Updated on January 11, 2021 by Asher Fergusson
To make sure you don’t forget to bring along all the packing essentials – we’ll outline them for you below, plus give you an idea of what to wear in Hungary, what NOT to bring, and answers to some FAQs.
What to Pack for Hungary – 17 Essentials
1. Neck Wallet
It’s no secret that traveling puts some of your items at risk of being lost or stolen. A neck wallet is the ultimate way to ward off pickpockets and thieves. This particular wallet is RFID blocking, so that crafty scammers can’t scan your important cards through the pouch. Plus, it’s easy to wear all day as a hands free travel pouch!
Struggling to fit all of your items in your suitcase? Try using packing cubes. These keep your items compact and allow more space in your suitcase or duffel bag. They also make it super easy to know exactly where your different clothing items are in your bag, and will help you stay organized on your trip!
Nobody wants to end up in a position where their phone dies unexpectedly away from home—prevent that unlucky situation with a portable charger. This model is ultra-compact, taking up the same amount of space as a lipstick! It will charge your device quickly, and the best part? It leaves plenty of space in your purse or bag for other necessities.
Don’t wait until you get to your international destination to buy a universal power adapter! This is an essential packing item so that you can charge your phone, laptop and other devices wherever you go. For avid travelers, a universal adapter is a great investment, as it works in over 100 different countries
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is the best way to protect your passwords and personal information while traveling. This one will keep your network secure if you’re using the WiFi at a cafe, hotel, airport, or Airbnb during your trip. If you plan to visit websites from home that may not be accessible abroad, then you’ll definitely want a VPN!
While Hungary is not known for having abundant rainfall, you never know when you might get caught in a quick sun shower or light drizzle. It’s always a great idea to have a compact travel umbrella in your bag for cover from the rain. This umbrella also has windproof protection, withstanding harsh and unpredictable gusts of wind.
7. SIM Card
Don’t purchase an expensive international roaming plan for your international trip –
the best plan is to buy a SIM card from Vodafone, Orange, or another European mobile service provider. You’ll save money and get by just fine, especially since WiFi will be available in most places around Hungary.
Hungarian food tends to be heavy and savory—and locals know how to handle their beer. Ward off inevitable bloating and indigestion by bringing activated charcoal caps with you. With delicious fried meats, hearty soups, and lots of paprika around, you’ll want to keep your appetite strong to sample all of Hungary’s unique cuisine.
Any seasoned traveler knows that that things don’t always go as planned. Be sure to purchase World Nomads Travel Insurance on your next trip to Hungary and make sure you are covered in case of emergency. World Nomads is the best because it will take care of lost or stolen luggage, flight cancellations, and most importantly, any medical costs abroad should it be necessary.
This is the perfect water bottle for travel! Investing in a LifeStraw reusable bottle allows you to eliminate single-use plastic cups. The bottle filters out harmful bacteria and chemicals to ensure safe and clean drinking water. It is also leak-proof and durable, which makes it easy to stash in your daypack while you’re out exploring a new destination.
As a walkable European city, you’ll want a daypack if you’re roaming Budapest. Waiting for a restaurant reservation or in line for the thermal baths is much less stressful when you can easily carry all the essentials on your back. A small, lightweight daypack allows you to carry water, snacks, and any other small items you may need throughout your day.
It’s no fun to spend all day walking on cobblestone streets and up steep hills in less than comfortable shoes. So, be sure to spring for a comfortable, cushy pair of sneakers for your trip to Hungary. Trust us, your feet will thank you!
Jet lag is a familiar foe to many international travelers. Time zones can be a pain, especially when you have a busy first day of your vacation planned. The best way to fight off jet lag is with these natural pills, which alleviate the annoying symptoms that affect body temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, and physiological patterns.
14. Wool Sweater
No matter the season in Hungary, layers are key when packing for your trip. Protect yourself against the elements with a casual and thin wool sweater. It can easily fit under a jacket or over a T-shirt in a pinch!
15. Travel Towel
One of the biggest attractions in Hungary’s capital city of Budapest are the thermal baths. While you can certainly rent a towel while there, going prepared with your own quick-dry travel towel is not a bad idea. You’ll be able to quickly dry off and head out to check off the many other items on your Hungarian bucket list!
16. Body Wipes
When you’re busy traveling around Hungary, you might feel the need for a shower on the go. These body wipes are great for a shower alternative anywhere a shower is unavailable—if your accommodation’s shower is less than ideal or you’re feeling sticky on a day out, these are a great item to have!
17. Rolling Suitcase
A rolling suitcase is a game changer for any trip. It makes navigating airports and crowded streets with your luggage much less stressful. This particular model has multi-directional 4-wheel spinners that give you a smooth, 360-degree movement over any surface. The spacious inside has garment restraints and a zipper pocket, allowing plenty of room for your clothes.
Other Hungary packing list items not to forget
What to Wear in Hungary
If you do plan to take a trip to Hungary in the summer, make sure you’re prepared with comfortable walking shoes, shorts, T-shirts, and lightweight sundresses. Their winters can get quite cold, so if you choose to visit from December through March, make sure you plan to bundle up and pack plenty of warm layers!
