Money

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Money

ATMs are common in Budapest and more often than not are part of the Cirrus and Plus networks. You can withdraw forints only (automatically converted at the bank's official exchange rate) directly from your account. Instructions are available in English. Some levy a 1% or $3 service charge; ask your bank about its surcharges before you travel. Outside of urban areas, machines are scarce and you should plan to carry enough cash to meet your needs. Banks in Hungary will exchange traveler's checks, but stores and businesses hardly ever accept them.

Hungary joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, but it still uses the forint (HUF or Ft.)—and this will be the case until sometime after 2010 (read: no earlier, but perhaps not until 2014), when, if the government's domestically unpopular efforts at budget belt-tightening meet stipulations, it will eventually be allowed to adopt the euro. There are bills of 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 forints and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 forints.

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