Getting Around

Budapest has an extensive, inexpensive, and efficient public transport system that includes the metro, trams, buses, trolley buses, and trains. Most transport runs until about 11.30pm, after which there is a limited night bus and tram service until about 5am. The metro is clean, safe, and frequent and, although there are only four lines, it reaches most areas of interest to tourists.

Trams are good for travelling around the Great Boulevard or along the embankment; trolleybuses (electric buses) operate in Pest; and although more difficult to use, buses are useful for journeys that can't be made by metro, especially around Buda. There are regular incidents of pick pocketing on buses and metro lines, though, particularly when they are crowded.

An over ground HÉV train network services the outer suburbs. All forms of public transport require the self-validation of pre-purchased tickets, which can get complicated; it is best to get a travel pass for convenience and to save money. Day or multi-day passes are inexpensive and hassle-free, although the tourist Budapest Card combining three days of travel with discounted attractions isn't all that good value.

Budapest's taxis have a reputation for cheating foreigners and visitors are warned not to do business with private, unmarked vehicles that hang around stations. Legal taxis should have a yellow number plate, clearly display their rates and have a meter that is switched on. It is cheaper to order one by phone from reputable companies such as Citytaxi, Fo Taxi or Tele-5-Taxi.