Need To Know
Practical information & general advice to prepare your trip
Budapest is an amazing city. It's divided by the Danube river: on one side there's Buda, full of mountains, green areas, elegant and quiet, and on the other side of the river there's Pest, vibrant, never sleeping and with lots of restaurants and cafés.
Things I love about Budapest:
- Amazing views
- The beautiful avenues and streets full of old ornamented buildings one next to another.
- The fact that there's not just one center of the city, but many that make Pest an area full of life.
The precautions you have to take are the same as in every big city. Make sure to walk with your belongings well covered, but I assure you it's a pretty safe and quiet city.
Unfortunatelly, there are lots of homeless people. However, they aren't unsafe at all, most of them are very kind and respectful.
Walking is the best way. For longer distances:
Public Transport: It has trams, buses, boats and metro. They're very frequent from 4.30 to 23:00. After that, only buses run with less frequency. Single tickets are 350 HUF, a 1-day ticket is 1650 HUF, a 3-day ticket is 4150 HUF, a weekly ticket is 4950 HUF. It's included in the Budapest Card, which is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
BuBi: bycicle sharing system. You have to register with your phone number and e-mail, you can do it online. 1 day is 500 HUF, 3 days 1000 HUF and a week 2000 HUF. Bikes are free for 30 minutes at a time, after that additional fares apply.
Taxis: cheap and easy to use, but they're famous for cheating if they aren't official. Licensed cabs are yellow and have corporate logos on both sides of the front doors and official prices on one of the rear doors. You could also use Taxify app which works like Uber, but confirm that the car you're getting into is the one you ordered.
Hop On- Hop Off buses: I explain them in the next square.
There are 3 different companies that have stops all around the city:
Big Bus offers classic, premium or deluxe tickets for 1, 2 or 3 days. The three include a walking tour on the Pest side. Premium and deluxe tickets include a Hop on -Hop off river cruise, and the deluxe also includes a free Night Tour and Castle shuttle. Prices goes from € 19.80 per person, you can buy tickets in this link.
- City Sightseeing has 24, 48 or 72-hour tickets and you can include a boat and a night tour. Prices goes from € 22 per person, you can buy tickets in this link.
- Green Sightseeing buses offer a 48-hour ticket to access 3 routes. It includes a river cruise, a walking tour, a meal with goulash and beer and a discount booklet for shopping and dining experiences. Prices goes from € 25 per person, you can buy tickets in this link.
Hungarian language is extremely difficult to speak and it's not close to any other language. 'Thanks' in hungarian is köszönöm. Use and abuse of this word, locals start to be much more polite if they see you're making an effort to thank them in they're language.
In Budapest the level of English isn't very high but people are kind and they will try to do their best to help you.
There are different ways to get from Ferenc Liszt International Airport to the center of Budapest.
The most comfortable and easy option: Private Transfer
If you book a private transfer in advance, you'll have a driver waiting for you in the arrivals hall. It will take you to the door of your acommodation in a little bit over half an hour. You can book a private transfer through this link. The prices goes from 14770 HUF per group of up to 3 people.
The door-to-door option you have to be careful with: Taxis
Taxis are known for overcharging tourists, so make sure you take an official one. They aren't allowed to offer flat rats, so you will be charged by a taximeter according to the distance to your destination. Make sure you ask them to turn the taximeter on if they don't do it so they don't overcharge. Also, they can charge extra for luggage, late-night trips or being a public holiday. The average cost of a taxi ride from the airport to central Budapest is 8045 HUF.
The cheapest option: Public Transport
Bus 100E departs from the airport every 30 minutes (all day) and the trip takes approximately 35 minutes to get to its final stop, Deák Ferenc tér M Metro station. Regular tickets for the airport shuttle bus cost 900 HUF per person and can be purchased from the customer service centres, newsagents, ticket offices or ticket vending machines in the arrivals hall.
The Budapest Card is valid to enter over 17 Museums and you can choose a 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120-hour card. It also gives access to unlimited public transport during the validity of the card, two walking tour and some discounts at local restaurants. You can check out all the details and buy the card through this link.
Have you just started to plan your trip? Too many things to decide? Too long do it all by yourself? Special needs or wishes? Then, you should plan your trip with a local to get tailored travel plans & advices.