Is Hungary Safe?
Hungary is definitely a safe country. Pickpocketing or any other type of street crime is very rare. Still there are two things worth keeping an eye on while in the country; exchanging currencies and taxi fares.
The Hungarian forint is Hungary’s official currency. If you need cash, then most money-changers can handle the world’s most widespread currencies (the American dollar, the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar, the Euro, the Japanese yen, etc.), but there can be huge differences between the exchange rates they use. We always recommend to our clients not to change their money at the airport, because the money-changer there uses such irrational exchange rates, that are maddeningly above the current rate.
Also, one must make sure that they do not change money via someone who just approaches you on the street. Still, if one does, then do make sure that you do actually get forints in exchange. Unfortunately, it does occur, that these illegal changers offer very good exchange rates, but in turn give you money in a third country’s worthless currency.
Next to money-changing, another potential danger can be taxis. In Hungary it is not custom to wave for a taxi. But if one does, then make sure that the car is actually part of a taxi company, for example by checking whether there is a logo on its side. If the car is not an official taxi, then unfortunately they will probably give a bill costing multiples of an official taxi’s rate. Although this situation has improved a lot lately, sadly one still hears stories like this. Even at the airport it is better not to accept a driver’s offer, who are often very pushy. If we order a taxi at the official taxi desk, then everything will be fine for sure.