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The national currency is called the forint (international code: HUF).
Smaller amounts are coined, while the larger amounts are in paper note form.
Coins: Coins in circulation (as of 2 March 2008): 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 forint. The Hungarian National Bank ceased legal tender on 1 and 2 forint coins, as of 1 March 2008. Do not accept them as change or use them to pay for goods.
Notes: The notes in circulation are 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 & 20000 forint. UPDATE: It is now reported the 200 Forint bill is no longer being accepted except at banks to exchange for the 200 Forint coin. Do not take these in change from stores any longer.
Until 26 February 2008, the forint was pegged to the Euro at a rate of 282.63Ft = 1€. However, the pegging was loosened to allow Hungary's economy to strengthen, and 1€ now exchanges at roughly 230-240HUF (with £1 at 310-320Ft and USA$1 at 140-150Ft)
Tourist areas and attractions in Hungary, as well as larger shops in cities, accept payment via major credit or debit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard or AMEX. Similarly to the rest of Europe, payment via Interac is not possible. Ensure your debit card is enabled for use on the Cirrus or Maestro networks before you depart.
The economy in more rural areas is still largely cash-based. However, it is not generally necessary (nor wise) to withdraw huge sums of cash while in Budapest for most visits into the countryside. Virtually all "towns" (as opposed to "villages") have ATMs now and most give a language option.