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Football for all – watching the beautiful game in Budapest

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  • We Love Budapest

13/10/2017 5.44pm

Watching football in Budapest is an affordable experience. The standard of play might not be high but for the price of a cinema ticket you can take in a top-league game involving clubs with long and illustrious pasts. As part of a nationwide initiative to raise the game and encourage crowds back, new grounds are being built from Szombathely to Miskolc. In Budapest, the national stadium, named after 1950s’ hero Ferenc Puskás, is still under construction. After it is unveiled in 2019, it will be one of 13 host venues for Euro 2020.

During the complete rebuild of the national stadium, the Groupama Aréna, home of Hungary’s most popular and successful club, Ferencváros, is staging major international matches. For domestic league fixtures, Ferencváros are the only club who insist on presentation of a membership card before you can buy a match ticket. The registration process is quick but has to be carried out in person, costing 1,000 HUF from the stadium ticket office during the week, 1,500 HUF on match days. A match ticket then costs about 3,000 HUF. The stadium is next to M3 Népliget metro station.

Photo: Peterjon Cresswell

As the stadium was completely rebuilt and reopened in 2014, a match here means watching football with the best view and the best seats – although the fans behind the home goal are the most notorious. For the visiting neutral, Ferencváros should provide the best atmosphere, partly because attendances, here averaging around 6,500, twice or even three times more than at other clubs in Budapest.

Ferencváros have been working hard to shed their negative reputation, the reason for their current membership-only policy.

For the other three Budapest clubs in Hungary’s top division, no membership is needed – just turn up a short time before the match and buy admission from the ticket windows. Availability is hardly ever a problem and entrance is usually around 2,000-2,500 HUF.

For 2017 champions Honvéd down in Kispest, take the M3 metro to Határ út then the No.42 tram to the terminus ten minutes away.

Photo: We Love Budapest

As the Vasas stadium is also under construction, this team from Anyalföld is playing its home matches at north Budapest rivals Újpest. The Szusza Ferenc Stadion has its own stop on the No.122 and No.196 bus route, a short ride from Újpest-Városkapu M3 metro station.

With this autumn’s planned closures on the M3 metro line, spectators should allow more time to travel across Budapest by replacement bus, but this shouldn’t affect the upcoming game between Újpest and Paks on Saturday, October 14th at 3.30pm, the only top-league match in Budapest this weekend.To check other fixtures throughout the season, see the website of the Hungarian Football Federation, MLSz.

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