If you simply need to find out the current time in Hungary, just type this query into Google, and you’ll know instantly. But for those who seek more information about time zones, daylight saving time adjustments, the operating hours of eateries, shops, and public transportation, or even the punctuality of locals, read on.

General Information About Time in Hungary

In summary, here are the key points you need to know:

time in hungary
The European time zone map with an arrow indicating Hungary’s location.

It’s important to note that

Hungary switches between standard time and daylight saving time twice a year.
  • During the transition to standard time, clocks are set back by one hour at 3 am on the last Sunday of October.
    • In 2024, this will be on October 27.
    • In 2025, it will be on October 26.
  • During the transition to daylight saving time, clocks are set forward by one hour at 2 am on the last Sunday of March.
    • In 2024, this will be on March 31.
    • In 2025, it will be on March 30.

Operating Hours of Shops, Restaurants, Markets, and Public Transportation

In general, Hungary is a country for early birds. People here wake up early, and many establishments open and close early. Here are a few things you should know:

  • Various bakeries and pastry shops with fresh baked goods start their day at 4 am, or at the latest, 5 am. By this time, you can already find fresh and hot pastries.
  • Markets also open at 4:30 or 5 am, but most of them close by 3 pm.
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets: Many open at 7 am, some even at 6 am, but most close at 8 or 9 pm. There are chain stores that operate 24/7, but their product range is limited, and prices are higher.
what is time in hungary
Everything you need to know about the time in Hungary: in the photo, a typical market’s regular operating hours. After 2 pm, there’s not much left to do, but officially, they close at 6 pm.
  • Eateries, cafes, and restaurants usually open closer to lunchtime. Only coffee shops may be open in the morning. Many of them close at 8 or 9 pm, and only a few stay open until 1 am. In Budapest’s city center, you can find a full-fledged nightlife with pubs open until 4 am, but in other cities, this is quite rare. Some restaurants have one or two days off per week, often on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • The Budapest metro operates from 4:30 am until 11:45 pm, with the last train departing from some stations at 11:30 pm. There are night buses in the city, but you can find more information in the article on Budapest’s public transportation, including prices, buying tickets, and transfer tips. In other cities, public transportation is limited or even non-existent after 10 pm.

On the Punctuality of Locals

In short, Hungary doesn’t have any critical punctuality issues, as you might find in some other countries. If you set a meeting for a specific time, being an hour late is not the norm, and having your order take an hour and a half is not acceptable. Hungarians, in general, are punctual people. You can make appointments and conduct business with them.

Often, when traveling in the country, I inform the owners of my apartments in advance about my estimated arrival time, and I recommend you do the same. This is because, usually, if it’s not a hotel or a hostel with 24-hour reception or contactless check-in, the hosts live elsewhere and need to arrive to give you the keys. There can be occasional hiccups and delays, but typically within a 10-30 minute window.

  • I recommend an article about the peculiarities of accommodation in Hungary for tourists. You’ll learn about the types of accommodations and what to expect, as well as information about hotels with their thermal baths.

All public transportation, both within cities and across the country, operates according to a strict schedule, including buses and trains. Here, you can plan your route with precise timing. Delays are rare.

hungary daylight saving time
Operating hours of thermal baths in Budapest: from 7 am.
  • If you are still thinking about going to Hungary or not and are just making plans, then the article, why Hungary: pros and cons, will answer many questions.

To sum up everything said about time in Hungary, this country is for those who don’t like to sleep in. You can easily buy a fresh pastry at 5-6 am, and there’s a working store in your neighborhood at 7 am. You don’t even have to go to bed if you want to be at the local market’s opening!

And remember, in travel, time flows much more slowly!

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