Last update 23 October 2023Diplomatic missions
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Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Hungary
Address: Andrassy ut.115, 1062 Budapest, Hungary
Telephone: +36 1 322 08 24; +36 1 322 08 36; +36 1 342 37 38
Fax: +36 1 322 52 15
E-mail: [email protected]
Embassy hotline for out of hours, weekends and holidays: +36-20-534-4559 - for emergency cases only (in case of threat to the life and health of Bulgarian citizens, due to natural disasters, industrial accidents, traffic accidents, criminal offences, terrorist act, etc.).
Information by phone: Monday – Friday, 14:00 –16:00
Telephone: +36 1 322 08 24; +36 1 322 08 36; +36 1 342 37 38
Fax: +36 1 322 52 15
Working hours: 09:00 – 17:30
Opening hours for citizens: Monday through Friday, 9:30 – 12:30
E-mail: [email protected]
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria in Hungary
Dr. Yordan Petrov Bochkov
Address: Erkel utca 3, 6000 Kecskemét, Hungary
Telephone: +36 20 222 99 22
E-mail: [email protected]
Embassy of Hungary in the Republic of Bulgaria
Address: 1000 Sofia, 57 6th September St.
Telephone: +359 2 963 11 35; +359 2 963 11 36
Fax: +359 2 963 21 10
E-mail: [email protected]
Honorary Consul of Hungary in the Republic of Bulgaria
Mr. Yordan Yordanov
Address: 9002 Varna, Primorski region 36 Vasil Drumev St., entr. C, floor 1
Telephone: +359 52 61 29 81
Fax: +359 52 98 66 55
Mob.: +359 888 595 370
E-mail: [email protected]
Hungary has a low crime rate. Personal luggage should be guarded with particular care on public transport. There is a danger of pickpockets. Thieves mainly target equipment, mobile phones, cash, credit cards and passports. There are frequent cases of stolen luggage while sleeping on the train, as well as at petrol stations on the motorways (especially on the route from the town of Szeged to the town of Hedyeshalom). Compared to other European countries, crime against tourists is limited to pickpocketing, overcharging on bills and fees.
The country's private healthcare facilities offer a high quality of service, but are mainly located in Budapest. Public healthcare is free for the insured and of good quality in urban areas.
Before travelling, check what your health insurance covers. The European Health Insurance Card is required for EU citizens applying for free treatment, but it only covers emergency care.
The network of pharmacies in the country is very well developed.
Specifics of the local legislation:
According to the Hungarian Act No 39 of 2001 on the entry and residence of foreign nationals on the territory of Hungary, Chapter VI, Article 86/1/ it is noted that the operating owner transporting foreign nationals by air and water as well as by land (the carrier) is administratively and financially responsible for the validity of the travel documents and visa of the national transported by him/her.
Travellers from non-Schengen countries are subject to strict customs controls.Customs requirements for Hungary: https://nav.gov.hu/pfile/file?path=/kiadvanyok/utastaj/idegennyelvu-utastajekoztatok/Information_for_Travellers.pdf1
Hungary allows the import of up to two packs of cigarettes per person. Alcohol - 1 l of alcohol with an alcohol content of more than 22%; 2 l of alcohol with an alcohol content of up to 22%; 4 l of wine; 16 l of beer are allowed. In the event of an infringement, the entire quantity is confiscated and a fine of around EUR 100 is payable.
A hunting weapon is only allowed to be imported by an EU citizen if he or she has a European firearms pass. Transporting or carrying automatic weapons is prohibited. Possession of drugs is prohibited.
Hungary is an external border of the Schengen area and implements strict border controls — Entering or leaving Hungary by vehicle can take quite a long time, especially given the heavily increased overland traffic through Hungary during the Easter holidays, at the end of the summer holiday season in August and September, at the start of the regular school year in September and during the Christmas and New Year holidays when EU citizens travel along the E75 corridor to and from Belgrade, Serbia. It is advisable to use alternative border crossing points.
In the event that a customs officer at one of the border crossing points demands an unauthorised amount from the Bulgarian carrier, the event and the circumstances may be described in the form of a complaint, with the badge number of that customs officer being mandatory.
To the attention of the Bulgarian carriers operating to, from and through the territory of Hungary: https://www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/konsulski-saobshtenia/8280
The traffic, especially in Budapest and the big cities is busy. Statistics show 1,200 deaths each year, largely due to careless driving. Police patrols work around the clock on Hungary's roads. There are also multiple cameras monitoring compliance with speed limits. The maximum speed limit in the city for a car is 50 km/h, for a first class road 110 km/h and for a motorway 130 km/h. It is a legal requirement to drive with your lights on, even during the day. Permitted left turns are rare in order to skip columns of cars and avoid congestion in large cities.
