How to get around in Hungary

From the airport to the capital

Budapest

If you arrive at Liszt Ferenc International Airport, you can choose from several options to get into the city centre.

HTTPS://WWW.BUD.HU

 

Public Transport

Unfortunately, the airport is not yet connected by rail to the centre of Budapest, but there are two regular bus lines that connect the airport to the city. You will find the bus stop of line 100E between Terminal 2A and 2B, the frequency time of the buses is 20 to 30 minutes, they arrive at Deák Ferenc tér within 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the traffic, after two intermediate stops (Kálvin tér, Astoria), which is the transport node of Budapest, the meeting point of the different metro lines. The first bus line leaves the terminal at 5 a.m. and the last one thirty minutes after midnight, in alignment with the flight arrivals. The price of the bus ticket which is valid only for this line is HUF 900, which can be purchased from the ticketing machine in the bus stop (cash or card).

 

Bus line 200E circulates between the airport and Kőbánya-Kispest railway station, from where you can get to the city centre by metro line three, the blue line. The ticket price is HUF 350. There are 25 to 30 minutes between the buses. The daily or weekly ticket is also valid for them. Those can also be purchased from the ticketing machine in the bus stop. The first bus leaves the airport at 04:09 a.m., and the last one departs 21 minutes after midnight. (The metro runs until 11 p.m., after that you can get to the centre by night buses.)

 

Between 1 and 4 a.m. at night look for bus 900 at the airport. You can purchase a ticket for HUF 530 for the night bus from the same ticketing machines and it takes you to the city centre, to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út in an hour.

 

The passengers who are over 65 years of age and arrive from any member state of Europe, as well as Island, Liechenstein, Norway or Switzerland can use the public transportation buses free of charge.

 

Airport minibus

There are several shuttle service options available at the airport, and miniBUD is the official airport shuttle service. You can buy tickets for the shuttle service at the kiosk located at the baggage claim area, and your shuttle bus will transport you to your accommodation in Budapest. It’s recommended that you shouldn’t be the last one to board the bus, because on a first-come-first-served basis it may take smaller detours in the city before you arrive at your destination. You can also book a private, premium or VIP transfer for a higher price. HTTPS://WWW.MINIBUD.HU/

 

The one-way minibus tariff is HUF 4,900, but you can purchase a return ticket which saves you ten percent. If you have already purchased your Budapest Card, depending on the type of the card, you will get a discount on your transfer or your return journey can be even free of charge. You can buy the card online, so you can refer to it on arrival: https://www.budapestinfo.hu/budapest-card

 

You can pay for the minibus shuttle by bank card if you don’t have Hungarian forint on you. (We do not recommend exchanging cash at the airport, because the exchange rates are less favourable.)

 

Taxi Services

Only official taxi service contractors of the airport can provide services at the airport; when exiting the terminal you have to check in at the taxi kiosk, where you will provide the address where you want to go and you will be given a number and the estimated price of your ride. During peak hours the cars arrive frequently, you only have to check their number. Your journey to the centre of Budapest will cost around HUF 9,000. You will pay in the taxi, either by card or in cash. Avoid the taxi drivers offering rides within the terminal if you don’t want to get into a dispute about prices: they are not official service providers.

 

Debrecen Airport

As the traffic of the Debrecen Airport is less heavy than Budapest, the timetable of the buses departing from the city’s railway station is aligned to the departure times of the flights.

HTTPS://WWW.DEBRECENAIRPORT.COM

 

Hévíz-Sármellék Airport

Hévíz-Sármellék Airport is next to Keszthely city. More information about traveling:

HEVIZAIRPORT.COM

How to get around in general

Rail

The centre of Hungarian rail transport is Budapest. It is cheap and comfortable to get around by railway in Hungary.

 

The major railway stations are

- Keleti (Eastern Railway Station): Servicing Northern Hungary and a part of Northeastern Hungary

- Nyugati (Western Railway Station): Servicing the Danube Bend, the Great Hungarian Plain and a part of Northeastern Hungary

- Déli (Southern Railway Station): Servicing Transdanubia and the region of Lake Balaton

 

The three major railway stations in Budapest also offer luggage storage services.

Bikes are allowed on some but not all trains.

You can check departures (indulás) and arrivals (érkezés) in printed (and online) timetables. Express trains are indicated in red while slower passenger trains that service more stops are indicated in black. The train departs or arrives at the platform indicated under “vágány” on the train schedule board.

Regular trains rarely have buffet cars, therefore it is advisable to buy drinks and sandwiches at the railway station. Make sure to check whether a seat ticket or ticket supplement is necessary for the train prior to purchasing your ticket.

 

Types of trains:

- Intercity: the fastest and most comfortable type of railway transportation. It only stops at major hubs. It is necessary to purchase a ticket plus seat ticket.

- Express trains and fast trains: service more stops, slower. Somewhat (approx. 10%) cheaper than Intercity trains.

- Passenger trains: stops at every station. It is the best form of travel for short trips or if you want to enjoy the countryside scenery.

 

You can buy train tickets at the railway stations, or online. Major train stations also service ticketing machines. Please make sure to arrive in time as you can expect long queues and long waiting times. If you want to purchase a ticket for domestic trains, please visit the website below: HTTPS://WWW.MAVCSOPORT.HU/EN

 

Narrow gauge trains or so-called “small trains” operate in the tighter curves of hills and valleys. They are typically used by hikers.

The Hungarian State Railways also occasionally offer so-called nostalgia trains, which are unique vintage steam trains. You can inquire about routes and dates at WWW.MAVNOSZTALGIA.HU - or personally at platform 10 of Keleti Railway Station.

