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General questions

Started by CTG, June 08, 2004, 02:27:09 AM

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Last evening I was chatting with Alain and he asked some basic questions - what to know about Hungary. Now I feel there's a need for this topic. Zak, Akoss and I will try to answer all your questions, if you want to know something more about this country!


What's the general sentiment towards foreigners?

How many people speak english, and approximately how well?

If I look strange, or gay, will people despise me, insult me or attack me?

Are there a lot of pocket thieves in the streets of Budapest?

How warm is it likely to be at the time of the meeting?

Is there a very strong national feeling in Hungary? Political taboos?
But we can't be quite sure.


attitude to foreigners:
Well I cant judge this. Foreigners usually say people here are incredibly friendly with them, but I dont see that always. FOr sure people working in tourism industry are really very friendly, more than same people western from here. Of course it cant be compared to Greece for example.
But you should also inlcude in yoir look the general pessimism that this country has. You'll probably see less smiling people on the streets and in contact with you, so you might feel they are unfriendly - which is not always true.

If you stop an older man on the street he/she'll probably only know Hungarian. Aim for groups/pairs of youngsters and/or intelligent-looking people around/below 30. They'll probably speak basic english, or if not that, then german. In shops you could try your luck with english. If it's a shop outside the tourist zone, you'll have a very hard time, but usually there is someone always who knows a language. For example in the BurgerKing in the middle of the city from the 50 employees only 5 knew basic english so could take an order + me of course :)
Hungarians don't have the habit of complaining if they get something wrong. So the shopkeepers are not used to handle the reclamations, and might be rude. Thats a personal experience too.

Insulting, attacking:
There are some districts you shouldnt head to in the night, but we probably wont go there. Everybody insults the gypsies (and they insult back), so racism towards chinese/black people is not really happening.
I've never heard someone unknown beaten up just because he looked gay , so probably that neihter will happen. ;)
Homeless people can be found in almost every underground and subway, but they never insult, just beg for money.

Pocket thieves:
Number is greatly decreasing, but watch out for your valuables, always keep your bags closed and a hand on it. Never leave your car open anywhere, or leave something precious on a bench.
Things are getting better, but still too many people when find a purse they consider it "I found this" and take it.
Be careful in tourist zones, if something is lost the problem is you'll probably never get it back.
You can't really count on policemen, if you want help. They are kinda stupid in general and don't really know foreign languages, despite the hard efforts to teach them.

August is hot here, very dry, and usually above 30 celsius. Hard to handle in the city. The nights are just great, temperature drops to 25-28celsius, and its great to have a walk then. Bring swimsuits too we might head for a local bath or lake :)

National feeling:
You'll see lots of cars with the old, big Hungary's sign on their back, but they are usually calm and quiet people. Nationalism is only in the words and the arguments, not on the streets these years.
Political taboos? I dont think there are many, probably less than at you. This can be good and bad too, I can't really decide.
I don't think you'll notice a strong national feeling on the streets, you can draw on the walls almost anything you'd like to, the city is full of grafitti anyway  :D
Some might look strange on you if you wear jewish symbols, but no insults.

Well these mentoined was the worst view of this country. I guess you'll have lots of nice things to experience here mainly, some things will might look strange if you are not used to the people living here, but unless you'll seriously look for these things you'll see a city just like any city in Europe, just a bit poorer and dirtyer, closer to the Balkan.


Some more questions from JTK:

1. What is the cost of fuel in Hungary? What kinds of fuel are offered?

2. In what condition are the main roads/high roads to Budapest (I'll come via Prague)?

3. Are there any very special traffic rules in Hungary?

4. Do Hungarian stores accept EC-Cards (Ex Euro-Cheque-Cards)?

5. Can I pay with Euro (I ask this question, because I made the experience, that in many non-Euro states I could pay with Euro)?

