Hungary Tourist Trap Tips by GyuriFT Top 5 Page for this destination
Hungary Tourist Traps: 33 reviews and 10 photos
The tickets to/from Hungary bought overseas cost 3-4 times more than in Hungary. Besides there are numerous local discounts.
Unique Suggestions: stamp the train tickets bought overseas at the station invalidating them. Often it is better to get a hit and pay 15% penalty for returning unused ticket or railpass than to use it!
Buy tickets locally afterwards.
Fun Alternatives: Ask on VT or while you in Hungary the locals about the discounts. Recently a traveler was quoted a schocking £33 one-way for Budapest-Vienna, when a round-trip bought locally would be a mere 29 Euro, including the 4-day local transportation pass in Vienna! Traveling with kids is esp. very discounted.
There is an everyday-scam in Hungary involving Hungarian ticket conductors on prime international trains. Most of the time foreign tourists are targeted. The scam is going on unpunished and silently encouraged since mid-60-s.
The legal base for this scam: the REGULAR Hungarian international train tickets are MUCH more expensive than domestic ones for the same distance. This kind of ripp-off tarif is a common practice used in all "Socialist" countries: the few who are allowed to travel in the "West" as well as few West-Dollar-Toursts who are allowed in, pay much more than the "worker's class" for the same service.
Years went on, but the practice is still there. Without exception, all railways of ex-(or present) Socialist countries use it. But: it is nowhere enforced, except Hungary. In other words, a travler in China, Slovenia or Russia is free to buy the least expensive ticket for the route of his choice. NOT in Hungary! There is even a decree (passed well after fall of Socialist system) prohibiting "combine" domestic and internatinal tickets.
This "law" is lawless in the E.U.
Worse: as railways of different (ex)Socialist countries begun to realize, the "international capitalist" pricing of these tickets is simply out of reality and people just use their cars, they begun heavily discount the TCV international tickets. There are "relationship discounts" (Budapest-Vienna = 13 Euro, Budapest-Belgrade = 15 Euro), some round-trip discounts are less than one-way and many offerings which made internatonal travel sometimes even bit cheaper than domestic.
Recntly the conductors begun a game "spotting" discounted international tickets and asking for bribe. In one case a fellow VT member reported Hungarian conductor working in perfect "harmony" with Austrian conductor, both asking for bribe and declaring perfectly valid international tickets "invalid".
The "problem spot" is Budapest-Hegyeshalom route and while earlier Hungarian citizens were harrassed, recently it happens always with foreign tourists.
Unique Suggestions: 1) learn the terminology. Please visit my home page and learn,what is TCV ticket
2) do not display any obvious sign of wealth. Mix with the locals.
3) ask the conductor to show you, what are the rules. If you have a TCV ticket, ANY kind of TCV ticket and you are not abusing an obvious discount (like adult traveling on child's ticket) you are right, he is wrong. Always say: "this is a valid TCV ticket issued according CIV rules. Show me, why it is not valid and I would like to speak with your boss"
Ez egy érvényes TCV jegy a CIV szabályoknak megfelelöen. Legyen olyan kedves és mutassa meg, miért nem érvényes. Továbbá a felettesével szeretnék bszélni
4) Before entering Hungary from Hegyeshalom/Vienna, hide your cash, leave few Euro coins only and credit cards. All this "fine" gentleman can do is to de-train you at next station (most likely Györ). But if you have a valid ticket, he cannot even de-train.
Fun Alternatives: - If possible, avoid entering/leaving Hungary via Hegyeshalom where most abuses happen. Go to Vienna via Bratislava or via Sopron. It is also cheaper.
- The abuse happening if you have a discounted ticket from a third country till Budapest and an other ticket from Budapest to Vienna. Never show your 15 Euro Belgrade-Budapest ticket if you travel from Budapest to Vienna for 13 Euro!
(Compare: Belgrade-Vienna is 60 Euro if bought in one piece).
- if not sure, travel on domestic Hungarian IC trainsand avoid international trains
- use Budapest-Sopron-Vienna routing which involves border crossing on GYSEV territory, not MAV territory. There is a little great Hungarian/Austrian private railway company called GYSEV - well over 100 year old - and it operates its own trains ex-Budapest Déli. These trains have green, not blue couches. GYSEV does allow "domestic" ticket combinatin till Sopron and in general, the GYSEV employees seem to have better work ethics.
- Travel in the sleeper or couchette. The vultures have other tings to do than harrass sleeping car passengers.
- Use Russian or Ukrainian sleepeing car if there is any even for the daytime travel (extra 6 Euro). These are "alien" sleepers traveling under umbrella of SMPS, not the CIV agreement. Under that agreement, ANY ticket - even domestic - is fine and the Russian/Ukrainian sleeping car attendant always accepts it. Hungarian conductors know it and usually don't even bother entering the RZD or UZ sleeping cars.
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