For those tourists who are in the early stages of planning their trip, I’ll address the main questions right away. Citizens of the European Union (EU), the Schengen Area, and a few other countries do not require a visa to visit Hungary. However, others do need one. Next, I will provide detailed information about the complexities, specific details, and upcoming changes.

Visa Rules in Hungary

Hungary is part of the European Union and the Schengen Area, which means it follows the same visa rules as other countries in the Schengen passport-free zone. If you’re a citizen of a Schengen country, you can visit Hungary without a visa using your National ID card for any reason and as long as you want.

Visa to visit Hungary
Schengen countries on the map

For citizens from non-Schengen countries who can enter Hungary without a visa, they need a valid passport and can stay in Hungary for up to 90 days for tourism, transit, or business purposes.

However, starting in 2025,

they’ll need to meet an extra requirement when the ETIAS visa waiver is introduced to enhance the security of the Schengen Area’s borders. This online authorization will allow multiple short visits for up to 3 years once approved.

If you’re not exempt from a visa for Hungary, you must apply for a Schengen visa at a Hungarian embassy or consulate, regardless of your intended stay’s duration or purpose. These visas can be for tourism, work, study, residency, or other specific purposes. You can find more details on the various types of visas for Hungary below.

Tourist Visa for Hungary

Currently, Hungary’s policy allows over 90 countries to visit for tourism without needing a visa.

If you’re from a Schengen Area country, you can enter Hungary for tourism with just your National ID card and stay as long as you like.

Other travelers who don’t need a visa for tourism must have a valid passport and can stay in Hungary for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

About 150 countries worldwide require a tourist visa to visit Hungary, known as a Schengen tourist visa. To get one, you need to schedule an appointment at a Hungarian embassy or consulate well before your travel date to allow enough time for visa processing.

To qualify for an embassy tourist visa, you need a passport from an eligible country with at least 3 months of validity from your intended arrival date in Hungary. You may also need to provide extra documents based on your nationality.

hungary visa requirements
Countries on the world map whose citizens do or do not need a visa to Hungary

Useful article – Accommodation in Hungary: features, what it is like, what a tourist can expect.

Below, you can find more details about the visa requirements for your specific nationality.

Visa to visit Hungary: NOT required

Hungary’s current visa policy allows over 90 nationalities to enter without a visa. This includes citizens of Schengen Area countries who can freely visit Hungary without any time limit, using just their ID card at the border.

For non-Schengen travelers, it’s slightly different. They can also visit without a visa but need a valid passport and can stay for up to 90 days.

If you plan to visit Hungary and the Schengen Area for other reasons or a longer stay, you’ll have to apply for the appropriate visa type at the nearest Hungarian consulate or embassy.

how to get visa for hungary
A list of nationalities that don’t require a visa to visit Hungary.

Hungary Embassy or Consular Visa Required

Visa rules in Hungary require about 150 nationalities to get a Schengen visa to visit, no matter the length of their stay or purpose.

You’ll need to apply for this at a Hungarian embassy or consulate since Hungary doesn’t offer eVisas or visas on arrival.

To apply for a Schengen visa for Hungary, you’ll need to make an appointment at the nearest Hungarian diplomatic office well ahead of your travel dates. The process can take several weeks.

During the appointment, you’ll need to complete a Schengen visa application form specifying the purpose of your trip, whether it’s tourism, business, transit, study, work, or residency. You’ll also need to present a valid passport and pay an embassy processing fee.

Once approved, your Hungarian Schengen visa may be issued as a single or multiple entry document, depending on your travel purpose.

Check the list below to see if your nationality requires a Hungarian embassy visa to travel to Hungary.

do i need visa for hungary

What is ETIAS

While currently, more than 90 countries can visit Hungary for short stays without a visa, things will change by 2025. Over 60 of these nationalities will need an ETIAS visa waiver.

Getting this electronic travel authorization will be a must for non-Schengen travelers to Hungary to boost security across the Schengen countries.

Once you have an approved ETIAS, you can travel to Hungary and all Schengen countries for tourism, business, transit, or medical treatment. You can stay up to 90 days with each entry within a 180-day period.

To apply, eligible citizens will need to fill out a straightforward ETIAS Hungary application online with personal and passport info, along with basic travel details. You’ll also have to answer a few security questions and pay an ETIAS fee.

Once approved, the ETIAS will be electronically linked to your passport and valid for 3 years or until your passport expires.

Travel Tips

The Most Important Advice:

If you’re planning a summer trip to the Schengen Area, it’s crucial to start the visa process in December. By May, it’ll be nearly impossible to secure an appointment at any visa office, as all dates will be fully booked until the autumn. Everyone wants to visit Europe during the summer, and they tend to start the process at the last minute.

Interesting Facts and Special Features about Hungary for Tourists. This information is valuable for those who are still in the planning stages of their journey.

In conclusion, a Schengen visa for Hungary is required. And if you are a citizen of the European Union or a Schengen Zone country, then it is not required.

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