Travelling in Budapest


If you arrive by plane you have three possibilities to get to the centre. The cheapest way is to get on a bus, number 200E. It goes every 15 minutes and you can either buy your ticket on the bus or at the newsagent inside the airport. Tickets cost 320 Huf, about 1.5 Euro at the newsagent and 400 Huf on the bus so it’s better to go to the newsagent’s first. Don’t forget to validate your ticket on the bus right after you got on! You should go to Kobanya Kispest, which is the last stop and there you can change to the underground, blue line. Don’t forget to buy another ticket for the same price and from there you can get to the centre of Budapest by metro.

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Another option is to go by Minibus which costs you about 2,500 Huf, about 9 Euro per person to the centre. You might  have to wait a bit as the bus only leaves the airport when it is full.

You can go by taxi but you have to be very careful as not many drivers speak English and they sometimes ask for more money  than they should. Ask for the price in advance and be careful!

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Getting by in Budapest by the public transport system is not very easy. The most important rule that you have to keep in mind is that whenever you use the public transport you have to validate your ticket as soon as possible. When you travel by metro you have to validate tickets before you start your trip but on buses, trams, trolley buses and other vehicles validate immediatle after getting on as ticket inspectors will give you a fine and as many of them don’t speak English or other languages you will not be able to explain to them anything. Sometimes ticket controllers try to sell you tickets although they have no right to do that. These tickets are not valid and you will not only pay for the tickets but also likely to pay a fine if another ticket inspector checks your ticket. So only buy tickets from the ticket offices or vending machines! 

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If you need information about ticket prices you can visit this website and  find everything there.
http://www.bkv.hu/en

The best and easiest way is to buy a travel card. You can by 24-hour,72-hour or seven-day travel cards and in this case you don’t have to validate them every time you get on a vehicle. They are valid on all trolley buses, trams, underground and cogwheel railways but on buses, Hev suburban trains and some trains only within the administrative boundaries of Budapest. You have to write the exact date and time on the ticket and in case of inspection you have to hand it to the inspector. Prices are 1,550 Huf for the 24-hour card, 3,100 Huf for the 72-hour card and 4,600 Huf for the 7-day card.

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Another possibility for tourists arriving in Budapest is the Budapest card. You can use the public transport system with the same conditions as with the travel card but you can also use it to visit famous places or places of interests in Budapest either free or at a discount price.  You can choose from almost 100 places that you can visit from Budapest Zoo to restaurants and swimming pools.  The card can be used by an adult and also a child under six years of age. Prices are 3,900 for a 24-hour Budapest card, 7,900 for a 72-hours Budapest card and a 48-hour Budapest card is planned from June but prices have not been published yet.

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All different types of vehicles run frequently in the center of Budapest but the easiest way is to use the underground system. There are three lines which meet in Deak square, in the centre of Budapest, where you can change lines. Line 1, or the yellow line was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002 and it dates back to 1896 making it the second oldest underground line in the world.

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Metro is very convenient but if you want to see the city while travelling a very good choice is to use the trams. The major lines are tram number 4 and 6 which are the busiest lines in Europe. They run in the centre on Grand Boulevard and from their stops you can get to the most important sites in Pest. Be careful with your valuables though a lot of pickpockets are operating on both lines. You can also travel on tram number 2 which runs along the Danube. It is much better than a sightseeing bus as you can see a lot of famous sights including the Parliament  or Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city.