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 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.
Budapest International Airport
The airport is located 10 miles (16km) southeast of Budapest.
Budapest International Airport (BUD)
LocationThe airport is located 10 miles (16km) southeast of Budapest.
Getting to the city
The metro station is reachable via bus number 200E running from Terminal 2. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes to the city centre via the metro. Tickets for public transportation are available at the airport from customer service points, from the post office, the newsagents (Relay) and from ticket machines at the bus stop. There is also an airport minibus service that takes passengers to any destination in the city. Tickets can be purchased in the Arrivals Hall at the Airport Minibus counter. Alternatively, a taxi can be reserved at the arrivals terminal information desk. A ride to the city centre will take approximately 20 minutes depending on traffic conditions.
TimeGMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).
Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt and Europcar.
Taxis can be reserved in the arrivals hall. Fares are metered but can't exceed prices set according to city zones. A high speed road connects the airport to the city in 20 minutes. Try not to use unsolicited taxis, as they may charge exorbitant fees. All official taxis are well marked and should display the rate for fares.
Transfer between terminals
Terminal 2A (Schengen destinations) and 2B (non-Schengen destinations) are close enough to be accessible by foot; there is a covered walkway between these two terminals. All flights are serviced by Terminals 2A and 2B. Terminal 1 is no longer serving any flights.
Facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, first aid, duty-free shops, childcare, post office, chapel, restaurants, tourist information and hotel reservations. There are facilities for disabled passengers and wheelchairs are available from the airport help desks; travellers with special needs are advised to contact their airline or travel agent in advance.
There are dedicated parking structures for each terminal, offering express, short-term and long-term parking options. Express parking allows five free minutes if you just need to pick up or drop off a passenger. From there short-term prices escalate to HUF 900 for 30 minutes and HUF 1,300 for an hour.