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Consular information for travellers Hungary



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NEWS RELEASE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

D61 13 July 1998

CONSULAR INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS

HUNGARY

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wishes to advise that the following information for travellers has been issued for Hungary.

Hungary is a stable democracy in the process of completing the transition to a market economy. Hungary is a major tourist destination in Europe. Budapest and the summer resort of Lake Balaton are the major tourist destinations. Tourist facilities outside of the major tourist areas are not as developed as those found in Western Europe. Many goods and services taken for granted in other western countries are not available outside the capital. Travel and Health Insurance are recommended.

Australians require valid visas for all types of travel to Hungary. Visas are issued by the Hungarian Consulate-General in Sydney (Suite 405, Edgecliff Centre, 203-233 New South Head Rd. Edgecliff, NSW 2027 tel: 02-9328 7859 fax: 02-9327 1829) and for residents of the A.C.T, by the Hungarian Embassy in Canberra (17 Beale Cres. Deakin ACT 2600 tel: 02-6282 3226). Australians will be refused entry into Hungary without valid visas. If multiple entries into Hungary are planned, ensure a multiple entry visa is obtained before

arrival in Hungary. The Australian Embassy in Budapest is unable to intervene in cases of Australians who are refused entry into Hungary.

There has been an increase in the level of violent crime committed in Hungary, especially in the capital Budapest. The incidence of burglary, car theft and pickpocketing, which occasionally involves violence, has increased especially at night near major hotels, restaurants and on public transportation. Travellers should remain vigilant in crowded public areas, particularly when travelling on public transport and in transportation terminals, most notably the Nyugati (western) and Keleti (eastern) train stations. Travellers

should avoid carrying large sums of cash. The loss or theft of an Australian passport should be immediately notified to the local police and to the Australian Embassy.

There are reports of overcharging by certain downtown restaurants and bars in Budapest, accompanied by threats of violence to coerce payment. Travellers should be wary of offers by strangers, usually working in pairs, offering escort to restaurants and cafes. Check menu prices before-ordering.

Media releases and sp eech es are available from DFAT via the internet, http://www.dfat.gov.au/

The acceptance of credit cards and travellers’ cheques is not universal, though most major hotels and an increasing number of restaurants will accept major credit cards. ATM’s linked to credit cards are increasingly available in Budapest and other major towns. Currency exchange should only be made at banks and authorised exchange bureaux.

Headlights are compulsory when driving outside towns, even during daylight hours. There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police often conduct routine road checks and persons found to be driving with a positive blood alcohol reading face gaol and/or fine.

Criminal penalties for possession, use and trafficking in illegal drugs are severe.

Australians intending to travel to Hungary may seek further advice from the Australian Embassy in Budapest located at Kiralyhago ter 8-9 1126, Tel: (36-1) 201 8899, Fax: (36-1) 201 9792., or from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra on (02) 6261 3305.

NB: While every care has been taken in preparing this travel information for travellers, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees including any member of Australia's consular staff abroad, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect o f any statement contained therein.

Consular Services, including information for travellers and Travel Advices are also available from the Department’s Homepage on the Internet, address:

http://www.dfat.gov.au/consular