Travel Basics – 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix 2024 in Budapest. Advice about visas, local customs, money & more.

  • The 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix will be held on July 19-21.
  • Images © The Editor has attended the Hungarian GP five times
  • This post contains affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links

Hungary is a land-locked republic in central Europe with a population of 10 million and a history dating back over 1000 years. Once a part of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire, the country lost much of its territory when attaining independence after the First World War and was then subject to a Communist leadership between 1947-1989. Hungary has been a member of the European Union since 2004. Capital Budapest, home to in excess of 3m inhabitants, is one of Europe’s grandest and most beautiful cities. The city attracts over 4m tourists annually, making it the sixth most visited city in Europe.

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Hungary Travel: Need to Know

  • Do I need a visa to visit Hungary? Hungary is a member of the Schengen area, comprised of 27 European countries with no internal border controls. Citizens of the European Union, plus Australia, the USA, Canada and other major Western countries can visit visa-free for up to 90 days. Within the Schengen area, you are free to cross borders without having to show your passport. Make sure you have at least three months validity on your passport beyond your planned visit.
  • In case of an emergency, dial 112
  • Hungary uses European standard 2-pronged electricity sockets.
  • The international dialing code for Hungary is +36
  • The timezone in Hungary is GMT +1 hour.
  • During the weekend of the Hungarian Grand Prix, sunrise is around 05:20 and sunset around 20:20
  • As with the rest of continental Europe, Hungarians drive on the right.
  • The tap water in Budapest is safe to drink.
  • Learn More: Visit Hungary Official Website

Staying Safe in Budapest

On the whole, Budapest is a safe destination, but like any big city popular with tourists, you’ll need to keep your wits about you as crime and scams do exist, particularly when a big event such as the Grand Prix is on. Pickpockets operate on public transport and around popular tourist attractions, so keep your belongings secure. Always book your taxi by phone and don’t hail on the street. Scammers sometimes target tourists, particularly in the old town area, so be careful about making new friends, particularly if you have been drinking. The most famous Budapest scam – targeting men –  involves a pretty girl introducing herself on the street and wanting to take you to a bar. Don’t fall for this one! The bar will charge exorbitant rates for drinks and heavies will make sure your several-hundred Euro bill is settled.

Staying Healthy

Don’t forget to sort out adequate travel insurance before you head to Hungary. The health service in Hungary is adequate, though still somewhat behind Western standards. If you do get sick, the best doctors can be found in private clinics and hospitals, but you will pay a lot more than at equivalent public facilities.

Hungarian Money

The Hungarian currency is called the Forint (HUF), which remains pretty cheap when compared to most major currencies. ATMs are easy to find in Budapest and credit cards are widely accepted in shops and restaurants. Avoid money changers if possible; banks offer better rates. Tipping is expected in Hungary, but only if you are happy with the service. It is possible to pay at the track and in Budapest with EUR, but this is generally not recommended due to poor exchange rates; it’s better to exchange your foreign currency for HUF.

Hungarian Language

The official language of Hungary is Hungarian (sometimes referred to as ‘Magyar’), which is often cited as one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. Luckily for tourists, a lot of Hungarians speak at least some English (German is also widely spoken), particularly younger people and those in the services industry. A phrase book (or translator on your smartphone) is a good idea however, and it never hurts to learn a few pleasantries; the locals will appreciate you making the effort!

Budapest Weather

It’s hot and dry in Budapest when the race is held in late July. Expect temperatures around 30°C (86°F) or above and plenty of sun. Budapest gets as much summer sun as many resorts on the Mediterranean sea, and the race weekend has only been rain affected a handful of times in over 30 years. Pack lots of light, comfortable clothing and don’t forget a hat and sunglasses.

Been to Budapest? Share a comment with your travel tips!

13 thoughts on “Travel Basics – 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix”

  1. Great article, thanks for the tips! With the lively capital of Budapest covered in vibrant bars, traditional bathhouses, and ornate architecture, and the natural splendour of the Danube River and Lake Balaton, Hungary is a joy to visit. However, there are tourist targeted scams to be aware of here.

    Do be wary of drink spiking, extortionate bar bills, tourist menu scams, pickpocketing, fake merchandise, three shell game scam, snatch theft, rogue taxis, rosemary scam and many more!

  2. Can i ask? how much F1 can atracct tourist to come? if annually hungary can atract over 4 M tourist how much f1 can add number of tourist visitor?

  3. Rosie CHARLTON

    We are staying close to the Chain Bridge in Budapest.
    How is the best way to get to/from the circuit with the least hassle?
    Can we pre book taxis each day?
    Staying at the Sofitel and they dont actually help guests with transport ie no shared mini bus. They just quoted me for 400 euros for a private car each day to take us and stay and wait!?!
    We have been to a few circuits but worried this one isnt as organised.Just 2 of us on this trip with SuperGold 3 day tix.

    1. Hi Rosie, if you want the least hassle, take a taxi each day from one of the recognized companies and you should pay around 35 EUR each way. The taxis also use a special road so don’t get stuck in traffic next to the circuit. More in Getting There & Around

  4. Im Struggling to get cheap flights for 20-24th direct from north of England to Budapest , any suggestions of a alternative way to get to the city?

    1. Take a look at flights to either Vienna or Bratislava, both are only a few hours from Budapest via road (car or bus), also trains available. And if you stay a day or two more you get to also check out another city.

  5. Good day and thank you in advance for your help. I would like to know
    1. Size of the backpack we can take with
    2. Can we take some snacks with – I am diabetic and need some food and snacks frequently but do not want to stand in the que forever missing out on the GP
    3. Also water – noted it must be in plastic bottle but 500ml in the hot and heat is nothing much. Can we take more than one 500ml bottled water?
    Thank you and super excites

    1. Hello, you are not allowed to take in a backpack that weighs more than 20kg, so it should be quite small.
      Yes, you can take snacks inside with you. The regulations state you can only bring in one 500ml water bottle, but they do have a lot of free refill stations around the circuit.

  6. Hi Excellent read Thanks. We are staying in benzcur hotel and was hoping to get metro to F1 is this possible or should i book taxi at the hotel? thanks

  7. Having been there this year I would have to disagree that there are a lot of filling stations for water. There aren’t. And 1 hour before a track session, the queues for water was 45 mins! It’s a major major con. Allow people just a small 500ml bottle that they queue in 35 degree heat to refill… or charge them extortionate amounts for a warm bottle.

  8. This year (2024) is my 3rd consecutive year, the previous 2 years we have passed 3 1 liter bottles of water and they have not told us anything, two sandwiches and snack bags, this last year (2023) the return was longer, the shuttle bus took you to Godollo and from there you had to take another train to Budapest, for me the previous way was better (shuttle bus to Kerepes and from there line 8 to Ors Veré Ter)

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