Getting around Budapest

Budapest has an excellent public transport system. You can buy a 24-hour ticket (6 € for one person, 12 € for a group up to 5 people), a 72-hour ticket (14 €), individual tickets for 1.4 € or a block of 10 tickets for 10 €.

But do watch out! Each time you transfer to a different form of transport or a new line, a new ticket must be used, except in the metro. Ticket inspectors can pop up anywhere and anytime, on all routes. They identify themselves with red or blue armbands that they whip dramatically out of pockets and handbags. You can normally see a wave of controlled panic, as fare-dodgers start trying to shuffle nonchalantly to the nearest exit to escape the dreaded fine. This can be an instant cash-on-the-spot fine presently 8,000 HUF or at the central office at a later date, for a higher amount (16,000 HUF) In the latter case, a valid national identity card number is taken to ensure consequenses if the payment is not made later. Tourists are treated slightly differently, in that the on-the-spot fine is really the only way, unless you have a permanent residence in Hungary. Pay up, but do make sure you get an official receipt. Up-to-date fine values and a sample of an official receipt can be found on the Budapest Public Transport Centre BKK homepage.

All this ugliness can be avoided if one purchases a ticket, of course. It is far better Another option, offered by the Tourism Office of Budapest, is the so-called Budapest Card (All in), which comes with many discounts and special offers (including public transport). The four metro lines and trams #2, 4, 6 are the most useful for tourists – by which all the major attractions can be reached. You should definitely go for a ride along or on the Danube. From tram #2 or a public boat service you can enjoy stunning views. All taxis have the same fare (about 1 € / km plus 1.5 € tax base); it is safer to order a cab by phone: Radio-Tele 5 Taxi: +361 777 777, Főtaxi: +361 222 222, City Taxi: +361 211 111. Budapest is a city of short distances, so all important sights can be reached on foot as well as by bike! Read more about "Exploring on two wheels", which includes a list of bicycle rental companies offering all-day rental in Budapest and beyond.