The national carrier Malev flies direct to Hungary from many European cities, including London. There are also a wealth of other carriers who fly into Budapest Airport, the country’s main airport, from all over Europe and the Middle East.
You will land at Terminal 2 as there is now no Terminal 1, however Terminal 2 is further divided into 2A and 2B. Airport facilities include everything you would expect duty free, ATMs, money exchange, restaurants, tourist information and car rental. WiFi is also available.
To transfer to Busapest city centre it is advisable to either use the Airport Minibus (a shared shuttle bus) or the officially appointed taxi company for the airport – Főtaxi.
The Airport Minibus will take you to any address in the city for a flat fee. These can be booked online or at the booths inside the termnals. Once you have bought your ticket, your name will be called once your driver is ready however, please note that booking your transfer back from the city to the airport will require 24 hours notice. One way trip is 3,200HUF and a return trip is 5,500HUF.
Look for the Főtaxi, the official Airport taxi company, from the airport to the city centre should cost around 6,500HUF depending on traffic.
You can also cross into Hungary by train and bus from all of its seven neighbours. Budapest has direct train services to and from 25 capital cities and 50 international connections each day.
From April to October there are boat services between Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava.
There is plenty of affordable accommodation in central Budapest which means it’s an easy city to get around on foot if you’re only in town for a few days.
Budapest has four metro lines which intersect in central Budapest at Deak Square (Deák Ferenc tér). The metro lines are colour-coded which makes it an easy system to navigate. The buses and trams are also well marked and simple to use. Public transport tickets can be purchased at metro stations and newsagents but must be validated before use. A single ticket (vonaljegy or just ‘jegy) costs 350HUF, a 24 hour travel card (napijegy) costs 1,650HUF available on all public transport for an unlimited number of trips. Remember to validate your ticket!
If you’re going to use a taxi in Budapest you’re best to pre-order it. Unfortunately there are many stories of tourists being ripped off by unscrupulous operators who aren’t legally registered. You can easily spot a licensed taxi because it has yellow registration plates and a yellow taxi sign.
Budapest is an easy city to drive around although there is little free parking. There are a few multi-story car parks and some hotels have off-street car parks.
The Budapest Card
As with many European cities nowadays you can purchase a ‘city’ card which enables you to use public transport, free entry to many tourist attractions and reduced prices on food & drink – the Budapest Card is one of these. A 24 hour card costs 4,900HUF, a 48 hour card costs 7,900HUF and a 72 hour card costs 9,900HUF. Available online (5% discount), at Terminals 2A & 2B at Budapest Airport, Budapestinfo booths at Deák Ferenc tér station and at BKK public transport ticket offices around the city.