Hungary is a provisional member of the EU and a member of the Schengen block, with travelers from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand able to enter visa-free for a 90-day visit within a period of 180 days. Nationals of EU and EFTA countries may enter visa-free to stay indefinitely. A list of those needing to apply for an entry visa can be found on the Hungarian government’s website, and applications should be made at the nearest Hungarian Embassy or Consulate.
Health and Safety
No specific vaccinations are required for a vacation in Hungary, although routine shots such as tetanus and measles should be kept up to date. If you’re traveling in remote, forested areas and are bitten by an animal or bat, a visit to hospital for a rabies vaccination or check is strongly advised. Occurrences of rabies in the country have declined dramatically, but it’s best to be sure.
Quality private healthcare is available at reasonable rates in Budapest, but non-EU and EFTA citizens should make sure their travel insurance covers medical expanses. Outside the capital, English may not be spoken by medical professionals and the standard of care may be lower. Health risks in Hungary are few, with food and water considered safe even in remote rural villages, and pharmacies can be found everywhere.
Hungary is considered a safe country for travelers, although petty crime is still a problem, as it is in most Western countries. Pickpockets operate on crowded public transportation networks and at popular tourist destinations with cash, passports and credit cards the major targets. Valuable items should be kept in your hotel’s safe before you set out for your evening entertainment, although it is a legal requirement here to carry your passport and ID card at all times. For visitors, a photocopy of your passport is acceptable so make a duplicate before you leave home. Hungarian law does not allow drinking and driving, and any level of alcohol in your bloodstream will result in heavy fines and a ruined vacation.