Budapest

Arriving in Budapest

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Arrival in Budapest is a cinch, no matter which form of transportation you use. The airport is little way out of town, but the other arrival points are slap bang in the centre of the city. For more information on what you can and cannot bring into Hungary check the customs section of our Basics chapter.

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Arriving in Budapest

Arrival in Budapest is a cinch, no matter which form of transportation you use. The airport is little way out of town, but the other arrival points are slap bang in the centre of the city. For more information on what you can and cannot bring into Hungary check the customs section of our Basics chapter.

By Boat

International hydrofoils run during mostly between June and October linking Budapest with Vienna.

By Bus

Hungary’s domestic bus network is operated by the Volán Association. For timetables and fares see their website at www.volan.eu

International bus routes are operated by Eurolines (+36-1) 219 8086, www.eurolines.hu/en/ and Orangeways (+36-30) 830 9696, www.orangeways.com/en/. They offer reasonably priced tickets to and from Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands,
Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Buses from abroad usually arrive at Népliget Bus Station, which is located in district X. (eastern Pest), near Népliget metro station.

By Minibus

If you're a bit fed up with hanging around slightly depressing Central European train stations, or flight boarding procedures that can take longer than the flight itself, a chauffeured minibus provides a sensible alternative.

By Plane

There have been a lot of changes in the last few years in Hungarian aviation. The reopening and then closure of the old Terminal 1, the renaming of the airport from Ferihegy to Budapest Liszt Ferenc, as well as the demise of Malév, the long beleaguered national airline and the emergence and rise of Wizzair. This facility has stayed the course and is a compact and convenient airport to fly in and out of. Wifi is free to all in departures. Their website is strikingly useful too, with up-to-date flight information. Food in their snack bars is as ridiculously over-priced as in any other world destination, a true sign of progress.

By Train

The condition of the capital's three major train stations is a cause for national embarrassment, or it should be. These huge depots are the first thing many travellers see of Hungary, and what they see are magnificent but unkempt and dirty old buildings, teeming with hustlers. Step off the train and onto the platform, and you'll likely be accosted by illegal taxi operators, money changers and panhandlers. You're not in any danger especially if you give these types a wide berth, it's just not much of a first impression. In any case, each station is handily located in west and eastern Pest, and over in Buda. Each of them have connections to the metro system as well as to other public transport. For international information call tel. 461 55 00; for domestic information call tel. 461 54 00 (English spoken).

Getting Around

By Car

For information on public roads in Budapest, call Fovinform's 24-hour line, tel. (+36-1) 317 1173. For the rest of Hungary, call Utinform, tel. (+36-1) 336 2400. To drive, your blood-alcohol level has to be 0.00% - any drinking before driving is illegal. The use of seat belts and headlights is also strictly enforced. Speed limits are 130km/h on motorways, 110km/h on dual carriageways, 90km/h on other roads and 50km/h in built-up areas.

Petrol stations are fairly easy to find. And crossing the border is a breeze as well - except on major holidays, delays for passenger vehicles are rare. For information on border questions, visa problems, and customs, call the Border Guard, tel. (+36-1) 456 7100.

Car Parking

Car Rental

Public transport

The BKV Budapest Public Transport Company) operates metro lines (M1-yellow, M2-red and M3-blue), blue local buses, yellow trams and red trolleybuses. Buy a ticket (jegy) at the ticket offices in metro stations and at newsstands. A ticket for a single one-way journey costs 350 HUF; tickets are slightly cheaper if you buy them 10 or 20 at a time. (10 tickets 3 000 HUF.) A day pass (napijegy) costs 1 650 HUF; a three-day pass (turistajegy) costs 4 150 HUF; and a weekly pass (hetijegy) costs 4 950 HUF. You can also get a two-week pass (ketheti berlet) for 7 000 HUF or a monthly pass (haviberlet) for 10 500 HUF; this requires a transport ID card (bring a photo). When riding public transport, you may be accosted by someone wearing a red armband. This person is not a political extremist - just a BKV ticket inspector. The fine is 18 000 HUF if you don’t have a valid ticket.

Metro
The three metro lines all intersect at V. Deák tér. Keleti and Déli Train Stations are on the red line; Nyugati Train Station is on the blue one. Tickets are validated at the station entrances - before boarding. Insert your ticket in the orange machines. Aside from the standard tickets and passes listed above, for the metro you can buy a 300 HUF ticket (metroszakaszjegy) at the service counter, which is good for a short journey of only three stops.

Buses, trolleybuses & trams
Night buses include the 6E, which follows the 4/6 tram line on the Nagykörút (Great Boulevard), and the 14E or 50E, which follow the line of the blue metro. The 4/6, reputedly the busiest tram line in Europe, now runs 24 hours a day. And so do the ticket inspectors.

HEV suburban train
There are four HEV suburban train lines. They run from Batthyány tér (red metro line) north to Szentendre, from Örs vezér tere (red metro line) east to Gödöllő, from Boráros tér south to Csepel, and from Vagóhíd south to Ráckeve. Budapest transport tickets are valid on the HEV only as far as the Budapest city limits. HEV tickets can be purchased at the HEV stations.

Taxis

Taking a cab in Budapest is no longer the game of Hungarian Roulette it used to be. Taxi drivers are now legally prohibited from charging more than the following amounts anywhere in Budapest. During daylight hours, a 300 HUF basic fee, 240 HUF per kilometre, and 60 HUF/minute for waiting. At night: 420 HUF basic fee, 336 HUF per kilometer, and 84 HUF/minute for waiting. Taxis are all supposed to have working meters and be able to issue a receipt. The driver will expect a tip from you at the end of the journey.


Tourist information

Wizz content

Wizz Air flies to and from Terminal 2.
Wizz Air, the largest low fare - low cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, flies to and from Budapest airport and offers cheap flights to Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom. During the summer season, Wizz Air also flies from Budapest to Bulgaria, Greece, Sicily and the Balearic Island of Palma de Mallorca. Your flight ticket can be complemented with travel services such as bus transfer to make your trip more comfortable. Our hotel and car rental providers have a wide selection of cheap hotels and car rental to make your trip complete.
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