The public transport in Budapest is quite good even internationally, and with a sufficient amount of information we can explore the capital simply, quickly and as sparing as possible.
It’s worth reading this article before buying tickets or passes because I will provide you with a lot of useful advice on how to travel wisely in Budapest.
How to Travel in Budapest
- Metro line 1: the Underground Railway connects the Downtown with the City Park (Városliget) and runs under Andrássy Avenue. It has been a World Heritage site since 2002.
- Metro line 2 operates between the Southern Railway Station (Déli pályaudvar) and Örs vezér Square (Örs Vezér tere).
- Metro line 3, or also called the “blue metro” operates between Kőbánya-Kispest and Újpest Centrum (Újpest-Központ).
- Metro line 4 is the latest metro line in Budapest, which was handed over in 2014, and operates between the Eastern Railway Station (Keleti pályaudvar) and Kelenföld Railway Station (Kelenföld pályaudvar).
Metro line 1 (yellow)
Metro line 2 (red line):
- Lines D11 and D12 operates between Kopaszi dam (Kopaszi-gát) and Római Oper-Air Bath (Rómaifürdő), and passes under 7 bridges. During the river cruise you can see several significant tourist attractions, such as the Parliament, the National Theatre, the Margaret Island, the Óbuda Island and the Müpa.
- River-crossing boat service D2: it conveys passengers between centrally located Kossuth Lajos Square (Kossuth Lajos tér) and Batthyány Square (Batthyány tér).
- River-crossing boat service D14: operates between Királyerdő on Csepel Island and Molnár Island (Molnár-sziget) in the Soroksár neighborhood of Pest.
Tram, Trolleybus, Bus:
- Countless routes run through the city with which we can wander in Budapest to our liking. The most popular trams are trams 4-6 on Grand Boulevard (Nagykörút), trams 47, 49 departing from Deák Square (Deák tér), and tram 2 departing from Jászai Mari Square (Jászai Mari tér). Tram 2 was also included in the list of the “10 most beautiful trams in the world” compiled by National Geographic, ahead of tram line 2 in Amsterdam and tram line 28 in Lisbon.
- Suburban railway can be taken to Szentendre, Gödöllő, Csepel Island and Ráckeve.
Important information: Budapest public transport tickets are valid for bus, trolley, metro, tram and suburban railway day and night within the administrative boundaries of Budapest.
Budapest public transport ticekts and passes
Single ticket: 350 HUF, valid for a single uninterrupted trip without transfer, except between metro lines where we can transfer without validating another ticket.
Transfer ticket: 530 HUF, valid for a single trip including one transfer. Tickets must be validated according to their numbering, so ticket number 1 shall be validated on the first vehicle, and ticket number 2 on the second. This way we need to use only one ticket instead of two, and we can save 170 HUF.
Block of 10 tickets: the block contains 10 single tickets, and we can save 500 HUF by buying a block instead of buying 10 single tickets. As you will almost certainly need more tickets, you might want to use this type of ticket.
Airport shuttle bus single ticket: 900 HUF, this is the only way to get on bus 100E, which runs between the airport and Deák Ferenc Square (Deák Ferenc tér).
24-hour travelcard: 1,650 HUF, valid for 24 hours for an unlimited number of trips. It is also valid for free river cruises on weekdays. If you get on public transport at least 5 times in 24 hours, you should choose this type of ticket.
72-hour travelcard: 4,150 HUF, and it’s valid for 3 days. Next to Budapest public transport it can be used for unlimited travel on cogwheel railway and public boat too, but only on weekdays. If you get on a vehicle at least 12 times in 3 days, it is worth buying a 72-hour travelcard.
24-hour group travelcard: 3,300 HUF. It can be a very good choice, but pay attention because a maximum of five people can travel together with this ticket. The boat can be also taken with this ticket on weekdays.
7-day travelcard: 4,950 HUF, note that this type of ticket costs only 3 tickets more than a 3-day ticket. With this ticket we can travel for a whole week for free, and even river cruises can be taken on weekdays.
5/30 BKK travelcard: it is a 5-day travelcard for days that are not necessarily following each other. Of course, this type of ticket can be also used on Danube public boats for free and unlimited, but only on weekdays.
Ticket Sales Points
Ticket vending machine: here we can buy tickets and passes all day and we can also pay by cash or by card.
Ticket office: in ticket offices we can also buy tickets by cash or by card.
Driver: from the driver we can only buy single tickets, the price of which is 450 HUF, so it is 100 HUF more than buying it elsewhere.
Online: For the time being, only passes and airport shuttle bus single tickets can be bought on the app. The app can be downloaded from the website: https://bkk.hu/mobiljegy/
Using a mobile ticket for traveling is essentially the same as using paper tickets.
Important: In order to start the journey airport mobile tickets must be validated by scanning the placed code.
Passes – similarly to daily tickets – do not need to be validated after purchase, but the code must be read with our smartphone after getting on at the front door or entering the metro station area, and the animation has to be showed to the driver or the staff.
An active mobile data connection is required to purchase, use, and certify the validity of a mobile ticket.
Do not forget to validate your ticket!
Tickets must be validated immediately after each boarding. In the metro, tickets must be validated with the help of the device placed at the entrance of the station, and on the tram, trolley, and bus, it must be inserted into the yellow or orange ticket validator, and the black frame of the slot has to be pulled towards you. The ticket must be kept until the end of the journey because the inspector can ask for it at any time and will impose a penalty if our ticket is not available or not validated.