Hungarian Money – Budapest Currency

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When visiting Budapest, it comes handy to know couple facts about Hungarian currency and how it works. Take a look at this guide to Hungarian Forint, what is the exchange rate, how to buy it or 

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One forint consists of 100 fillers. Purchase value of fillers is very low, thus the smallest coin in use is 5 Forints and there are no fillers in use.

The official currency of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint, (HUF, Ft).

Currency in Budapest

Characteristics of the Hungarian Forint

Forint SymbolsHUF (Ft)
1 ForintOne forint consists of 100 fillers. Purchase value of fillers is very low, thus the smallest coin in use is 5 Forints and there are no fillers in use.
Forint coinsCoins are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 HUF.
Forint banknotesNotes are available in following denominations - 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 and 20000 HUF

Exchanging Money

There is a wide range of banks and money exchanges in Budapest where currency can be exchanged, which gets challenging at times, especially when it is your first time getting yourself Hungariant Forints as the amounts get as high as 100s of thousands at times. 

Different exchange offices are located all over the city, thus we made a guide of the best exchange places in Budapest, which will ultimately solve your dilemma and help you pick the best one to change your currency.

The rate gets time to time affected by the government or fluctuation, so it can be difficult to predict. The official rate up to date is always given by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Hungarian National Bank).

Due to a rapid increase in Hungarian and Budapest’s tourism growth (650.000 more visitors than the previous year according to DailynewsHungary.) and a wide mix of tourists, the exchange offices around the city provide all sorts of currencies and you shouldn’t have difficulties finding yours.

Credit Cards, Contactless Payments, City Card

Credit and debit (bank) cards – especially Visa and Mastercard – are commonly accepted in most Budapest’s establishments such as shops, restaurants and other services although not ultimately. 

There are numerous businesses — local bistros, smaller souvenir shops work with cash only. Credit card payment is on the rise in Budapest, although it is still advised to carry an alternative payment method with you, such as Hungarian Forints (HUF) or Euro (€) as most centrally located and visitor’s service businesses will accept both.

You can also consider a Budapest Card, which offers various benefits all in one, such as free public transport, over a dozen free entrances to museums & galleries, free Lukacs Bath entrance and more. Neverthless, if you present your card numerous shops, sightseeing tour agencies and other service establishments, you can receive a discount of up to 50%.

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Cash Machines, ATMs in Budapest

There are plenty of ATMs (cash machines) to be found around Budapest where you can withdraw Hungarian Forints (HUF) or Euros (€) directly from your card, which can be the most convenient way on how to access cash* as carrying large pile with you can be stressful at times. If you use international cards such as Mastercard, Visa, Maestro and other common card providers, you should be fine. If that is not the case, it’s better to consult with your bank beforehand.

Make sure to read till the end/watch the video below before using an ATM in Budapest. It most probably will save you money while visiting the city!

How will the ATMs in central Budapest keep up to 35% of your money

So you are i need of cash and naturally as a visitor to a foreign city, you are wondering in or around the centre — and that’s where you’ll find yourself surrounded with ATMs of a certain brand – Euronet.

About half the times this ATM is being used, it actually acts like a normal ATM. But that’s only because it just found inside itself a credit card of a local bank.

And the other half? That will most probably be your case. Whenever you insert a foreign credit/debit card, this ATM receives a signal and acts.

It will try to offer you a ridiculously high amounts of cash, and the conversion rate is extremely bad. So the more money you withdraw, the more you actually loose. You will also have to pay their very high transactions fees.

We put it to the test:

Withdrawal amount: 5,000 HUF – 14.95€

Charge of our account all in all: 21.95 € – 7,340 HUF

The Euronet ATM charged us 46.3% more than we actually got!

Now imagine withdrawing one of their offered amounts. Crazy.

Luckily, here is an video of detailed explanation how does this scam work by Czech Republic’s Honest Guide in Prague, where visitors face the same problem.

It is a well known trick nowadays, but these ATMs are unfortunately located all over Europe and the percentage of your money kept by them varies from country to country – based on the consumer’s protection law.

And how to avoid this dodgy trick? Well, that’s easy. 

Euronet’s ATMs are usually branded in blue and yellow and hold a sign ‘’Euronet worldwide’’. It is the best to avoid these completely, nevertheless if you find yourself having to use one of these, always make sure to withdraw the lowest amount possible and decline the conversion when this option pops-up on the screen. But even that won’t stop them from taking a smaller part of your money.


ATM withdrawal in Budapest without fees

Bank ATM fees in Budapest (Hungary):

We would appreciate comments below if you found out what the actual fees are for the rest of the banks!

  • OTP Bank: Free
  • Budapest Bank:
  • K&H Bank:
  • Erste Bank:
  • CIB Bank:
  • MKB Bank: 500 HUF (€1.80 )
  • Raiffeisen Bank:
  • Unicredit Bank:

Know fees of your own bank

Depending on your bank account and it’s provider, you might be charged just to use an ATM of another bank/provider.

According to an English HSBC bank, their rule for withdrawing a non-sterling currency in a foreign state is following

The fee will be a percentage of the value of the transaction – for HSBC customers this is typically 2.75 per cent for debit cards and 2.99 per cent for credit cards. The total amount is converted to GBP when the transaction is debited to your account.

Visit National Bank of Hungary from inside

hungarian_national_bank

Hungarian National Bank near the Liberty Square | © abouthungary.hu

Learn about the history of Hungarian money at the National Bank of Hungary. Explore exhibitions of this museum that trace further back than the bank’s foundation in 1924, featuring old coins, currency as well as fun things you can do such as print your own banknotes. You can even (technically) learn how a money printing device is built.

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