Health Issues & Public Safety

Medication, hospitals, emergency, ambulance, pharmacies, public toilets, safety tips.

Health Issues

Immunisation: not a requirement for entering Hungary. Persons diagnosed with an infectious disease are not permitted to enter the country.

Medication: Tourists are permitted to bring medication for personal use. Products containing narcotic substances can only enter with the special permission of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Medication prescribed abroad can be purchased in pharmacies at full market price. Only a limited selection of over-the-counter drugs are available in Hungary.

Emergency and ambulance services are free of charge in cases requiring immediate medical attention. All other medical treatment is regulated by international treaties.

Ambulance telephone no.: 104

Health insurance policies taken out abroad cover the cost of the first, and only the first treatment in Hungary. In all other cases, the cost of medical treatment must be settled at the rate set by the medical institution. The institution determines which credit cards are accepted for this purpose.
Budapest's pharmacies (gyógyszertár in Hungarian) are well stocked and can provide medicaments for most common ailments. Each of the 23 districts has an all-night pharmacy open every day, a sign on the door of any pharmacy will help you locate the closest one.
Public Toilets
Relatively few public toilets exist in Budapest, locals and tourists alike use the restrooms in cafés and restaurants. Quite often a small fee of 100 HUF is paid to an attendant after using the facilities.

Public safety

Just as anywhere around the world, tourists travelling in Hungary should follow certain basic rules: carry travel documents and valuables in a secure bag around your neck or belt pouch worn under your clothing and never leave any valuables in a parked car. Do not wear expensive jewellery in public and avoid the poorly lit, deserted parts of the city!

Carry only the minimum necessary amount of today most commercial units accept credit cards. When short of cash, use card operated ATM machines. (If you lose your credit card, immediately notify the issuing bank!)

Exchange your currency only at official exchange bureaus, travel agencies, official exchange offices or ATM machines - never change with street hawkers!

When travelling in a taxi, use officially registered taxi companies and, before starting out, make sure that the taxi is equipped with the driver's photo ID, and that the rate chart is displayed and the meter is on. At the end of the trip you must receive a receipt; if the driver fails to provide it, always call one!

Only uniformed police and immigration officers with proper identification are entitled to check your identity or to ask for your ID.

In places of entertainment always ask for a menu with a price list before making an order! In Hungary, a service charge is not customarily part of the bill. It can only be added to the bill if it is explicitly stated on the menu. The business is required to issue a receipt for all costs and services printed by a cash register; the waiter's hand-written bill is not accepted as proof of purchase. Especially male visitors should beware of women with often excellent language skills, who have themselves invited to entertainment spots and run up bills at visitor's expense.