 

Bus Services

Volánbusz has an extensive bus service system in Hungary. Sometimes bus rides can be quicker than trains at long distances. You can find more information at: HTTPS://WWW.VOLANBUSZ.HU/EN

There are two types of bus stations in Budapest, for short and long distance travels. Major bus stations offer luggage storage services. Buses are fairly clean and comfortable and there is enough leg room to give you comfort. Please arrive in time as ticket purchases may be time-consuming. You can purchase tickets directly from the driver, or from ticketing machines at major bus stations.

 

SCHEDULE LEGEND is available on the website of Volánbusz.

 

Bicycle

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. The EuroVelo Nr.6 international bike route crosses Hungary along the Danube. One of the most beautiful and spectacular day trips from Budapest by bike is to the Danube Bend. If you don’t want to leave the city, Margaret Island and the Buda Mountains are also great destinations. Bike routes along Lake Balaton, Lake Tisza and Lake Velence are also worthy of mentioning. You can use the Bike Citizens app to plan your journey or you can browse through the Hungarian Cyclists' Club website!

 

Urban cycling has required the designation of bike trails at many places. It has become less common, but you might still find that some of the bike trails run on the pavement and share the space with the pedestrians. Please mind the road signals! Budapest operates a community bike sharing system and you can get information on other renting options in the tourism offices of larger towns in the countryside.

 

Carpool

We have listed some car-pooling websites in the How to get there chapter, these services are popular country-wide. It is advised that you read the reviews on drivers and journeys prior to booking. You can book a journey on the online platform after sign-up, available in Hungarian. You can pay by card online or pay the driver directly in cash.

Car rentals are also available for short and long trips.

Transport in Budapest

Metro, bus services, trams

The Budapest metro consists of four lines, it is very easy to use and understand the logic of the routes. The metro lines M1, M2 and M3 and meet in the centre of the city, at Deák Ferenc tér. M1 line, designated with yellow, i.e. the Millennium Underground Railway, connects Vörösmarty tér with Mexikói út. Andrássy út, the popular Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Heroes Square are located on this line. It started to operate at the end of the 19th century, as the first underground railway in continental Europe. The atmosphere of the stops and the subway cars are reminiscent of this era.

The new M4 line connects the Keleti-railway station with the Kelenföld-railway station in South-Buda. More information about metro lines network HERE.

 

When metro lines are renovated, passengers can take replacement buses between stops under construction. You can expect such replacement buses at this time.

Purchasing a ticket for the metro: for a single uninterrupted journey use a ticket of HUF 350. The tickets are valid for metro, bus, trolleybus, tram and HÉV (suburban train) within the boundaries of Budapest. Transfer ticket: 530 HUF. The ticket purchased in advance must be validated at the orange machines in the metro undergrounds or on the bus/tram.

It entitles you to travel for 100 minutes (for 120 minutes at night). If you travel 3 or less stops, it is enough to purchase the 300 HUF ticket. When you change from one line to another, you should use the so-called transfer ticket or validate one more ticket. You can find more information on ticket types and prices on the following website: HTTPS://BKK.HU/EN/TICKETS-AND-PASSES/PRICES/

 

With the Budapest Card you can freely use all the public transport services during the validity period of the card. You can purchase a 24-hour or a 7-day card which is also valid for bus, trolley and tram in addition to the metro. You can find more information on ticket types and prices on the following website: HTTP://BUDAPESTCARD.ORG/

 

You can find more information on the available transportation and routes at: HTTPS://BKK.HU/EN/TIMETABLES/

 

Another useful application is BKK Futár which offers detailed timetables as well as real-time information of each public transport vehicle which greatly facilitates planning journey times in the city. The app is available for both ANDROID and IOS devices.

 

Bicycles, mopeds, scooters

You can rent a bike while in Budapest, or you can use the MOL Bubi public bike-sharing system or the similarly serviced LIME e-scooters, or choose the faster and more practical electric moped service, BLINKEE.

You can rent a MOL Bubi bike for 24 or 72, or you can purchase a weekly or monthly pass. A terminal is placed at every green docking station, offering an extensive overview of useful information. WWW.MOLBUBI.HU

 

E-scooters are a fast and practical way of getting around at short distances. It is easy to use with a mobile application. One of its great advantages is that you don’t have to return it to a docking station, you can leave it almost anywhere. E-mopeds are similarly practical but are most suitable for longer distances. You can find Blinkee mopeds in Budapest and Pécs.

 

By taxi in the city

The yellow taxis belong to different taxi companies, but their prices are uniform, which is usually shown on the side of the car. The price consists of three elements: at the moment the base fee is HUF 500, the price per kilometre is HUF 300 and the waiting fee is HUF 70 per minute. Taxi service providers certified according to the Taxi Decree of Budapest:

 

FŐTAXI

TAXI 4

6X6 TAXI

CITY TAXI

BUDAPEST TAXI

TAXIPLUS

TELE 5 TAXI

ELIT TAXI

TAXIM (formerly Taxify and BOLT)

GOTAXI

 


Car Rentals

You can choose traditional car rentals or opt for the SHARE NOW car-sharing service, the biggest car-sharing service in the world, now available in Budapest. It is eco and cost friendly, offering flexible and predictable car rides in the city - and beyond. Download the application, sign up and find a car that’s closest to you, then book it right away. You can choose from several rental plans which allows you to use the well-equipped brand new cars for just a couple minutes or several days, at a minute or hourly rate. You don’t have to worry about insurance and fuel fees.

MOL LIMO offers a similar service: brief informative videos are available ON THE WEBSITE on how to use the car-sharing service. A separate subpage is dedicated to airport transfers: this is also available with special parking spots designated for LIMO cars at the airport.