Hungary

Hungary is a vibrant country, full of rich culture
Hungary is a vibrant country, full of rich culture

Hungary is a vibrant country that provides tourists with countless memories, including attractions such as Shoes on the Danube Bank, Chain Bridge and St. Stephen's Basilica.

Meanwhile, Széchenyi Medicinal Bath, in Budapest, is the largest medicinal bath in Europe.

Around 400,000 British nationals travel to Hungary each year, with the trip of London to Budapest, for example, accessible using several means of transport.

Getting to Hungary

Driving to Budapest can see travellers take in the sights of Germany and Austria before completing a 17-hour trip, while the train from St Pancras International would take an extra six hours, on average.

Comparatively, flying to Budapest from London should only take around two-and-a-half hours.

Time zone

Hungary is one hour ahead of British Summer Time and two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, which should not require major alterations to your diabetes management.

However, if you are unsure as to how best to stick to your medication schedule then it is best to discuss a plan with your diabetes specialist.

Climate

The average climate in Hungary is almost identical to that of the UK, although summer temperatures may be a tad higher.

Currency

The currency in Hungary is the Euro, although Dollars and Pounds may be accepted by some businesses. However, these may be offered at a less favourable exchange rate.

Credit and debit cards are commonly accepted for payment, but this will more often than not specify Euros rather than other currency forms.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccinations required to enter Hungary, but it is recommended to receive vaccination for hepatitis A, which can be contracted through contaminated food and water in Hungary.

Rabies can be found in dogs, bats and other mammals in Hungary. This is not a major risk for travellers, but vaccination is advised for people who will be working with or around animals, children, or those planning activities in remote regions that put them at risk of animal bites. 

If you believe you may require these vaccines then you should consult your doctor at least eight weeks before travelling which should allow enough time for you to receive them.

Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.

Have you got a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

Hungary is amongst the European countries that allow you to receive state healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for medical treatment until you return to the UK.

It is best to apply for an EHIC card directly through the NHS. Your card will usually arrive within seven days if you have applied through the NHS, but it is best to apply two weeks in advance to allow for any delays.

Insulin

You should note which syringes are available in Hungary, with U-40 and U-100 syringes the most commonly used.

The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.

For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.

Ensuring access to medication

Medication is available in Hungary, but payment is required from a pharmacy. Possessing an EHIC card, however, allows you to receive treatment at a lesser cost and this money can be recouped when you get back into the UK.

Blood and urine testing kits are available from many pharmacies in Hungary, while the emergency services telephone number to be called is 112 or 104 if you are in Budapest.

It is advisable to contact the manufacturing company of your medication prior to leaving the UK to find out what is available in Hungary if your medication gets lost, stolen or damaged. It is also worth checking to see what different names your medication may be listed as.

Diabetes associations

It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.

There are two diabetic associations in Hungary that can be contacted for information prior to your stay.

The addresses of these associations are:

  • Magyar Diabetes Tarsasag (a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since 1970),
    Feszty Arpad u. 4 IV em. 15,
    1013 Budapest,
    Hungary
    Email: drgzs@josa.hu
  • National Federation of Hungarian Diabetics (a member of the IDF since 2006),
    Attila ùt 39,
    Krt. 49 III/18,
    5700 Gyula, Budapest,
    Hungary
    Tel: +36-70-9472-266
    Email: diabkincses@gmail.com

Questions

  • How is blood glucose measured in Hungary? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Hungary
  • What language is spoken in Hungary? Hungarian, German and English
  • Will I need an international driving license when driving in Hungary? No
  • If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
  • What sugar free drinks are available in Hungary? Mineral water and most other soft drinks such as Diet Coke
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