view of gray building near body of water
landscape photo of bridge with lights
aerial photography of buildings viewing bridge and sea during daytime

Is Budapest Safe?

Budapest is generally safe for tourists, with petty crime like pickpocketing being the primary concern. However, be cautious in crowded areas and on public transportation. Violent crime is relatively low, but disputes involving excessive alcohol consumption can occur. Scams targeting tourists are common, so remain vigilant. While terrorism is a low risk, civil unrest related to political tensions cannot be ruled out. Familiarize yourself with your embassy's advisories for the latest updates.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Budapest is generally a safe destination for travelers, but like any major city, it's important to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. Here are some key points regarding safety in Budapest:

  • Petty Crime: Pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur in crowded areas, particularly on public transportation and around major tourist attractions. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams such as taxi overcharging, fake police officers, and street vendors selling counterfeit goods. Only use licensed taxis and be cautious of unsolicited offers.

  • Civil Unrest: While rare, protests and demonstrations can occur in Budapest. Avoid large gatherings and monitor local news for updates.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorist attacks in Budapest is low, but cannot be ruled out entirely. Remain vigilant in crowded areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

  • Disputes: Disputes or confrontations with locals are uncommon but can happen, especially if under the influence of alcohol. Maintain a respectful and non-confrontational demeanor.

  • Violent Crime: Violent crime rates in Budapest are relatively low compared to other major European cities. However, exercise caution in isolated areas, especially at night.

To enhance your safety, it's advisable to register with your embassy or consulate upon arrival, avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Additionally, purchase comprehensive travel insurance and keep copies of important documents in a secure location.

Health & Medical

Budapest is generally a safe destination for travelers in terms of health risks. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Vaccinations: No additional vaccinations are required beyond routine shots. However, it's advisable to ensure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling.

  • Air Pollution: Budapest experiences moderate levels of air pollution, particularly during the winter months. Those with respiratory issues may want to take precautions.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: There is a low risk of insect-borne diseases like Lyme disease. Using insect repellent in wooded areas is recommended.

  • Medical Facilities: Budapest has a good healthcare system with both public and private hospitals. Many medical staff speak English, especially in major hospitals.

  • Water and Food Safety: Tap water is generally safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available. Exercise caution with street food and ensure proper food handling practices.

  • Altitude Sickness: Not a concern as Budapest is located at a low altitude.

The overall health risks in Budapest are relatively low for most travelers. However, it's always advisable to purchase comprehensive travel insurance and take necessary precautions based on your individual health needs.

Natural Disasters

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is generally not prone to major natural disasters. However, travelers should be aware of the following potential risks:

  • Flooding: The city is situated along the Danube River, and heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt can occasionally cause flooding in low-lying areas. While major floods are rare, it's advisable to monitor weather conditions and follow local advisories.

  • Extreme Weather: Like many European cities, Budapest can experience extreme weather conditions, including heatwaves during the summer months and severe winter storms with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. Travelers should pack appropriate clothing and stay updated on weather forecasts.

  • Earthquakes: Hungary is located in a relatively stable tectonic region, but minor earthquakes can occur. The risk of a major earthquake causing significant damage in Budapest is low, but it's always wise to familiarize yourself with emergency procedures in case of seismic activity.

  • Wildfires: While not a common occurrence, wildfires can potentially affect the surrounding areas of Budapest during prolonged periods of dry and hot weather conditions. Travelers should follow local authorities' instructions and avoid affected areas.

Overall, Budapest is generally considered a safe destination in terms of natural disasters. However, it's always advisable to stay informed about weather conditions, follow local advisories, and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.


Budapest has an extensive and generally safe public transportation system, including metros, trams, buses, and suburban railways. However, travelers should exercise caution, especially on crowded vehicles, as petty theft and pickpocketing can occur.

  • Public Transportation: The metro, trams, and buses are reliable and efficient, making it easy to navigate the city. Validate your tickets to avoid fines.

