Hungary’s currency is the forint. The best is to exchange € on the street exchange shops or banks, but not the € ATM machines and certainly not at the airport or just for the taxi or minibus (one taxi between the Hotel and the airport is 7500 – 8000 HUF). The best information is to get to and from the official location is here.
Most travellers will arrive via Budapest Franz Liszt International Airport (IATA: BUD), (Budapest Liszt Ferenc Nemzetközi Repülőtér). It is also possible to fly to airports in Debrecen, Sármellék, Győr-Pér and Pécs-Pogány. Liszt Ferenc airport, also commonly referred to by the old name Ferihegy, is Hungary’s largest airport and it is located about 16km (10 miles) southeast of the city centre. It is a small airport by international standards, easy to navigate, and well connected to the city by public transit. Tickets will direct visitors to either terminal “2A” (gates 20-30, Schengen-area destinations) or “2B” (gates 11-19, non-Schengen-area destinations), but the airport is now only one terminal and 2A and 2B simply refer to two halves of the same building. The signs point to separate security entrances for 2A or 2B but both lead to the same post-security area, so in practice, travellers can easily use either entrance, especially if line-ups are longer at one than the other. Behind security, there are typical airport shops and services, including duty-free stores operated by Travel Value, luxury brand shops, fast-food stops, restaurants, and cafes.
Budapest is well connected to cities throughout Europe, mainly through low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair. The number of direct long-haul flights is increasing as tourism in Budapest becomes increasingly popular.
The main public transit connection from the airport to the city is to take bus 200E from the airport to metro M3 (blue line)Kőbánya-Kispest’ (~25 minutes) and then to continue within the metro system (~20-30 minutes to city centre). The route is well marked with signs and the bus runs frequently. The bus stops almost right next to the metro stop, but be prepared to carry luggage up or down some stairs.
It is also possible to take the 200E bus to the local Ferihegy train station and continue on the MAV network to Nyugati station in Budapest or other rail destinations.
The only contracted taxi operator from Liszt Ferenc airport is Főtaxi. Depending on your destination, the cost for a trip to Budapest will range from 5,000 to 10,000 HUF. (Taxis now universally cost 450 HUF base price and 280 HUF for every kilometer. The inner city is around 20 kilometers from Terminal 2.)
AirportShuttle.Hu The Shuttle Service operated by Airportshuttle.hu Pte Ltd had ceased activity as of the 31st of December 2015.
The underground network consists of four lines (Metro 4 opened March 2014), connecting several centrally located sights, railway and autobus stations with suburbs. The lines cross only at Deák tér station in central Pest with the exception of line 4. Many stations have been recently renovated and usually have small shops, bakeries and various other businesses.
The historic Metro 1 or Millennium Subway (yellow line), connects the Városliget (City park) with touristy Vörösmarty Tér in Pest center, passing the Opera and Heroes’ square, as it mostly follows the majestic boulevard Andrássy út. Notably, the line was the first underground on continental Europe (preceded by London) constructed as part of the Millennium celebrations in 1896. Although the stylish vehicles are not original, the renovated, tile covered stations retain a historical atmosphere. Metro 2 (red line) connects Déli pályaudvar (Southern Railway Station, in Buda) with Eastern Pest, passing Széll Kálmán Tér (former Moszkva tér, Buda’s top transport hub), Kossuth tér (the Parliament) and Keleti Pályaudvar (Keleti Railway Station). Metro 3 (blue line) can assist you in reaching the Airport as you can change to Bus 200 at Kőbánya-Kispest terminus. A notable station is the historic Nyugati Pályaudvar (Western Railway Station). Metro 4 (green line) connects Keleti railway station in Pest with Kelenföld railway station in Buda. Important stops include Gellért tér for the famous Gellért Baths and Fővám tér for the Central Market Hall.
Budapest’s 25 tram lines offer a slower but more scenic way of getting around. Line 6 runs 24 hours a day. Trams generally run along either side of the Danube, and along the three ring roads.
The dense bus network connects the suburban zones with several metro and train stations and the city center.
Numbers with an added ‘E’ (for example 7E or 200E) indicate express services that don’t stop at all stops.
Numbers with an added ‘A’ have shorter routes than their regular counterparts (for example bus 30 has a longer itinerary than 30A).
Numbers between 900 and 999 denote night services.
Numbers between 300 and 899 denote mid-range suburban services provided by Volán company, BKV tickets and most tourist passes are not valid on them.
