The biggest health issue in Budapest is air pollution. Though it has gotten much better since the 2-stroke Trabants and Wartburgs have gone, there is still a fair amount of pollution from cars. Summer months are also marked by high pollen counts. Additionally, smoking is prevalent in Hungary, however as of January 1st, 2012 a new Hungarian law prohibits smoking in public places, including offices, restaurants and pubs.
Tap water in Budapest is generally safe to drink. Public restrooms are practically non-existent in Budapest, with the exception of shopping malls. Both locals and tourists use the restrooms in shopping malls, cafés and restaurants (especially fast food). The fee for the use of washrooms and toilets is HUF 100 - 200, as most of them still have attendants. Our tip would be to always carry a few hundred forints in your pocket in case you get the urge to go, while touring the city.
Medical assistance and pharmacies in Budapest
There is a 24-hour English-speaking hot line, where you can call for medical help. They can get you an English speaking doctor if needed.
Phone: (+36-1) 200-0100
There are emergency pharmacies, roughly one in every district. If a pharmacy is closed it will have a note with the address of the nearest open pharmacy. The following pharmacies are open late and/or all night:
Address: Pozsonyi út 19, District 4
Phone: (+36-1) 379-3008
Address: Rákóczi út 39, District 7
Phone: (+36-1) 314-3694
Address: Alkotás út 1/b, District 12
Phone: (+36-1) 355-4691
Address: Pongrác út 19, District 10
Phone: (+36-1) 431-9940
Address: Fehérvári út 12, District 11
Phone: (+36-1) 466-5891
Address: Ady Endre út 122, District 19
Phone: (+36-1) 282-8744
Address: Béke tér 11, District 13
Phone: (+36-1) 320-8006
Address: Vörösvári út 84, District 2
Phone: (+36-1) 368-6430
Address: Ferihegyi út 93, District 17
Phone: (+36-1) 256-0421
Address: Pesti út 170/a, District 17
Phone: (+36-1) 257-3871
Szent Margit Pharmacy
Address: Frankel Leó út 22, District 2
Phone: (+36-1) 212-4311
Address: Teréz körút 41, District 6
Phone: (+36-1) 311-4439
Address: Áruház tér 8, District 21
Phone: (+36-1) 278-0608
Safety in Budapest
Violent crimes are rare in Budapest, though petty theft is common. Pick pocketing and bicycle thefts are frequent. As in any other metropolis, visitors should use caution and common sense when traveling on crowded streetcars and buses as well as in tourist areas.
Men are usually the subject of certain types of scams in Budapest. The common denominator in most scams involves beautiful women. Do not let seemingly helpful local women (or taxi drivers) lure you to an establishment they recommend. It is also advisable to avoid restaurants and bars that do not list prices or provide a menu with prices. The US Embassy publishes an up-to-date list of venues to avoid.
In emergency the following numbers can be called free of charge:
General Emergency: 112
In addition there is a 24-hour Tourist Police hot line, operated by the Hungarian Police.
Phone: (+36-1) 438-8080
Office location: Vigadó utca 4, Pest, District 5
If your passport is lost, you may contact the Directorate of the Office for Immigration and Citizenship at (+36-1) 463-9165 or (+36-1) 463-9181, open 24hours.
If your passport is stolen, you must report it to the police.
Embassies in Budapest
For a list of foreign embassies in Budapest visit our Expats & Students in Budapest page.