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Living in Hungary

Essentials about Hungary

Capital city: Budapest

Population: 10 million, about 2 million living in the capital city

Local time: Summer: GMT+2, Winter: GMT+1

Currency: Forint (Ft/HUF, but some tourist places may accept euros/EUR. Coins 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and banknotes 500; 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000; 20,000. You can withdraw mo­ney anywhere in the inner city,  day or night at ATMs

Language: Hungarian

Names: Hungarians give their family name first, thus Szabo Richard is Richard Szabo.

Living expenses

Students need about EUR 350–450 per month:

  • Expenses related to studies (student ID card, books, photocopying, etc.) about 50 EUR/semester
  • Accommodation (depending on the size and the location of the flat, as well as on the number of students sharing it) about 150-200 EUR/month/person
  • Living expenses (food, transport, miscellaneous) 150-250 EUR/month


There are many shopping malls, centers and markets within Budapest and the larger cities in Hungary. These shopping complexes are best places for buying clothes, shoes, food, wine, books, furniture, music CDs, books and many more items.

Budapest has some of the greatest shopping centers like MOM Park, Europark, West End City Center, Mammut and Polus centre. There are 70 shopping centers, a cinema hall and a restaurant at the popular Mom Park.

Shopping hours: Grocery stores and markets in the shopping malls are usually open from 6.00 to 21.00 Monday thru Friday. Markets in shopping malls are also open on Saturday and Sunday (except for national holidays).

Most other stores are open Mon-Fri 10.00-18.00 or 19.00 and Sat 10.00-13.30. Shopping centers have longer hours and are open Mon-Sat 1000-2000; some are also open on Sundays.

Currency Exchange

Currency can be exchanged at hotels, banks, bureaux de change, airports, railway stations, travel agencies and some restaurants throughout the country. Automatic exchange machines are available in Budapest and other main tourist centers.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

It is possible to withdraw cash by credit card at many post offices and Cirrus, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in most shops. Credit and debit cards can also be used to withdraw money from the ATMs.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Memorial Day of the 1848 Revolution (March 15)
  • Easter (Sunday and Monday)
  • Labour Day (May 1)
  • Whit Monday
  • St. Stephen's Day (August 20)
  • Memorial Day of the 1956 Revolution (October 23)
  • All Saint's Day (November 1)
  • Christmas (December 25, 26)

The University is closed on these dates.


To be able to reach you in Hungary your family and friends have to dial +36 (Hungary’s international code number) before dialing your phone number.

If you want to call someone abroad, dial 00 and the international code number of the country in question.

Within the boundaries of Budapest you only have to dial the 7-digit number. Note that 7-digit Budapest phone numbers begin with 2, 3, 4, 7 or 8. (Numbers beginning with 7 and 8 should be dialed by first dialing 06 1 and then the phone number

If you are in Budapest and you want to reach a number outside Budapest (in Hungary) you have to dial 06 and the 2-digit district area code followed by the 6- digit phone number.

If you are outside Budapest (in Hungary) and you want to call Budapest you have to dial 06 1 followed by the 7-digit number.

Phone numbers beginning with 06/ 20, 30, 60 and 70 are cellular phone numbers. 06 is followed by 9 digits in these cases.

Cellphone companies:

English language newspaper

The Budapest Sun is Hungary’s largest circulation weekly English langauage newspaper. This newspaper aims at foreigners living in Hungary and features all the important information you might need while staying in Hungary. 



Discover Hungary! Sümeg

Last modified: 2014.10.29.

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