Luckily, most Budapest’s hotspots and its historical quarters are easily accessible by foot and often this is the best option to get you around as most areas are pedestrian only. Sometimes, however, you will require some transportation and there is an excellent system available in Budapest. The city offers a range of transportation to get you from point A to point B, without too much hassle or high prices. Budapest offers a metro (with 4 lines) a bus and a tram/streetcar. The options from the airport in Budapest to the city are a little more limited; there is only a bus or taxi available.
Options from the Airport of Budapest
A Budapest airport taxi will cost around 26€ (8045 HUF) and take around 35 minutes to reach the centre. All cabs are yellow with a roof sign and can be taken outside of the terminal building at the taxi rank!
Things to note about taxis:
- You may find that the taxi drivers are not bilingual – so make sure you have your address written down!
- There’s only one official taxi company operating at the airport – named Fo. Don’t take any other ‘taxis’ that may offer you rides!
There are two bus lines, one direct to the city (100E) and one that will take you to the metro station, where you will need to catch the M3 line to get to the city (200E). The 100E (direct) will take you to Kálvin tér in the centre. The bus will take around 35 minutes into the centre also.
Things to note about the buses:
- Bus 100E departs from the BKK stop which is located between the two terminals on the arrivals level – it operates between 05:00am and 11:30pm daily, leaving every 30 mins.
- Bus 200E stop is located just outside of terminal 2 and runs between 04:00am and 11:00pm.
- The 100E is priced at 900HUF (3€) and the 200E is a standard price for buses in the city, 350 HUF (1.15€).
- Tickets are purchased on board (NB this will be 450HUF for the 200E), from the post office, RELAY or ticket machines at the bus stops.
Welcome Pickups Transfer
Finally, if neither of the above suit you, it might be worth booking a Welcome transfer from the airport to city/hotel. Welcome airport taxis operate on fixed price which is the same as a normal taxi, but you can skip the queues and get yourself an experience with next-level customer service from a highly-rated, experienced and reliable transfer who will be waiting for you at your gate as soon as you arrive in Budapest. Welcome provides so much more than a normal taxi, with offers, promotions and services that will give you the best start to your holiday!
Transfer Options in the City of Budapest
To get around the city centre, as mentioned, there are plenty more options for transportation. Most places within the city will be reachable by either the streetcar/tram lines 2, 4 and 6. Alternatively, there is a metro which operates 4 lines that can get you to the majority of places in the city centre and which if taken will allow you to see the Millennium Underground (yellow line), the first subway line of continental Europe. Buses, which are the most popular method of public transport for the locals, cover the largest area of public transport, operating over 200 routes around the city. There are trolley buses available in Pest only, numbered starting from 70.
There are some things to be wary of while taking public transport around Budapest:
- Most transportation options, including buses, metro, trolley cars and trams will end at 11:00pm. There are some night-buses that operate, but the routes are much more limited.
- You are able to buy tickets that service all public transport options at the subway station ticket machines. There’s lots of options, some examples are:
- Single ticket (vonaljegy) – HUF 350 (1.15€)
- Transfer ticket (átszállójegy) – HUF 530 (1.66€ valid for a single journey with one transfer)
- One-day travel card (napijegy) – HUF 1,650 (5.18€)
- Tickets must be validated at the punching machines! Don’t get caught out as you can incur a fine.
- If you’re there for a short time – try the Budapest Card, which allows use of all public transport for either 24, 48 or 72 hours and gives you bonus deals for free entry to museums, walking tours and discounts on attractions or restaurants. Price is from 4,900 HUF (15.40€) to 9,900 (31€) HUF for 72 hours.
The following maps detail which lines go where around Budapest: