The hardest part of traveling is getting there. But not with our easy tips. Read on, Cheapos, and you'll be ready to take on Budapest!
Getting Into Budapest
Arriving By Air
The Ferihegy Airport is 20 km (12.5 miles) southeast of Budapest, and there are a variety of transportation options from there to the city.
The cheapest way to get from the airport is to go the public transportation route. Bus 93 runs from Terminal 1 to the Köbánya-Kispest metro terminal. Bus 200E, a direct service, picks up at both Terminals 1 and 2 for Köbánya-Kispest. For those traveling with a lot of luggage or arriving at odd hours, Bus 200E is the best option since it is larger and operates late-night. The blue (3) Metro line will take you to Dák Ferenc Square in just twenty minutes, and it costs the same as a standard public transportation fare: HUF320.
A rail link connects Terminal 1 at the airport to Budapest's Nyugati (western) Railway Station. A one-way journey costs HUF365, and lasts under a half hour.
The airport minibus is another transportation option, popular because it drops passengers off directly at their hotels. The minibus costs between HUF2800 and HUF9800 (priced based on destination) for a round-trip journey, or from HUF1500 to HUF5000 one-way. The Budapest Card gives you a 10 percent discount. Visitors can book ahead of time by calling +36 1 296 8555. On-site booking, however, is a cakewalk with the airport minibus ticket booth's prominent location and user-friendly service.
Taxi journeys in Budapest were once risky, due to dishonest drivers and notoriously overactive meters. While you should still take care with them, the airport now works with an operator to make taxi travel easier and safer. Zóna sets fixed rates from the airport to different zones in the city so that you know what you're paying up front. Most hotels will be within the second and third zones. The fare to zone two is HUF5200 and the fare to zone three is HUF5400. For more information, visit the Zóna site.
Arriving by Train
The Hungarian State Railways (MAV) links up with the European rail network, with trains running between Budapest's three main stations and major European cities. Keleti station is the hub for most international trains, although trains heading south (to Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia, among other destinations) usually depart from Déli station. Additionally, most eastern bound trains leave from Nyugati. Always double check the departure station listed on your ticket.
All three stations link to metro lines and/or night buses. Legitimate taxis are plentiful at Nyugati, but at the other stations, you may need to take extra precautions to make sure you don't become a victim of taxi fraud. At Keleti, head south of the terminal to VIII Kerepesi út and catch a legal cab there, or cross over to I Alkotás ucta from Déli to flag one down.
For more train information, visit the official Web site of Hungarian State Railways.
Arriving by Bus
The Népliget bus station in Pest is the arrival and departure point for all international buses and many local ones. From there, the metro 3, tram 1 or buses 103 or Alacska-busz will take you into the city center. For more bus information, visit the Volanbusz site.
Flying into Budapest
Visit our Budapest budget flights section for more information on low-cost airlines flying into and out of Budapest.
All hotel reviews
From our Budapest blog
The enthusiasm of many travelers exploring Europe by train seems to flag when they reach Budapest. The Hungarian capital is so very easy to reach from the west and north, and it is thus possible to travel as far as Budap ... read
In today’s installment of “4 Cheapo Questions for…” we interview Tim Leffel, an award-winning travel writer, editor of the narrative webzine Perceptive Travel, and all around knower of budget tra ... read
It’s that time of year when, with the onset of summer, Europe’s rail schedules are amended to reflect holiday travel patterns. The exact dates when new services kick in vary by country, but here’s a flavor of w ... read