Budapest is home to numerous eclectic boutiques and vintage stores, carrying everything from bold and colorful jewelry to fashionable scarves. Once you experience the Bohemian, hipster city, you may want to experiment with fun accessories and bold makeup.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Danube river running through Budapest means you might get chilly at night. A lightweight jacket for nighttime is a must, even if the weather forecast is looking warm. In cooler weather, be sure to layer any dresses with a comfortable cardigan or tights. In the summer, you can’t go wrong with a flowy sundress and comfortable sandals.
A simple look of khaki shorts and a short-sleeve T-shirt will certainly suffice for mild weather. If the forecast seems chilly, grab a lightweight jacket and opt for long jeans.
To hit the trendy restaurants and bars at night, boat shoes paired with nice pants and a button-down top are key. Neutral colors work just fine, but springing for brighter colors won’t be the cause of any strange looks from locals either.
Early April marks the beginning of springtime in Hungary, and the weather tends to be mild. A mix of short and long sleeve tops is best, along with jeans and comfortable walking shoes as staple wardrobe items. Bring a weatherproof jacket as well, as you never know when you’ll be caught in some rainfall.
July is the warmest month in Budapest, Hungary, but you don’t have to worry about melting away in the heat. The average hottest temperature is 26.7 degrees Celsius, or 80.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack lots of shorts and sleeveless tops, but don’t forget to bring long pants or a light cardigan in case of unexpected cool breezes. And, of course, sunglasses are essential!
Like springtime, fall is generally mild and comfortable in Hungary. You’ll want to pack light layers, a denim or similar type of jacket, jeans, and some comfortable flats for optimal exploring attire. At the end of autumn, temperatures tend to drop to the point where bringing some warm wool sweaters and a hat and gloves is not a bad idea.
Winters in Hungary can get quite cold, and it’s not typically a heavy tourist season. That being said, there are still several things to do in Budapest in the winter, so if you do choose to plan your trip then, be prepared with a winter coat, boots, and accessories like a scarf, hat, and gloves. Warm layers are key for a winter trip to Hungary – the minimum temperature is -29 degrees Celsius, or -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
What NOT to bring Hungary
3) DON’T BRING Stiletto heels This tip may seem a bit silly, but you’ll understand it once you get to Budapest. Like Prague, many of the streets are cobblestone, making it very difficult to walk in any shoes that are not flat. Avoid getting your nice heel stuck in the ground and wear ballet flats or sneakers instead.
5) DON’T BRING A lot of formal outfits As noted previously, you’ll be able to dress casually during most of your trip to Hungary. You may want to bring one or two nicer outfits for any upscale dining or trendy bars on your bucket list, but don’t crowd your suitcase with too many dressy outfits that you likely won’t end up wearing on the trip.
As with any international trip, you don’t want to bring too much cash. In Hungary, you will be around some pickpockets and thieves waiting to prey on unsuspecting tourists. Avoid being scammed by carrying a minimal amount of cash on you, and using a neck wallet or money belt.
4) DON’T BRING Hairdryer Continental European plugs make it difficult to use a non-European brand hairdryer, even if you have an electric converter. Plus, most hotels and hostels will offer a complimentary blow dryer during your stay anyway, so make your suitcase a bit lighter and leave your hairdryer at home.
FAQs about Hungary travel
1. What currency does Hungary use?
You might assume that Hungary uses the euro, but their currency is actually the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Some more tourist-friendly locations might take Euros if those are what you have on hand. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to convert euros, pounds, or dollars to HUF. Hungary is a lot cheaper than other European cities like London, so don’t get too much cash that you won’t end up using!
2. Do they speak English in Hungary?
Naturally, the national language of Hungary is Hungarian. Like many European countries, you may hear a good amount of English, especially in the more tourist-friendly areas. You will get by just fine on your trip to Hungary, particularly if you are visiting Budapest.
3. What activities should I do while in Hungary?
One of the most popular activities in Budapest is a visit to the thermal baths. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is perhaps the most well-known, but there are other locations as well. Many travelers also choose to visit the Ruin Bars like Szimpla Kert—as the name implies, these are trendy bars housed in old ruins of abandoned buildings and stores throughout the city.
4. What’s the best way to get around?
Assuming you won’t have access to a vehicle on your trip to Hungary, the best ways to get around the city are on foot and by public transit. Budapest is a very walkable city, so odds are you won’t need to hop on a train or bus very often. A taxi is also an option if you’re looking to get somewhere in a pinch and don’t mind spending a little extra dough.
5. Should I tip at restaurants in Hungary?
Yes, you should tip in Hungary! As a rule of thumb, tip 10 to 15 percent at restaurants. Be aware that restaurants may include a gratuity on the bill, so double-check. And if you’re not sure, it’s always better to ask!
6. Is Hungary safe?
Generally speaking, Hungary is safe. However, like many cities, there is always an increased chance of pickpockets trying to snag some money off of you in the more touristy areas. Always exercise caution in crowded areas like train stations, popular city streets, and so on.
7. Where should I visit besides Budapest?
While Budapest is a more typical choice for those looking to visit Hungary, don’t miss out on the other exciting destinations the country has to offer. Gyor, located between Budapest and Vienna, is a charming town full of historic old buildings and interesting architecture. Debrecen is also a worthwhile place to visit, having served as the capital at various times throughout history. If you are searching for a multicultural city, look no further than Pecs.