Stay Safe in Hungary
Hungary is a fairly safe nation in general. Petty crime, in particular, continues to be a problem, as it does in any other nation.
On public transportation, keep an eye on your belongings and pockets. Pickpockets are a real threat. Thieves often target passports, cash, and credit cards. Keep things that you don’t want to leave in your hotel safe or at home in a secure location, but be mindful that pockets, purses, and backpacks, even when closed, are particularly susceptible. There have also been reports of people’s luggage being taken while sleeping on the train.
In comparison to other European nations, Hungary is relatively calm at night, and tourist crime is confined to pickpocketing, pricing and bill scamming, and taxi charges.
Everyone must have their passport and ID card with them. Failure to do so resulted in a run-in with the cops. A color copy of your passport is usually accepted by the police.
Although the police force is competent and well-trained, the majority of officers do not speak English.
More detailed and useful information on typical street scams and tourist traps in Hungary may be found in the Budapest travel guide.
The majority of Hungarians drive recklessly, with 739 people killed on the highways in 2010. This is mainly attributable to inattentive driving. Many drivers do not adhere to speed restrictions, so be especially cautious on two-way highways where local drivers pass each other often and provide for less space than you are used to.
For babies, car seats are needed. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to ride in the front seat. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt. On a red signal, you cannot turn right. For traffic infractions, the police issue tickets and penalties on the spot. In reality, the laws are often disregarded.
In addition, Hungarian regulations maintain a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving, with a hefty punishment as a result. It implies that no alcoholic beverage may be taken while driving, and no amount of blood alcohol is permissible. Failure to pay penalties may result in the confiscation of your passport or possibly a prison sentence until you pay the fee.
More significantly, police officers often stop cars for paperwork checks. When you’re stopped, don’t be concerned; it’s the law that everyone’s identity documents be examined.
Most individuals are engaged in a vehicle accident, Hungary has some of the toughest, if severe punishments. Involvement in a vehicle accident carries a fine as well as the possibility of a prison term ranging from one year to five years (depending on the aggravating circumstances).
Stay Healthy in Hungary
Even in isolated communities, food and water are usually safe.
When traveling outside of Budapest, private health care providers are of excellent quality, although their services are restricted. Dentistry is less expensive here than in Western Europe (8-10000 HUF for an appointment and x-ray) and physiotherapy is similarly less expensive (3000 HUF for a half-hour session), but verify with the provider before making an appointment. Outside of Budapest, you’ll probably have to explain your requirements in rudimentary Hungarian, since few physicians understand English or German.
In metropolitan regions, public health care is free for qualified (insured) individuals and of sufficient quality.
Because the nation joined the EU, EU citizens have basic coverage; nevertheless, verify before visiting the country to see how far you are covered and how much you will have to pay. Expect the local doctor to be unaware of EU regulations at this time; be prepared to give information.
EU nationals who want to get free treatment must provide their European Health Insurance Card.
Pharmacies may be found almost everywhere; anticipate high costs but comprehensive medication coverage. Unfortunately, the situation has obviously deteriorated since early 2010, with many pharmacies unable to maintain a sufficient supply of medications. Another issue may be speaking with the pharmacist, since the majority of them only speak Hungarian. Unexpectedly, some rusty Latin may be useful. For individuals from Eastern Europe, be aware that certain common medicines are unavailable owing to Hungary’s restricted or abandoned commerce with Romania (as of December 2006), thus be prepared to locate a replacement ahead of time.