Transportation in Budapest
Walking around is highly recommended. It's the best way to encounter the Budapest beyond the guidebooks and to burn off the rich Magyar meals.
An extensive network of bus routes compliments the metro and tram system, though can be a bit slow during rush hour. Electric trolley buses serve additional routes. Night buses are regular and cover the main day routes.
Budapest's underground system is a reliable and quick way to get around town, consisting of three lines. The M1 is the oldest underground line in continental Europe, and true to its original design operates just under street level, while M2 and M3 are deeper underground. The long-awaited and debated fourth metro line is no longer just a figment of certain politicians' imaginations, and is currently undergoing construction. When it will open, though, is still anyone's guess.
Reliable companies such as City Taxi, Fõ taxi, Tele 5, Taxi 2000 and Buda Taxi offer value for money, and can be either hailed down in the street or summoned by phone, which is slightly cheaper. Concentrate on these as some other taxi firms tend to overcharge.
Rent your car
The Danube divides Budapest into Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east. Connecting bridges are notorious for traffic jams, except during the summer, when most people leave the city. Parking is charged by zone during weekdays with the most expensive places in the city centre (€1.50/hour).
If you're using single-journey tickets you will need to validate them before the tram starts moving, and at the top of the escalator on the metro, or you risk the wrath of the army of ticket inspectors. However, many locals ride the gauntlet and go ticket-free. One-, three- and seven-day travel passes are good-value options, depending on the length of your stay, and can be used on all public transport. The Budapest Card is even better value, combining free public transport with free or discounted entry for many sights and museums. It is valid for either 24, 48 or 72 hours and offers a discount in some shops, restaurants, car rental spaces, etc. as well.