The Hitchhiker`s Guide to Budapest


Useful information about travelling, staying and life in Budapest


Travelling to Budapest

By plane

MALÉV, Hungarian Airlines connects 44 cities in 32 countries with the Hungarian capital but almost all international European airlines also fly to Budapest . Travellers can get from the airport to the city centre by bus or by airport minibus to any address within 40 minutes and with the most reasonable price.

By train

Trains from abroad arrive at three international railway stations at each of which there is a metro station. 

By bus (by coach)

The Hungarian bus company Volánbusz runs scheduled buses from 14 countries.

By water

From April to October a hydrofoil runs on the Danube between Vienna and Budapest via Bratislava.

By car

All one figure main roads lead to Budapest . You have to buy a special ticket called “Matrica” which should be placed on the windscreen of your car. You can buy a matrica for 4 or 10 days, for a month and for a year to use all of the highways in Hungary without any additional cost (the M1, M3, M5 and M7 motorways). Control ticket for your “Matrica” must be kept for the duration of your stay here. Speed limits are 130 km/h on motorways, 110 km/h on main roads, 90 km/h on other roads and 50 km/h in built-up areas (in towns and in villages). A valid international driving licence is mandatory.


Entering Hungary :

Passport, Visa and Border-crossing information

Nationals of most European countries need only a valid passport for entry. German citizens require a valid identity card only. For countries outside Europe no visa is needed for citizens of Argentina , Canada , Korea and the USA . (Please refer to and the page about Visa Information). Entry visas can be obtained at any Hungarian consulate and also at Budapest 's Ferihegy Airport and on motorway border cross-stations but not on trains.


Railway connection:

International trains from Vienna arrive to the "Keleti" Eastern Railway Station.

The cheapest way is to use the METRO line from Keleti you can travel with underground (M2, redline) . A ticket is less then 200 HUF, about 1 Euro. Or you can buy a ticket for 3 days or for the whole week, please visit the WEB site of our ( public transport agency, this will cost you 2700 HUF (3 day ticket ) or 3100 HUF (week ticket), a little bit more than 10 Euro. This is advisable as you will use public transport to reach the Conference site during the week.

If you have heavy or excess luggage, then you should take a taxi. Plese find some advices about taxis here.


Airport Minibus Service

Budapest Airport has a special service called Airport Minibus Service. It works like a taxi, the only difference is that on its way to the airport it collects more passengers who live in the same area of the city. Also going from the airport it takes home everybody who lives in the same neighbourhood. That is why it is a bit slower than a taxi. It costs 2,100 HUF (about 8 EURO) per person. If you buy your ticket at the Minibus counter at the Airport with the return ticket as well, then it is cheaper a little bit (3,600 HUF). But of course you should not loose your return ticket during your stay. This is the more reliable way to go to your hotel.

The Airport Minibus (Phone: 296-8555) will take you anywhere in the city for 2,100 HUF. You should go to the Airport Minibus Counter in the Arrivals hall, purchase your ticket and state your destination. A driver will announce your destination when the bus is ready to depart. The Airport Minibus Service will also collect you from anywhere in the city to take you to the airport. If more than two of you are travelling together, it is cheaper to take a taxi. From your hotel order the Minibus service a day before your departure.

From Airport:

1) After passport control and picking up your luggage - find the AIRPORT MINIBUS counter;

2) There you go - tell to service person the address of your destination: the name of your hotel;

3) Fare for one way ticket is HUF 2,100 (Hungarian forints) and both ways is 3600 HUF. Economically the best is to take two way ticket because it is valid for longer term and cheaper.

Airport minibus works almost 24 hours a day (from 5 o'clock in the early morning until 1 o'clock in the late night) and take you like a taxi to the place of your destination and will bring you back to airport when you need it (the order for your return flight must be done 24 hours before at the reception desk of your hotel).

4) Wait for the call of your destination name (your hotel) from the driver, then follow driver to minibus. Sometimes they announce the name of the Hotel not clearly and not aloud enough to hear it well. So pay attention to the drivers reading from a paper the destinations.

5) It will take you to your hotel.



We recommend that you use City Taxi (2 111 111) or Fotaxi (2 222 222/2 101 360) companies. They are reliable and will not overcharge you as some other companies may do. You should phone for a taxi at the airport or at the trainstation. The cost of a local call is 20 Hungarian Forints (HUF) so you should ask for some small change when you are exchanging money. You will need to tell the taxi company which terminal you are at and they will quote a taxi number that has been ordered for you. The journey to your Hotel should cost you approximately 4,500 HUF from the airport and takes about 30-50 minutes.

Never hail a taxi in the street as the drivers have a poor reputation and are known for overcharging foreigners.


Local transportation

To discover Budapest you can use different means of transport such as metro, bus, tram, trolley bus and HÉV (suburban train). The city centre is linked to the City Park by the 100 year old underground railway, the first on continental Europe . The funicular railway takes you up to the Buda Castle , and the chairlift and the cogwheel railway to the Buda Hills.

Tickets must be bought in advance from ticket offices, tobacconists', news agents' or automatic machines. Tickets must be validated on the vehicle or at the entrance to metro stations. Daily, weekly and monthly season tickets are available or you can use the Budapest Card as a ticket.


Budapest Card

With the Budapest Card you can use the Airport Minibus with a discount and you can travel free on public transport in the capital. It ensures free or reduced priced entrance to museums, the Zoo, the Fun Fair and the Buda caves. Sightseeing tours and numerous cultural events are also cheaper with it and certain restaurants, cafés and shops give reductions to card holders. The Budapest Card is valid for 48 or 72 hours and is available from Tourinform offices, bus and metro ticket offices and many travel agencies, hotels and museums.



Official language of the country is Hungarian, but English and German are widely spoken.



The climate is continental. The weather in July is usually hot, the average daytime temperature is about 25 - 35°C.


Time zone

Budapest 's clocks are on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus 1 hour. We apply the daytime saving system in summer.


Electric Current

Electricity is supplied at 230 Volts.



Country code for Hungary is: +36

Area code for Budapest is: 1

The Budapest phone numbers consist of seven digits, except e.g.:

• Emergency: 112

•  Ambulance: 104

•  Fire Brigade: 105

•  Police: 107

Telephones operate by phone card or coins. Cards are available at post offices and tobacconists's.


Arrival by air

The Ferihegy Airport Budapest is about 25 km from the city centre. Regular international flights arrive at and depart from Terminal 2A or Terminal 2B. Usually Terminal 2A serves the national company (MALÉV Hungarian Airlines), and Terminal 2B serves most other flight operators.


Airport information: Central number: (+36 1) 296 96 96

Flight information:

Ferihegy 2A: (+36 1) 296 70 00, (+36 1) 296 80 00

Ferihegy 2B: (+36 1) 296 58 82, (+36 1) 296 50 52

For more information please visit the website of MALÉV and Budapest Airport



Credit cards:

Please be informed that usually Hotels can accept the next credit cards (please visit your hotel's webpage for detailed information):

•  Amex

•  Visa

•  Eurocard

•  Diners

As far as the shops are concerned in Budapest you have to check at the counter before buying, as not all of them are accepting credit cards. On the streets of the town you can find easily machines where credit cards are accepted, and Hungarian Forints (HUF) are issued (such a booth is to be found in the close vicinity of our headquarters too).

We wish you a pleasant stay in Budapest !

Useful Hungarian WEB pages


Budapest useful information (maps)