Hungarian currency, forint (HUF)
The money used in Hungary, the forint.

Hungarian currency, Hungarian Forint (HUF chart) and it’s exchange rate, where to buy Hungarian forint, HUF to GBP and other good to know facts

If you are coming to Budapest, you cannot avoid having some Hungarian currency (Forint, HUF) in your wallet.


Have you ever wondered what money is used in Budapest? If you are planning a trip to the capital of Hungary, Budapest, you will definitely meet our currency, the so-called Hungarian forint .  There are still a lot of shops and places in Budapest that do not take credit cards and you can only pay in cash. How much do you need? What should you watch out for when it comes to HUF? We have collected all the details that you should know about the money of Hungary and about paying in HUF. 

Payment methods in Budapest: In Budapest and all over Hungary, the official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Although some places may accept Euros, we recommend being cautious, as unfavorable exchange rates could mean you pay more than you’d like. An item’s price could be listed like this (using Forint, Ft, and HUF):

  • 100 Forint
  • 100 Ft
  • 100 Huf

Exchange rate – Three golden rules of the Hungarian forint

  1. If possible, exchange small denominations so you always have smaller bills handy.
  2. Aim to use smaller denominations for cash transactions.
  3. Always check the official exchange rate, such as on the website, to avoid high exchange fees. If the rate you’re offered differs significantly, be wary!
USD – HUF rate
USD – HUF rate

Where can you buy Hungarian forint?

Currency information: places to exchange Hungarian currency

Many arrive in Budapest having already exchanged for Hungarian Forint. While it seems safe, exchanging money outside Hungary can be more expensive; it’s advised to only exchange a small amount.

At the airport and train stations: While convenient, the rates here are usually not favorable. Only exchange small amounts.

In banks: This is the safest option, though not always offering the best rates.

Withdrawing from ATMs: Use ATMs from reputable banks, like “OTP” which has a green square logo. ATMs may offer to exchange at your home bank’s rate or the local bank’s rate. Trying both can be beneficial, but local bank conditions often provide better exchange rates. 

You can also find currency converter programs online, which are definitely worth checking out. Hungarian forint exchange rate fluctuates – so it’s worth keeping an eye on its trend.


Avoid non-bank ATMs, especially those dispensing Euros, as the exchange rate can be very poor.

Do not withdraw Euros to then convert to Forint!

Using ATMs from major banks (e.g., OTP) usually offers more favorable conditions.

Hungarian currency exchanges: Typically offer the best rates. Keep your receipt for any potential claims. Before exchanging money, compare rates at two or three places. First, check the exchange rate offered, then any transaction fees, as high handling costs can negate a good rate.

Is Budapest cash only? Should I carry cash in Budapest?

Bank cards are widely accepted in Budapest, making it unnecessary to carry large amounts of cash. It’s convenient and safe for transactions, but it’s always good to have some cash for smaller expenses, tips, or in places that only accept cash. If you wish to tip for a service, it’s usually done in cash. No one will be offended if you tip in Euros or Dollars.

How much is $1 or $100 worth in Budapest?

One US dollar is approximately worth 350-360 Hungarian Forints. With this, you can buy a 1.5-liter bottle of mineral water and still have about 150 HUF left.

One hundred US dollars are about 36,000 Hungarian Forints (HUF), which is considered a significant amount of money in Budapest. With this amount, a family of four can easily have lunch in a restaurant. For this amount of money, one would need to work 24 hours, or three days, at McDonald’s in Budapest.

How much is 1 Eur or 100 Eur in Budapest?

One Euro is approximately worth 385 Hungarian Forints (HUF), with which you can buy two 1.5-liter bottles of mineral water. For one hundred Euros in Forints, one would need to work 26 hours at McDonald’s in Budapest, which is more than three days.

HUF to GBP – how much is 1 GBP in Budapest?

