The best way to get around Budapest is by foot and public transportation. Public transportation consists of bus, rail, and subway. The city is very walkable. But since there are a lot of cars, you will find the sidewalks your friend. And the public transportation works very well!
Best Way to Get Around Budapest-Budapest Go App
Before you get to Budapest, download the Budapest Go App. And put in your credit card information, so that when you buy bus tickets in Budapest, you can easily charge it to your card without having to put in all the information each time you get a bus ticket. We would recommend using the app over the station ticket booth which is not located everywhere. The Budapest app is secure, and at least you know where your credit card information is. And you can remove your credit card information once you are done using the app.
Besides buying a ticket on the Budapest Go App, you can find detailed information as to the bus or buses you need to take to get to your destination. There’s a search inquiry on the app at the very top where you put where you want to go to, and it will find it for you.
There’s even a favorites tab where you can set your favorite stops and check within one click when the bus departs from the given stop. The up-to-date timing of the bus is very close to being accurate as well, so you can rely on getting somewhere when you want to be. One of the bus lines can run a little slower sometimes, but one can easily learn that by practice.
How to use your Budapest Go App Ticket to get onto the Bus, Rail, or Subway?
When you purchase your ticket on the Budapest Go App, it will ask you to validate. Once your ride comes, open this ticket, and click validate. That will turn your phone’s camera on, and now you can use this on the QR code against the bus or rail door. You can either do this at the back of the bus/rail, or the front before getting on, or you can do this right near the driver’s window. Once it scans, you’re good to go and you will get a cute image. Nothing else is needed.
But don’t shut down the app, you may need that cute image to show the driver of your proof of purchase upon request. Or you may need it to take a transfer. In which case, you may be able to get another ride off the same ticket.
As for the subway, you will need to validate your mobile ticket before you get on to the subway, usually at the bottom of the stairs. They are planning to provide more validating areas on the subway, but it’s still new at this point.
How do I get from Budapest Airport to City Centre?
The best way to go to the City Centre from the Budapest Airport is via bus. It’s very inexpensive and very easy to use without any hassle. The 100E Bus takes you straight there, with a short duration walk to your destination depending on where you are staying. And you can always transfer to other buses however you may have to purchase another ticket. The bus transfer was free when we were there, but it changed on the day we left. So definitely check before you hop on.
Now, if you have too much luggage, you may want to just take a Taxi, but it will cost you. Budapest does not have any Uber or Lyft vehicles because of a ruling made by the taxi companies. But in all honesty, the buses are very clean and people mind their own business on the bus. Eating and talking on the phone while on the bus is frowned upon which makes it a nice, quiet journey to your destination.
Should You Rent A Car to get around Budapest?
We would highly recommend to not rent a car here. We’re not sure we ever saw a speed limit in the city while we were there. People drive a little fast here. And if you are walking, and the light turns green, you should definitely run across the street as cars don’t stop for pedestrians unless you’re about to get hit. If you’re from America, please don’t think you have the right of way as a pedestrian in another country.
Should You Rent a Bicycle to get around Budapest?
You can rent a bicycle to get around Budapest. But in the summertime, it gets pretty hot here. Not as humid as we are used to in the southern states of the USA, but definitely into the 100 degrees. Riding a bicycle isn’t my cup of tea during that kind of heat. And while there are plenty of places to lock your bicycle, it’s not as convenient as it to walk and take the bus for us. And if you want to go to the Buda side, you’ll have to cycle up a big hill, which we would definitely discourage!
Should You Use a Subway to get around Budapest?
Sometimes you’ll have to use the subway to get around Budapest. If you go to Szechenyi Thermal Bath, for example, the subway is the easiest way to get there as it lands you within a few feet of this thermal bath. The subway runs very smoothly and the subway stations are so nice! We would compare the subway to Disney’s Monorail station but with more seating inside. And it’s air-conditioned which is nice compared to the bus, which doesn’t appear to be air-conditioned at all.
Should You Use the Rail to get around Budapest?
Yes, you should definitely use the rail to get around Budapest if you can. It is also a nice smooth mode of public transportation in Budapest. This rail is like a train but narrower that runs around the city. So it’s smoother than a bus but the bus can take you to more places.