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Start Here: The FAQ post

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Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1,227 posts
57 reviews
Start Here: The FAQ post

Hello, Budapest travelers! If you've come to the forum, you probably have some questions you'd like answered. This is a great place to do that, especially if you need specific advice on a hotel, apartment, restaurant, event, whatever.

If your question is general, it has probably already been answered, so it's a good idea to try to search the forums before posting it. New questions tend to start up great discussions, so going back to the original will get you a lot more (and often more impassioned) information.

So, here is a list of the most commonly asked questions on the forum, along with links back to some good posts on the subject and some general information.

1. Money - as of Feb, 2008, Hungary does not use the Euro and will not start any time soon. Hungarian currency is the Forint, the current exchange rate can be easily found at http://www.xe.com/ucc/. Yes, Hungary has ATMs and they probably take your bank or credit card.



Search for "exchange" or "ATM" for more.

2. Airport transfer and transportation - Most people on the forum recommend Zona Taxi or the Airport Minibusz. Search either term for loads of posts.

3. Safety and scams - check out the "How not to get ripped off" thread and the Know Before You Go section.

4. Which bath house/baths/spa should I go to?

(The quick answer is Szechenyi ;-) )



5. How can I take the train to/from Budapest to <any European city>? Should I buy tickets online? Should I get a Eurail pass? Are the trains safe?





6. Which is the best district/area/street to stay in? Will I be near the center and the sights?




Also, search "buda pest"

I hope the other regulars will add anything I missed and that, like the How not to get ripped off thread, this will be deemed worthy of periodic bumping (and will actually be useful to travelers!)

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1,227 posts
57 reviews
1. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post

7. I can't believe I forgot public transportation!

Most answers can be found on the BKV website: http://www.bkv.hu/english/home/index.html

Public transportation is cheap, easy and efficient in Budapest. The one hitch that seems to come up is people who don't understand the ticket system. It's simple - VALIDATE FIRST! You must always have a validated ticket or signed pass to be a legitimate rider. On the spot inspections will result in fines.

A few other common questions:

The 3 day or 7 day passes are well worth it, though most agree the Budapest Card (which includes museum entry and discounts) is not.

You can not buy passes at the airport, only single-ride tickets. You will need to go to a metro station to buy a pass.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3,144 posts
31 reviews
2. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post


Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
33 posts
1 review
3. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post


Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
5,904 posts
197 reviews
4. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post

Great advice nyuszi, thanks for taking the time to post such a helpful list. I'll be there in April

Jess UK

kildare ireland
Level Contributor
57 posts
5. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post

never mind bumping nyuszi, more worthy of a sticky!! nice one thank you... Tina

Bath, UK
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
7,762 posts
45 reviews
6. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post


Bath, UK
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
7,762 posts
45 reviews
7. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post

To use Zona taxi

You walk out of the arrivals building (both terminals)

Zona taxi booth in front of you

Give them your destination address

They give you a card with the price (varies slightly according to district)

You get in the first available car

Show the card to the driver (MOST IMPORTANT)

Get out at the other end

Pay the driver (be generous with the tip)

Keep the card

When you want to return to the airport ring the number *

Give your address and tell them you want to go to the airport, and when (make it clear whether morning or evening)

Tell them its a return trip

When the driver comes, show him the card (IMPORTANT)

Get out at the airport

Pay the driver (be generous with the tip)

Get on your plane

Go home

* YOU ring the number, or your hotel may charge for doing this for you.

Total cost will be about 9k ft, 4,500k each way. I usually give the driver 5k, about £14, not a lot between 4 of you for a 30 minute drive. The journey from the airport is a bit more expensive, cheaper coming back to encourage you to use them again.

ATMs in the arrivals hall to get cash.

The showing the driver the card bit IS IMPORTANT !!! if you simply walk up to a Zona car, he will charge you the meter rate, so go to the desk first and get the card.

York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 posts
54 reviews
8. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post


Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1,227 posts
57 reviews
9. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post

I just discovered another good resource, the Volan Busz Schedule


Unfortunately, I don't see a way to view it in English, so a quick Hungarian lesson:

Honnan: From

Hova: To

Keresztül: Via/connection/layover

Select "adott nap" and enter your travel date

"egesz nap" means whole day, or you can narrow down to delelott (AM) or delutan (PM)

Hit the Kereses button to submit

It is very tolerant of our western non-accented keyboards, so just spell with the non-accented vowel

To Read the results:

induló megállóhely - departure location

érkező megállóhely - arrival location

indul - departure time

érkezik - arrival time

összidő - total travel time

várakozás - change/layover time

I personally hate the bus, but I hate American buses, too. It's not that Hungarian buses are worse than Greyhound or Peter Pan, it's just that all buses stink.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: Start Here: The FAQ post

Great information! I'm spending nearly a week in Budapest this summer, and I've been reading a lot about how to get around, what to see, etc. Interestingly, some of the source I've read say that Hungary is using the euro now, so it's good to know that it isn't true.

Thank you!