Hungarian phrases for tourists 2024 | Basic Hungarian for tourists

Basic Hungarian words that tourists must learn for Budapest trip

Learning basic Hungarian phrases before your Budapest trip in 2024 can be rewarding in certain ways. In this post we cover basic phrases in Hungarian with pronunciation.Not only the basic Hungarian but we try to cover Hungarian phrases for travel which may benefit you in your next Hungary journey.

It is pretty difficult for someone to learn Hungarian if he/she is not serious about it. Additionally, Hungarian words and meanings can be challenging to learn as even google translate is not advanced enough to translate the correct meaning.

If you are staying in the Budapest city center,you may not require to speak Hungarian,however, make sure you take a comfortable backpack or carry on luggage as you will walk a lot. You can find a good variety of travel luggage on Horizn-Studios and get 20% discount with HSxBudapezt code.

This is because all the shops and restaurants have English-speaking representatives in Budapest city center.

Specially the Jewish quarter Budapest which is a tourist heaven, majority of restaurants have English speaking waiters.

If you are looking for artistic historic 5 start hotels in Budapest, we recommend checking the following.

Difficulty of Hungarian language should not keep you hesitant to plan a Budapest trip as following attractions don’t require Hungarian Language knowledge if you book in advance.

However, at some places, which are away from tourist areas, Hungarian becomes a necessity,even in 2024.

Basic Hungarian phrases

One basic Hungarian word which every foreigner learns is “Szia” (C-yaa). It means Hi as well as Bye if you are saying to a single person.

However,for multiple addressee, Hi and Bye can be said with the word “Sziasztok” (C-yas-tok).

“Koszonom” (ko-so-num) is another basic phrase in Hungarian which means Thank you.

Szia meaning

Szia has multiple meanings in Hungarian language. Szia means Hi,Hello and Bye.
If you meet some single person, you can say Szia, you can also say Szia when you are leaving after the meeting with a single person.

Szia is normally used if you are meeting a single person. If you are meeting multiple people, you can say “Sziasztok” “C-Yas-tok”. Sziasztok is also meaning Hello,Hi and Bye, but for plural audience.

How do you pronounce Hogy Vagy?

You can pronounce Hungarian phrase “Hogy Vagy” as “Hoj Voj”. Like the J sound in Benjamin.

Although gy is read as strong j, but even with the mentioned pronunciation, others will be able to understand.

It means “how are you”,and is the common question asked after Szia.

How do you respond to thank you in Hungarian?

You can respond to Thank you “Koszonom” (Ko-so-num) with word “Szivesen” in Hungarian.
Szivesen is pronounced as “C-V-Shen”.

Thank you in Hungarian

There are multiple Hungarian phrases for tourists to say thank you in Hungarian.

If you are using informal Hungarian for saying Thank You, you can simply say “Koszi” pronounced as “Keh-c”.

Another alternate of saying thank you in Hungarian is “Kosz”, pronounced as “Kus” like in “Must”.

If you are using formal Hungarian for saying Thank you, you can say “Koszonem Szepen” pronounced as “Ko-so-num Say-pen”.

How do you apologize in Hungarian?

It is worth knowing some Hungarian phrases for tourist if you want to apologize for a mistake.The proper word for apologizing in Hungarian is “Bocsanot”, pronounced as “Bo-cha-not”.

However, you can use the short form of “Bocsi” pronounced as “Bochi” as well.

This word is normally used if you accidentally touch someone while walking or in the tram and bus.

And the other person,if Ok with your apology,will respond with “Semi baj” pronounced as “Shemmi Boy” meaning “no problem”.

Basic Hungarian greetings

“Szia” is the Hungarian Basic word meaning Hi,Hello and Bye, which means you can use these word for basic Hungarian greetings. However, Hungarian language does have other options to greet.

Good morning Hungarian

For saying good morning in Hungarian you should use “Jo Reggelt” pronounced as “Yo rey-get”.

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Good day in Hungarian

You can say good day in Hungarian as “Jo Napod” pronounced as “Yo Napod”.

Good evening in Hungarian

For saying Good evening in Hungarian, you can say “Jo estet”,which can be pronounced as “Yo-Ash-tait”.

How to say goodnight in Hungarian

If you want to say good night in Hungarian, you can say “jó éjszakát!” which is read as “Yo-Ay-saw-kawt”.

Here Ej has the sound like English alphabet A.

