Currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint. If you are planning a trip to Hungary, read on. You will discover a lot of interesting information: the exchange rate, where to exchange money, everything about card payments. There will be plenty of tips (how can it be without them) and life hacks that will save you not only time but even money.

Currency in Hungary: exchange rate, general information, prices

Key points:

  • The currency in Hungary is the Forint.
  • Both banknotes and coins are in circulation today:
    • Banknotes in Hungary: 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000
    • Hungarian coins are also Forints, as there are no coins worth less than 5 Forints. When there were pennies, they were called “fillers,” but they have long been withdrawn from circulation. Coins in circulation: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Forints.
  • The exchange rate of the Forint to the Euro at the end of 2023 is 1 Euro = 380 Forints.

It’s important to understand that

since 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hungary has been experiencing very high inflation. Prices and the exchange rate increase by 15% annually. I update it a couple of times a year in the article, but still, keep this in mind. The government promises to bring inflation back to 5% only in 2026.
currency in hungary
The currency in Hungary is the Forint. Here is how the banknotes and coins look today. The photo is missing the 5,000 Forint banknote and the 10 Forint coin.
coins in hungary
This is the reverse side of the money. Please note that there are no coins worth less than 5 Forints. All prices are rounded to the nearest 5 Forints.

Tourists often believe that Hungary is an inexpensive country. But, in reality, everything is quite expensive here. More expensive, for example, than in Italy or Portugal. This applies to both grocery shopping and the prices at cafes/restaurants, as well as entrance fees to attractions. Everything about prices in Hungary, in all categories of goods and services that are of interest to tourists.

And if you compare prices in Budapest with Warsaw or Tirana, then Warsaw is a budget-friendly city 🙂

Everything about Currency Exchange in Hungary

I’m often asked: “What currency should I take to Hungary for a vacation?” In reality, you can exchange dollars, francs, and even yuan here. However, it’s best to bring euros.

It’s important to know:

Hungary is part of the European Union but is not yet part of the Eurozone. If you thought they were the same, they’re not; they are different unions. Once Hungary joins the Eurozone, the national currency will become the euro, but for now, it’s the Forint. According to the plan, Hungary is expected to transition to the euro between 2025 and 2030, but the exact date has not been set.

Despite the presence of banks in Hungary, it’s best to exchange any currency at private exchange offices. They are everywhere, and their rates are much better than those at any bank, often by a significant margin. However, there are some nuances and intricacies:

currency exchange in budapest
Exchange offices look like this, and you can find them in every city. In the center of Budapest, they are abundant.
  • Exchanging currency with private individuals in such exchange offices, as shown in the photo above, is safe. Just avoid exchanging money with unknown persons on the streets. You can read more about safety in Budapest and Hungary for tourists.
  • Most exchange offices cater to tourists and aim to keep a larger portion of your money.
  • Exchange rates usually drop over the weekends when many tourists arrive for a short stay. Therefore, it’s better to exchange currency on weekdays.
  • Avoid exchanging currency at Budapest Airport; their rates are exorbitant. Learn more about Hungarian airports, how to get to Budapest by bus, and more.

Very important:

There is a commission for currency exchange in Hungary, but it varies, and this area is not regulated by the government. Exchange offices can set their own rates and commissions. Be attentive and read all the information beforehand.

Sometimes, the exchange rate may appear favorable, but the commission makes it unattractive. It is designed for tourists who are unaware and choose an exchange office based solely on the outward appearance of a good rate.


  • A low commission is considered to be within the range of 0.3% to 0.7% of the exchange amount. Finding something below 0.7% in Budapest is quite challenging. Generally, the farther you are from Budapest, the lower the commissions tend to be.
  • A high commission is anything above 1%. Some exchange offices may charge a fixed fee for the exchange. For instance, at one exchange office, they wanted to charge 13 euros for exchanging 400 euros. This amounts to over 3% of the total sum, and to make matters worse, it’s where tourists typically exchange their money.
commission for currency exchange in hungary
Here’s an example of an exorbitant commission when exchanging currency in Hungary. For instance, if you wish to exchange 400 euros at the current rate, it would be approximately 150,000 Forints. This means the commission would be a staggering 4,500 Forints or nearly 13 euros (as shown in the penultimate line). Such exchange offices should be avoided.

Just be cautious; first find out the commission rate, and then exchange your currency in Hungary. There are many exchange offices, especially in Budapest.

