How to get to Hungary

Hungary is a country in Central Europe, bordering with seven countries: Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia. It is easily accessible by air, land or water transport. Numerous direct flights are available between Budapest, Debrecen and Sármellék near Lake Balaton in Hungary and European cities and countries overseas.

By plane

The scheduled flights and charter flights operated by international airlines are received by Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, the airport of Debrecen in Eastern Hungary and the airport of Sármellék in Western Hungary. Liszt Ferenc International Airport is located some 24 kilometres to the southeast of Budapest. Generally, Terminal 2A receives planes from member states of the Schengen Area, while Terminal 2B operates flights of low-cost airlines from countries outside of the Schengen Area. However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule of operation which is why we recommend that you always check the exact date of arrival and the terminal of departure on the official airport website.

 

Debrecen Airport is much smaller, easier to navigate and it operates year-round: it services airplanes of Lufthansa and Wizz Air and operates charter flights, receiving flights from cities such as London, München, Paris or Tel Aviv.

 

The Héviz-Balaton Airport is located just 15 kilometres away from Keszthely and Lake Balaton, and it used to serve as a Russian military airport. Today, it is a modern airport with a terminal upgraded to meet international standards operating from April to October and the majority of its traffic consists of international charters flights, mainly from German cities.

 

Airport tax is included in the ticket price.

 

By train

Budapest is easily accessible from any direction by the diverse international railway travel offered by the National State Railways. Long distance slow-trains are available from many European cities, which allow for a more peaceful, observing journey to Hungary. You can get to the city from London through Munich and Paris, from Stockholm through Hamburg or Copenhagen, or from Istanbul through Belgrade.

Budapest has three major railway stations, Keleti (Eastern), Nyugati (Western) and Déli (Southern) Railway Stations. International trains usually arrive at Keleti (Eastern) Railway Station. Déli (Southern) Railway Station mostly receives trains from countries on the southern border of Hungary, such as Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia. Different parts of the city can easily be accessed from the railway stations by metro. Keleti Railway Station is on the metro lines M2 and M4, Déli Railway Station is on the metro line M2 and Nyugati Railway Station is on the metro line M3. You can always find yellow cabs around the railway stations.

You can find more information on railway timetables on the website of Hungarian State Railways or on the monthly updated website of the bible of railway travel, the European Train Timetable

 

General information:

 

  • You must book seat tickets for international trains

 

  • Tickets are valid for 60 days from the date of purchase, stopovers are permitted

 

  • The majority of international trainsets are equipped with 1st and 2nd class sleeping cars, as well as 2nd class couchettes

 

  • Not all trains are equipped with buffet cars or other catering facilities. Make sure to bring your own drink and some sandwiches or snacks for the journey

 

  • In many cases, special discounts are available for international railway journeys, please inquire about discounts on the website or personally at the ticket office

 

  • Please mind the Hungarian transcription of foreign cities on trains

 

  • Only designated trains permit the transportation of bicycles, for which an additional bicycle ticket is required, which is not very expensive. Please inquire about bike transportation when booking your ticket!

 

  • By purchasing a supplementary, so-called Fast track ticket (1680 HUF), you can undergo the necessary passenger security check without queuing when departing from Budapest. This way you can skip the long queues and get to the transit area much faster.

Railway passes

Interrail offers discounted ticket prices for European travelers under 28, while Eurail offers a similar discount to travelers from non-European countries. Eurail Select Passes allow unlimited rail travel between 2-3-4 neighboring countries. Please consult the websites or railway information desks for the precise and current conditions of passes.

Bus services

Regular bus services operate between Budapest (and other Hungarian cities) and cities of neighboring countries, and more distant European towns. The majority of buses arrive at and depart from Népliget Bus Station. You can inquire about timetables, ticket prices and luggage services, if needed, at the station.

 

You can also use carpooling applications to find regularly scheduled minibus services between Budapest and some major European cities.

 

Some buses also offer bike transportation services, Germany-based bus service provider FlixBus offers this solution at some stations. Hungarian bus service provider Volánbusz only allows folding bikes that fit into the trunk. The price of international bus tickets, much like plane tickets, may vary with the time of booking and the number of tickets available. You might get lucky and find a cheap ticket, but make sure to always verify the route and duration of your journey: sometimes the buses take longer routes and take several stops, which can significantly increase journey times.

By car

Those who choose to travel by car or motorbike will be pleased to find well-maintained and extensive roads in the country, with an adequate domestic highway system for fast travel. Highways are designated by the letter M and a number, or the letter E indicates they are connected to the European highway system. Motorways in Hungary are typically two-lane highways in each direction with an emergency lane on the side.

 

You can find more information on entry requirements and rules on the Hungarian and English language website of the Hungarian police, and more information on border crossing on Útinform. Smaller border crossing checkpoints are only open at certain times and for certain types of vehicles. Make sure to have all necessary documents, including the vehicle documents, your international driver’s license and the relevant vehicle insurance certificate.

By boat

It is no wonder that many visitors choose to arrive in style: if we opt for the boat, we can experience a unique river panorama between Esztergom and Visegrád. The proverb is now true: you have not even stepped foot in Hungary, your adventures have already begun. It’s quite enough if you just stand on the deck while passing the Danube bend with the boat. Many companies service boats on the Danube, which is the busiest and most important waterway in Europe. Furthermore, when you arrive in Budapest, most boats dock near the scenic historic city centre.

 

On designated weekends between June and September, Hungarian-owned MAHART PassNave services a special hydrofoil line between Vienna and Budapest, stopping in Bratislava as well. Tickets are available in two-day bundles. You can find detailed information on current offers on the company’s website.

 

Please make sure to acquire all the necessary information on border crossing requirements and possible visa obligations, as entry points do not offer visa services.