Public transport in Budapest

Running through all of the major tourist areas of the city, Budapest has one of the most efficient and inexpensive public transport systems of Europe. It is definitely the best internal travel option you can choose for your visit.

From the airport to the city center

The city center can be easily accessed by various means from Budapest Airport. The direct shuttle bus 100E between Liszt Ferenc International Airport and Deák Ferenc tér in the city center runs in every 10 minutes during daytime and about every 20 minutes late at night or early in the morning A special single ticket is required for each trip which costs 900 Hungarian forints. This ticket can be purchased from the ticket machines in the bus stop. If you want to level up your comfort, we suggest you use the door-to-door shuttle services of mini-BUD who provide different types of transfers from groups to private and even VIP. KERETESBE. Naturally, group transfers are cheaper than normal taxi services.

Tickets, travel cards and passes

One of the most important things about public transport tickets (except for suburban railway extension tickets, boat and ferry tickets) is that they need to be validated by stamping or punching at a machine. You shall validate your ticket prior to the start of your journey on metro lines M1, M2, M3 and M4, while on other vehicles immediately after boarding or departure on the vehicle itself. Boat and ferry tickets are validated by the crew, while suburban railway extension tickets require no validation after purchase; the same goes for travel cards and passes which allow unlimited trips within the indicated validity period. Within the city limits of Budapest, you can also travel on the suburban railway lines by purchasing a single ticket which needs to be validated (unlike the aforementioned extension ticket which is only valid for the stops outside city limits).

The validating machines located at the entrance of metro stations stamp the starting time of your trip onto your ticket. Trams, trolleybuses, buses and suburban railway trains have two types of validators:

  1. Red, manual validators
    Please insert your ticket into the opening on top and punch it by pulling the black frame of the slot towards you.
  1. The orange or yellow electric devices
    Please insert your ticket into the opening on the front for automatic validation.

A light indicates on the front if the machine is operational (green means it’s functioning, red if it’s out of order).

Single tickets entitle passengers to take one uninterrupted trip on the whole length of a line, but on the suburban railways only within the city boundaries. With the exception of traveling on the metro network, single tickets do not allow changes between lines. Tickets are valid for 80 minutes (120 minutes on night services) after stamping.

You can purchase tickets, travel cards and passes at BKK customer service centers, ticket offices and ticket vending machines. TVMs are easy to use as they feature touchscreens and multilingual menu systems.

For more information on public transport, go to bkk.hu/en or futar.bkk.hu

Source: Budapesti Közlekedési Központ  •  www.bkk.hu

Taking a taxi

If you decide to take a taxi from the airport or you just want to get around a bit more comfortably, be careful to only use the services of licensed Budapest taxis. They are easily recognizable by their yellow color with a checkered stripe on the side and a ’Licensed Budapest taxi’ statement on their windows. Their unified prices are written both on the outside and the inside of the car. They accept all major credit and debit cards besides cash. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few unfair freelance taxi drivers on the roads, but if you pay attention to the aforementioned characteristics, you shall be fine.

Getting out of the city

There are three main railway stations (terminals) in Budapest: Keleti (Eastern) and Nyugati (Western) Railway Stations in Pest and Déli (Southern) Railway Station in Buda. All of them can be easily reached by metro lines. If you prefer to travel by bus, Népliget (a station of metro line 3) is the main thoroughfare for both domestic and international bus lines. Domestic tickets can be purchased from TVMs or ticket offices and also directly from bus drivers. International tickets need to be booked in advance.