Passport & visa requirements
Hungary is a member of the European Union, and a member of the Schengen region, so people coming from the EU can travel with their ID cards and will not even need to go through border controls. People coming by car will experience this comfort at the border, attendees coming by plane will see that EU flights arrive at terminals without border controls. Regular Canadian and US citizens are not required to hold a visa to come to the country (for less than 90 days). Everybody else: make sure you examine your visa requirements and contact us if you need an invitation letter!
Language & vocabulary
We speak ‘magyar’ in Hungary, but generally people in the accommodation and catering sector speak English and/or German. Besides, Szeged is a university town, so in the street most youngsters speak English and often various other languages. All the same, we share with you what the organizers of Drupalcon 2008 collected as the most important words or phrases to survive with your Hungarian :)
- Egészségedre! - cheers (right before you taste your drink)
- Egészségedre! - god bless you (for example when somebody sneezes)
- Jó étvágyat! - good appetite
- Elnézést! - excuse me/sorry
- Mennyibe kerül ez/az? - How much is this/that?
- sör - beer
- (fehér|vörös) bor - (white|red) wine
- pálinka - a very famous Hungarian spirit, which is also a hungaricum
- A Drupal konferenciára jöttem - I came for the Drupal conference
We also recommend the Sztaki dictionary which has audio functions. Listen to the word "étvágyat" as an example.
Currency & banks
While Hungary belongs to the EU, the currency is still the Hungarian Forint (1 EUR=approx. 290 HUF). Banks are usually open Mon. to Fri., 9.00-16.00, and Sat., till 12.00. You can exchange money at any banks, travel agents and larger post offices. They may offer different deals concerning the rate of exchange and the fees charged, so you are advised to look around in the city before exchanging foreign currency. EuroCard, MasterCard and Visa Electron are the most popular bank/credit cards in Hungary, and you can easily find ATM machines in Szeged to withdraw money from your home account. It depends partly on your own spending habits how much money you will need during your stay in Hungary. In general, living expenses are very reasonable in Hungary especially in comparison with Western European countries and the U.S. (for numbers check Numbeo or just take the example of a glass of beer, which generally costs approx. 1 EUR :))
Shopping & services
Most shops are open Mon. to Fri., 9.00- 18.00, and Sat., 9.00-13.00. Large supermarkets (e.g. Tesco, Auchan) and shopping malls (e.g. Árkád, Szeged Plaza) have extended hours of operation, and you can find eating facilities as well as pharmacy, optician, shoe repair, postal and other services there, too. Main post offices are usually open Mon. to Fri., 8.00-19.00, and Sat., till 12.00 only. Stamps can also be purchased at any tobacconist’s. The address of the central post office is: 6720 Szeged, Széchenyi tér 1.
Compatibility & wifi
Electrical sockets (outlets) in all around Hungary are a mix of the two European standard electrical socket types (depending on grounding built in or not): The "Type C" Europlug and the "Type E" and "Type F" Schuko. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Electrical sockets in Hungary supply electricity between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. Otherwise you need a voltage conversion appliance, too (more info).
In Szeged most of the hotels as well as cafés/restaurants have free WiFi available (hotspots). You can check some of the cafés with free wifi here.