Converting Hungarian forints to British pounds is a common financial transaction for travelers and investors, utilizing the exchange rate to determine the value of transactions in terms of British pound sterling. The current exchange rate is such that 1 Hungarian forint equals 0.0022 British pounds, making it crucial for those dealing in HUF to GBP conversions to stay updated on the fluctuating currency values. Understanding the Hungarian forints exchange rate against the British pound sterling can help in making informed decisions when exchanging money or conducting business between Hungary and the United Kingdom.

How much money do you need for 3 days in Budapest?

The cost of visiting Budapest can greatly depend on a tourist’s habits. I believe that if the accommodation has already been paid for (for example, an apartment for four people might cost around 100 EUR, as well as a hotel room for two), it’s still worth looking around for accommodation options. Remember, during peak seasons such as summer, New Year’s, Easter, or during a Formula 1 race, prices can be up to 50% higher.

Daily spending of 40-80 euros, which is up to 30,000 HUF, can be quite sufficient for a tourist. For this amount, one would have to work two to three days in a Hungarian fast-food restaurant.

For an average tourist, 80 EUR per day enables exploring the city’s beauties without having to worry about finances.

Simplified conversion rates for common expenses (Hungarian forint exchange rate)

  • A public transport ticket costs 450 HUF (approx. 1.17 EUR).
  • A monthly pass costs 9000 HUF (approx. 23.38 EUR).
  • One hour of parking costs 550 HUF (approx. 1.43 EUR).
  • Taxi base fare is 1100 HUF (approx. 2.86 EUR), plus 440 HUF per kilometer and waiting fee of 110 HUF per minute.

Food and drink prices in Budapest – Hungarian forint stats

  • 1.5 liters of mineral water: 150-200 HUF (approx. 0.39-0.52 EUR).
  • A meal for two in a fast-food restaurant: around 5000 HUF (approx. 13 EUR).
  • A pizza (32cm) costs 2500 HUF (approx. 6.49 EUR), a slice of pizza: 500-800 HUF (approx. 1.30-2.08 EUR).
  • A beer (0.5 liter) in a pub: 1200 HUF (approx. 3.12 EUR), canned beer in a shop: 300 HUF (approx. 0.78 EUR).
  • A bottle of wine: 1500-20000 HUF (approx. 3.90-51.95 EUR).
  • A gyro: 1500 HUF (approx. 3.90 EUR), a gyro plate: 2500 HUF (approx. 6.49 EUR).

How much to tip in Budapest?

Simple Tips for Visitors Tipping in Budapest is a personal gesture that expresses satisfaction with the service. Generally, it’s customary to leave a 10% tip, but it’s not obligatory. If you were pleased with the service and wish to show appreciation, a 10% tip is a perfect way to do so. However, if the service didn’t meet your expectations, it’s perfectly fine not to leave a tip. Try to avoid giving coins as tips when possible, as it’s considered less elegant. Having smaller denomination bills, whether in Forints, Euros, or Dollars, can help avoid awkward situations.


Some restaurants might include a service charge, which can range from 10-20%. This charge essentially could replace a tip. If your bill includes a “service charge,” consider whether you should leave an additional tip.

Where is tipping most common?

  • Restaurants are the top places where the aforementioned guidelines apply.
  • In the nightlife scene, such as bars and pubs, it’s common to tip more generously, especially when paying with cash. Tipping with a card is less common.
  • When paying in cash, aim to round up the total to a neat sum within reasonable limits, respecting the 10% guideline. For example, for a drink costing 1720 HUF, you could give 2000 HUF and indicate you don’t need change, or specify the change you’d like back if paying with a larger bill.

Cash Usage in Budapest While bank card payments are widely accepted in Budapest, and many prefer this method, there are situations where having cash is practical. Some smaller shops, markets, or certain points in public transportation may require cash. Tips are usually given in cash, especially for personal services. Always carry some cash, preferably in smaller denominations, to easily pay or tip.