Where to Exchange Currency in Budapest

Today, in Hungary, the best exchange rates and lowest commissions are offered by a large network of exchange offices called CorrectChange. Even the locals exchange their currency here in Hungary. These exchange offices can be found not only in Budapest but also in other major cities.

  • Official Website:
  • There, you will also find a map of their entire network throughout the country. In Budapest alone, they have more than 10 exchange offices, and there is one at the main market.
  • Usually, the commission for currency exchange is not more than 0.7% of the total amount. For example, when we exchanged euros in the city of Pécs with them, the commission was as low as 0.3%, although the exchange rate was slightly less favorable.
  • In Hungarian, “currency exchange” is written as “VALUTAVALTO.” If you want to know more about the Hungarian language and how to survive as a tourist in Hungary without knowing the language, you can find a lot of useful information at the provided link.
best currency exchange in budapest
Some of the best currency exchange rates in Hungary can be found at the CorrectChange network of exchange offices, which are present in many cities throughout the country. They all look quite similar.

Paying with Cards in Hungary

Today, Hungary is a fully-fledged European nation, and you can use your card for payments almost anywhere. With a strong desire, you might not even need cash, but it’s always wise to have some on hand.

You can definitely use your card for:

Here’s when it’s better to have cash Forints:

  • Taxis.
  • Markets.
  • Accommodation payments, especially if you’re renting apartments from local residents. If you’re staying in a hotel, you can usually pay by card.
  • While some restaurants or cafes might prefer cash, their number is dwindling. Card payments are accepted virtually everywhere.

Helpful to know:

As mentioned earlier, Hungary is already partially in the Eurozone. If you haven’t had a chance to exchange Euros for Forints, don’t worry—many places are already set up to accept Euro payments.

In Hungary, you can pay in Euros for accommodation, tours, bills at select restaurants, and even some large grocery store chains. Just make sure to inquire in advance. It’s not always available everywhere, and the exchange rate may not always be favorable, but if you have no other option, why not?

payment with euro in hungary
In the SPAR supermarket, for instance, you can even pay in cash Euros. An informational sign like the one pictured hangs above each checkout. They will convert the entire amount at a rate of 360 Forints to 1 Euro, while the exchange rate at the time this photo was taken was 380 Forints. Clearly, it’s not an advantageous rate, but if you need groceries and haven’t exchanged money yet, it’s an option.

Travel tips

Now, let’s sum up the most important tips that will assist you in your travels through Hungary and may even save you some money:

  • Carry cash Euros or a card with you when traveling. Withdrawing cash from your card comes with additional fees and currency conversion costs, so keep that in mind. It’s best to clarify this with your bank in advance, before traveling to Hungary.
  • Exchange money at the Valutavalto private exchange offices; it’s a safe option.
  • Exchange rates and commissions vary, so visit multiple exchange offices to find the best conditions. The difference can sometimes be significant, especially if you need to exchange over 500-1000 Euros.
  • In addition to CorrectChange, there are other exchange offices with good rates and low commissions, but these are simply the largest and most well-known.
  • You can pay in Euros at many places, even in some grocery stores. Just check in advance before making a purchase. While the official currency in Hungary is the Forint, the country is swiftly moving toward the Eurozone.
  • And remember: Hungary is not as inexpensive as it was ten years ago. Over the past five years, the cost of living has increased significantly, and inflation shows no sign of slowing down. Make sure to budget your trip accurately to avoid any financial constraints.
euro forint exchange rate
For example, you can purchase tickets for any form of transportation from machines like the one pictured. They accept coins, banknotes, cards, and even mobile payments, providing change as well. As mentioned earlier, if you’re transiting through Budapest for just a day, you might not even need to exchange money if you have a bank card.

In conclusion, I hope your questions about currency in Hungary, what to bring, and how to exchange money for Forints have been answered. There are absolutely no complications involved, especially when you’re aware of all the nuances.

IMPORTANT: Below are useful links that will help organize your trip to Hungary and Budapest:

  • Flight: Aviasales – compares prices for flights among 30+ airlines flying to Budapest.
  • Tours and excursions:
    • Viator and GetYourGuide – the best services for finding tours in Budapest and Hungary with the largest database of activities in Hungary. They offer river cruises on the Danube, tickets to baths, and 1000+ tours (available in different languages).
  • Accommodation, apartments, hotels, hostels:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Hungary
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – the leading and largest car rental service in Hungary.
  • Travel Insurance: EKTA.
  • eSIMAiralo virtual SIM card in Hungary.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel