Thanks to EU membership, entry is easy for German citizens. Regardless of whether your children or four-legged friends are travelling, the entry requirements for Hungary are quick and easy to fulfil.
Below you will find important information on customs regulations, noteworthy road traffic, information on the medical care situation in Hungary and what you should be aware of if you want to enter via one of the EU’s external borders.
What entry do requirements apply to Hungary?
German citizens can enter Hungary without a visa. A prerequisite is an identity card or passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Both documents are also accepted as a preliminary document. Children need a child passport. Citizens from non-EU countries need a valid visa. This is available from the embassy and the responsible representative office.
To apply, it is important to appear in person. It is advisable to plan at least 30 days for processing. Swiss citizens enter with a passport or identity card. If you are leaving your children alone in a country outside the EU, a certified consent of the parents is recommended. Special challenges such as taking fingerprints or filling in country-specific forms are not there when you enter Hungary.
The language barrier may be problematic. Stays that are shorter than three months are not subject to registration. If you plan to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days, you have to register. This takes place at the Office for Immigration and Asylum in Budapest. For this, you need several documents, including a contract of employment.
What should be considered when entering pets with Hungary?
Pet owners have the option to take certain pets, such as dogs, cats or ferrets, with them on the trip. For these four-legged friends, the same entry requirements apply in Hungary as for most countries within the European Union: with a valid EU pet passport, your four-legged friend will go on holiday with you.
The ID card confirms that the animal is free from infectious diseases and vaccinated against rabies. Information about the pet passport can be obtained from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. However, so-called fighting dogs may not be brought to Hungary. All others must wear a leash when walking and wearing a muzzle if you are using public transport.
To make sure your pet can go on the trip, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. Car trips are usually not a problem. Since larger animals are transported in the luggage compartment during air travel, there is greater stress on animals.
In addition, the transport conditions of the respective airline must be observed.
Customs regulations at entry and exit
The import and export regulations for goods to and from Hungary are subject to the directives and regulations of the European Union. Despite the principle of the free movement of goods, random checks at the borders can be expected.
If you are travelling from a non-EU country, special import limits apply. This means that you cannot have more than 40 cigarettes or a maximum of 50g smoking tobacco in your luggage. The usual free quantities are decisive for air travel. If officials find that the exemptions have been exceeded, high fines are due.
Special rules exist for the importation of alcoholic beverages. If they have already been taxed in the country of origin, they can be taken along. The proof is a special banderole or proof of purchase. Privately produced alcoholic beverages without corresponding labelling are subject to the import and export ban.
A penalty is payable for a check if you have alcohol with you untaxed. An import ban also applies to fresh meat, all dairy products and weapons. For sporting weapons, you need a permit. An export restriction does not apply to perfumes or Eau de Toilette products. It is important that the quantity purchased is intended for
There is a cash declaration requirement at the EU’s external borders. So, if you are entering or leaving the EU and carry more than 10,000 euros in cash, you will need to register the money with Customs. Decisive is the sum, even if it is an indifferent currency or as payment in the form of traveller’s checks.
In the event that you take so-called cultural assets out of the country, an official approval letter from the State Office of Cultural Heritage is required. Note that you can only export the cultural assets at certain limits. If you fly back from Hungary, report the item to the airport customs office.
Severe penalties are imposed on travellers if they find a drug. In addition to the possession, consumption is just as punishable and leads to several years’ imprisonment. The control officers do not differentiate between the types of drugs.
Further information on the import of goods in your luggage can be found on the website of the Hungarian Customs and at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin.
Checks at Hungary’s borders
Hungary has several external Schengen borders. Plan longer waiting times if you want to get into the country with a vehicle. Because border controls take place on both sides of the country, whereby it often comes to traffic jams. All travel documents are not only checked for their validity but also checked against various databases by the officials.
This applies to the borders with Ukraine, Croatia and Serbia, where entry or exit is only possible at official border crossings. The crossing at Röszke is very busy, especially on weekends. Austria has also stepped up controls at the borders, which is why there may be longer waiting times here too.
Road traffic information
To drive a car in Hungary, you only need to have a German driving license. In the country, zero per thousand limits apply. From an alcohol level of 0.5 per Mille in the blood, the driver’s license is withdrawn and criminal proceedings follow.
In the event of further violations on the road, such as disregarding seatbelts, driving over red lights or driving too fast, a fine is usually payable on site. This is up to 1,000 euros. If you do not pay the penalty, the police have the right to confiscate your vehicle.
Note that the low beam must be switched on at all times outside of towns. If you use a vehicle and are not the owner of the vehicle, it is advisable to carry a power of attorney issued by the vehicle owner. Ideally, this should be completed in Hungarian.
For the use of highways and some other designated roads such as the city bypass, a toll is due in Budapest. You can buy appropriate vignettes at petrol stations, at the border or online. The vignettes are valid for a week, a month or a year.
What is medical care in Hungary?
There are no specific vaccination requirements in the entry requirements for Hungary. As before every trip, the standard vaccinations in the vaccination calendar for children and adults should be checked and refreshed if necessary. For adults, this includes vaccination against whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and pneumococci.
We recommend vaccination against hepatitis A for entry into Hungary, and rabies, TBE and hepatitis B for longer stays. It is also advisable to vaccinate against measles for children and adults.
Since there are numerous ticks at home around Lake Balaton, you should always check whether a tick has bitten despite the vaccination. Checking is especially important after long stays in nature, for example on meadows or in the forest.
If you need on-site medical assistance, there are practices and hospitals in the cities. However, their equipment does not meet western standards everywhere. It is best to find out about doctors and medical care options around your whereabouts before you travel. In larger cities, you will often find private hospitals with good facilities.
An interpreter or a dictionary is helpful when consulting a doctor to prevent communication problems. If you are covered by statutory health insurance, the social security agreement for EU nationals provides coverage. The electronic health card is considered a European health insurance card (EHIC) and should, therefore, be with you every time you travel to an EU country.
If you present the card before treatment, all costs will be covered. If you are asked to pay an invoice despite the EHIC card, you will need a receipt. At home, you submit the receipt for a refund to your health insurance. Before you start your vacation, think about taking medication that you have to take regularly. It is not guaranteed that pharmacies carry similar medicines.
If you come to Hungary on a business trip, you should know that hospitality is a high priority in the country. Gladly invitations to dinner are pronounced. The food usually takes place in a very formal setting, which is why clothing appropriate to the occasion is recommended. Bring small gifts like a bottle of wine.
To show interest in your counterpart and to get into conversation, you can inquire about the well-being of your host. Also, private questions about hobbies or the family will be answered gladly. During a drink, wait for the host to lift the glass first. eat
If you go out to restaurants, remember that a tip of 10% to 15% of the total bill is appropriate. Round up the amount in a bar or a cafe.
The entry requirements for Hungary are the same as for other EU countries. If you want to travel from Germany to Hungary, you can do so relatively spontaneously and at short notice, provided you have a valid ID or passport. The customs regulations for Hungary are also subject to the Schengen Agreement and are therefore identical to those of the other member states.