Crime Personal Safety Terrorism & Tourist Traps in Budapest
Related Pages: Danube River Cruises
Budapest Crime Personal Safety Terrorism & Tourist Traps
Threat Of Terrorism
The threat of terrorism nationally or internationally sourced in Budapest is thought to be low
Demonstrations In Budapest
In recent years there have political demonstrations against the Hungarian Government. Some of these demonstrations, which often take place near the Parliament buildings, have ended in violence often in the evenings. The demonstrations tend to occur on the anniversary of the Hungarian revolution – the 15th March and on October 23rd which commemorates the Hungarian Uprising. On the latter date in recent years extreme right wing have tended to be ‘ugly’.
Crime and Personal Safety & Security In Budapest
Some bars and clubs, especially those in district v – the business area in central Pest add surcharges to the bills which can run into 100s of euros. If not settled security guards will escorts victims to an ATM. Restaurants and bars with unclear prices on the menu also operate in this way.
Be warned that some taxis drivers are involved in these scams and will encourage tourists to go to these places. Please see the advice and information in clubbing and nightlife in Budapest.
In Budapest especially in markets and on public transport (including escalators) there is a risk of pick pocketing or bag snatching. Popular haunts for pickpockets are the Danube Promenade, Fishermen’s Bastion,Matthias Church, Parliament and the surrounding area, Vaci Street and the zoo. The Annual Sziget Festival in August is also a hunting ground of thieves. Badly lit areas in Districts V111 & at night carry a risk of mugging.
If you are travelling on an overnight train to or from Budapest you should ensure that your sleeper compartment door is securely locked. If it is not sleep on valuables and passport.
Tourist Traps In Budapest
One of the most common problems faced by tourist is hiring a taxis. There are several companies all charging different rates. One or two seem to specialise in overcharging tourists and business travellers.
We strongly advise you not to hail a taxi in the street. If you have to the taxi, if it is licensed, will have a yellow licence plate and a taxi sign secured on the roof. It will also have the name of the company on the door. You should make a note of the name of the company or its telephone number before getting in. When inside it should have the fares clearly displayed. This table is normally on the dashboard.
If the taxi does not have these four identities it is likely that you will be overcharged. You should not get in any car that only has a taxi sign on its roof. These taxis are not licenced are usually driven by freelance drivers who are notorious for overcharging tourists big time.
A firm with a good and honest reputation then look no further than Zona Taxi’s. Check that the Taxi metre is on before embarking upon your journey otherwise you are likely to be charged an Exaggerated fee. The only legal Taxi firm that operates at Lizst Ferenc Airport is Taxi ”Fotaxi ” and you should be looking at paying between HUF 3900-5700 for a trip in to Budapest.
It is usually a good policy to ask you hotel to order your taxi for you or give you a reliable number. Failing that City Taxis Telephone 2 111 111 also has a good reputation. Some of its operators also speak English.
It is a good policy not to ask taxis drivers to choose which restaurant bar or club you should go to. This is because many of them receive a commission for taking you there which you end up paying for by high bills. They are likely to take you to one of the places in the paragraph below! See the advice and information in clubbing and nightlife in Budapest.
Single men who end up chatting to local girls in bars can also expect a high bill for her thirst!
The other common tourist trap in Budapest are restaurants (and to a lesser extent bars) that offer you a menu without the prices service charges and vat charges expressed clearly on it. Under Hungarian law these prices must be shown. If you find yourself in one of these establishments you should leave immediately as their prices are always ridiculous.
Only eat where there is a Menu card outside the restaurant so you can check the prices before sitting down to dine and for information on the best restaurants in the city ask locals where there preferred destinations are. One area to steer clear from is Vaci Utca as you are likely to be greeted by attractive women who will attempt to allure you into paying a whole months wages for a glass of bogus Champagne.
The Hungarian capital is also well known for its pick pockets and so refrain from wearing back packs and purses if at all possible as many opportunistic natives are on the look out for naive tourists. Some Taxi Drivers in Budapest having a reputation for giving out Romanian bank notes and to know the difference you must look to see if the HUF money you have been given has a vertical silver strip on it or not.