Getting around in Budapest
Budapest has a fairly extensive and efficient public transport system. It is cheaper than in most Western European cities. A wide variety of trams, buses, trolleys and metro trains run in the city. Be prepared for typical rush hours: vehicles are crowded and traffic can be rather slow. This would be expected in any city.
Night service is quite reliable too, although there are urban legends about rude controllers and security stuff on night service buses.
Most important types of tickets:
Single ticket 320 HUF, (400 HUF if purchased from the driver on board the vehicle): valid on all public transport vehicles for one uninterrupted trip.
Transfer ticket: 490 HUF - you can use a single transfer ticket to get airport to downtown! or back way
Metro Section Ticket: 260 HUF: valid for one uninterrupted trip without change on all 3 metro lines for 3 stops for 60 minues.
One-day travel pass (1550 HUF): vaild on all public transport vehicles for an unlimited number of trips from 0:00 to 24:00 of the day indicated on the ticket .
3-day travel pass (3850 HUF): vaild on all public transport vehicles for an unlimited number of trips for 72 hours starting from the time and date you purchased it.
7-day travel pass (4600 HUF): vaild on all public transport vehicles from 0:00 to 24:00 of the sixth following day for an unlimited number of trips.
Block of 10 single tickets (2800 HUF). You can tear tickets from the block and use them as single tickets.
Family ticket: 2200 HUF: valid on all public transport lines for 1-2 adults and 1-7 children under the age of 14 for 48 hours starting from the time and date you bought the ticket.
Night tickets: single tickets, block of 10 tickets, travel cards are valid for the night services.
Fines for tavelling without a ticket on a Budapest Public Transport Service:
if you are caught without a valid ticket by a controller you are to pay a fine which is currently 6000 HUF paid on the spot.
Some thoughts : ticket controllers, cashiers are usually does not speak any other language than hungarian. Be prepared! Large underground stations have ticket vending machine, so you can buy tickets, but usually accept only coins and notes of hungarian forints, but the touch screen knows english, german. You can pay only in Hungarian Forints at the cashiers, but some of those accept credit/debit cards as well (not all).
Discount : you can get FREE Transportation with Budapest Card.
Bad experiences in Budapest transport
Download map of daytime bus routes in Budapest
Download map of metro, tram and HEV lines in Budapest
Download map of nightshift buses in Budapest
Red underground (M2)
This is the second underground line in Budapest, it goes through the city from the Southern (Deli) train station to Ors Vezer square (ter).
In this line you can find sights such as , which you have to take off at Kossuth ter (ter means square).
The HEV to Aquincum is the Batthyany ter.
The Buda Castle, and the Matthias Church also available from here if you take off at the Moszkva ter and go by bus to the Castle.
Several Shopping Mall is on that route, like the Arkad on the Ors Vezer tere, along with IKEA, or the Mammut on the Moszkva ter (moscow square).
To change lines you have to go to Deak Ferenc ter, where you can change to M1 (the yellow) or M3 (the blue) lines. If you want to go to Vaci street or see the Synagogue you also have to take off here.
Yellow line (M1)
It was the first underground line in continental europe opened in 1896. It simply goes under the Andrassy av., from the Vorosmarty square through the Heroes's Square to Mexikoi ut.
You can reach the Opera house here if you take off the similar named stop, or at the Heroes Square and the Zoo as well.
Blue line (M3)
The Blue line is the youngest of all, you can use this route if you are coming back or out to airport as the airport bus connection available at the last stop of the line at Kobanya Kispest.
Western City Center shopping mall and the Western (Nyugati) train station also on this route , take off at Nyugati palyaudvar
Tram 4 and 6
Tram 4 and 6 goes round the city center, from Moszkva ter through Pest side than Buda again. Tram stops at Moszva ter, Margharet Island, Nyugati train station and Westend City Center, Oktogon (Heroes Square and Opera House in walking distances), Blaha Lujza ter (Keleti train staion in walking distance)
It is also going in round, but an outer circle than tram 4 and 6. You can reach Florian square and the roman ruins , Nepliget bus station, the new National Theatre with it.
Trolly, Electric Buses
Mostly going in the downtown area, same tickets and passes are ok as trams or buses
Interesting part of the transportation system of Budapest the Children's Railway. More info
HEV the suburban train
HEVs are the suburban trains of Budapest, easy to recognize from its green livery. It goes from Batthyany square through Old Buda, Aquincum to Szentendre, so it is maybe a good alternative to go to see the Danube Bend
Other line from Boraros square (Pest side of the Petofi bridge) to Csepel, and from Ors Vezer tere to Godollo. That line can be used to go to Mogyorod, place of the Hungaroring.
You have to buy ticket at the ticket office for HEV, since it depends on how long do you want to go.
Chair-lift aka Libego
You can take a journey into Buda Hills, above Budapest with Chair lift. Easy to go there by bus no 291 from Nyugati train station, you can exchange at the end of the chair-lift to Children's railway.
Ticket prices : 750HUF for adults, 450 for children on one way, 1300HUF and 700HUF on roundtrip
Working on weekdays from 10am till 5pm, weekends on 10am till 6pm, all year around
This special railway ascending the Buda Hills, to the popular Normafa.
Tickets for the cogwheel railway 840HUF for single, 1450HUF for a roundtrip. Children (3-14years) 520HUF and 940HUF
Official homepage of the Budapest Transportation Co.
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