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How to Get to Budapest

How to Get to Budapest by Air

The international airport in Budapest is the Ferihegy International Airport, 16 km from the city centre of Budapest. Ferihegy is divided into 3 Terminals: 1, 2A and 2B. Terminal 1 serves all the low-cost carriers and offers a direct 15 minute train journey to Budapest city centre. Terminal 2A was exclusively used by Malev, the Hungarian airlines but it now serves all Schengen destinations as well. Terminal 2B serves all non-Schengen destinations. The main cities of the USA and Europe have direct flights to Budapest, the capital, in Hungary. Air Berlin, Wizz Air and German Wings are the oldest of the economy airlines offering its services to Budapest. Air Canada, Lufthansa, EgyptAir, Finnair, British Airways and Air France are only a few airlines to name that fly to/from Budapest. The status of the flight can be checked on by entering the airline and flight number.

Zóna Taxi services (tel. 1/365-5555) are the only cab services that are authorized to use the airport cab stands. All taxis are pre-paid and metered charging fixed rates per cab and not per person. Fares run from zones 1-4 and cost from 3,000 Ft to 4,300 Ft ($16-$23/£8.55-£12). Airport Shuttle is a service offered by the Budapest Airport Authority that takes you to the directly to the address mentioned by you in the city. It is advisable to take a round-trip ticket if you are sure to get back to the airport by the same service. A round-trip fare is 3,900 Ft ($21/£11) per person and one way is 2,300 Ft ($12/£6.55) per person. The fares are the same for both airports. The newest service is the train service that runs from Terminal 1 of the airport to Nyugati train station. There are about 30 trains that run daily charging a fare of 300 Ft ($1.60/85p) for one way. For those arriving at Terminal 2 can catch a bus to Terminal 1 in order to take the train.

How to Get to Budapest by Rail

Budapest has three large international railway stations:

Keleti pályaudvar (Eastern Station), located in Pest's old and tired Baross tér, beyond the Outer Ring Road is the main terminus for international rail services from Western Europe.

Nyugati (Western Station), located on the Outer Ring, at the border of the V, VI, and XIII districts, handles international traffic heading east to Romania and Slovakia, and is an sight in it’s own right.

Déli train station (Southern train station) borders on the depressing. It is the third largest station in Budapest and the only one on the Buda side. London, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Rome and Istanbul cities have express rail links to Budapest.

For any information regarding the domestic services call: (36 1) 461-5500

For any information regarding the international services call: (36 1) 461-5400

A word of caution: It is recommended that a traveller should not take a taxi from any of the three stations mentioned above unless you have called for a cab yourself. Most of the taxis available outside these stations charge inflated prices and may fool you by taking 20 minutes to get to a 5-minute destination. Also be cautious of your belongings as the taxis drivers may rob you of your cash.

How to Get to Budapest by Bus

You can choose to drive in from 60 or more border crossings into the country, but remember 15 of these are only for citizens of Hungary and neighboring countries. Motorway stickers are compulsory on M1, M3, M5, M6 and M7. Please make sure you are carrying your International Driving License!

Many reliable international bus services are also available to reach Budapest. Most of these coaches arrive at the Erzsébet tér bus station. For Eastern European countries international and domestic bus services depart from and arrive to the Népliget bus station. Tel: (+36-1) 382-0888.

Getting Around Budapest

Getting around the place is no hassle at all. Taxis are available fairly easily and of course you could rent a car. It is recommended that travellers use the public transport rather than the taxis because there is a chance of you being ripped off. Most taxis charge hefty fares so avoid going on one unless you have called one of the companies for a metered taxi. At night especially try to pre-order a taxi - (+36 1 2111111 and +36 1 2666666) that are reliable ones who speak English too.

Public transport is both cheap and easy to catch. The subway, buses and trams have a vast network touching everyplace you could want to go. Trams and subways are both reliable and safe. The Metro here was built along the lines of the London Underground. It has the distinction of being the first of its kind on the continent. Grab a copy of the latest road map or city guide . The city is still in the process of shedding its Communist trappings and the streets and roads are acquiring new names. A few key words that could get you by are tér which means square , Körút is a road along a roundabout, Híd means a bridge and when you ask for Utca you’ll be directed to a street.

The transport authorities in Budapest are partial to young folk – there’s a 33% discount on train fares within Hungary for people under the age of 26. They also honour Eurail and Eastrail passes, though if you don’t have them you’re hardly likely to miss them. Rail fares here are dirt-cheap. Buy a pack of 20 BkV tickets at underground station that are valid for all public transport (tram, metro and bus). A great way to see the city is by taking the 45 minute journey on Tram 4 and 6 which goes from Moricz Zsigmond kortér to Moszkva ter (Moscow Square). Flash your student ID and utter the word diák (pronounced Dee-ak) and you could get a student’s concession even on buses. Motorists can expect good roads and petrol pumps that are open all night!

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