City guide

How to get to downtown Budapest from the airport

Photo : We Love Budapest

There are a number of ways to reach the city centre from Budapest Airport, depending on your budget. The following how-to guide shows the options available, from public buses to door-to-door shuttles and taxis.

Your plane to Budapest Airport will arrive into Terminals 2A or 2B in adjacent buildings. Terminal 1 is no longer operational.

 

Immediately after customs in either Terminal 2A or 2B, a booth in Arrivals offers “Information and Tickets” from Budapest’s BKK public-transportation network. Here you can buy all types of tickets and passes – see below for more details.

 

Exiting the terminal, you see a queue of people waiting by the taxi kiosk. See below Taxi services.

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

Just beyond the taxi booth, a crowd will be milling around a bus stop and the ticket dispenser next to it. The machine, with an English-language option, accepts cash in Hungarian forints and credit cards, and gives change.

 

The two buses here require different tickets. For the swifter but less frequent bus 100E, you need the 900-forint (€3) ticket with the plane logo on it. This runs every 20 minutes directly into town, calling at Kálvin tér, Astoria and Deák tér, all close to each other in the city centre. The last bus sets off at 1:20am and the driver usually waits for stragglers. Allow about 30 minutes’ journey time into town at night, 45 minutes during the day.

 

If you’re travelling to the airport from town early in the morning, the first 100E bus leaves Deák tér at 3:40am. A disorderly queue forms around the bus stop, patrolled by BKK inspectors who also check that you’re holding the correct ticket. Although the bus is scheduled to call at Astoria and Kálvin tér, the first morning service is generally already full at Deák tér, so either start your journey from there or wait for the next one.

Photo: We Love Budapest

The other bus stop is for the 200E, running every seven minutes but only as far as the nearest metro stop of Kőbánya-Kispest. Journey time is 20-25 minutes. The station is on the blue M3 metro line, currently under long-term repair. A replacement bus service operates from 8:30pm during the week and all day at weekends – though the closure of this southern section of the line from summer 2019 will mean no metro trains at all for the duration of the renovation. The 200E bus requires a standard BKK transport ticket (350 HUF or 3,000 HUF for a book of ten), then stamp another for the onward journey from the metro station to town.

 

You can also take the 200E as far as Ferihegy rail station opposite old Terminal 1, about halfway to Kőbánya-Kispest, then jump on a train to Nyugati station in town, a journey of 20 minutes. A standard one-way ticket is 370 HUF but some services are InterCity ones and require a supplement. The ticket machine on the platform allows you to specify which train you intend to take. Using the train also makes sense on your journey back to the airport, when you can pick up the 200E at Ferihegy station for a shorter bus journey to the terminal. Again, specify which train you intend to travel with.

 

For both the 100E and 200E buses, enter by the front door only and show the driver your ticket before punching it into the little orange box on board.

Airport shuttles

Providing door-to-door transfers, the miniBUD shuttle service is a popular way to travel from Budapest Airport to anywhere in the city. With a fleet of minibuses offering shared rides, the staff amass several passengers travelling to the same area of town, to be dropped off in the most convenient order possible. Because of this, it can actually take longer to reach a destination with this service than it takes to use public transportation, but the convenience of not having to handle luggage on the bus and metro can be worth the extra expense and time. Check the official miniBUD website for fare information and details.

 

Flibco offer direct bus-transfer services between central Budapest and the airport, with a departure frequency of every 30 minutes round the clock. The bus stops at transport hubs such as Deák tér, Népliget bus station, and Nyugati, Keleti and Déli train stations. A single ticket costs €9.

Taxi services

The fastest way of getting to the city is by taxi, booked from the English-speaking dispatcher at the kiosk outside Terminals 2A and 2B. Only one company is currently authorised to provide an unreserved taxi service with kerbside pick-up at Budapest Airport: Főtaxi, which guarantees regulated rates with prepaid vouchers available at the taxi stands. To reach most centrally located hotels, Főtaxi charges approximately 8,000 forints (€25). Log onto www.fotaxi.hu for complete information and a tariff calculator.
Photo: We Love Budapest

Other taxi companies operate at Budapest Airport, with plenty of shady individuals awaiting first-time visitors in the Arrivals area with grunted offers of a taxi service – use this option at your own risk.

 

Check out the official airport website for more information about transportation to and from Budapest Airport.