The general public security situation in Budapest is said to be good on an international average. All the same, it is better if tourists are prepared for certain typical situations so that they do not end up feeling cheated or robbed.
In general the tourist's wallet is in greatest danger, and so it is advisable when using public transport, at railway stations, at shopping centres, markets or any other busy area where people are jostling around to pay extra attention to wallets, purses and bags, as pick-pockets prefer these places.
Taxis are best ordered by phone and not hailed in the street; when called, they are cheaper and there is no chance that you will pick up the one or two ‘private taxis' who charge outrageous fares. (For phone numbers of reputable companies, see the Taxi section. You can call a taxi even at short notice; they will normally arrive within 5-15 minutes.
Always request a menu showing all the prices before choosing which restaurant to eat at. This way you can rule out any unpleasantness caused by overcharging.
Never get mixed up in changing money or gambling on the street. Besides both being illegal, you are very likely to lose most or all of your money in these schemes. Carry documents, money and credit cards in a closed, inner pocket, and don't carry a lot of cash around town. Never leave valuables in your car.
Calling the ambulance, the police, the fire service and the general emergency number (112) are free of charge. Should you need medical assistance Budapest, the best option is to call Falck's 24-hour English-speaking hotline; they are very helpful and informative, and they can get you a doctor that speaks your language, or at least English. (06-1-2000-100)
The Hungarian police also has a number for foreigners to call („Tourist Police"). This 24-hour hot-line was set up specifically to help English-language speakers report crime. The office is based at V. Vigado utca 4.
Important phone numbers:
Lost your passport?
You should report the loss of your passport to the following authority:
Budapest and Pest County Directorate of the Office for Immigration and Citizenship Address: H-1117 Budapest, Budafoki út 60, Tel: 463-9100
Open: 24 hours
If your passport is stolen, you must report the loss to the local district police headquarters.
In Budapest left luggage counters and coin-operated lockers are to be found at the railway stations.
There are two non-stop left luggage counters at both the Eastern (Keleti) and the Southern (Déli) Railway Stations, while the Western (Nyugati) Railway Station has a left luggage counter open from 5 am-midnight, and lockers available 24 hours a day.
Health matters, medical assistance
Pharmacies in the capital are well stocked, and pharmacists may be able to suggest a medication for certain complaints. A notice on the door of pharmacies indicates the address of the closest 24- hour pharmacy.