Budapest’s 13 trolley-bus lines run in Northeast and Central Pest. Some of them pass through the City Park (Városliget) and cross Andrássy avenue (Andrássy út), giving you beautiful views while using this eco-friendly mode of transport. Line 70 connecting Kossuth square (Parliament) to City Park (Városliget) also passes through the lively Nagymező utca, Budapest’s “Broadway”. The reason why the numbering starts with 70 is a historical one: The first trolley line started on Dec. 21, 1949, the 70th birthday of the Soviet dictator Stalin.
Green suburban railway lines (called HÉV) connect central Budapest with several suburbs. Note that your tickets and travel passes are valid only within the city boundaries, otherwise you should purchase a supplementary ticket (kiegészítő jegy) at a ticket office.
Line Batthyány tér–Szentendre goes upriver to the nearby baroque town of Szentendre. (The same train takes you to Sziget Fesztivál  in August.) It connects at Batthyány tér with metro 2, at Margit híd (Margaret bridge) with tram 4/6.
Line Örs vezér tere–Gödöllő takes you to the beautiful royal castle of Gödöllő from Metro 2 terminal station Örs Vezér Tér.
Trains connect Budapest with almost all countries in central and eastern Europe. The main railway stations (pályaudvar) are Keleti pályaudvar (Eastern Railway Station), Déli pályaudvar (Southern Railway Station) and Nyugati pályaudvar (Western Railway Station).
All are well connected to the metro system. Most international trains arrive at Keleti, but check your particular itinerary.
11¾h, direct trains daily, or an overnight option.
7½h, four daytime Railjet trains and one night train Kálmán Imre. Cheaper if bought online, at least 3 days in advance.
2.5-3h. High-speed services every two hours. Train connects Budapest Keleti to several main stations in Vienna. Tickets are cheaper if booked in advance. Expect to pay around €20-30. Slow/regional train options also possible.
7h, direct trains almost every two hours and night train Metropol. Online tickets are cheaper than normal tickets (the price begins at €19), but you should buy them at least 3 days in advance. If e-tickets are sold out or you have to buy a ticket immediately before departure, buy a (domestic) ticket Prague-Kúty Gr. (the CZ/SK border point) and international tickets Kúty Gr.-Štúrovo and Štúrovo-Budapest. This combination costs about 65% of the direct ticket.
2¾h, six EC trains a day.
10½, one direct day train, one direct night train, and three daytime trains that require a transfer. Sstarting around €29.
16h, two night trains Dacia and Ister and one daytime direct train Traianus. Ister tickets starting at €29 can be booked online. Normal tickets cost about 50 euro or more.
9-10h, Rippl-Rónai via Zagreb or change at Maribor with IC Citadella.
6-7h, two daytime trains a day, Agram and Rippl-Rónai. Different seasonal trains to various sea resorts. Return ticket valid 1 month costs about €30 and it’s even cheaper than one-way ticket. There is a seasonal sleeper train twice a week to Split.
8h, one daytime train Avala and one night train Beograd. From 15 EUR one way.
Only possibile via Zagreb with 12 hours waiting at Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor.
18¼h, Balkan Express with a through couchette car via Belgrade. Direct ticket is expensive, the better solution is to buy a ticket Sofia-Belgrade and then Belgrade-Budapest ticket at Belgrade station. The through car waits 2.5h in Belgrade and even if Balkan Express is delayed (a quite common situation), you have a time until the through car is shifted to the train to Budapest. Balkan Express leaves Sofia at noon and arrives to Belgrade at evening, so you can travel to Belgrade in a sitting car, and buy a cheaper couchette reservation only from Belgrade to Budapest.
Kiev and Moscow:
25h/39h, fast train Tisza, a typical Russian long-distance train going over 2 nights. International ticket is much more expensive than domestic Russian and especially Ukrainian domestic ticket. If you are on a tight budget, use another train from Kiev (departing on 18:52 or 20:06) to Chop (arriving on 10:04 or 10:52) near UA/HU border. In Chop, buy a ticket for the local train to Záhony (HU) and in Záhony buy a ticket for the IC to Budapest (arriving on 18:37). You have more than 3 hours in Chop and 1 hour in Záhony to buy your tickets – and there are later trains from Záhony to Budapest too. The overall trip is even shorter than that on the direct train and you’ll pay less than a half of the official international fare. Beware that Ukraine uses Eastern European Time, which is one hour ahead of Central European Time. Local residents of Chop and Zakarpathya Oblast use CET among themselves, they call it ‘local time’.
One direct daytime railjet and direct night train Wiener Walzer. Return fare EUR 78.
Hungary’s national bus network is operated by Volán Association. If you arrive to Budapest from another Hungarian city, bus is often the best option.
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