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The first bit of Budapest tourist information you should know is that most travellers find real value in getting a Budapest Card . They are available at more than 250 locations including tourist information bureaus, metro ticket offices, the airport, hotels and travel agencies. These simple little cards will get you a free travel on all forms of public transport and will get you discounts at restaurants, museums, etc.

Climate is one of the first things travellers inquire about when it comes to tourist information for Budapest. The city offers a transitional temperate climate that is a lot milder than you might imagine. June through August sees an average temperature of 25.5°C but it's not uncommon to see record days as hot as 40.7°C. Summer is also the wettest season with most precipitation occurring in June. Budapest experiences some chilly winters with an average high of only 1.2°C in January so dress appropriately.

Hungarian is the official language spoken in Budapest but many dwellers also speak German and Russian. If you are looking for tourist information or help getting around the city, you can often find younger people who do speak English, particular high school or college students. Many hotels will have someone to help with English-speaking guests as well. It doesn't hurt to learn a few basic words or keep a cheat sheet with you though!

Budapest essentials
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Many people looking for tourist information regarding currency are surprised to learn that Hungary is not in the European Union. Although many places do take euro as payment, you will receive your change in forint (HUF).

If you want to exchange money you can do so at a bank or one of the many exchange points throughout the city. You can also receive money out of an ATM machine or pay with a credit card. Like many other touristy areas, some merchants will require you to enter your PIN number to reduce the risk of fraud.

While you can flag a taxi, it's actually cheaper in Budapest if you call one of the taxi companies. You will find though that the city has a great public transportation system so getting around is easy, despite any language barrier there may be.

Budapest offers 4 suburban trains, 4 metro lines, 15 trolley buses and a network of 153 routes. Buses come frequently and they are fast. Don't assume they will stop at every stop either. If someone is not waiting they will often continue on by so if you want to exit, push the button near the door.

Trams must be experienced by every visitor. They are 55 years old, squeak and moan and run along riverside routes for some great views. There are also four underground metro lines that can get you from one side of the city to the other pretty fast.

Budapest is a safe city in general. Water can be enjoyed out of the tap and no special vaccinations are necessary. If you do have an emergency, you can call 104 or 112 for help. You will find that there are several English-speaking doctors and dentists in the city, including some at 24-hour medical centres. There is also a 24-hour English language hotline that you can call at 438-8080 if you need help.


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