Hungary - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs

Business customs are like those in the United States and Western Europe.  Typical Hungarian business attire is a suit. Hungarians consider a personal relationship the basis of a business connection.  Business lunches, receptions, and dinners are common.  First introductions are often more formal than among Americans.  Hungarians usually introduce themselves starting first with their family name, followed by their given name.  For example: SMITH John.  Business cards follow this convention.  Hungarian business partners appreciate even small efforts in learning basic greetings in Hungarian.  Around the Christmas holidays, Hungarian businessmen may exchange symbolic gifts generally worth less than USD 10.

Travel Advisory

The U.S. Department of State has not issued any travel advisories for Hungary which is generally a safe country.  Nevertheless, visitors are advised to guard personal belongings.  Current information on travel and living in Hungary and descriptions of typical tourist scams including establishments to avoid can be viewed on the U.S. Embassy Budapest Consular Section – U.S. Citizen Service – webpage.

Visa Requirements

U.S. citizens traveling to Hungary do not require visas.  Those intending to stay for longer than 90 days will require residency permits.  With certain exceptions, Americans must obtain both work and residence permits if they are employed in Hungary. 

Any company in Hungary (even if foreign owned) employing foreigners must apply for work permits for these employees, a process which takes 60-75 days.  The Hungarian Government makes an exception for managing directors of registered, foreign-owned companies.  After employees obtain a work permit, they must apply for a work visa in-person at a Hungarian embassy or consulate in their home country.  The Government of Hungary generally issues visas for one year. Stricter fraud-prevention measures imposed in recent years have made this process increasingly cumbersome.  Consultancy companies offer to obtain work permits and renewals for companies in Hungary.  U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security issues are handled via an interagency process.

Visa applicants should go to the following links:

State Department Visa Website

Consular Section, U.S. Embassy Budapest


The currency of Hungary is the Forint.  On November 30, 2023, 1 USD converted to HUF 350 (please check the Internet for the most current exchange rate).


Telephone services, including long-distance phone calls, are reliable in Hungary.  Budapest is served by three major cellular phone providers, T-Mobile, Yettel,Vodafone and another three or four smaller ones. Hungary also has several Internet service providers: T-Home, Digi, Vodafone, and Invitel.  Free hotspots or paid WiFi are available at most hotels, restaurants and even in many public places.


Hungary has a well-developed transportation infrastructure which allows for speedy domestic travel.  Railway lines crisscross the country and connect most cities. The “Inter-City” line provides first class express service to bigger cities.  However, due to track maintenance issues, the aging of vehicles and labor shortages, scheduled travel times rarely can be met, and certain service lines may be temporarily suspended.  Timetables can be checked and reservation for rail lines can be made on MAV Start

Hungary’s highways are generally in good condition, with five major express toll highways connecting Budapest with the neighboring countries of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Ukraine and motorways extending to Slovakia and Romania.  The total length of highways in Hungary is more than 1,770 kilometers (close to 1,000 miles).

Budapest is served by an efficient public transportation system based on four subway lines and supplemented by a comprehensive bus and tram system.  Taxis are also readily available.  It is advisable to phone for a taxi from one of Budapest’s major companies, rather than hailing one off the street, as it helps to ensure the appropriate fare.  Uber is not available in Hungary, but a similar service provider, Bolt exists.  Taxis in Budapest have a fixed tariff of 450 HUF/Km (USD 1.25/Km) in addition to the one-off basic fee of HUF 1100 (USD 3.10) and waiting fee of 110 HUF/min (USD 0.3/min).  A ride from the airport to the city center should typically cost around HUF 15,000 (USD 43) depending on traffic conditions.  The Airport Shuttle offers reliable service and costs around USD 35.  Direct shuttle buses between the hotel quarter and the airport are also available for travelers.


English is regularly used for business in Hungary, especially among multinational firms. However, Hungary’s smaller and state-owned firms may have managers who speak limited English.  In this case, an interpreter may be used for meetings, though it is wise to discuss this in advance.  German is the second most common foreign language.


Hungary enjoys a good standard of health and a low frequency of diseases under normal conditions, Hungarian law requires no vaccinations for Americans to visit or live in Hungary.  Due to many U.S. medical insurance policies not covering expenses incurred abroad, it is advisable to purchase overseas coverage before traveling to Hungary.  Please note that Medicare benefits are not payable for services rendered outside the United States. Hungarian doctors and hospitals generally require pre-payment upon completion of services rendered.  In modern private hospitals and health clinics bank cards are accepted.

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Local time: GMT + 01:00 or 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.  Normal business hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Businesses and government offices often close in the early afternoon on Friday. Limited business is done in the summer months i.e. July and August.  Most businesses reopen after the local national holiday on August 20.  Some local/small retailers are closed on Sunday, but larger supermarkets and shopping malls are open between 10am-6pm on Sundays as well.

Hungary celebrates the following holidays in 2024:

New Year’s Day - January 1, 2024

Revolution Day - March 15, 2024

Good Friday – March 19, 2024

Easter Monday – April 1, 2024

Labor Day – May 1, 2024

Whit Monday – May 20, 2024

National Day - August 20, 2024

Republic Day - October 23, 2024

All Saints’ Day – November 1, 2024

Christmas Day - December 25, 2024

Christmas Day - December 26, 2024

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings

Duty-free status applies to personal belongings of visitors with permanent residency outside of Hungary.  This includes what visitors carry or send into Hungary and intend to use during their stay.  It also applies to personal belongings, except consumer durables, that permanent residents of Hungary take abroad for more than 24 hours but return.  Duty-free status can only be claimed once a day. Hungarian law requires materials that temporarily enter Hungary with the intention of being returned to the United States, such as exhibition goods, to be delivered with ATA Carnet documentation and preregistered with the Hungarian Customs Authorities.  Information and contact are available at the website of the Hungarian Customs and Finance Guard.

Department of State – International Travel

Visit Hungary

Budapest Travel Guide