Child car seats are necessary for toddlers and babies. Children under the age of 12 cannot sit in the front seat. Seat belts are mandatory for everyone in the car.
Hungary uses a vignette system similar to that of neighbouring countries Austria and Slovakia, where since 2008 information on paid vignettes is stored electronically and checked directly by cameras that automatically read the vehicle registration number. The vignettes can be purchased from any petrol station for an interval of 4 days, 7 days, 1 month or 1 year. For travelling without a vignette, the fine is HUF 70,000 without any warning.
Important to know! The toll vignette must be purchased before starting to use the designated road or motorway. It is advisable to do this before entering Hungarian territory.
The Hungarian law provides for restrictive measures in case of detected drinking and driving, the penalty for such an offence being a heavy fine. Consumption of any alcoholic beverage while driving is not permitted and any blood alcohol content other than zero is subject to a fine or imprisonment. If the fine is not paid, the person's passport can be confiscated, or even go to jail until the fine is paid.
Police regularly stop various vehicles for document checks. Hungary has some of the harshest laws for those who cause car accidents. Being involved in a car crash leads to a fine, and in some cases, a conviction and 1 to 5 years in prison (depending on aggravating circumstances).
Bulgarian truck drivers and hauliers are subject to special treatment and strict checks at Hungary's borders. The fines that have been imposed, even for controversial offences, such as abbreviating the driver's small name on the truck's tachographs, range from 200,000 to 400,000 forints (EUR 730-1,500). There is a possibility of appeal on the spot, but only after payment of the fines.
When stopped by the specialized police authorities and a violation is found, drivers should know that as participants in administrative-criminal proceedings, they have the right to request that the document presented to them for signing be in Bulgarian, or otherwise to an interpreter be called to translate it for them.
Changes to the Road Traffic Act, effective 1 July 2011
When committing the following violations:
- non-use of seat belts;
- crossing a red traffic light;
the offenders concerned may be fined.
If the offender is found at the scene of the accident while exercising traffic control, a fine of HUF 10,000 to HUF 300,000 (Hungarian forints) may be imposed without issuing an official decree.
The vehicle may be impounded and detained without the issuance of a citation until the fine is paid or a deposit is made for the money owed. The authority acting in the case shall inform the driver of the amount of the fine imposed, the place where the vehicle will be detained and the route by which it can be reached, as well as the legal provisions relating to the procedure. The information shall be provided in writing in one of the following languages: Hungarian, English, German or Russian.
In the event that the authority determines to impound the vehicle, the license plate shall be surrendered to the authority for the duration of the impoundment. At the same time, a note is issued to the driver confirming that the vehicle has been impounded and impounded and the registration plate has been seized. If the driver does not seek the registration certificate of the vehicle issued by a foreign authority within three days after the release of the vehicle, the authority acting in the case shall send the registration certificate of the vehicle to the authority which issued it.
In the event that, in the exercise of traffic control, it appears that the driver or registered keeper of the vehicle has not paid a fine imposed in a previous administrative procedure, the authority acting in the case shall impound and detain the vehicle.
From 1 July 2013. Hungary has introduced the ‘HU-GO’ - Distance Based Tolling (DBT) electronic toll collection system, where tolls are proportional to the actual distance travelled. Effective 1 January 2016, a modification to the law was enacted and has the following change:
The Hungarian police, upon finding violations of the use of the roads in Hungary without a right to do so, instead of the current 90 days, has the right to consider a period of 180 days after the opening of a violation procedure. This means that with a specific license plate number and a sign for the respective nationality of the country — if illegality is detected and caught in the moment of illegal use of the roads in Hungary — the police authorities have the right from that date onwards up to a full 180 days back again to permanently check and control the possible illegal use of the roads on the occasion of unpaid tolls and to open a procedure for the violation. Once the 180 days have elapsed, the open procedure becomes obsolete.
In case of any violation of the rules and the opening of the procedure for this - the police authorities do not require the submission of any invoices or certificate, due to the fact that the electronic registration of the opening of the procedure is carried out by the AD.
The National Toll Service shall electronically record the vehicle registration number, nationality, details of vignettes purchased or otherwise any information regarding the right to use the relevant roads. Analysis and comparison of the facts shall be made at the various checkpoints during the journey.
