As beautiful as the country is, there are too many unpleasant things to encounter here. Now that one can travel without most restrictions, Hungary is becoming flooded with tourists again. However, there are some things that Western governments warn their people about should they wish to travel to Hungary.
And no, these “warning lists” do not only contain restaurants and bars that overcharge. Aside from COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, tourists travelling to Hungary do not have much to worry about. Nonetheless, there are a few things to be aware of, as we can learn from the websites of the American, Canadian, British and Australian foreign ministry.
According to these websites,
This last point is especially saddening. The website of the USA Bureau of Consular Affairs writes:
“Ethnic nationalist groups have gained popularity in Hungary in the past years advocating intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and LGBTI+ persons. Although these groups do not engage in violence and are not explicitly anti-United States, you should avoid public demonstrations and confrontations with their members.”
As rtl.hu writes, Western tourists may be reassured by the fact that public safety in Hungary is considered good enough. However, foreign ministries warn visitors that theft is common, especially in crowded places popular with tourists.
According to a warning on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, there have been many reports of thefts on trains, especially those between Vienna and Budapest, and at railway stations.
It was underscored that the Keleti Railway Station and its immediate surroundings are a particularly dangerous place in this respect. The warning shows that thieves targeting foreign tourists are especially keen on metro lines M1 and M3, tram lines 2, 4 and 6, and the bus line 7, as well as American fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut.
In addition, all the above-mentioned countries draw attention to overcharging in restaurants and bars, where unsuspecting customers are issued with huge bills and even forced to pay them. They also warn tourists never to ask taxi drivers to recommend bars and restaurants.
A recurring element is the warning that travellers should never accept drinks from strangers, as they may contain drugs.
Source: rtl.hu, travel.state.gov, travel.gc.ca, smartraveller.gov.au, gov.uk