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Safety tips against scams in Budapest

Safety should always be kept in mind, when you travel to different countries. Although generally Budapest is a safe city, you just have to be in guard for little scams here and there.

Here are the important safety tips:

  1. Dont get ripped off by taxi drivers. Always you have to either call a taxi or hire a taxi at the airport counter. Dont wave and hire. Always ask for receipt and learn to use public transport. Take the bus 200E from airport get down at Kobanya Kispest (metro3). From there direct to Deak ferenc ter (city center) by metro 3. No need to hire taxi which usually charges you about 6000 HUF (22 euros). Read the instructions below and this i found at budapest airport.
  1. Be careful which restaurants (especially on vaci street), pubs, night clubs and bars you step in. Sometimes there are news that you are given 4x times huge bill, if you are not careful. Be sure to read this: http://hungary.usembassy.gov/tourist_advisory.html
  1. Hungary does not use euros, so the currency is Hungarian Forints. Always remember that 1 EUR = 300 forints maximum (currently 280) and 1 USD = 220 forints and it cant be more than this. Put 100 USD to HUF in Google to know the exact currency value.

Do not exchange currency on streets and if somebody approaches you giving you good exchange rates, dont fall into them. It might be a scam and possibly they will hand you fake notes.

Paying in euros to taxis and shops or in souvenir shops is a bad idea and always shopkeepers and taxi drivers will give you very low exchange rate and you will lose money. When you arrive in Hungary, always carry forints everywhere. Keep an eye out for currency exchange shops on Vaci ut and Deak ferenc ter who will exchange currency at very low rates. Banks are the safest places to exchange currency, but they give worst exchange rates.

  1. Fake police is sometimes a menace in Hungary, who have been targeting asians and americans. When you wander around streets alone, dont help strangers asking for directions with a map. Usually fake police approach you in plain clothes, will show you ID and wants to check your wallets. Dont show them and never let them know how much money you have. Always ask for their badge again and ask why they are not in uniform?
  1. Be wary of pick pockets and always put your wallets and important documents on your front pocket.
  1. Never leave your bags unattended.
  1. If you pay by credit card in a restaurant or cafe, never let the card out of sight.
  1. Some people will attempt to sell iphones on street on vaci street or near market hall. Ignore them.