Staying connected

For calls within Hungary, but outside of Budapest, dial the city code followed by the six or seven-digit number. For calls within Budapest, just dial the seven-digit number.

If the number is a mobile phone, to call from a non-mobile phone, you first dial 06, then the mobile numbers (20, 30, or 70) preceding the seven digits: for example 06 70 315-8828, if you were to call me from a non-mobile phone.

Calls to toll-free area codes 800, 888, 877, and 866 do not work from Hungary. You should keep notes of non-toll-free numbers for banks and credit card companies in case of emergencies.

International calls require the use of one of the following services. Credit card calls, collect calls or person-to-person calls using AT&T dial 06 8000-1112, 1113, or 1114. MCI call 06 8000-1411, or Sprint dial 06 8000-1877. Then follow the voice prompts from there. They will direct you for all of your choices.

Mobile phones

If you have a mobile phone, which is a triband phone, it will allow you to use it in Hungary and the rest of Europe. Travelers from Europe, nearly all of North America, Australia, and New Zealand are covered by having this type of phone as it works in your home network as well.

If you have an unlocked phone, one that is not tied to your home mobile carrier, then you can buy a SIM card from Telenor, T-Mobile, or Vodafone once in Hungary, giving you a Hungarian mobile number. This will greatly reduce the cost of making phone calls as they will no longer be long distance.

Hungarian mobile phone services make it incredibly difficult for anyone other than citizens or legal residents to rent or buy mobile phones. The only alternative is to purchase a phone from a store not associated with a mobile carrier and then purchase a SIM card on a pay-as-you-go plan. Money will need to be added to it to keep it working.

Depending on the company and SIM card, your calls may be restricted to calling domestically only, though you will be able to receive incoming calls from abroad. Domestic calls cost about 25 Ft a minute.

Internet & Email

When you’re in Budapest, it is almost impossible not to find somewhere offering Wi-Fi for free or for the cost of a coffee. Look for blue-and-white Wi-Fi signs on doors of restaurants, bars, cafes, bookstores, and even some shops. With a downturn in the economy, this is the hook to get people into an establishment hoping something will strike their fancy once they are in the door.


Many hotels now give Wi-Fi away for free as an added attraction to a lackluster occupancy slump. If you didn’t pack a tablet, netbook or laptop, there are plenty of Internet cafes waiting to serve your need to surf the net or read e-mail.