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Hungarian Currency - Forint

Will be in Budapest for approximately 1.5 days. I understand they don't use the Euro but instead use Forints.
We don't want to be carrying Forints throughout the rest of our journey, therefore, how much local currency would you recommend we get? We will be using credit cards whenever possible.

Posted by
23431 posts

Impossible to answer. Just depends on how much you expect to spend. Pull 50 from an ATM and see what happens. You can always get more. For us we would do the reverse. Get a couple hundred forint and spend as needed. At the end, perhaps the hotel at check out would give the hotel all the forints I have and pay the balance with a credit card.

Posted by
899 posts

Really depends on how many in your group, the type of restaurants you plan to go to (do they take credit cards, are they expensive,etc), will you make small souvenir purchases like postcards...... We'll be there at the end of May for a couple of nights - breakfasts are included at our hotel. I'll probably only get about $50-75 worth for 2 of us. The hotel has an ATM very close by.

Posted by
20319 posts

A couple hundred Forints won't get you very far. That is the equivalent of 80 US cents, not enough even for a tram ticket. I'd recommend taking 25,000 HUF from an ATM, about $90 US. You should be able to spend that in a day and a half. Euros are widely accepted, at an inferior exchange rate (but not that bad) and your change will be in Forints.

Posted by
27357 posts

The idea of using most of your remaining forints to pay part of your hotel bill on you last morning is a very good on. Says the person with a baggie full of currency from Hungary, Czechia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia!

You're unlikely to have trouble finding an ATM if you initially make a withdrawal that proves to be too small, but locating an ATM that doesn't charge a fee can sometimes take a bit of time, and you won't want to waste time when you have so little of it. (Fee comment not specific to Budapest; I don't remember how much trouble I had there.)

Large withdrawals are sometimes dispensed in large bills, which may not be desirable if you expect only to be making on small purchases with cash.

Posted by
6622 posts

When we visited Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, and Poland (four currencies) several years ago we started out with ATM forints, then ATM euros in Austria (usable in many countries), then exchanged our forints for Czech koruna, then exchanged the koruna for Polish zlotys, then the zlotys for euors at the airport when we left. We took a bath on the exchange rates in Prague and Krakow, and we probably had to supplement with local ATMs, but we ended up only with euros which we knew we'd use on future trips. (In fact, I used some of the euros later in Cuba to avoid its punitive exchange rate on US dollars.) For awhile I felt like a minor league George Soros in reverse.

Posted by
5945 posts

I found ATMs many places in Budapest, often by metro entrances. I played it safe and withdrew by small amounts since I was not charged a fee. I tend to use credit cards as much as possible and never had any difficulty using them. I would do a bit of research to determine if planned restaurants, sites accept credit cards, etc. I did come home with both forints and czech koruna which I annoyed me. Then I counted and converted it and discovered that it amounted to about $7, and make a nice souvenir! I do try to get rid of non euro currency before I leave a country. I accidentally tried to pay an Amsterdam hotel in Swiss francs, once. I still have that bill worth about $10, so I guess I will have to go back to Switzerland! I always snap a photo of some of the non euro currency bills. Some is very pretty.

Posted by
18541 posts

That's easy; 275,000 per day. If you have any left over I will send you the name of a good charity you can have the hotel desk mail it to.

Otherwise know that most every place, if not EVERY PLACE, you go will take your credit card. Otherwise for pocket money pull out maybe 20,000 forints.

Posted by
884 posts

Or.....when you depart Budapest, hang on to the "extra Forints" for your next trip.
You'll be back.
Trust me.
Budapest is irresistible.

Posted by
3060 posts

I'd start with 30,000. At 286/dollar, that is about $104 USA. Would you spend that in 15 days? Most likely. Probably you'll spend it in the first couple days. Then get more. A rough calculation is 300 hf/Dollar. If they played "who'd like to be a Hungarian millionaire", and you won in Hungarian, you'd end up with $3496.5.