6. I think you don't have to pay everything for us. Hmm... why not...?  :wink:
No, shall we bring some money for food, bewerages, etc. you enentually want to buy in advance?

7. Where do you live? Can you send a description and a drawing, please?

8. If anything should happen in Hungary (e.g. having a crash on the road because of these bloody cork screws  :)), is there an emergency number one can call? Will you tell us your telephone number as well?

9. Shall we bring sleeping bags etc. and sleep at your place? Or is it better to rent a room in a hotel or pension or else (not preferred by me)?

10. Oh- I forgot: You're EU now. Are there any special things to care of at the border?

11. Will you still answer more questions after these?  8)


Fuel prices:

The fuels are separated by EuroNorm octane number at every tank station. You can buy 91 (not recommmended), 95 (for every car), 98 (communist cars need it :), and performance fuel (around 100, for street racing and stuff :)), and diesel.
Today the actual rates were:


EuroNorm 91 unleaded    246,50 Ft/l
EuroNorm 91 for two-stroke    249,50 Ft/l
EuroSuper 95 unleaded    249,50 Ft/l
EuroSuper 98 unleaded    258,50 Ft/l
Diesel     218,00 Ft/l
Performance fuel is around 300Ft/l
so basically around 1EUR/liter

prices dont really differ at the various stations. If you come through Prague, I recommend you to take fuel in SLovakia, it's cheaper there.


From Germany, any way you come, the only highway is the Budapest-Wien M1 highway, which is good quality but needs a road toll. it is 1200Ft for 4 days, and around 2500 for 10 days. If you come any other way you can just choose normal roads, speed limit is 90km/h, filled with trucks, and they go through every town and village, there aren't many roads around them.
Distances are not so big fortunately. Roads in this area are quite good, but still you'll be shocked compared to yours :) Usually every car goes to a complete suspension change every 3 years. :)
Highways are quite new and well-maintained.

Traffic rules:

none I know of. You must turn on the lights outside the cities and villages daytime too, and each passenger has to use the seatbelt. In the city only the ones sitting in the fronrt are forced to wear it.
Speed limits are the usual 130/90/50, the price for speeding is 5000Ft if you go with max the 150% of the allowed speed, above that serious problems can occur :)

Better restaurants accept it, but I dont think the shops not aimed for toursits do. You can pay with cashcard almost everywhere in the city, and almost every german bank has branches here.
paying with euro:
not typical. You can use it in the InterSpar hypermarkets, but they have a bad exchange rate. Money change offices are reliable, and widely available, they usually operate +-5Ft from the mid-rate, and no commission.

Food and drinks:
Dont bring anything, its much cheaper here (50-80%) of the price in Germany. In big hypermarkets (in a 5km radius we have Auchan, Tesco and InterSpar) you can buy anything you'd like to, even on sunday.
If you like you can eat in restaurants, but of course I provide the food and some good meals, we'll share the costs meanwhile/later. Shouldn't be too much. A quality meat dish with some extra stuff, slads, etc. comes to around 2-3EUR/person when I cook for 6-8 persons. Restaurant dishes start at 1.50 (chinese fastfood, I love it :)), average is 4-6EUR, and the biggest and most famous restaurants end their prices at 20EUR/dish. But that's a culinary orgasm :D
Living place:
I live in east-western side of Budapest on the 8th floor of a block house.
Namely it's the thrid disctrict, address is: 1032 Budapest, Kiscelli street 8.
Just next to the right end (Buda side) of the ?rp?d-bridge. Everyone can tell you where the ?rp?d bridge is, it's the most northern bridge of the city.
I'll draw a map for you, detalied, but my phone number is +36/702212178, home phone +36/13881714 you can call me anytime, and when I know when you'll arrvie I can escort you from the edge of the city.

phone numbers just told :)
emergency numbers:
112 general help
104 ambulance
105 fire department
107 police
188 car club, instant service (ADAC partner)

these are all toll-free of course. maybe the car club isnt...


sleeping bag is a good idea. The flat will be just ours that weekend, comfortable for 6 persons (3 double beds :)), but I guess most of us are not that problematic, I like to sleep on the floor to. No air-conditioning, so my room is bloody hot for example.
We have another empty flat in the middle of the city (20min from here by car), there is place for additional 3-4 people (3 single beds). My father living also 15 min from here can support place for some people just in case.

