Getting around Budapest
I want to learn some Hungarian!
Hello/Goodbye (informal) = Szia! (see-ya)
Hello (formal) = Jó napot (yo nu-pot)
Goodbye (formal) = Viszlát! (vees-lat)
Good morning = Jó reggelt (yo reg-gelt)
Good evening = Jó estét (yo esh-tayt)
Good night = Jó éjszakát (yo ay-sock-at)
Thank you = Köszönöm (ku-se-nem)
Please = Kérek (kay-rek)
Sorry (formal) = Elnézést (el-nay-zaesht)
What are some important phone numbers to know?
(If you are calling from a non-Hungarian phone number, remember to replace the first 0 in a Hungarian number with 003)
061 666 6666 (6x6 Taxi)
061 200 0000 (Taxi 2000)
Use the code 4430 to book your reliable cab!
Central Help number (for emergencies): 112
24-hour medical assistance in English: 06 1 2000 100
Tourist Hotline: 061 438 8080
Immigration office (In case of lost/stolen passport):
061 463 9165 or 061 463 9181
Items lost/found on public transport: 061 258 4636
I heard taxi drivers are famous for ripping people off. How do I avoid getting scammed?
All official taxis in Budapest charge the same price per km –
whether you order it or just get one off the street, every taxi has the following fare structure:
Base fee: 450 HUF
Travel time: 280 HUF/km
Waiting fee: 70 HUF/minute
ALL OFFICIAL TAXIS IN BUDAPEST ARE YELLOW.
The company’s name will be on both sides.
If you call the taxis above, and use the code 4430, you are good to go. These cabs are linked to the hostel, the company can check the GPS. In case of any inconvenience, they assure you a refund.
HOWEVER!! There are many “fake” taxis driving around the city that will charge you much more, and then threaten you with violence if you don’t pay the fare. Here are two simple rules to ensure you don’t get scammed:
NEVER get into a taxi that doesn’t have a company logo on the top or on the sides (a sign saying “TAXI” is not enough!)
Always make sure that the meter is on, and that it doesn’t show more than 450 HUF when you get in.
What are things to watch out for with alcohol and tobacco?
The legal drinking age in Hungary is 18. We recommend not drinking on the streets, as the law regarding public locations is pretty confusing. It is illegal to drink on public transport, but no one cares unless you’re being a rude and loud. Also, in the city centre the only shops that are allowed to sell alcohol past 10PM are tobacco stores.
Most bars will not ask you for ID unless you really look like you’re under 18 years old. However, it is always a good idea to carry ID with you if you can.
Only registered tobacco shops can sell tobacco products. These shops can be found all around the city centre – just look for big, brown round sign. Many are also open 24/7. You have to be at least 18 to smoke.
Why can’t I find aspirin in shops here?
In Hungary, you cannot buy aspirin, cold + flu medication, bandages or any other over-the-counter medication at drug stores – only pharmacies sell these. If you are in need of any of these items, ask your receptionist for the closest pharmacy. Most pharmacies have limited opening hours and are usually closed on Sundays.
How do I find cheep food?
Most restaurants and bistros in the city centre have cheap lunch menus called “Napi Menu” (Daily Menu). These are usually served between 12PM and 3PM, and typically cost between 3-5 EUR. They rarely advertise these in their English menu, so ask your waiter what the daily menu is if you want to save your money!
What are some traditional Hungarian dishes?
Hearty beefy stew with paprika and onions, usually served with dumplings.
Meat and rice stuffing wrapped in cabbage leaves and stewed with sauer kraut, paprika, and pork knuckle, and sausage.
Goulash (served as a soup)
Rich red soup with beef or pork, carrots, a ridiculous amount of paprika, onions, and potato.
Székely cabbage stew
Heavy shredded cabbage dish with chunks of pork.
Főzelék (assorted vegetable stews)
Range of vegetable stews often served as a side or light lunch.
Sliced potato layered with spicy sausage, boiled egg, and
sour cream, cooked in the oven. This stuff is the bomb.
Tell me about the best local drinks!
Similar to the Serbian rakia, pálinka is a very strong brandy made exclusively from fruits – most commonly plums, apricots or pears, but other favourites include sour cherry, strawberry and even quince. For absolute beginners, we recommend trying one made with honey, since it helps to mask the incredibly strong taste of scorching alcohol. Then there are the „mézes-ágyas”, meaning „with honey and dried fruit” – these go down a treat if you want something really sweet and smooth. There is also a brand of poppy-seed pálinka (nicknamed „opium pálinka”), called Magna Cum Laude – it tastes more like a dessert than a shot, but is guaranteed to send you well on your way!
There are many local craft breweries making all sorts of treats for cicerones and amateur beer lovers alike - try going to a place called "Csak a jó sör" (Only good beer) on Kertész utca 42. for the biggest beer selection you have ever seen! Other than that, these are the most common commercial beer brands in Hungary: Dreher, Soproni, Arany Ászok