.