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Tips on Avoiding Budapest Tourist Traps

Budapest Tourist Traps

The iconic city of Budapest along the storied Danube river is a city not to be missed for its charm, history, and culture. But, as with any large city with large amounts of tourists coming through each year, there are some tourist traps to avoid and some things to be aware of in general. As far as most large cities go, Budapest is actually as safe as London or New York, and in most cases simply keeping an eye out for overcharges is enough to let you enjoy your stay problem-free.

Money Exchange

As with transit stations everywhere, expect the exchange rates at the train and bus stations and airport to be bad. If you absolutely need to exchange the moment you get into the country, exchange only enough to get you where you are going and then hunt down a better rate later. The InterChange exchange kiosks tend to be the worst even though they look quite official.

Public Transport Fines

The Budapest transport police take their jobs very seriously. They check tickets rigorously and are not afraid to hand out significant fines even for first offenses. You will see people getting on public transportation without any ticket at all, and that is because for many citizens it is free. A rule also grants free rides to citizens of the EU, EEA Member States, or Switzerland who are over 65 years old. Fortunately, public transportation costs are very reasonable, so just taking the time to purchase a ticket can save you a lot of hassle and fines.


In Eastern Europe it is often kind of difficult to assess what a reasonable price for a taxi ride might be. If you hail a taxi off the street and don’t negotiate a price or talk to the diver about the destination first, expect to feel a bit cheated when you are told the cost, that is just the way it is. If you can order a taxi ahead of time you can often get a lower and more reasonable price.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tourist traps in Budapest.

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