The city is equipped with an efficient public transport system managed by the BKV (www.bkv.hu). The underground, buses, trams and trolleybuses run from 4.30am to 11pm. The city also operates a night bus network.
The network has 3 lines: M 1 (yellow), M 2 (red) and M 3 (blue). A fourth line is planned to open in 2010. The M1 line, the first underground line opened in continental Europe, is extremely practical for tourists, because it follows the layout of Andrássy út, that runs from the city centre to Bois-de-Ville.
The tram network covers the length and breadth of the city. The most popular tourist lines are:
– 4 and 6, which run from Grand Boulevard to Moszkva tér;
– 2, which runs alongside the Danube on the Pest bank from Közvágóhíd to Jászai Mari tér (a few steps from Margaret Bridge and Island);
– 19, which runs alongside the Danube on the Buda bank to Batthyány tér.
Bus and trolleybus
Buses are blue and trolleybuses are red. Buses with black numbers stop at all stops, while red numbered buses are express buses. The names of the bus stops are indicated on each stop. Tourists often find buses and trolleybuses less easy to use than the underground or trams.
This three-letter acronym refers to the overground suburban train network. These trains do not go through the city centre and can only be used to visit outlying attractions (Szentendre in particular).
Fares and discounts
Tickets cannot be purchased on board buses, trams or trolleybuses, but only from underground stations, newspaper stands and BKV outlets located at major crossroads or line terminals. Tickets must be stamped for each journey or change of underground or HEV line and on buses, trolleybuses and trams. Controls are frequent and the inspectors do not wear uniforms but slip on a red armband just before they board the vehicle.
Single fare: Ft300, valid day and night in the underground, buses, trams, trolleybuses and in the HEV (within the city boundary for the HEV).
Book of 10 tickets: Ft2 700.
1- to 7-day passes: unlimited access to the entire network (within the city boundary for the HEV), including night services. Ft1 550 for 1 day; Ft3 850 for 3 days; Ft4 600 for 7 days.
Budapest Kártya (Budapest Card): unlimited access to the entire network + free access or discounts to most museums. Valid 48hr (Ft6 300) or 72hr (Ft7 500).
There is no shortage of taxicabs in Budapest and you will never have to wait for very long. Enquire about the price before setting off and keep an eye on the meter as rip-offs are not unheard of. Visitors should be aware that it is invariably cheaper to call a taxi company than to hail a cab in the street.