- History of the Hungarian Forint
- Hungarian Forint notes and coins
- Cash vs. credit/debit cards in Hungary
- How to get Forint in Hungary
- Is the Euro widely used in Hungary?
History of the Hungarian Forint
It has been the country's official currency since 1892, wowever, the Forint was replaced by the Hungarian pengő, which was, in turn, was dropped in favour of a return to the Forint in 1946.
The Forint is divided into 100 fillér, but fillér coins are no longer in circulation and prices are typically rounded to the nearest Forint.
Hungarian Forint notes and coins
The Hungarian Forint is available in both notes and coins. The notes come in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 Forint. The coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Forint. The 5 and 10 Forint coins are made of copper-plated steel, while the 20, 50, 100, and 200 Forint coins are made of brass-plated steel.
The design of the Forint notes and coins features a variety of historical figures, including King Stephen I, who is considered the founder of the Hungarian state, and Lajos Kossuth, a 19th century politician and national hero. The notes also feature images of Hungarian landmarks, such as the Parliament Building in Budapest and the castle in Eger.
The Forint notes and coins are easily distinguishable by their size and color, making them easy to use even for those who are unfamiliar with the currency.
Cash vs. credit/debit cards in Hungary
In Hungary, cash is still the most widely-used form of payment. Many small businesses, particularly in rural areas, may only accept cash payments. However, credit and debit cards are becoming increasingly popular and are accepted at most larger businesses and restaurants.
It is always best to have some cash on hand, especially when visiting smaller shops or markets. However, it is also a good idea to have a credit or debit card with you in case you need to make a larger purchase or in case of an emergency. Most businesses will clearly display whether they accept credit cards, so you can easily determine the best method of payment.
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How to get Forint in Hungary
Like just about every country, ATMs and currency exchanges are the best way to get Forint. Always shop around to get the best rate, and never exchange money with someone on the street - it’ll be a scam.
When using an ATM, make sure to decline any offer the machine makes to use their exchange rate (known as DCC). Always withdraw in HUF.
Is the Euro widely used in Hungary?
While the official currency is the Hungarian Forint, the Euro is also widely used in the country. Hungary is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, but it has not yet adopted the euro as its official currency.
Despite this, many shops and restaurants will display prices in both Forint and Euro, and some may even offer the option to pay in Euro.
However, it is important to note that these transactions often come with a higher exchange rate, so it is best to obtain Forint directly and avoid paying in Euro if possible.
If you need to, it’s also possible to withdraw EUR from some ATMs.