Spotlight: The Forint

Despite being a part of the European Union, Hungary uses their own currency, the Forint, not the Euro. Many of the Central and Eastern Europe countries that are part of the EU do not actually use the Euro. The exceptions are: Estonia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In order for a country to use the Euro, there are some basic requirements that the country needs to fulfil in order to adopt the Euro. This page can explain it much better than I can. There is more information in regards to Hungary and the Euro here.

When I bought my forints, it was at a rate of 188Ft to $1.00 CAD. Even though I’ve been here for a month, I still find it mind boggling when looking at prices of things. Something that is priced at 1000 Ft is approximately equal to $5.00 CAD which isn’t much at all, but looking at all those zeros following the one makes me think otherwise.

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The bills are broken down into 500Ft, 1000Ft, 2000Ft, 5000Ft, 10,000Ft and 20,000Ft notes. The coins are 200Ft, 100Ft, 50Ft, 20Ft and 5Ft. I seem to accumulate a lot of coins and I can never tell the difference between them.

It is still pretty difficult for me to gauge how expensive things are based on forints alone. Despite me being here for just over a month now, I still continue to convert prices back to Canadian. Hopefully as I get more acquainted to prices, I’ll be able to stop that and be able to tell whether things are expensive based on just the price in forint.