How Safe Is Budapest?


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Christopher Adam Profile
Budapest, a city of approximately 2 million inhabitants, is generally very safe, especially when compared with other urban centres of a similar size. Nevertheless, petty crime remains a problem in some areas of the city and tourists are often seen as prime targets.

Most petty crime involves pick pockets, thus it is important to take precautions and remain vigilant. There are a few areas of Budapest heavily affected by pick-pocketing, especially the Eastern and Western Railway stations on the Pest side. The Eastern Railway station (Keleti Pályaudvar) is perhaps the most problematic, partly because it is located in a poorer, more run-down area of the city. Be sure never to accept offers to exchange foreign currency from anyone at railway stations or elsewhere on the street. Instead, always use banks or exchange offices.

A few downtown bus routes are also known to be home to pick-pockets, especially the number 7 bus, which runs along Rákóczi út. Be especially vigilant here. Female passengers should hold on firmly to their purse.

There are a few potentially dangerous areas of Budapest and it is best to avoid these areas after dark. These include large parts of the 8th District (also known as Józsefváros), parts of Újpest, as well as many housing complexes in Köbánya-Kispest.

Finally, in order to avoid being cheated, never take a taxi driven by an independent driver, as they are often known to over-charge. Always look for the signs of major taxi companies, such as Rádio Taxi, City Taxi, Fötaxi, or Mobil Taxi.

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