Shipping on the impressive Danube is a must-do thing whenever you are in Budapest. You can admire the stunning buildings of this beautiful city from the water as well, so why don’t you do two things at the same time? You have plenty of opportunities here. The most wallet-friendly option is public transport for sure, as shipping has an important role in the public transport of Budapest. Navigation on the Danube’s downtown section is crucial for short-distance travel, crossing the river’s two shores, and also for the tourist life of the capital. Those, who like to mingle with the locals, participate in a stunning Danube river cruise and save money at the same time should choose the BKK (Budapest Transport Centre) scheduled ships.
BKK Danube river cruise options
BKK organizes four cruises for passengers: D11, D12, D2, and D14. D11 and D12 run from Kopaszi-gát to Rómaifürdő. The ships cross the historic city center, cross seven bridges that span the river. Furthermore, tourists can see most of Budapest’s important buildings just like the Hungarian Parliament, the foot of the Gellert Hill with the Citadel or the Várkert Bazár. The cruises reach the major center of cultural life, the Palace of Arts and the National Theater, as well as the Danube green areas, Margaret Island, Óbuda Island in the north and the Roman coast. The D2 crossing ship carries passengers at one of the most spectacular points of the capital, in the center of the city, between Kossuth Lajos Square and Batthyány Square. The D14 crossing ship operates ferries between the Csepel Royal Forest and the Molnár Island of Soroksár. Boats operate according to the travelers’ needs with three seasonal timetables – spring-autumn, summer, and winter – including weekdays, weekends and holidays. In the spring-summer season you can go on longer routes that are scheduled more frequently, even though, in late autumn and winter typically on shorter routes with greater tracking times. The current timetable is available at https://bkk.hu/en/timetables/ .
Tickets, cashier offices
Season tickets and tickets can be purchased in advance at BKK Customer Centers, ticket offices, BKK vending machines, or are sold locally by staff. Boat trips are available on any day with a boat ticket of 750 HUF for adults and 550 HUF for children. Dogs and bicycles can also be carried on board for an extra ticket. Tickets for the ferries are available from 170 HUF (full price), a student ticket is 110 HUF or a pensioner ticket costs 110 HUF. On weekdays the following tickets and passes are also valid: Budapest Tickets (Budapest 24 Hour Ticket, Budapest 72 Hour Ticket, Budapest Weekly Ticket, Budapest Group 24 Hour Ticket); discount group ticket; Budapest passes (all passes with the term “Budapest pass” in their name). Budapest Cards can be used onboard any day during the period of validity indicated on them. Ships shall have a closed, heated interior and an open deck compartment. The capacity is limited on board and the staff does not allow more passengers than required. But there is no cause for concer, as these are part of public transport, ships operate frequently.
Why to choose BKK?
These probably offers the best prices but also have to be prepared with a tourist guidebook, because there will be no guidance in your language. It is very convenient that the tickets can be bought from vending machines. In terms of the boat’s cruise time, it’s more of a cruise ship. It is an ideal choice if you are not in a hurry, are not time-bound and would prefer to take a ship on the Danube instead of using the metro. The city’s shipping company is slowly being discovered by tourists, but there are usually fewer passengers during the day, so we can comfortably travel on board. Traveling on this boat is a real fun activity. Fortunately, it is not an over-regulated, scruffy, overstated EU norm thing. It is familiar, a little amateur, a little Eastern European, but direct and reassuring. The crew is kind and helpful, feel free to ask the captain if you have any questions. Extra things are the buffet and the free Wi-Fi access. It is advisable to be informed before traveling in every case because the peculiarities of water transport (water level, ship traffic, etc.) can cause scheduling differences. So sightseeing in Budapest by public transport has its advantages and disadvantages too, it’s up to you which one to put forward.