FCO TRAVEL ALERTS

THE SOS GROUP
SOS-BANNER-SWADV

BodyGuard / Medical Courses from the SOS GROUP

Click on the Logo !

STREIT Armored Cars

Streit-Armored-Logo

Global Leader in Armored Transportation !!!

ADT Home Security
The Security Website : ADT Alarm Systems

For Specialised ADT

Home Security Solutions

Please Click HERE

SIRAS ACADEMY

Siras-Academy-RSBanner-

Close Protection Courses from the SIRAS ACADEMY

Click on the Logo !

University of St Andrews

St_Andrews_CT_Course_Banner

Terrorism Studies Course from The University of St Andrews ENROLLING NOW !!

TTF DIRECTORY

THIRTYTF_LOGO

 

Aviation Security Directory from TTF

Click on the Logo !

Travel Security Advice

Sub Menu

Banner
Travel Security Advice for Hungary

Hungarian_National_Flag

hungary_mapHungary_Overview


COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Hungary is a stable democracy with a market economy. Tourist facilities outside Budapest are widely available, if not as developed as those found in Western Europe. Visitors considering a trip are encouraged to read the American citizen services information on the U.S. Embassy’s websitePlease read the Department of State Background Notes on Hungary.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Hungary are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the Department of State’s travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.

Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

The U.S. Embassy in Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Telephone: (36)(1) 475-4400 or (36)(1) 475-4703
After-hours emergency calls -- for U.S. citizens only: (36)(1) 475-4703/4924
The Consular Section’s fax is (36)(1) 475-4188 or (36)(1) 475-4113

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A valid passport is required.  Hungary is a party to the Schengen Agreement.  As such, U.S. citizens may enter Hungary for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.  The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.  For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen Fact Sheet.

For further information concerning entry requirements and residency permits, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary at 3910 Shoemaker Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 362-6730.  More information can be found on the Hungarian Embassy’s website, or at the Hungarian Consulate in Los Angeles or New York.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Hungary.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

Hungary remains largely free of terrorist incidents.  However, like other countries in the Schengen area, Hungary’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country with anonymity.  U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

Prior police approval is required for public demonstrations in Hungary and police oversight is routinely provided to ensure adequate security for participants and passersby.  The October 23rd anniversary of the 1956 revolution is a very important and emotional national holiday in Hungary.  Since 2006, groups have used this holiday to stage demonstrations against the Hungarian Government, and some of these demonstrations have turned violent.  Police forces have used tear gas and water cannons to control the civil unrest.  Other situations may develop which could pose a threat to public safety, as large demonstrations continue to occur in protest of various domestic political issues.  While demonstrations have occurred throughout the country, the most vocal demonstrations occurred at Budapest’s Kossuth Lajos Square, outside the Hungarian Parliament Building and very close to the U.S. Embassy.  On several occasions the demonstrations turned violent, resulting in local law enforcement response that included the use of water cannons and tear gas.  While U.S. citizens and interests are not specifically targeted by these incidents, many take place in areas popular with tourists.  As a result, U.S. citizens are advised to avoid areas in which public demonstrations are taking place.

Visitors to Hungary do not appear to be targeted in the wave of race or ethnic-based violence associated with East and Central Europe.  A small but vocal group calling itself the Magyar Garda (Hungarian Guard) has gained prominence due to its radical nationalist message of intolerance towards Jews, Roma and homosexuals.  Its advocacy of violence and imagery is reminiscent of Hungary’s fascist regime of the 1940’s.  Although the group is not avowedly anti-American, it’s targeting of people based on their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation should be noted by U.S. citizens traveling in Hungary, and steps should be taken to avoid confrontations with the group and its members.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.

CRIME:

Hungary has a low rate of violent crime.  However, street crime occasionally involving violence has been reported, especially near major hotels and restaurants and on public transportation.  Theft of passports, currency and credit cards is a frequent problem, especially in train stations, on public transportation and, occasionally, in restaurants and public baths.

The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section offers information for tourists in Hungary, including a section on crimes and scams that have been encountered by other tourists.

Drivers should be cautious when stopping at gas stations and highway parking lots, or fixing flat tires or other mechanical problems, especially at night.  There have been reports of scams perpetrated on unwitting victims while traveling the highways.  One reported scam involves someone who attracts the driver’s attention by saying that there is something wrong with his/her car (e.g. a smoking hood or flat tire) in order to encourage the driver to pull over to the side of the road.  Once pulled over, the people participating in the scam will remove purses, passports, etc., from the car and drive away.  Luggage and valuables should not be left unattended inside any vehicle.