History of the money in Hungary in a nutshell

1 HUF coin from 1946
1 HUF coin from 1946

The first forint was introduced after the II. World War in 1946. It was a gold-based currency. The name of the currency of Hungary that is “the forint” is originated from the city of Florence, where gold coins called fiorino d’oro were minted from 1252. The original value of 1 forint was: 0,0757575 grammes of gold. The value, the use and the design of forint have changed since then, but it is still the official currency in Hungary. Although Hungary is part of the EU, the euro has not been adopted yet. 

Good to know

The smallest value of the money of Hungary is the 5 forint coin and the highest is the 20 000 Ft. banknote.
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Ft.
Banknotes: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000 Ft.

Useful tips & tricks

  • Always have some forint in your wallet because you never know when you might need it. 
  • The biggest note is 20 000 HUF (~55 euros), should you use an ATM to have your HUF, be careful when you break it.
    • smaller or less busy shops are very unhappy about taking a 20 000 huf banknote, have some change and smaller notes ready as well. 
    • when you change money in money exchange shops, ask for smaller banknotes too.
  • Should you receive a banknote that is not valid anymore, go to the nearest bank, where they will replace it for you.
  • Never take a torn or missing banknote, because they will not be accepted and they are not valid. If you receive one, take them to the nearest bank, where they will be replaced.
  • If you have a car and you will be parking in Budapest, you will need coins to feed the parking meter.  If you are staying in the city center, it is more likely that you will have to pay a parking fee.
  • Vending machines accept only coins too.

Forint coins: take forint home as a souvenir

There are some unique coins, like the “50 forint coin series”, that has got different designs on the backside. If you check your change in your purse, you might find a special one that commemorates an important sports event, a historical event or just something that matters in Hungary. A new design is being minted every year. 2 million pieces of each are being produced. If you are vigilant enough you might find one, and if you do so, hold on to it and put it in your wallet as a lucky coin.
What designs you can find:
For example: 

  • 2019 FIE World Fencing Championship,
  • 2018 The Wrestling World Championship,
  • 2017 Year Of Families and so on.
50 forint coin made on the occasion of the 2019 World Fencing Championships
50 forint coin made on the occasion of the 2019 World Fencing Championships

Make your own souvenir

souvenir coin press in Hungary
souvenir coin press in Hungary

There are some typical “Hungarian money pressing machines” at popular sights in Budapest where you can have a selected picture pressed on your coin. You just need to insert your coin, turn the wheel and off you go. You will have a flattened and re-printed 20 or 50 forint coin as a nice memory about Budapest.

Hungarian forints

It is always very exciting to get familiar with the currency of a foreign country. Their unique money makes them even more special and it is so much fun to work out which money is worth what. Do not get embarrassed if you need to rummage in your purse to find the perfect amount. Take a deep breath, smile at the cashier lady and you will be fine. Check out the grocery shops where you can do food shopping to spend your last coins left.

What’s the currency in Budapest – summary of the Hungarian currency

So answering the questions, what currency Budapest uses or what is Budapest money, the answer has been revealed from the above article: the main currency in Hungary is Forint. If you travel to Budapest, currency must be in your wallet, since some shops can not handle bank card payment

How much is $100 in Budapest?
One hundred US dollars are about 36,000 Hungarian Forints (HUF), which is considered a significant amount of money in Budapest. With this amount, a family of four can easily have lunch in a restaurant. For this amount of money, one would need to work 24 hours, or three days, at McDonald’s in Budapest.
Is it OK to use euro in Hungary?
No! You can pay only with HUF (Forint, Ft)
How much is a meal in Budapest?
A pizza (32cm) costs 2500 HUF (approx. 6.49 EUR), a slice of pizza: 500-800 HUF (approx. 1.30-2.08 EUR).

More interesting and useful tips

Parking Budapest – check out our article on this topic to avoid fines and find the best parking spots, even for free.

Your experience is important.
Anything you have not found?

Ask a Question

    Please log in to write a review.

    There is no review yet.