Budapest Tech Tips
Here are some Budapest Tech Tips so you can get yourself set up for daily life in Budapest.
We both have our smartphones that we brought from the states. We were with AT&T, and we owned the phones outright, so we went to their unlocking site, You can find it HERE .
Last month we were in Amsterdam, and getting a local SIM was a cinch. There are shops all over the place selling cards. Here in Budapest I found it to be a bit different. There are three main carriers here, T-Mobile, Vodafone and a local carrier. I chose Vodafone, I have never used them before and have heard of them, plus I know they operate in multiple countries.
I went online and checked out their site, I read that they were running a summer promotion, buy 1 GB of data get 2 GB free in store. So rather than looking for a local shop that sells SIM cards, I looked for a proper Vodafone store. I found one in the West Side Mall, easily accessible by the 3 or 4 tram. At the time I didn’t know anything about the trams and I walked 1/2 hour to the store, it was a nice walk 🙂
Once at the store, it was just like an American shop. Get a number, wait 1/2 an hour to speak with a customer service rep. Once my number came up I sat with a super nice woman who walked me through the whole thing. Here they wanted an ID and a signature for the SIM chip. Easy enough- there was paperwork and everything even for the pay as you go. It was pretty simple though. I got 2 SIM’s for 9,000 HUF about $35 USD. The phones work great, and it seems that the 3 GB of data will be more than enough for our month stay in Budapest.
While I was at the store, I saw that the company is setting up a new network called Red, a network that you can use across country borders, with no roaming! Then I found out you must be a resident of the EU to get a monthly pay phone here. Which means showing a lease and utility bills- so no luck with that one.
We have wifi in our Airbnb, which is one of the requirements for us, as my husband Dave works from home. It’s fast and reliable, no complaints there. We have gone out to a few bars and coffee shops, and most have free WIFI. There are also several spots in the city where you can pick up open-air free wifi. It’s definitely a well-connected city, and you’ll have no issues using WIFI instead of cellular data in most places.
With the use of a converter most electronics work just fine in Budapest.
Computers have no issue, phone charging has gone smoothly. I found out in Amsterdam that one item you can leave home is your steamer, save room in your suitcase. The amount of power the outlets put out is just too much for the poor steamer, the water boils almost immediately and rapidly, and comes spurting out the top, this doesn’t make for a very useful device. I recommend buying one when you get here.