A common scam involves young women asking foreign men to buy them drinks.  When the bill arrives the drinks cost hundreds of dollars each.  U.S. citizens should avoid bars and restaurants promoted by cab drivers or people on the street.  Every bar and restaurant should provide a menu with prices before ordering.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available.  Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law.  In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates).  This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Tourists who become victims of a crime in Hungary are strongly encouraged to call a 24-hour multilingual crime-reporting telephone number.  The number from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. is 01-438-8080; from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., the number is 06-8066-0044.  There is also a 24-hour police Tourist Information office that provides service in English and German and is located in one of downtown Budapest’s busiest tourist areas: 1051 Budapest Süto utca 2.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency number in Hungary is 112.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.  Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

The acceptance of traveler’s checks is not universal in Hungary.  The presence of ATMs is increasing in Budapest and other major cities.

Hungary’s custom authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Hungary of items such as firearms, antiquities, and prescription medications.  It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Hungary in Washington or one of Hungary’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Medical treatment in Hungary is adequate, but hospital facilities and nursing support are not comparable to those in the United States.  Physicians are generally well trained, but there is a lack of adequate emergency services.  Some doctors, particularly in Budapest, speak English.  Doctors and hospitals usually expect immediate cash payment for health services.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether the policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

In Hungary, fatal traffic accidents number approximately 1,200 per year, with about 7,000 traffic accidents per year resulting in serious injuries.  While this may seem low compared to the United States, Hungary has a much higher rate of accidents per miles driven.  U.S. citizens should drive with caution and always be alert for other vehicles that may be violating traffic laws.  Road travel is more dangerous during the Christmas season, summer months, and at night.  Roadside assistance, including medical and other services, is generally available.  English is usually spoken at the emergency numbers listed below.  In case English is not spoken, dial 112.

Ambulance: 104 or 350-0388
Police: 107
Fire: 105
24-hour English speaker: 112

Bus, train and taxi services are readily available for inter-city travel.

Hungarian motorways and highways are generally in good condition.  Urban roads and road maintenance are also good although areas under construction are not always adequately marked or blockaded.  In Budapest, many roads are often under construction.  In rural areas, however, roads are often narrow, badly lit, and can be in a state of poor repair in some areas.  Pedestrians, agricultural machinery, and farm animals often use these small rural roads.  This requires increased caution on the part of drivers.  Additional information on road conditions is available from “Utinform” at phone number (38)(1)336-2400.

Hungary has a policy of zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol.  Police often conduct routine roadside checks where breath-analyzer tests are administered.  Persons found to be driving while intoxicated face jail and/or fines. Possible penalties for a car accident involving injury or death are one to five years in prison.  Police have instituted a widespread practice of stopping vehicles, particularly in Budapest, to check driver identity documents in a search for illegal aliens and residents in Hungary, and to check vehicle registration and fitness documentation.  It is against the law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving anywhere in Hungary.

Hungary recognizes international driver’s permits (IDP) issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance when presented in conjunction with a state driver’s license.  U.S. driver’s licenses will be accepted in Hungary for one year after arrival provided that a certified Hungarian translation has been attached to the license.  Those with IDPs do not need to have the license translated, but must present both IDP and state driver’s license together.  After one year in Hungary, U.S. citizens must obtain a Hungarian driver’s license.  For further information on this procedure visit the U.S. Embassy’s website.

The speed limit for cars and motorcycles on the motorway is 130 km per hour (approximately 80 mph); on highways, the limit is 110 km per hour (approximately 65 mph);  and in town and village areas, the speed limit is 50 km per hour (approximately 30 mph).  Many drivers, however, do not observe the speed limits, and extra care should be taken on two-way roads.  Special seats are required for infants.  Children under age 12 may not sit in the front seat of an automobile.  Seats belts are mandatory for everyone in the car.  Unless another instruction sign is displayed, yielding the right of way to cars approaching from the right is the general rule.  Turning right on a red light is prohibited.  The police issue tickets for traffic violations and levy any applicable fine(s) on the spot.  The police will give the offender a postal check (money order) on which the amount of the fine to be paid is written, and this postal check may be presented and paid at any Hungarian post office.  Sometimes in disputes about fines or the offense, the police will confiscate the person’s passport and issue a receipt for the passport with an “invitation letter” to appear at the police station the next day or day after to resolve the dispute.  The passport is returned after resolution and/or the payment of the fine.

For specific information about Hungarian driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road taxes, and mandatory insurance, visit the Hungarian National Tourist Organization Office in New York website.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Hungary's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Hungary’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated May 12, 2009 without  substantial changes.

 


 

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information pertaining to Hungary HERE......

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) and HERE (For UK Citizens)..............

Regards

The SW Team....

 

Direct Gov Travel News and Alerts