  • Taxis: Use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services like Bolt or Uber. Avoid unmarked cabs, as they may overcharge or be unsafe.

  • Road Safety: Driving in Budapest can be challenging due to heavy traffic and aggressive driving habits. Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing streets, as drivers may not yield.

  • Cycling: Budapest has a growing network of bike lanes and paths, making cycling a convenient option. However, bike theft is common, so secure your bike properly.

  • Night Travel: Late-night public transportation is generally safe, but remain vigilant and avoid isolated areas or deserted stations.

Cultural Norms

Budapest is a city rich in culture and history, and respecting local customs and traditions is essential for travelers. Here are some important tips for cultural sensitivity:

  • Dress Modestly when visiting religious sites like churches and synagogues. Covering shoulders and knees is generally expected.

  • Public Displays of Affection should be kept to a minimum, as Hungarians tend to be more conservative in this regard.

  • Tipping is expected in restaurants and for services, typically around 10-15% of the bill.

  • Greetings are important in Hungarian culture. It's polite to greet shopkeepers and service staff with a simple "Jó napot" (Good day).

  • Holidays and Festivals like St. Stephen's Day (August 20th) and the Budapest Wine Festival (September) are celebrated with enthusiasm. Respecting local traditions and participating in festivities can enhance your cultural experience.

  • Language Barriers can be challenging, but making an effort to learn a few basic Hungarian phrases like "köszönöm" (thank you) is appreciated.

  • Thermal Baths are an integral part of Budapest's culture. Follow the posted rules and etiquette when visiting these historic bathing facilities.

Embracing the local customs and being respectful of Hungarian traditions will not only make your visit more enjoyable but also foster a positive cultural exchange.

Emergency Services

Budapest has a well-developed emergency services system to assist travelers in case of emergencies. The availability and reliability of these services are generally good, though response times may vary depending on the location and nature of the emergency.

  • Ambulance Services: Emergency medical services are available through a centralized ambulance system. Ambulances are equipped with modern equipment and staffed with trained personnel.

  • Fire Department: The Budapest Fire Department is responsible for responding to fire emergencies, as well as providing rescue services in case of accidents or natural disasters.

  • Police: The Hungarian National Police maintains a presence in Budapest and can be contacted for emergencies involving crime, public disturbances, or other security concerns. However, language barriers may pose a challenge for some travelers.

  • Tourist Police: Budapest has a dedicated tourist police unit that specifically caters to the needs of visitors. These officers are trained to handle issues commonly faced by tourists, such as theft, lost documents, or language assistance.

  • Emergency Hotlines: While specific emergency phone numbers should not be listed, it's important to note that Budapest has dedicated hotlines for various emergency services, which can be easily accessed by travelers in need.

It's advisable for travelers to research and familiarize themselves with the emergency services available in Budapest before their trip, as well as any specific instructions or guidelines provided by their accommodation or tour operators.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Budapest safe for tourists?

Budapest is generally safe for tourists. However, be cautious of petty crimes like pickpocketing in crowded areas and on public transportation. Avoid deserted areas at night and be aware of your surroundings.

Is Budapest safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers can feel relatively safe in Budapest, but should exercise caution, especially at night. Avoid walking alone in deserted areas, and be aware of your surroundings. Use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services.

Is Budapest safe for families?

Budapest is family-friendly with many attractions like parks, museums, and thermal baths. However, be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas and on public transportation. Ensure children are supervised at all times.

Is Budapest LGBTQ+ friendly?

LGBTQ+ rights are legally recognized in Hungary, but social acceptance varies. Same-sex marriage is not legal, but civil partnerships are recognized. Exercise caution in public displays of affection.

Do you need a visa to go to Budapest?

Citizens of most Western countries do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days in Hungary. However, a valid passport is mandatory for all visitors.

Can you drink tap water in Budapest?

Tap water in Budapest is safe to drink and meets EU standards. However, some visitors may prefer bottled water due to the high mineral content of tap water.

What is the currency in Budapest?

The official currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases.

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play