Living in Budapest (Essentials)

Currency

The Hungarian forint (HUF) is the currency of Hungary. ATM machines are readily available in Budapest and accept most major credit and bank cards. If you arrive in Budapest without forints, simply exchange some US dollars for forints at the airport or train station, or withdraw forints from an ATM machine.

Personal checks, cashier checks, money orders, etc., cannot be readily exchanged, as international banking is quite slow. However, it is a good idea to bring some personal checks along in case, for example, you would need to send in graduate school applications.

Electricity

The voltage used in continental Europe is 220 volts, while American appliances run on 110 volts. Most recent appliances are “dual voltage,” meaning they can operate on both types of currents. Look for a label on your appliance that says something like “100/240V” or “110~220V AC” to make sure that it is dual voltage. To use a dual voltage appliance in Hungary, you need an adapter plug (not a converter), since the electrical outlets in Europe are different from those in North America. Note that Hungary uses the Type F electrical plug. Adapters can be purchased for just a few US dollars.

Internet

You should have internet access in you apartment, which is paid along with your utility fees. Most cafés and restaurants have free wi-fi connection, and internet cafés (charging a nominal fee) are available throughout Budapest.

You may consider getting prepaid mobile internet such as Vodafone’s Netjegy or Telenor’s Hipernet Praktikum that asks for no loyalty.

Telephones/Cell Phones

The country code for Hungary is 36. To dial a Hungarian number from within Hungary or Europe, you must dial +36 (the + sign can be substituted by 00) followed by the area code (1 for Budapest, or 20 or 30 or 70 for mobiles) and a seven digit number.

For convenience, students are advised to buy a prepaid mobile phone. If you choose to bring a cell phone from home, you will need to check with your local provider on international rates. Mobile phones can be purchased in Budapest, but you will need a residence permit to obtain one. Also, check if your landlord can provide one for your use.

There are 3 large mobile network providers in Hungary:

  • Telenor (area code 20)
  • T-Mobile (area code 30)
  • Vodafone (area code 70)

For international calls, you are advised to use Skype or other online calling applications.

Mail

The closest post office to the BSME Campus is at Keleti Railway Station:

1087 Budapest, Baross tér 11/C
7:00 AM – 9:00 PM on Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday

Courier Mailing Services:

To receive mail, see addresses for letters and packages under the BSME Budapest Office.