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An Essential Guide to the Hungarian Forint

 
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If you are working abroad and want to send money home to Hungary, or if you’re planning a trip to this Central European country, you may want to turn your U.S. dollars, euros, pounds, or other currency into Hungarian forint.

Hungarian Forint

If you are looking for the current forint-to-dollar (or dollar-to-forint) exchange rate, here is today’s rate with Remitly.

The Hungarian forint is the official currency of Hungary. The symbol for the forint is “Ft” and the ISO currency code is “HUF.” The forint was subdivided into 100 fillérs until 1999, when the last fillér coin was removed from circulation.

The Hungarian National Bank (known as the Magyar Nezmeti Bank) issues the forint and controls its circulation. Banknotes are printed by Pénzjegynyomda Zrt. Budapest and coins are minted by Hungarian Mint Ltd.

Banknotes in circulation are in the following denominations:

  • 500; 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000; and 20,000 forint

Coins in circulation are in the following denominations:

  • 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 forint

For today’s U.S. dollar-to-forint exchange rate, check out today’s rates with Remitly.

5 Fascinating Facts About the Hungarian Forint

1. Forint banknotes depict historical rulers and architecture.

The front side of forint banknotes depicts historical rulers from throughout Hungary’s rich history. On the 200-forint note is King Charles I, on the 1,000-forint note is King Matthias I, and on the 10,000-forint note is King Saint Stephen I.

The reverse side presents pictures of Hungary’s renowned architecture, featuring fountains, castles, and other historic structures.

2. Forint means “gold.”

The name forint comes from the gold coins of Florence called the “fiorino d’oro.” These coins became an integral part of European trade, and many countries struck their own florins. Most of the coins were struck with gold from Hungary, a major producer of gold throughout Europe.

King Charles I (1308-1342) established many of the mines that provided gold for Europe. Hungary began minting its own coins in 1325.

3. Hungary experienced hyperinflation after World War I.

The acceptance of the 1920 Treaty of Trianon following World War I had a series of devastating effects on Hungary’s economy, not to mention the loss of more than 70% of its pre-war territory and over 60% of its pre-war population. Saddled with war debts and the loss of much of the country’s tax base, the forint lost almost all its value.

The forint in use in Hungary today was introduced after World War II in 1946. The currency was introduced to pay off debts after the war and to stabilize the economy.

4. Years of inflation have made fillér coins irrelevant.

Inflationary periods during the late 1980s and early 1990s made fillér coins worth so little that  they were removed from circulation in 1996. Minting of coins switched to solely forint denominations.

This period of inflation took place after the fall of communism in the country and as Hungary made the transition to a market-based economy. In 1991, inflation peaked at 35%.

5. The forint may eventually be replaced by the euro.

Since joining the European Union in 2004, Hungary has kept the forint as its national currency. The EU, however, requires almost all of its member nations to commit to adopting the euro once they have fulfilled the criteria. As of this writing, there is no target date set for Hungary to switch to the euro.

About Hungary

Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Romania and Ukraine to the east; Slovakia to the north; Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia to the west; and Serbia to the south. Hungary has a population of 9.75 million. Budapest is the country’s capital and largest city with a population of 1.8 million people.

The longest river in Europe, the Danube, flows through the country. Eighty-four percent of the country identifies as ethnic Hungarian, with smaller populations of Rom, German, and other ethnic groups. The national language is Hungarian, which uses a Latin alphabet and is one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Hungary is a member of the European Union and NATO.

Hungary has a long history of significant contributions to the arts, music, literature, sports, and science. Hungary remains a popular tourist destination in Europe, drawing in as many as 15.8 million visitors annually.

Hungarian Forint

Sending Money to Hungary

You can send money to Hungary with Remitly. New customers may be eligible for a special offer on their first transfer.

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, over 5 million people have used our secure mobile app to send money home with peace of mind. Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.

Further Reading

Remitly has all the information you need on understanding exchange rates, learning about Hungarian culture and traditions, and how to support Ukraine during the refugee crisis.