Last updated: 6 Jan 2022



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 2022: 

Jan 1; Mar 14-15; Apr 15, 18; May 1; Jun 6; Aug 20; Oct 23, 31; 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.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 08/09/2021

Most foreign passengers who are not residents or nationals of Hungary are not permitted to enter the country, unless they hold an EU digital Covid Certificate.

Entry restrictions          

  • Passengers must hold one of the following documents:
    • An EU digital Covid Certificate showing they have been vaccinated at least once in the last year with an EMA, WHO or Hungarian government approved vaccine;
    • An EU digital Covid Certificate showing a negative PCR test result obtained within 72 hours prior to entry;
    • Satisfactory proof that they have undergone Covid-19 infection within 6 months prior to arrival in Hungary;
    • A Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued by Hungary, Albania, Bahrain, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan; or
    • Passengers holding a negative Covid-19 PCR test issued in any EU, OECD or NATO state, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, or Uzbekistan. The test must be in Hungarian or English.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Nationals and permanent residents of Hungary, including their family members;
    • Passengers holding a residence permit issued by Hungary with a validity of more than 90 days (this includes holders of a type D visa or student visa), including their family members;
    • Passengers aged 17 years or younger travelling with another passenger holding an accepted EU digital Covid Certificate or vaccination certificate;
    • Passengers holding proof that they are registered to receive a Covid-19 vaccination in Hungary and that is the purpose for their visit. These passengers must present themselves at the vaccination site on the specified day, and they must leave Hungary within 24 hours;
    • Passengers holding a private passport or other travel document for the purpose of official visit, the purpose of which shall be proved with documents;
    • Transit passengers. Transit passengers may also be permitted to enter Hungary if they can certify the purpose and destination of their journey, they agree to a medical examination on arrival in Hungary and a negative result is received for Covid-19, and they can ensure their entry into a neighbouring country of Hungary on their way to their final destination within 24 hours;
    • Passengers arriving for international sports events or cultural events, provided holding a valid ticket for the event and a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate in Hungarian or English obtained 3 days prior to arrival;
    • Passengers proving that they are travelling for business or economic activities, provided they are nationals of the European Union or EEA member states, European Union candidate states, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, or Uzbekistan, or they are passengers holding a residence permit issued by these countries with a validity of more than 90 days. These passengers are exempt from the health screening and quarantine on arrival; or
    • Passengers with prior permission for entry.
  • Passengers are also subject to health screening on arrival.

Quarantine requirements

  • Passengers must quarantine for 10 days on arrival. Passengers may end their quarantine if they obtain 2 negative Covid-19 test results obtained within Hungary at least 48 hours apart. The first test result may have been obtained in a Schengen Area member state, Canada or the United States. Passengers may also be subject to a Covid-19 screening on arrival.
  • The quarantine requirement does not apply to:
    • Passengers holding a diplomatic or service passport;
    • Passengers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months prior to arrival, provided holding authentic documentation issued in English or in Hungarian;
    • Passengers holding a Hungarian immunity certificate (Védettségi igazolvány), and including accompanying minor children;
    • Passengers holding an immunity certificate that is recognised by Hungary based on unilateral/bilateral agreements issued by Albania, Bahrain, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine or Uzbekistan, and including accompanying minor children provided travelling together;
    • Passengers holding an EU Digital COVID Certificate;
    • Passengers holding a negative PCR test result obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival in English or in Hungarian from an EU member state or EU candidate state, OECD member state, NATO member state, Bahrain, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, or a member state of The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States;
    • Military convoys when transiting Hungary;
    • Cross-border workers;
    • Passengers travelling to perform business or economic activity, provided holding credible documentation;
    • Passengers travelling as a spectator of an international sports event or a cultural event organised in Hungary, provided holding an authorised ticket for the event and a negative PCR test result obtained within 3 days prior to arrival in English or Hungarian. These passengers must leave Hungary within 72 hours of arrival;
    • Passengers in transit, provided that they undergo health screening on arrival and no symptoms of Covid-19 are detected;
    • Passengers travelling for official visits, provided holding evidence of the visit; or
    • Passengers travelling to attend the WTCR Race of Hungary 2021 (21-22 August 2021), provided holding a valid ticket for the race events, a negative PCR test obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival in English or Hungarian. These passengers are permitted to stay in Hungary for longer than 72 hours.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

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

  • South African passport holders do require a visa.



The Schengen visa and entry regulations are only applicable for a stay not exceeding 90 days. Rules for a long stay over 90 days may be laid down by the national law of the concerned member states. The rules of Schengen visa issuing at the diplomatic posts of the various states are generally dentical, visa fees are uniform.
It is important to note that a visa is only a preliminary permission for entry, which does not authorise its bearer automatically to enter the country. The traveller may be requested to provide proof of the existence of the conditions of his entry and stay and if he is not able to fulfil this, he may be returned from the border.
Exceptions from the general visa procedure may be given on the basis of visa facilitation agreements.
Significant changes subsequent to Hungary`s Schengen-membership:
-visas and residence permits issued by one of the Schengen States are also valid for Hungary, on the other hand visas issued by Hungarian representations abroad and residence permits issued by Hungarian national authorities are also valid for the entire Schengen area.

NB: Hungary: In case pax has to transfer in Liszt Ferenc (Ferihegy 1) Airport being in possession of a transit visa is necessary.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS: See General Schengen visa requirements.

Visa Cost

1. Airport transit visa, transit visa or short-term entry visa EURO 80.00
2. Application for an extended stay visa EURO 80.00

To be paid by bank transfer to the Embassy account before the application is submitted but in the same month. Proof of payment must be submitted together with the application.
Bank Details:
Account Holder: Embassy of the Republic of Hungary
Account Number: 91-2966-7734
Branch Name: Hatfield
Branch Code: 632005
Reference: Applicant’s FAMILY NAME followed by space and INITIAL(S)

- Children under the age of 14 and entered into the passport of the parent
- Children under the age of 6, travelling with their own passports
- School pupils, students, post graduate students & accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purpose of study or educational training
- Researchers from third world countries travelling within the community for the purpose of carrying
out scientific research
- Spouses of EU/EEA citizens (EEA: Norway, Iceland & Lichtenstein) and their children under 21yrs.

Copies of spouses EU/EEA passport, full marriage/full birth certificate must be submitted with the application as proof of relationship with EU/EEA spouse of parent.

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