Budapest's transport infrastructure is among the best in Europe. As well as an extensive network of bus, trolleybus and tram routes, the city also has a fast, modern metro system with three lines.
Bus and Tram - the network of tram (villamos) and bus routes throughout the city provide a fast, frequent way to get around.
Budapest's thirty or so tram lines support over 200 bus routes, with both offering comprehensive all-night services that operate on the major thoroughfares in the city (night bus timetables are posted at stops and in most metro stations). Tickets for tram and bus journeys can be bought at metro stations or from street corner tobacconist shops (trafiks). See below for more details.
Budapest Metro Line 1 (M1)Metro - the subway system is generally clean and efficient, with trains running at regular intervals of between 3 and 4 minutes (from just before 5am-11.30pm). Some overcrowding occurs at peak times, although it's limited only to the most central stations. Metro stations are easily located on maps and streets by the 'M' symbol:
The oldest part of the network is the yellow line 1 (signed Földalatti) which was built in the 1890s to celebrate the Magyar millennium. The line runs between downtown Vörösmarty tér and Mexikói út. Stations are easily accessible, being just below ground level.
Lines 2 and 3 were built during the 70s and run wide-gauge Russian trains. Line 2 (red) runs from the eastern outskirts of the city (Őrs vezér tér), past Keleti (Eastern) railway station and on to the Belváros (city centre) before crossing under the Danube to Pest's Déli pu (Southern) station. Line 3 (blue) runs from the northern suburbs to the busy Deák tér interchange, before heading south towards the airport and Kobánya Kispest.
HÉV (suburban railway) - to the south, local suburban trains (HÉV) run between Csepel Island and Dandár u, while the route most commonly used by tourists runs between Batthyhány tér and Szentendre.
The most popular fares and ticket options (prices from 1 January 2006) are:
230 HUF > Book of 10 tickets
2050 HUF > Book of 20 tickets
3900 HUF > Day Pass
1350 HUF > Tourist Pass (3 day)
3100 HUF > Weekly Pass
3600 HUF > Monthly Travelcard (photo I.D. required)
7350 HUF > For further details on fare tariffs visit BKV's easy to use website (in Hungarian and English).
Children's Railway Budapest (See Below)On buses, trolleybuses and trams, validate your ticket by using the punching machines as you board. On the metro, a new ticket is required each time you change lines (unless you purchase a special "transfer ticket" which allows for a single change). Don't forget there's also the Budapest Card which provides unlimited 2 or 3 day travel on the public transport network.
Taxis - as long as you stick to cabs run by well-known companies such as Főtaxi, Tel: +36 (1) 2 222 222, Budataxi, City Taxi, Tel: +36 (1) 2 111 111 and 6x6 Taxi, Tel: +36 (1) 2 666 666, overcharging shouldn't be a problem. There's no shortage of taxis in the downtown area and fares are generally cheap, although make sure the driver resets the meter before starting your journey.
The current flat rate for a taxi journey is around 300 HUF (6am to 10pm) with an additional 250 HUF for every kilometre travelled and a waiting fee of 60 HUF. If ordered in advance (by phone) you'll usually find both the per/km rate (and waiting rate) to be lower than for cabs hailed on the street. Note also that few cab drivers speak fluent English.
Other transportation services in Budapest include:
Cog-wheel railway (Fogaskerekű Vasút) - runs from the Városmajor terminal - opposite the Hotel Budapest - to Széchenyi Hill. Ordinary bus tickets can be used for the journey.
Children's railway (Gyermekvasút) - runs from Széchenyihegy to Huvösvölgy. Single (one-way) tickets cost 400 HUF adults, 150 HUF children), with return tickets being double the