The 17th FINA World Championships kicked off on Friday in Budapest, shaking up the whole city, including its transportation system. We assembled everything you need to know about possible traffic changes and available services to keep in mind when planning to visit any of the five competition venues found around Budapest and Balatonfüred.
Visitors to FINA 2017 events can use a total of 140 buses, two hydrofoils and 13 regular boats docking at 12 ports, P+R parking lots, and brand-new bike racks during the competition. For 17 days, transportation for 2,500 aquatic athletes will be provided between their hotels and their training and competition venues, and a total of 350,000 visitors are expected in the Hungarian capital and the Balatonfüred open-water swimming competition at Lake Balaton. Throughout the duration of the tournament, changes in rail, road, and water travel are also expected. See more information about these changes below.
For the duration of the competition, the Danube turns into an important transportation hub on water; two hydrofoils and 13 regular boats depart every 20 minutes, transporting visitors between the riverfront competition venues. The total of 12 docks reduce car traffic, and ease transportation between the parking lots and competition venues. Between July 15th and 30th, boats heading towards the “Müpa – Nemzeti Színház H” dock do not serve the “Margitsziget”, “Centenáriumi Emlékmű”, and the “Jászai Mari tér” stops.
Visitors with a valid ticket to the competitions of the FINA World Championships can travel on trains heading to Budapest and Balatonfüred for half of the original price. Furthermore, the rail company also assists with the transportation of 3,500 volunteers, as well as the visitors of the FINA Masters World Championship starting in August. Those with a valid ticket to the Masters World Championships – happening during August 7-30 – can use free railway services between Budapest and Balatonfüred.
The frequent public transportation services aim to offer a tempting alternative to cars, but car traffic will not be blocked around the competition venues. Two parking lots – with 150 and 250 spaces – await cars on the Műegyetem Rakpart and by the Palace of Arts, from where boats take guests to the competition venues on the Margaret Island, on Batthyány Square, and the Duna Aréna for free. The Buda-side quay will be blocked for cars between Üstökös Street and Halász Street.
On July 20th (Thursday), July 21st (Friday), July 22nd (Saturday), and between July 31st (Monday) and August 3rd (Thursday), tram 19 travels on a shortened route transporting passengers between the Kelenföld Railway Station and Clark Ádám Square, hence it does not stop anywhere between Halász Street and Bécsi Road. Between July 23rd (Sunday) and July 30th (Sunday), tram 19 only serves the stations between the Kelenföld Railway Station and Batthyány Square.
From July 20th (Thursday) to August 3rd (Thursday), tram 41 travels on an alternative road between Margaret Bridge and Rudas Bath, hence it does not serve the “Margit híd Budai hídfő”, “Bem József tér”, “Batthyány tér”, “Halász utca”, “Clark Ádám tér”, and “Várkert Bazár” stations. These trams serve the original stations of tram 17.
Between July 10th (Monday) and July 23rd (Sunday), trolley buses 75 and 79 take an alternative route between Dembinszky Street and Dózsa György Road, and do not serve the “Dvorák sétány”, “Olof Palme sétány”, “Hősök tere”, and “Gundel Károly út” stations. On the alternative road, these buses can be boarded at the following stations: at the original stops of buses 30, 30A, and 230 at “Damjanich utca/Dózsa György út” and at the original stops of buses 20E, 30, 30A, 105, and 230 at Heroes’ Square.
On July 20th (Thursday), July 21 (Friday), and between July 31st (Monday) and August 31st (Thursday), bus 109 takes an elongated route between Óbuda, Bogdándi Road, and Szarvas Square, with more frequent departures and buses with a bigger capacity.
Between July 10th (Monday) and July 31st (Monday), bus 15 heading towards Boráros Square does not serve the “Úszódaru utca” station. Between July 10th (Monday) and August 20th (Sunday), buses 115 and 120 can be boarded at the original bus stops of bus 26 at the “Árpád híd” station.
On July 20th (Thursday), July 21st (Friday), and July 22nd (Saturday), as well as between July 31st (Monday) and August 3rd (Thursday), bus 109 takes an elongated route between Óbuda, Bogdándi Road, and Szarvas Square, with more frequent departures and buses with a bigger capacity.
The Danube Arena expects the highest number of visitors, hence besides the aforementioned boats, this venue can also be approached by taking metro line 3 to the “Forgách utca” station, and walking on the Dagály promenade. Visitors also find 1,500 parking spaces here, as well as P+R parking from where a boat and buses ensure transportation to the competition venue. Buses depart every 15 minutes from outside the Duna Plaza, taking passengers to the freshly built pedestrian bridge found by the entrance of the Danube Arena. 480 new bike racks are established for cyclists here, and visitors can also use Budapest’s BUBI bikes.
City Park can be approached on metro line 1 from downtown, as well as on trolley buses departing from various parts of the city, including line 70 running through central Pest. The entrances are found a 3-5-minute walk away from the stations. Here, 200 new bike racks are established for bikers.
Margaret Island can be easily approached on tram 4-6. Visitors can also take a boat from downtown (Vigadó Square), while 200 new bike racks are also established here. Batthyány Square is approachable on metro line 2 and various boats. However, it is not recommended to arrive here by car, as there are not too many parking lots around.
This article is sponsored by the Bp2017 Nonprofit Kft.