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Know Before You Go
- While Hungary is part of the EU, it doesn't use the Euro. It's not advised to change your money into Hungarian Forints; you'll receive a poor exchange rant. Rather hit up one of the many ATMs around the city.
- If you want to experience Budapest's nightlife, go to one of the city's ruin bars. These pop-up bars are a mix of a warehouse party and a speakeasy. Drink prices are cheap, and there's usually beautiful art installations. But you won't find an authentic ruin bar on Tripadvisor; it's best to ask locals for advice once you're in town.
- The water in Budapest is safe to drink, but you can still buy bottled water at convenience stores. But be aware of the different coloured caps: blue means carbonated, pink is still water, and green is softly carbonated.
- If you need your room to have aircon, you might want to give staying at an Airbnb a miss. Most houses around the city don't have this luxury, but plenty of hotels will.
- Jaywalking is illegal in Budapest. If you're caught, expect to fork out an HUF 30,500 fine.
Getting Around Budapest
Many of Budapest's sites are within walking distance of each other. There are also pedestrian precincts that make it easy to explore the city on foot. But if you need to get around faster, Budapest has an excellent public transportation system.
- The BKV (Budapest Public Transport Company) operates the city's metro, buses, trams and trolley buses. A single one-way journey ticket costs HUF 350, or you can buy a day pass for HUF 1, 650. There are also weekly and monthly passes available if you're going to be in town for awhile.
- Taxis are convenient for the few occasions public transport is not an option. If you need to use one, there's little chance of being ripped off. Drivers are now legally prohibited from charging more than HUF 300 as a base fare and HUF 240 per kilometre. In the evening, fares increase to an HUF 420 base fare and HUF 336 per kilometre.
- If you are on limited time, there is also a Budapest sightseeing bus. It runs from Heroes' Square to the Buda Castle and takes about two hours if you don't get off. But if you do, the buses run from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and the ticket is valid for 24 hours.
When is The Best Time to Visit Budapest?
Spring is one of the best times to visit Budapest. From March to May the crowds are minimal and everything in the city is cheaper. You'll be able to snap up better deals on accommodation and flights before prices skyrocket for the summer season.
If you want to visit Budapest during its summer months - book well in advance. Finding a room can be difficult between June and August as travellers flock to the city despite it being one of the hottest and wettest times of the year. It's also a good idea to check if your hotel has air conditioning otherwise your stay might not be as comfortable.
September to November is an appealing shoulder season for the city. The summer heat and crowds start to disappear and with it the high rates on accommodation and airfare.
The winters in Budapest are cold, and snowfall is common. But if you can handle the freezing temperatures from December to February you'll find hotel rates at their cheapest and countless photo opportunities.
Airports in Budapest
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport
Ferenc Liszt is an international airport that serves the city of Budapest. It's one of the largest airports in the country and is located 16km from the city centre. The airport has flights to international destinations within Europe, Africa, Asia and The Middle East and is a focus city for Ryanair.
Getting To and From Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport
In July 2017, the airport launched a new direct bus between downtown Budapest and the airport. It costs HUF 900 for a single journey, and the bus runs every 30 minutes from 4:00 am to 12:00 pm.
The fastest and most convenient way of getting into the city is with a taxi. There is only one company authorised for pickups at the airport and rates are regulated with prepaid vouchers. A one-way trip should cost HUF 7,000 and take about 20 minutes to get into the city centre.
Ferenc Liszt airport also has a regular shuttle service. These minibus shuttles drop passengers off at their requested address and cost HUF 5,000 for two people.