Hungary is generally a safe country. Hungarian people are hospitable and welcoming of visitors. Hungary share similar experiences with other countries and major cities frequented by visitors.
When travelling in a foreign country, it is practically impossible to validate who is a genuine police officer and who is an impersonator. Many scams are based on the “police intimidation” factor, where false IDs and uniforms are used. The most important fact that you should be aware of is that police officers are NOT allowed to accept cash as payment for fines in Hungary!
Hungary offers a wide range of excellent culinary entertainment. Its traditions are deeply rooted in its history and place in Europe. Unfortunately, the reputation of this industry is also being damaged by a few opportunists targeting visitors. In the vicinity of some large hotels you can be charged exorbitant prices in certain bars, clubs and restaurants. Common scams include adding a 20,000 HUF (€80,00) surcharge per drink to the final bill or charging up to 100,000 HUF (€300,00) for a meal. Individuals who have been unable to settle their bills have frequently been accompanied by the establishment’s security guards to a cash machine and forced to withdraw money under threats of violence.
You should avoid all establishments where menus do not display prices clearly.
If you have any doubts about a bar, restaurant or club – do NOT go in.
Exchanging cash at the point of arrival (airport, railway station) is usually more expensive in most countries. Railway stations are some of the MOST EXPENSIVE places to exchange money in city centres.
Hungary has a competitive money exchange industry. Always check the current official exchange rate of the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Rates are always displayed in front of the exchange offices.
NEVER exchange money on the street!
Hungary takes less drastic measures than some of its western European counterparts to deal with beggar mafias, which operate in the downtown and tourist areas. Often beggars are imported from eastern countries who dress as very old women or as one with a severe injury or disability. Hungary has an excellent social security system, and such situations of neglect would never occur! We ask all visitors to cooperate in helping to solve this situation. When deciding to be generous with your money, be careful to whom you donate. If you have spare change or money to donate, give it to your favourite charity which will effectively disburse the money to the needy.