Practical guide to living in Budapest

Transportation

Public transport

Budapest has a convenient network of public transport of buses, trolley buses, trams, metro lines and the HÉV (suburban railway). The system covers the whole city and it is cheap with Hungarian student ID cards (to be obtained at the Registrar's Office).


You can use the same type of ticket for all forms of public transport in the city but remember when you change lines or systems you must validate a new ticket (except for metro lines, for a certain amount of time). If you get caught travelling without a valid ticket, you must pay a fine. Ticket controllers wear red or blue armbands and can appear anywhere at any time on the vehicles or at metro stations pulling up their armbands asking for your ticket or pass to inspect it.


A book of 10 tickets can also be purchased for a discounted price. A special metro section ticket is valid for three stops, and transfer tickets allow you to transfer between lines (except for metro lines, where you do not need to validate a new ticket when you transfer to another line).


Travel passes for one day, three days and seven days can also be purchased.


Tickets can be purchased from newsagent's, metro stations and ticket machines.

For more information, visit the English language homepage of the Hungarian Public Transport Company.

Metro

Budapest's metro system has 3 lines, which all connect at Deák tér, it enables you to go from one side of the city to the other in around 30 minutes. Each metro station has a map covering the entire city and highlighting all public transport connection points. You will notice that on both sides of the platform the destination stations are listed in the direction of travel.
M1 (yellow line): Mexikói út – Vörösmarty tér
M2 (red line): Örs Vezér tere – Déli pályaudvar
M3 (blue line): Kőbánya Kispest – Újpest Központ.
 
The HÉV (Suburban Railway)

The HÉV is the suburban railway system that connects Budapest with its suburban districts and places.

Tram

The tram network within Budapest offers perhaps the most tourist-friendly way of navigating the city whilst taking in the sights. Take either tram No 2, 4 or 6, and you will have the most spectacular view of the city.

Bus

Like trams, buses allow visitors to see the sites while travelling in the city. In the mornings,  buses are very crowded and you may have to stand for most of the journey. In order to let the driver know you wish to get off at a certain stop you need to press the stop button in good time as the doors do not open automatically when the bus stops. To open the door you may need to press a small button located next to the door.
 
TAXI

Budapest taxis are still relatively cheap and are a fast way of getting around. They can use the bus lane and you have a chance of getting to your destination much faster.

Phone numbers of some taxi companies that accept calls in English:
Cititaxi: +36 1 2 111 111 (same from mobiles)
Főtaxi: +36 1 2 222 222 (from a mobile: +36 20 2222 222, or +36 30 2222 222, or +36 70 2222 222)
Taxi2000: +36 1 2 000 000 (from a mobile: +36 30 2000 000, or +36 70 2000 000)
Zona Taxi : airport

Taxi tariffs consist of a basic charge and a kilometer fee.  It is worth ordering by phone as it is much cheaper than catching one on the street.  Switchboard operators generally speak English and the car will get to you in 5-10 minutes.
Before starting off, check the prices and make sure the meter is going.  It is customary to give a 10% tip to the driver.
Those taxis that do not have the sign of any taxi companies may hold risks regarding their fees.



How to get to the Liszt Academy


For information about using public transportation to reach the buildings of the Liszt Academy, please see this page.

 


Going out / Shopping


Opening hours

Department stores and shopping centres in cities are open generally from 10 am till 9 pm on weekdays, or from 10 am till 6 pm. Shops catering to the tourist trade often have longer hours, and in the tourist season they are also open on Sundays. There are many food stores open all night.

Where to buy what?  

Food: markets (one on Hunyadi tér is close to the Liszt Academy) or at supermarkets (Match, Spar, CBA) and hipermarkets (Cora, Auchan, Tesco).

Folk art, antiques, the widest range of consumer goods: the Castle District, Kossuth Lajos utca, Rákóczi út, Károly körút, Múzeum körút, Szent István körút, Erzsébet körút and József körút.

Shopping centres – with cinemas - are open every day:
     Mammut: 2nd district, Széna tér; red (M2) metro - stop Moszkva tér;
     Westend City Center: 6th district, Váci út 1-3, Nyugati Railway Station;
     Árkád: 10th district, Örs vezér tere 25, red (M2) metro, final stop

Bars, pubs and restaurants: You can find a wide range of cosy pubs, bars and restaurants with terraces on Liszt Ferenc square, and in the little streets of the neighborhood.

Public holidays
    January 1 – New Year's Day;
    March 15 – Official commemoration events in memory of the 1848 Revolution in Hungary
    Easter Monday – Christian holiday;
    May 1 – Labour Day;
    Whit Monday (Pentecost) – Christian holiday;
    August 20 – Foundation of the Hungarian State, Day of the Constitution celebrated  with spectacular fireworks in Budapest
    October 23 – Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution against the Communist regime      

    November 1 – All Saints Day;
    December 25-26 – Christmas.
Please note that on public holidays everything is closed.
 

For your safety


Watch all your bags and hide your jewellery, wallet and mobile phone when using public transport or walking in public places.
Do not change money in the streets.

In restaurants, night clubs and bars be careful and check actual prices before you enter or order  (please also check the small-type at the bottom of the menu to make sure prices do not change after a given hour or time).

Always look around when crossing a street even at zebra crossings.

Be careful when you have to move around the town, especially around night clubs and public parks at night. Do not hesitate to sit into a taxi instead of walking and using public transport, avoid contact with strangers, and try to move around in groups at night.

OTHER


Pharmacies

Medicines can only be bought in pharmacies (Gyógyszertár or Patika, there is no such thing as a drugstore in Hungary). Some medicines are available only on prescription. Pharmacies are open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A few pharmacies are open at weekends, too: every pharmacy has a notice saying which one is open during the weekend.

Telephoning

To be able to reach you in Hungary your family and friends have to dial +36 (Hungary's international code number) before dialing your phone number.
If you want to call someone abroad, dial 00 and the international code number of  the country in question.
Within the boundaries of Budapest you only have to dial the 7-digit number. Note that 7-digit Budapest phone numbers begin with 2, 3, 4, 7 or 8.
If you are in Budapest and you want to reach a number outside Budapest (in Hungary) you have to dial 06 and the 2-digit district area code followed by the 6-digit phone number.
If you are outside Budapest (in Hungary) and you want to call Budapest you have to dial 06 1 followed by the 7-digit number.
Phone numbers beginning with /06/ 20, 30, 60 and 70 are cellular phone numbers. 06 is followed by 9 digits in these cases.

How to decipher Budapest addresses

In the address "V. Garibaldi u. 4. III/21", the Roman numeral V indicates District 5. "Garibaldi u." means Garibaldi Street ("u." ="utca" = Street). 4 is the house number, III is the floor number, and 21 is the apartment number. The two digits in the middle of the four-digit postal code also identify the district (thus the postal code 1054 indicates a building in District 5).
 
Newspaper

The Budapest Sun is Hungary's largest circulation weekly English language newspaper.  This newspaper is aimed at foreigners living in Hungary and features all the important information you might need while staying in Hungary. A similar newspaper in German language is the Budapester Zeitung. Due to the large Chinese population in Budapest, there are newspapers in Chinese (e.g. WSD).

Information office in Budapest

Tourinform/ Police Info Office
5th district, Deák tér (Sütő u. 2.)
Phone: +36 1 438-8080, Fax: +36 1 488-8661
Email: hungary@tourinform.hu

Notable alumni

Motto

Virtual Tour

Kodály Institute

Liszt Museum

Library