|May - 2013|
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Transportation inside Budapest
Budapest has an extensive network of public transportation, including buses, trolley buses, trams, metro lines and the HÉV (suburban railway). The system is reliable, punctual and safe, and it covers the entire city. Public transport in Budapest is cheap with a Hungarian student ID card.
If you do not have a Hungarian student ID, you can use tickets for all forms of public transport in the city. Remember when you change lines, you must validate a new ticket. If you get caught travelling without a valid ticket, you must pay a fine of 8000 HUF on the spot or 16000 HUF via check. Ticket inspectors wear red armbands and can appear anywhere at any time.
A book of 10 tickets can also be purchased for a lower price. A special metro section ticket is valid for three stops, and metro transfer tickets allow you to transfer between lines.
Travel passes for one day, three days and seven days can also be purchased. Tickets can be purchased from newsagent’s, metro stations and ticket machines.
For up-to-date information on prices and schedules see http://www.bkv.hu/en/
Like trams, buses allow visitors to see the sites while travelling in the city. In the mornings buses are crowded and you may have to stand for most of the journey. In order to let the driver know you wish to get off at a certain stop you need to press the stop button in good time as the doors do not open automatically when the bus stops. To open the door you may need to press a small button located next to the door.
The tram network in and around Budapest offers perhaps the most tourist-friendly way of navigating the city whilst taking in the sights. Take either No 2, 4 or 6 tram, and you will have the most spectacular view of the city.
Trams run from as early as 4.30 a.m. until 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the route. The full list of stops is displayed above the doors of each tram.
Budapest’s metro system has 3 lines, which all connect at Deák tér, it enables you to go from one side of the city to the other in around 30 minutes. Each metro station has a map covering the entire city and highlighting all public transport connection points. You will notice that on both sides of the platform the destination stations are listed in the direction of travel. The metro runs from 4.30 am until just after 11 pm.
M1 (yellow line): Mexikói út – Vörösmarty tér
M2 (red line): Örs Vezér tere – Déli pályaudvar
M3 (blue line): Kőbánya Kispest – Újpest Központ
The HÉV (Suburban Railway)
The HÉV is the suburban (surface) railway system that connects Budapest with its suburban districts. If you are visiting the city as a tourist the most popular journey by HÉV will be to Szentendre from Batthyány tér. As Szentendre is outside the city limits you will need to purchase a ticket at the station before traveling (if you have a valid pass for public transportation within Budapest, you will only need to buy the ticket (pótjegy) for the distance between Budapest and Szentendre.
If you loose anything on the public transportation, please contact us as the BKV (Budapest Public Transportation Company) does have a “Lost and Found” office.
Taxi tariffs consist of a basic charge and a kilometer fee. We warmly recommend ordering by phone as it is much cheaper than catching one on the street. You can order the taxi on the phone. If you are going home from a restaurant, we suggest that you ask the waiter to order a taxi for you, as most restaurants do have a contract with one of the taxi companies. Switchboard operators generally speak English and the car will get to you in 5-10 minutes.
Before starting off, check the prices and make sure the meter is going. It is customary to give a 10% tip to the driver.
City Taxi, Phone: 2 111 111
Főtaxi, Phone: 2 222 222
Tele5, Phone: 3 555 555
Transportation outside Budapest
The majority of cities and villages in Hungary can be reached either by train or by bus. The major train stations within Budapest are:
The Keleti Railway Station (mostly trains going to the Western and North-Western part of Hungary – trains to Győr, Vienna and Prague usually leave from here), the Nyugati Railway Station (mostly trains going to the North, North-Eastern and South-Eastern part of Hungary – trains for Debrecen or Szeged leave from here) and the Déli Railway Station (mostly trains going to the South-Western part of Hungary – trains for Lake Balaton leave from here)
The above link gives you the train schedule for all Hungarian trains, as well as trains leaving from or going via Hungary to foreign destinations. Always check the station from which the train is leaving as there may be changes depending on the schedule.
Most cities in Hungary can be reached either via train or via bus (in most cases both). Eurolines, which is a bus service to most European capitals, is also available. For more information regarding destinations and fares, please check the website below:
With the Danube running through the heart of Budapest, you will not be surprised to know that boat trips within Budapest and cruises along the Danube are also an option when getting acquainted with Budapest and Hungary. For detailed info on trips and cruises, as well as fares, please check the website below:
Last modified: 2013.04.17.