Common Hungarian phrases for shopping

It would be nice to learn some common Hungarian phrases for shopping in a grocery store in Budapest were shopkeeper does not speak English. These are Ugyanaz,Kulonbseg, Kerek, Hol talalom, Keszpensz and Karty.

If you are at a  Hungarian grocery store (SPAR,Tesco,CBA,ALDI) in Budapest and dont know if the price of an item is the one you are pointing to, you can ask a store helper by saying “ugyanaz (u-ja-naaz)” (is it same?)

Another key Hungarian phrase for tourists to know is “Kulonbseg” (kul-on-b-shake) which mean “Difference”.

If you are search for something in the Hungarian store, and want to ask an attendant, you can say “Kerek”. It is the Hungarian phrase for “I am looking for/I want”.

You can also use the basic Hungarian phrase “hol talalom egy” (whole taw-la-lom ej) meaning “Where can i find” .

Cash in Hungarian is Keszpenz “Case pains”, while card is called “Kartya”.

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Key Hungarian Phrases for returning items

It will be a good idea to learn key Hungarian phrases, if you bought something from a grocery store in Budapest and want to return it for money.

A useful Hungarian phrase for tourists is “szeretem visszaadni abc” (ser-et-tem vissa-adni abc)  which means “I want to return it”.

Another easy phrase in Hungarian for tourists to use when returning items can be “nem kerek” (Nem Kay-rek) which is”I do not want it”.

For changing an item you can ask with the basic Hungarian phrase like this “szeretem cherelni ezt a termek” (ser-et-tem cher-ail-ni aiz-t a ter-maik) which means “i want to change this product”.

One of the top attractions in Budapest is the Great Synagogue. If you plan to visit, make sure to book your Great Synagogue ticket in advance to avoid long queues.

Although you can survive without having money exchange Budapest.

But, at some souvenir shop Budapest in Central Market Hall Budapest, you may find some vendors not speaking English, in such cases, these phrases may be useful.

But in such shops,buying through credit card and then returning of money procedure may be different for each vendor shop. If you have around 2 hours, it is worth checking Budapest Market Hall walk with tastings.

Basic Hungarian phrases for using toilets

In Hungarian language there are hardly any words which are same as in English.

However, with toilets and bathroom, the spellings of terminologies in Hungarian are almost same,but pronunciations are different.

Toilet in Hungarian has many variants, and has following terminologies in Hungarian language.

One of the terminology for toilet in Hungarian is WC also written as vécé, which is pronounced as “Way-tSay” in Hungarian,while in English is called “Dub-lew See”.

Toilet is also called Toalett in Hungarian language.

Check more about Public toilets Budapest.

For washrooms, the Hungarian word in fürdőszoba which is pronounced as”Fur-dow-Soba”.

In any Shopping mall Budapest, off course you can find the signs and directions for toilets.

However, if you have to deal with the workers, these words may come handy.

Hungarian words for medical terms

If you are a patient, or get sick during your Budapest trip, you may need to buy medicines.

Pharmacy is also called pharmacy at some places in Budapest, however, there are other names associated as well.

Hungarian names for pharmacy are “patika” and “Gyogyszertar”(joj-ser-tar).There are limited 24 hour pharmacies in Budapest.

Hospital in Hungarian is called “KorHaz” (core haz).Doctor is called Orvos (Or-vosh) or HaziOrvos (Hazi-Orvosh).

If you are not an EU citizen, and encounter any emergency in Budapest to visit Hospital.The hospitals may charge a high fee which may range from 50 to 200 USD/EUR/GBP just for a normal checkup,while staying in the hospital will be pretty high cost.

It is recommended to get health insurance before traveling to Budapest, one recommended option is insubuy.

Hungarian phrases for Metro journey

Are you traveling to Budapest with train, it is better to know some Hungarian words associated with train station.

The Hungarian word for train station is “vasútállomás” (Va-Shoot-Alo-Mash).Another word associated with Hungarian train stations is “pályaudvar” (Paa-ya-Ud-Var).

The word Palyudvar is also associated with famous Hungarian train stations.e.g. Keleti Palyaudvar,Deli Palyaudvar and Nyugati Palyaudvar.

Due to complexities associated with BKV website which is in Hungarian, it is better to book your Budapest train ticket with TrainLine.

If you are traveling in Budapest underground metros, you will hear this Hungarian phrase “a következő megállo …”, which means, the “next station is….”.