The laws, as before, allow citizens who believe that the fine imposed on them is unjustified, that the situation is disputable and can attach documents to the case, especially the documents on the right to use the road in question.
Information materials, notifications are available in several languages on the official website of the HU-GO pages: https://www.hu-go.hu/articles/category/news_bul
Information on toll charges can be obtained by calling the following customer service number: +36 (36) 587-500
Information on fines and the challenge procedure
Challenges to fines for unpaid vignette fees can be made via the following email address: [email protected]
The electronic system has been introduced on certain road sections of the Hungarian public road network (motorways, highways, main roads) with a total length of 6,513 km. The new system, called HU-GO, complies with European Union and European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) directives.
The toll is compulsory for trucks with a maximum permissible gross weight of more than 3.5 tonnes. The amount of the toll, proportional to the actual distance travelled, depends on the type of road used (motorway, highway or main road), the category of the vehicle (J2, J3, J4) and its environmental classification.
Everyone travelling to Hungary is required to carry a valid passport or identity card. Recommendations for Bulgarian citizens travelling through Hungary from other EU Member States with lost or stolen identity documents on the territory of another EU country can be found here: https://www.consulatebg.eu/home/temporary-passport.
Make sure in advance that your driving license has not expired and that it is valid in the country of visit. Do your best to familiarise yourself with local traffic rules. In many countries, heavy fines are imposed for traffic violations, which are paid to the offender, regardless of whether you are a local or a foreign citizen.
In the summer period, cases of theft increase in places with large crowds - train stations, public transport, gas stations, parks, etc. Do not leave your luggage without your direct supervision. Always carry your money and personal documents. It is advisable to take a copy/digital photo of your identity documents. In the event of an accident, please contact the Hungarian police on telephone: 112 - to obtain a police report.
Contact details of the Hungarian National Police Headquarters
Nаme: BUDAPESTI RENDŐR-FŐKAPITÁNYSÁG
Address: 1139 Budapest, Teve utca 4-6.
Telephone: 112 or 107 or +36 1 443 5000
E-mail: [email protected]
Additional emergency telephones:
Fire Department: 105
Roadside assistance: 188
For those travelling with private vehicles via Hungary: Electronic vignettes can be purchased via the official Hungarian website: https://toll-charge.hu
Remember that abroad you should comply with local acts and norms. During your stay there, you fall under the jurisdiction of the host country. Penalties for breaking the law can be more stringent than those in Bulgaria for the same offences.
Pay special attention to and observe local rules on the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages and psychotropic substances.
Place all medications in their original packaging and check whether some of them are not considered illegal drugs abroad. If you use such substances, carry a copy of a doctor’s prescription confirming this fact.
Avoid carrying third party belongings when crossing borders.
If you are detained by the local authorities for any reason, require to get in touch with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria. A consular officer will contact you as soon as possible.
We advise you to conclude a contract for health, tourist, travel or other insurance in advance.
In cases of death of Bulgarian citizens in Hungary, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria will provide you with assistance and assistance in settling the formalities.
Urgent need for funds - If you do not have the necessary financial means, you should seek assistance from your relatives or family members to send you money locally via Western Union.
You can receive direct financial assistance from the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria only if your relatives or close relatives deposit the amount you need in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘Finance and Property Management’ Directorate. More information: https://www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/patuvane-chujbina/neobhodimost-finansovi-sredstva
It is necessary to know that the Embassy does not have the means to provide funds, purchase tickets, pay for hotels, hostels, etc.
In the event of theft of your identity documents, cash, travel tickets, etc., immediately notify the nearest police office in Hungary in person and in writing and ask for a copy of the record establishing the event. Contact the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to take steps to obtain the necessary documents to continue your journey or return to your home country.
Before leaving Bulgaria or immediately after your arrival in Hungary, write down the address and telephone numbers of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria. The administration of the hotels where you are staying, the tour operators arranging your trip and the local police authorities.
Forint (HUF). Payment in euro is now accepted in most hotels and some restaurants and shops, but at a rate lower than the official rate, often due to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the forint. The official forint-euro exchange rate fluctuates frequently (as of 06 February 2023 it is around HUF 400 to EUR 1).
The main types of credit cards (Eurocard, Visa, Mastercard) can be used in larger shops and restaurants. ATMs are available even in small towns.
Travel papers and visas
Hungary is a member of the Schengen Agreement. Bulgarian citizens travelling to and through Hungary must have a valid identity card or passport. There is no residual validity requirement for Bulgarian citizens' travel documents.
