Forints and euros

We will be in Budapest for two days. I am confused about the currency. I have read that you can use Euros in Budapest but then someone told me you need to use Forints. Will Euros be ok for cash? Thanks, Jennie

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Some places will probably take your euro. You'll get screwed. ATMs abound.

Posted by Joseph
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
127 posts

The currency of Hungary is the Forint, not the Euro, not the dollar. Some larger hotels and establishments may accept the Euro, but, in day to day transactions, pay in Forints.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1183 posts

Hotels will likely take euros, especially the bigger ones. But as Ed said they'll give you a bad exchange rate. Unless you already have a bunch of euros you want to spend before returning to dollar-land, I'd get forints from ATMs. Smaller restaurants and stores may not take euros at all.

Posted by Frances
San Diego
763 posts

Yes, I second the recommendation to get your Forints from an ATM.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2725 posts

Right now, $100 U.S. is about 2200 Forints. It's best to use your home ATM card to get money. We're going from Budapest to Bratislava/Vienna (Euros) and to Prague which uses their own currency. Having to use different currencies makes you appreciate the Euro as a common currency.
I'm just thankful for ATM's and not having to pay big service charges to banks and American Express offices. Just make sure your own bank is not ripping you off on the exchange rate; some will.

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
1150 posts

What Ed says is , as always ,right . David has given you a great example . All I can add is , to figure the cost. , take the forint number ,drop the last two digits and divide by two and you have dollars . Example : 3200 huf is 16USD .

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
860 posts

Two suggestions At the ATM, use an odd amount so as to not get large bills only. Avoid even thousand amounts.
If you do some planning ahead, you can put yourself in the position to only have a minimal amount remaining when you leave the country, so that trading it at a money exchange will not be too costly.

Posted by James E.
3221 posts

What has been posted is correct. One place where your euros could possibly be used efficiently is if your accommodation reservation room rate was quoted in Euros. If so then save the euros for checkout. Most vacation apartment rentals are also quoted in Euros. The tourist trinkets shops also put just euro price tags on their merchandise in some stores. Actually if memory is correct a few of my favorite trinkets shops are like this. Facing the Basilica look to your right and you will see some of the best highest quality and most expensive trinkets shops in town. then about half way between the Basilica and the far end of the pedestrian square/street on the right hand side is a music oriented trinket shop that I really love. The CEU bookstore is next door and they have some excellent high quality book on Budapest and Hungary. There is also a music trinkets store in the Opera House and on Vaci. All are identical/same ownership. Great gifts because Budapest is about the music.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
265 posts

Hi from Wisconsin, James always seems to have great advise. In my times visiting Budapest I have used Euros only to pay for my hotel/apartment. Actually, they took some of my Euros and the rest of the payment in Forints...or maybe it was the other way around. Yes, that's it. It used up my forints paying as much of the bill as I had forints because we were headed to Croatia. The remainder of the bill we paid in Euros. This was a great place to stay, now closed, that used current exchange rates and no fees. Don't expect a flower seller on the street to want Euros unless they WAY OVER CHARGE you. I assume you are from the USA. How many places in the US would take Canadian dollars? Maybe along the border...and would you get a good exchange rate? When in Rome...use the local currency. There are more ATMs than you can shake a stick at. wayne iNWI

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
1086 posts

If you're taking a smart phone or Ipad, there's a great app called "XE Currency" that would help you understand the relationships between various monies. You can set it to display as many currencies as you'd like (i.e. forints, euros, US dollars). Enter an amount in any of the currencies, and it displays the corresponding value in the others. It's d regularly whenever you're on wifi. We found this useful in Turkey, when some hotels quoted rates in Euros, but preferred to be paid in lira, and we had to figure out how many US dollars to get from the ATM.

Posted by James E.
3221 posts

David USD100 is about 22000 forints, then Stevens process works. Its what I do too.