You can choose a hotel of course if you'd like to, but dont forget the Hungaroring F1 event is on that weekend too so prices will be high and book your room in time. But sure I can provide shelter regardless how many of you come, I have also friends nearby :D


nothing special, things are easy and smooth now. Bring an identity card.


looking forward to them :D


Maybe I'll call you that day :D It would be fine.

Akoss Poo a.k.a. Zorromeister

Average maximal temperature in August fro Budapest, Hungary: 28 degrees
Average minimum: 16 degrees
Average sunny hours: 9 hours per a day
Average relative humidity: 61%
Average precipation in August: 50 mm
Days with preciation in August: 10 (average)

Sunny, hot, dry month. The precipation is from showers and thunderstorms. In the last few years August was a bit warmer than these (global warming etc.):

Max. Temperature in August  
1997 1998 1999 2000 Year
27.6 28.2 25.4 29.8 [?C]
96 100 93 93 Data availability[%]
2001 2002 2003 2004 Year
28.9 26.6 31.2 **** [?C]
100 100 100 0 Data availability[%]

Averaged Value in August  ( 1997 - 2004)  : 28.2 ?C
Min. Temperature in August        
1997 1998 1999 2000 Year
16.2 15.6 15.6 16.7 [?C]
100 100 100 100 Data availability[%]
2001 2002 2003 2004 Year
17.5 17.0 17.9 **** [?C]
100 100 100 0 Data availability[%]

Averaged Value in August  ( 1997 - 2004)  : 16.6 ?C
Temperature in August  
1997 1998 1999 2000 Year
21.9 21.9 20.5 23.1 [?C]
96 100 93 93 Data availability[%]
2001 2002 2003 2004 Year
23.2 21.8 24.5 **** [?C]
100 100 100 0 Data availability[%]

Averaged Value in August  ( 1997 - 2004)  : 22.4 ?C
1997 1998 1999 2000 Year
8.9 10.2 8.9 10.2 [hours]
100 100 100 96 Data availability[%]
2001 2002 2003 2004 Year
9.8 6.6 10.8 **** [hours]
100 93 100 0 Data availability[%]

Averaged Value in August  ( 1997 - 2004)  :  9.3 hours
1997 1998 1999 2000 Year
21.9 37.6 52.8 10.1 [mm]
100 100 100 100 Data availability[%]
2001 2002 2003 2004 Year
31.3 81.9 19.3 **** [mm]
100 93 96 0 Data availability[%]

Averaged Value in August  ( 1997 - 2004)  : 36.4 mm
Chürműű! :-)

816.79 km


Ah, thanks a lot. And sleeping on the floor is o.k. by me.


Me too, just save a dirty corner for me :D
But we can't be quite sure.



yep sleeping should be no problem
I was working with an hungarian woman for a short time and have now contacted her - she has to teach a me a bit hungarian ;)))


What about our racing machines? Should we bring them along? Or will there be one racing station for all of us? :?:

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@ KHR: Read the topic "World Stunts Meeting 2004". There Zak wrote

Quotethats what I wanted to say if you have a laptop bring it!
3comps+server(stunts bootdisk OK, mono VGA rules )+amiga right now but its still no enough for a real live race I think

The more machines we have, the more cars can race at the same time. But one question: Do our German 220 volts "SchuKo"-connectors fit into Hungarian plugs?


One more question, Zak: Did you contact this local computer tv broadcasting team you told us about?  :P


connectors are the same,but unfortunately I couldnt contact the TV station, too bad :(