Last updated: 21 Jun 2019



The small country of Hungary (Magyarország), surrounded by a sea of Slavs, is unique for its language, culture and ability to survive.

Spend hours wine tasting at the vineyards of the Szépasszony Valley, or soak away the stress in the large thermal lake at Hévíz near Lake Balaton. The soothing waters rarely drop below 33ºC.

Sunbathe on the popular sandy beaches (strands), or take a dip in the famously shallow waters of Lake Balaton. Go on a boat trip and explore the many towns that border the lake shore.

Follow the tourist trails in Kiskunság National Park which preserves parts of the Danube Tisza Floodplain of Central Hungary in seven disconnected areas. Learn about swamps, migratory birds, alkali plateaux and lakes in this biosphere reserve.
Capital:  Budapest (BUD)
Currency:  Hungarian Forint (HUF)
Language:  Hungarian (Magyar). German is also spoken. English is spoken in most tourist areas. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 36
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa) 
Public Holidays 2019: 

Jan 1; Mar 15; Apr 19, 21, 22; May 1; Jun 10; Aug 20; Oct 23; Nov 1; Dec 25, 26

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to Go: May to September
Best for: Thermal Baths, Medieval Architecture, Religious Sites, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are used
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Normal social conventions.
Travel Tips / Warnings: There have been reports of scams against tourists by restaurants and taxi’s, who charge exorbitant prices to foreigners – use hotel recommended restaurants and transport. Avoid political demonstrations. 
Duty Free: Hungary is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices.

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine and 110L of beer.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Hungary by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco (if arriving by air).
• 40 cigarettes or 20 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 50g of tobacco (if arriving by other means).
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €150 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Meat or milk products and potted or rooted plants from outside the EU. Pornography, drugs and unlicensed weapons.
Prohibited Exports: Raw meat or milk products, potted or rooted plants. You can must obtain a licence to export cultural goods which are more than 50 years old or have a commercial value of more than Ft50,000.

Issuing Authorities

The Embassy of Hungary
959 Arcadia Street, Arcadia 0083
P.O Box 13843, Hatfield, 0028
Tel: (012) 430-3030
Fax: (012) 430-3029

Hours: 1400-1600 Monday to Thursday - calls only
0900-1400 Mon/Tue/Thur/Fri - applications only

Every now and then the Hungarian Embassy organizes interviews in Cape Town - there are no set dates but the email address to query is: and the address is :
Visegrad House
2 Fleetwood Ave
Claremont (entrance on Torquay Avenue)


Visa Requirements

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Visa Cost

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SA Representative

S.A Embassy H-1026, Gardonyi Geza út 17, H-1026, Budapest, Hungary.
Tel: 0036 1 392 0999
Fax: 0036 1 200 7834 (consular)

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio