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Tips for changing money in Budapest

Hello! I'll be traveling to Budapest later this month and was wondering the collective wisdom could give me some tips as to how to best exchange money in Budapest. I have read about using ATMs and a debit card, taking out 100,00o forint at a time, etc. What have you all found is the best method t get the most for my hard earned dollars?
Thank you in advance!

Posted by
12388 posts

ATM's are best.
Google Maps for Budapest ATM for locations. First choice should be a bank ATM like OTP or ERSTE.....
You can draw out small amounts, doesnt have to be 100,000 forints, but then 100,000 forints is a lot either...

Posted by
16068 posts

I had good experience from OTP Atm's. Don't fall for Dynamic Currency Conversion. If the Atm tells you exactly how many USD (or whatever your home currency is) it will cost, then they are using DCC, which you should decline. Let the bankcard network do the currency conversion as that will be the very best rate.

Posted by
12388 posts

Edgar, I think Rick's wisdom on the subject is somewhat dated.

Resist the urge to buy foreign currency before your trip. I've yet to
see a European airport that didn't have plenty of ATMs.

Nonsense. If it makes you feel more secure to have some local currency when you arrive, you will enjoy the trip more if you do. And the last thing i want to do the minute i arrive is hunt down an ATM.

Avoid (or at least minimize) cash exchange. In general, I avoid
exchanging money in Europe; it's a big rip-off.

No, at an ATM, it really isnt. How much (%) it costs you depends on your bank and how much you take out each time.

Assume you'll be shortchanged. In banks, restaurants, at ticket
booths, everywhere — expect to be shortchanged if you don't do your
own figuring.

If that is a general statement about the world, including the US; then at least it wouldn’t be a bigoted statement. Otherwise, what? Europeans are more crooked than Americans??? I might go along with, if it happens, dont sweat it. Dont let it mess up the trip. At most its a few dollars and thats not worth not enjoying the trip.

Posted by
1006 posts

James E.
I could argue with your reading of A and C, too, but I'll just point out that using an ATM is not a cash exchange.

Posted by
12388 posts

Of course it's an exchange. From USD in my bank to HUF in my hand. Then Rick spends time explaining how to work with exchange houses, probably the worst option. He needs to enter the 21st century and discuss the dos and don'ts of ATM and Credit card use. My last trip, a few months ago, it was rare to see a local under the age of 40 using anything but a card, and those swift tap cards at that. Yes, we have some fees to work around if we want to do the same, but it can be done .... my card has no fees. That would be advice more relevant for 2019. Not saying that Rick is anything but the best for advice generally. Just coming up short on this topic.

Posted by
3465 posts

The statement on avoiding cash exchange is meant in terms of carrying actual cash with you and exchanging it for the local currency.

Posted by
12388 posts

Mark, I went back and read and reread and his intent is clear and obvious and you, sir, are dead ...... ahhhhh, correct. I read it a bit fast and the real advice isnt in the how to do it section, but in the What to Bring section. Then, below is a link to what should be read, which is how to use your ATM card, all of which is spot on.

Sorry Rick. But clean it up and consolidate it and it will be more valuable. And I retain my other two objections :-)