Minors and under-aged persons may travel with a valid identity card or passport if accompanied by their parents, guardians or legal representatives.
Minors and under-aged persons travelling unaccompanied or accompanied by third parties who are not their parents, guardians or legal representatives must present to the Hungarian authorities a document by which their parents/guardians/legal representatives consent to such travel.
Before travelling through Hungary, check the expiry date of your identity documents!
If you have expired identity documents in Hungary, you will need a temporary identity document issued by the Consular Office of the Embassy.
Due to the increasing cases of citizens with lost/stolen ID documents on the territory of EU countries, having a relevant document from the police for this fact, as well as other citizens travelling through Hungary to Bulgaria without valid ID documents, we draw your attention to the following:
1. When travelling through the territory of Hungary it is necessary for Bulgarian citizens to have valid identity documents for crossing the border (identity card, passport, diplomatic passport, service passport, seaman's passport, Emergency Travel Document). The Hungarian authorities do not allow people to cross the borders with Serbia and Romania without valid documents.
2. Hungary is an external border of the Schengen area and its border crossings are subject to enhanced checks and controls. The territory of the European Union covers the Schengen area countries and countries outside it. Bulgaria is not in the Schengen area.
3. Documents issued in EU countries by local police to certify the theft/loss of identity documents are not a substitute for an identity document and cannot be used to cross the Hungarian border with Serbia or Romania.
4. Pursuant to Article 8, paragraph 2 of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act, in case of loss, theft, damage or destruction of a Bulgarian identity document, the person is obliged to declare this within three days to the nearest structural unit of the Ministry of the Interior or to the diplomatic or consular representations of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad.
In the case of loss, theft, damage or destruction of a Bulgarian identity document, the person is obliged to submit within 3 days a written declaration in accordance with Annex No 6 to Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Regulations for the Issuance of Bulgarian Identity Documents, with a request for the issuance of a new identity document and/or an Emergency Travel Document (in case of the need for a recent trip to Bulgaria) to the nearest diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Bulgaria.
For the issue of an Emergency Travel Document, as well as for the issue of new identity documents, the relevant fees shall be paid on the spot, when submitting the declaration.
If it is not possible to report and submit a declaration for an Emergency Travel Document to a diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the country where the document is lost/stolen/damaged/destroyed, the person should seek assistance from another diplomatic representation nearby before reaching the Hungarian border with Serbia or Romania.
Certifications and legalizations:
Pursuant to the current Agreement on Legal Assistance in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters between Bulgaria and Hungary, signed in Sofia on 16 May 1966, promul. SG 29 of 11 April 1967, in force from 10 March 1967, the documents drawn up or certified by a competent authority in accordance with the established form and on which a seal has been affixed, shall be accepted in the territory of the other country without the need for further legalization (the affixing of an Apostille seal is not required).
Preparation of identity documents:
The Embassy's Consular Office can accept applications for passports, identity cards and Emergency Travel Documents.
Applications for the issuance of a driving licence shall not be accepted and processed.
- To issue an Emergency Travel Document for children born abroad, the child's local birth certificate and the presence of both parents are required.
- A birth certificate must be presented when the first identity card is issued.
- For issuance of an Emergency Travel Document for returning to Bulgaria in case of loss, theft, damage or destruction of the identity card and/or the passport, a report from the police must be submitted stating the particular circumstances (theft, robbery, forcible seizure, etc.).
Issue of documents:
The competent Hungarian civil registry offices in the respective municipalities shall send to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria the birth, marriage and death certificates of Bulgarian citizens drawn up in Hungary. The civil status acts received ex officio are sent by the Consular Office to the competent Bulgarian civil status offices for entry in the Bulgarian registers.
It is possible, after obtaining the relevant local civil status certificate, the individual to present it in person at the Consular Office, translated and certified according to the established procedure, for forwarding to the municipality of permanent residence in Bulgaria for registration of birth, civil marriage or death with the local authorities.
Where the person concerned is able and willing to carry out the registration in person or through an authorised representative, he/she shall present the relevant local certification document, translated and certified in accordance with the established procedure to the relevant municipality in Bulgaria:
• for the birth of a child - at the permanent address of the mother, and if she is a foreigner - at the permanent address of the father;
• for a civil marriage before the local authorities - at the permanent address of the husband, and if he is a foreigner - of the wife;
• for death - at the permanent address of the deceased.