Traveling from Liszt Ferenc Airport, (the Budapest airport), to the city center can be done in different ways. Your choice will depend on your budget and the level of convenience you prefer. You can either take the bus, train, airport shuttle or taxi. Each mode of transport has a different price, and of course, travel times may vary. To understand your different options, we set out here the routes and fares of each method.
Where to Take the Ride?
Generally, the plane will arrive at Terminals 2A or 2B. After completing procedures in the customs and stepping into arrivals, there is an information booth which provides information and tickets on how to take a ride from the airport to the city center, using the BKK public-transportation network. Tickets for the buses are available at the same booth. If you choose to take the taxi, you will see a line of people waiting for a cab outside the Terminal.
At a distance from the taxi booth, some people may be gathering around a ticket dispenser near to a bus stop. The dispenser in English accepts Hungarian forints and also credit cards. Make sure that you have some forints with you before taking a ride.
Taking the Bus Transfer
When taking a bus, you choose either to take the 100E or the 200E. Each ride requires different tickets.
If you choose to take the 100E, you need to take a 900-forint ticket bearing the plane logo. It leaves every 20 minutes directly into town with stops at Deák tér, Astoria and Kálvin tér in the city center. The last bus leaves at 1:20 am. At night, the travel period is 30 minutes and 45 minutes during the day.
You can also take the 200E with a bus stop at the airport, and it runs every 7 minutes, but stops at the nearest metro station of the M3 Metro Line. (Traditionally this has always been Kőbánya-Kispest, but at the time of writing this station is closed due to renovation). Travel time to the station is around 25 minutes. The bus ride needs a standard BKK transport ticket.
Taking the Train
This is slightly more complicated. It entails taking the 100E bus to the Ferihegy bus stop. And from there, taking the train. Your bus ride needs a standard BKK transport ticket, and it will get stamped for the next part of the journey from MAV-Start Hungarian State Railways to Nyugati pályaudvar station in the city center. It will only take you 20 minutes.
The transfers from Határ út M are available day and night to South Pest.
A regular one-way ticket is 370 HUF. However, some services are within the city and need a supplement. The ticket machine shows the destination of their route. You can also use the train for a trip back to the airport if you can take the train to Ferihegy station once more. And then, get on a bus that goes to the Airport Terminal.
Note: At present, the metro line M3 is under repair – the metro is not operating on the area between Kőbánya-Kispest and Nagyvárad tér stations. The ones operating at the moment are replacement buses. During the weekends and holidays, the metro operates only on the northern part of the line between Lehel tér and Újpest-központ stations while the replacement buses are taking the southern section.
Taking the Minibus Airport Shuttle
If you prefer point-to-point Budapest airport transfers, it is best to take the Minibus Shuttle service. With several minibuses providing shared rides, the staff makes sure that the passengers will have a convenient journey. Because of this, it may take you longer to reach the destination, compared to public transportation. However, you will have the convenience of not having to carry the luggage on the bus and metro.
Taking a taxi is the fastest way to reach the city center. To book a taxi, an English-speaking dispatcher can help you. You can find him at the kiosk located outside Terminal 2A and 2B. Only one company is authorized to give service to from the airport to the city center. The Főtaxi assures fixed rates with the use of prepaid vouchers that you can get at the taxi stands. If you want to take a ride that will send you directly to the hotels in the center, you will be charged 8,000 forints.
Beware of other taxi companies that might be operating around the airport, as they may tend to charge higher fees.
It’s a must that you do some research first before taking any means of transport at the airport. If you want a direct but longer route, you can take the airport shuttle. However, if you want the cheapest way of traveling from the airport to the center, then take the bus.
But if you are after convenience without minding the amount of your fair, then taking the taxi is the best method. The most important thing here is that you will reach your destination safely. Consider this post as a guide for those who have a plan of visiting Hungary, particularly Budapest.