A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in Hungary and the Hungarian forint (HUF).
What's in this Hungary currency guide:
The official currency of Hungary (country code: HU) is the Hungarian forint, with symbol Ft and currency code HUF.
The forint – originally florentinus, taken from the Italian city of Florence – was used in Hungary as early as the fourteenth century. It is subdivided into 100 fillér, although due to the effects of inflation one fillér is now virtually worthless and the fillér coins are no longer in circulation.
The forint was replaced as Hungary’s currency but reintroduced following World War II after hyperinflation crippled the pengő used during and prior to the war.
As a member of the European Union, Hungary should, at some point, adopt the euro as its national currency. Since Hungary has not yet joined ERM-II (a requirement for euro adoption), the single currency is unlikely to be used in Hungary prior to the 2020s. In a survey of public opinion by the European Commission in 2015, 60% of Hungarians were in favour of replacing the forint with the euro.
Hungarians are mostly concerned with the value of their currency against the euro, since nearly 80% of Hungarian exports go to the euro area. Since the euro’s introduction in 1999, the EUR/HUF exchange rate has traded between 227.29 (July 2008) and 326.64 (January 2015).
Against the world’s reserve currency, the US dollar, the forint was weakest in October 2000 when USD/HUF reached 317.56. The currency was strongest in July 2008 when USD/HUF fell to 143.39.
Located in Central Europe, Hungary is a landlocked country bordered by seven other countries: Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. The capital city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area.
The official language is Hungarian, which is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family and is unrelated to any of the neighboring languages. English is also widely spoken.
The currency is the Hungarian forint (HUF).
Hungary is a relatively small country, with a population of just over 9.8 million people. The majority of the population is ethnic Hungarian, but there are also significant minorities of Roma, Slovaks, Croats, and Germans.
The climate in Hungary is temperate, with hot summers and cold winters.
Hungary is known for its food, wine, and culture. Popular tourist attractions include the capital city of Budapest, Lake Balaton, the Danube River, and the caves of Aggtelek National Park.
There are many things to see and do in Hungary, including exploring the country's capital, Budapest, visiting the famous Lake Balaton, and spending time in the countryside.
1. Don't drink the tap water
2. Pack light
3. Be aware of pickpockets
4. Use public transport
5. Visit the thermal baths
6. Eat at the local restaurants
7. Try the local food
8. Visit the markets
9. Drink palinka
10. Listen to Hungarian music
The best way to pay in Hungary may be by debit or credit card, or in cash.
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Hungary.
For those used to Western Europe, Hungary can be quite a shock. Prices are much lower than in Western Europe, but salaries are correspondingly lower. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can be as low as $300, while a meal for two with wine at a midrange restaurant will cost around $30. Transportation is also very affordable, with a monthly public transport pass costing around $20.
The expat life in Hungary is very good. There is a strong expat community, and many Hungarians are very welcoming to foreigners. There are also many things to do and see in Hungary, and the cost of living is relatively low.
The main laws that foreigners should be aware of in Hungary are the Immigration Act, the Labor Code, and the Residential Tenancies Act.
The business environment in Hungary is good. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The government is supportive of businesses, and there is a strong infrastructure in place. Additionally, Hungary is a member of the European Union, which provides many opportunities for businesses to expand their operations.
The economy in Hungary is in a state of transition from a planned economy to a market economy. The country has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and has experienced strong economic growth in recent years. However, the country's economy remains relatively underdeveloped compared to other EU member states, and its per capita GDP is only about two-thirds of the EU average.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Hungary:
Understand Hungarian forint currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the HUF exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Hungarian forint bank account: A local HUF bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Hungary. It may also be more convenient to use a local HUF bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Hungary. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Hungary. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Hungary, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.
The exchange rate of Hungarian forint (HUF), or the amount of HUF that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest USD/HUF rate plus recent trend, chart, forecasts and historic rates.
15 May 2023
|2.1% ▲||2 Week|
28 Feb 2023
|3.1% ▼||3 Month|
29 May 2022
|5.6% ▼||1 Year|
30 May 2018
|26.5% ▲||5 Year|
31 May 2013
|52.7% ▲||10 Year|
03 Jun 2003
|60% ▲||20 Year|
According to FX analysts, the USD to HUF exchange rate has been volatile in the last three months. In mid-May, the exchange rate was at 339.7, which is 3.3% below the average rate of 351.3 recorded in the past three months. Recent events in Eastern Europe, particularly the war in Ukraine, have led governments in the region to intervene and raise interest rates, including Hungary's central bank, which increased its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point. This move was more significant than expected and was the largest adjustment since 2008.
Economists predict that the US dollar's strength over the past year will eventually reverse in 2023 as the Fed's interest rate hikes cycle comes to an end. However, recent mixed signals from the Fed are causing uncertainty in the market. While the Fed has hinted at a pause in rate hikes, Chair Jay Powell has left the door open for more hikes and disagreed on the need for rate cuts this year. Credit tightening remains a concern for the Fed, and the turmoil in the financial system might be associated with a recession, leading market participants to price rate cuts to stop the bleeding of regional banks and likely the US economy. Hence, FX analysts predict that the USD might continue sideways without a clear path in the short term, and a poor US or global economic performance could help the US dollar increase as a haven currency.
USD/HUF forecasts USD/HUF rates
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to Hungary or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend Hungarian forint.
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It is important to note that the exchange rate of the Hungarian forint can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect HUF exchange rates before making any financial decisions.