Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and counts 1,7 billion inhabitants. Budapest is the tenth largest city in Europe behind Berlin with more than 3 billion inhabitants and before Barcelona with 1,4 billion inhabitants. Budapest is pretty big and if you want to see most of it, you will need to use transportation modes.
How to arrive and leave by flight ?
Many airlines are flying to Budapest frequently. You can have the full list simply by checking on Skyscanner. I always flew with Wizzair, a low-cost airline flying in East Europe. Tickets are cheap and I was always satisfied with the service. Their planes are comfortable and spacious compared to other low-cost cost airlines.
- Always book your flights on the official website of the company you are going to fly with. In case of delay, cancellation, etc. it will be easier dealing with the airline directly rather than with a random online travel agency that can have poor costumer support. Also, it happens that it is cheaper to book directly with the airline.
Budapest airport is located thirty minutes from the city center. When you arrive at the airport, you have different options to go to the city. Taking a taxi is the easiest one. There is a little taxi office outside of the airport where you need to take a ticket. You will have to give the address you want to go to. On the ticket, there will be the number of your taxi. Your taxi will arrive very quickly to pick you up. We had a really good experience taking the official taxis of Budapest.
- Never follow someone offering you taxi ride when you exit the airport.
- A taxi ride from the airport to the city center costs around 6000 HUF or 20 EUR.
On our departure day, our flight was very early in the morning. In order to get to the airport, we booked a taxi the day before. There are different taxi companies operating in the city such as Green Taxi. They run only electric cars. Their telephone number is +36 1 4 000 000. They were on time and everything went smoothly, especially the booking process. I called and could speak directly with a speaking-English person who took my reservation in one minute. It was very effective and smooth whereas with the official taxi of Budapest, we couldn’t reach them on the phone and the booking process was confusing on their website.
Important information about taxis
Taxis are giving a bad reputation to Budapest. They often rip people off. That is why it is highly recommended to call a taxi rather than stopping one randomly.
Tip: Use a smart app called Budapest Taxi helping you estimate the cost of your ride as well as doing a price comparison.
Taxi prices are fixed by law in Hungary so when you notify a big difference compared to the estimation, call the taxi company immediately.
Traffic and public transports
The public transport company in Budapest is BKK.
To plan your trip through the city of Budapest, use BKK FUTAR Trip planner, the public transport live map. By entering your location and your destination, you get the way by public transport.
There is also a very good mobile app called FUTAR which will show you the actual timing of the buses you are waiting for.
Budapest offers public bikes like in many cities. To rent a bike you must register first on MOL bubi website. In order to buy a pass for a longer period, you will have to visit their office. 24 hours, 72 hours and seven days tickets can be bought online as well as at the terminals beside the bikes.
- Bike tickets are cheap but they will block extra 25000 HUF on your credit card as a deposit. They will release this amount of money once validity of your ticket expires plus, your bank might not process the release for an other couple of days.
Bicycling in Budapest
Riding a bike in Budapest is safe and there are many bicycle roads.
Must know: Wearing helmets is of course recommended but not regulated by law.
When riding a bicycle, look for the roads which are often not beside the main roads. Keeping off main roads with heavy traffic and choosing silent side streets for riding is absolutely the better choice.
Whether you decide to take a taxi, rent a bike or simply go by walk, Budapest is really fun and interesting city to explore. I hope these tips will help you enjoy the city at its best.
Thank you for reading. Take care.