Public Transport in Budapest
Budapest has an efficient network of public transport, including bus, trolley bus, tram, metro services plus suburban railway called HÉV. Tickets are available at metro stations or from street kiosks. Passengers can use the same type of ticket for all forms of public transport but they need to validate a new ticket when changing lines or service types. Bus drivers on specific routes do sell tickets but passengers need to prepare exact fares as no change will be given. you may also buy your ticket online. For more information on routes and prices, please, visit https://bkk.hu/en/
Ticket validation procedure
Don’t forget to validate your ticket by using a hand-operated or electronic machine when boarding a public transport vehicle. If you travel by metro you have to validate your ticket at station entry points. Electronic ticket validation devices (the orange or metal-coloured boxes) are installed at Metro entrances. There is also the option to validate your ticket electronically if you have bought it online.
Budapest has more than 200 bus routes covering most inner city and suburban areas. Some routes offer an express service, indicated with an E following the number. Express and regular services cover the same routes but with a reduced number of stops. On the main routes service are available during the night hours.
Budapest has three lines intersecting at Deák tér:
- M1: the Yellow Line between Vörösmarty térand Mexikói út
In fact this was the first subway line in Mainland Europe, which was opened in 1896 for the Millennium.
- M2: the Red Line between Déli pályaudvar and Örs vezér tere
- M3: the Blue Line between Újpest Központ and Kőbánya-Kispest
- M4: the Green Line between Kelenföld vasútállomás and Keleti pályaudvar
Each station is marked with an “M” enclosed in a circle .
- Metro maps are available at the station entries and you can pick up your own free copy at the BKK ticket offices.
Metro services run from 4:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.
The HÉV, the city’s suburban train service, connects Budapest with its suburban districts. A popular journey for tourists is from Batthyány tér to Szentendre. If you leave the administrative border of Budapest you need to purchase a special ticket.
Public transport fare reductions for students
Students from the EU in possession of student cards are entitled to reduced rates when they buy a pass.
Most train lines in Hungary use Budapest as their hub and radiate outward from there. Although the train network has lines connecting cities and towns in outlying areas, to reach your final destination quickly it is sometimes faster to go back through central Budapest. The best way to travel by train is to use Intercity, a reliable and comfortable connection service. You need to pay a supplement fare, though, compared with regular train ticket prices. Budapest has three major train stations: Eastern Railway station (Keleti pályaudvar) and Southern Railway Station (Déli pályaudvar) are both situated in an area along the metro line M2 (red line), and Western Railway Station (Nyugati pályaudvar) which is at a location just off a station along line M3 (the blue metro line).
If you travel outside of Budapest you can also go by intercity buses. Bus drivers sell tickets entitling passengers to a standing space but to secure seat tickets fares should be purchased in advance.
Intercity bus stations in Budapest:
- Stadionok | XIV. Hungária körút 48-52. (on the red metroline) | Intercity bus departures destination Eastern Hungary.
- Árpád-híd | Budapest XIII., Árbóc u. 1-3. (on the blue metro line) | Intercity bus departures destination Pilisvörösvár and Szentendre.
- Népliget | IX. Üllői út 131. (on the blue metro line) | Intercity bus services destination Transdanubia plus international bus services.
- Etele tér | XI. (bus red 7) | Intercity bus services destination Biatorbágy, Érd, Százhalombatta.
- Széna tér | I. (tram 4 or 6) | Intercity bus services destination Zsámbék and the Zsámbék area.
Visitors will not need a Hungarian driving license but they need to keep all car documents, driving license and passport with them. If stopped by a traffic warden or a police constable, some form of identification including these documents will be asked for, and driving without them is an offence. Speed limits in Hungary vary according to road types. In urban areas the speed limit is 50 km per hour. If you drive on the motorway, the speed limit will be 130 km per hour and you have to buy a vignette.
Petrol stations are easy to find in Hungary and most cities will have at least one open 24 hours a day. Hungary has a zero tolerance policy towards a drink-driving offence.
Renting a car is also possible if you are 21 years old or older and have an international driving license with an expiry of not less than a year.
When taking a taxi, tourists should avoid hailing unmarked taxis. Even if they have a taxi sign on the roof and are seen standing in a taxi rank, don’t get in if they don’t have a company name on the outside. You can always hail a taxi in the streets but it is cheaper to book one over the phone. From September 2013 every taxi is uniformly yellow in Budapest. Reliable licensed taxi companies include Főtaxi (+36 1 222 2222), Bolt, City Taxi (+36 1 211 1111), 6×6, Elit Taxi, Taxi 4 (+36 1 444 4444), Tele 5 Taxi, Taxim, GOTAXI, Best Taxi