Hungarian words for air journey

Airport is called “repülőtér” (Ray-pool-o-tayr) in Hungarian.

If you are using Bus 100E from Deak Ferenc ter,Kalvin ter or Astoria to reach the Budapest airport, it will contain English boards along with Hungarian,but coming through M3+200E bus may not be very English friendly.

If you are at the Budapest airport,and want to check arrivals, you should check érkezés (Air-keh-zaish), while departures can be checked under board displaying Indulás (In-du-lash).

Arriving at the airport,although you can book a taxi from the booth,right next to the arrivals section.

In case you want to book airport transfers prior to your Budapest visit,Either you can spend sometime finding the best taxis in Budapest or you can find estimated fares online.

Hungarian words for taxi

As of 2024, you will not find many foreign taxi drivers in Budapest.

Luckily, the taxis in Budapest are yellow in color and also called Taxi.

Uber Budapest is not there, but Bolt Taxi, Fo Taxi and City Taxi are somehow trusted names among Budapest Taxis.

In Budapest,if the taxi driver in Budapest is above 40, there are more chances that he does not speak English.

The Hungarian words for Going/coming and their forms in present/past/future tenses are hard to understand for first timers.

In case you book a taxi on the road, the best way to tell him your destination is to show him a written address with post code and ask an estimated fare in written format. Here are some examples.

1061 – Budapest, Király u. 30

1066 – Budapest, Teréz krt. 25

Although it is not advised to book a taxi from the road,but calling it from the official number of taxi company,as you will be able to speak in English.

Taxis which are registered in Budapest have written a sticker “minősített taxi” ( licensed taxi) on back doors.

Instead of booking a taxi to explore the city, it is better to have a guided tour with tuk tuk riksha that takes through major monuments in Budapest.

Hungarian words while driving in Budapest

While driving a car in Budapest, you have to be very careful.

Before entering to a street in Budapest,specially city center, you should check if it is allowed to enter the street.

Although White circle with red perimeter is a clear sign for no entry in Hungary, but sometimes there is another board beneath the circle.

Still in 2024,it may be challenging for you to read Hungarian sign boards with no English translation on Budapest streets.

The board is written like “Kiveve Engedellyel“, it means only authorized people are allowed to enter this street. Hence, if you are a tourist,most probably you will not be authorized.

Similarly, at some signs show “Kiveve and a bicycle sign” which means, only bicycles are allowed to enter the street while the other exceptions stand true.

An additional Hungarian phrase you may see on traffic boards is  “behajtani tilos“, which means “No Entry”, as it may be a one way road.

Magánterület, behajtás csak engedéllyel! is normally displayed in Hungary,in front of private properties or private parking. It means private properties,only authorized people can enter.

A similar word used in front of private properties is Idegeneknek belépni tilos! which means “entry of unknown people is forbidden”.

Important Hungarian words for drinking

Budapest is famous for partying,cheap beer and having fun time.

In the city area,while having a pub crawl,evening cruise with drinks and visiting ruin bars of Budapest, you can easily live with English Language.

However, if you are staying outside the city, you may face challenges in talking to locals who are not English speaking.

If you happen to visit a store for buying beers, or wine for partying at your place, you will definitely need to know these words.

Hungarian word for Wine is “Bor”, while Beer is called “Sor” pronounced as “Shr”.

Another famous drink which is specific to Hungary is the Hungarian Palinka.

Egészségedre in English

When Hungarians are drinking,their way for saying cheers is egészségedre.

Egészségedre means “for your good health” and pronounced as Ay-Gays-Shay-Gay-d-Ry.

Still wondering what are the current prices in Budapest?

If you want to have cheap and best breakfast in Budapest, you can buy from the ALDI store which has best croissants.

However,if you are in a non-tourist place in Budapest, you must remember “Reggelli” which is breakfast in Hungarian.

Hungarian numbers pronunciation

0 – nulla(zéró)
1 – egy (pronounced as edge)
2 – kettő (pronounced as Ketto, kett like in kettle)
3 – három (pronounced as Harom)
4 – négy (Pronounced as Naige like in Baige)
5 – öt (Pronounced as oot like in foot)
6 – hat (Pronounced as Hawt)
7 – hét (Pronounced as Hate)
8 – nyolc (Prnounced as Ni-yol-ts)
9 – kilenc (Pronounced as Key-len-ts)