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Ideal amount of Forint in Budapest

So I have read a number of the Rick Steves blogs and advice on currency. However I get a better rate and deal in the States prior to arriving in Budapest with exchanging currency. My question is what would be a wise amount to bring with me for two days in Budapest? Hotel is covered with CC. Do Budapest eateries take Credit card or more currency?

Any ideas or suggestions on monetary amount would be great.

Posted by
2312 posts

I find it absolutely impossible to believe that you can get a better rate BUYING forints here in the US than simply using your ATM card to withdraw cash from a bank operated ATM in Budapest (or anywhere!) Your withdrawal will be converted tom dollars by your bank at the current interbank rate, with a mark-up of somewhere between .2 and .8 of 1 percent, and presumably you rare savvy enough to be using a bank that has no ATM fees and no foreign fees (such as CapOne, Schwab, many credit unions), you have not made the mistake of allowing that bank to process this in dollars rather than forints, thus making their own mark-up, and of course the bank ATMs there do not charge a fee.

If you are getting a better deal than this, then please post the exact specifics and lets compare apples with apples. Meanwhile, only you know how much walking-around cash you need, and many restaurants will surcharge for a credit card.

Posted by
5697 posts

For two days worth of walking-around money, I would just get it there from one of the many bank ATM's (FX difference on a small amount shouldn't impact your total trip budget.) Yes, many/most restaurants take credit cards. And, in a pinch, some places also price in euros.

Posted by
12825 posts

To be unique, i will try and answer your question.

Most every restaurant will take credit cards, but never hurts to ask before you order.

As for how much to bring in Forints? Who knows. What do you plan on doing?

A taxi will cost you about 8,000 from the airport to most tourist zones in town.
A 72 hour TravelCard will cost 4,100 forints and will take care of all your transportation needs (sorry no 48 hour card)
Food will cost .... well, depends on what kind of food. This place is sort of located between the tourist zone and the real zone so figure 10% more as you get closer to the river and 10% less a few blocks in the other direction and off the major roads: http://lugas-etterem.com/etlap/

If you do end up with extra forints I can direct you to a mail box not far from the opera where you can leave them........