Budapest has an extensive, inexpensive and efficient public transport system that includes the metro, trams, buses, trolley buses and trains. Most transport runs until about 11:30pm after which there is a limited night bus and tram service until about 5am. The metro is clean, safe and frequent, and although there are only three lines it reaches most areas of interest to tourists. Trams are good for travelling around the Great Boulevard or along the embankment; trolleybuses (electric buses) operate in Pest; and although more difficult to use, buses are useful for journeys that can't be made by metro, especially around Buda. There are regular incidents of pick pocketing on buses and metro lines though, particularly when they are crowded.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50 Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
Although Hungary is part of the EU it does not use the Euro; the official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Most international credit cards are accepted, and these can be used to withdraw cash from banks and ATMs, and to pay bills in hotels, restaurants and most shops. Banks usually open between 8am and 4pm on weekdays and some are open on Saturdays. ATMs and currency exchange machines are available in towns and cities throughout the country. It is advisable to retain exchange receipts for proof of legal currency exchange.
The international access code for Hungary is +36. There are often high surcharges on calls made from hotels; it is cheaper to use public telephone boxes or calling cards. Local directory assistance is available by dialling 198, and international directory assistance is 199; callers may have to hold for a few moments, but English-speaking operators are available. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators. Internet cafes are available in larger towns.
|Easter Sunday||20 Apr||5 Apr|
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Anniversary of the 1848 Revolution||15 Mar||15 Mar|
|Easter Monday||21 Apr||6 Apr|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Whit Monday||9 Jun||25 May|
|Day of the Republic||23 Oct||23 Oct|
|All Saints Day||1 Nov||1 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|Boxing Day||26 Dec||26 Dec|
Budapest's climate is accented with warm summers and bitterly cold winters, with plenty of rain all year round. Winters are short, with the cold weather arriving in mid-December; it is usually cloudy and damp with the odd bright sunny days and frequent, but light, snow. In summer (late May to September), Budapest is sunny and warm with relatively high humidity. It is generally fairly dry although there can be sudden showers. In spring (March to early May) there is plenty of sunshine; the weather can be a bit changeable and sometimes windy in early spring but by late April and May the weather is wonderful. Early autumn is also a good time to visit; late autumn (late October to November) starts getting cold and unpleasant as winter draws nigh.
The nearby Western Railway Station is in walking distance of Terminal 1, and accessible using Bus 200 from Terminal 2. The airport Bus 93 leaves for the Köbánya-Kispest metro terminal from Terminals 1 and 2 and costs HUF350 on the bus. There is also an airport minibus service that takes passengers to any destination in the city as soon as the bus is full. Tickets can be purchased in the Arrivals Hall and cost HUF2,600.
Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar and Airport Rent-a-Car.
Taxis are available at the Arrivals hall. Fares are metered but can't exceed prices according to city zones. A high speed road connects the airport to the city in 20 minutes.
Terminal 2A (Schengen destinations) and 2B (non-Schengen destinations) are close enough to be accessible by foot; there is a covered walkway between these two terminals. For transfers between Terminal 1 and 2, the easiest way is with Budapest Airport Minibusz (BAM) which operates a shuttle costing HUF700. Taxis are also available and the number 93 bus may also be used.
Facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, left luggage, first aid, duty-free shops, childcare, post office, chapel, restaurants, tourist information and hotel reservations. A short walk from Terminal 2 there is an open-air aircraft museum.
There are parking structures for each terminal, offering express, short-term and long-term parking options. Rates are HUF300 for 15 minutes and HUF1,200 for an hour, with a daily maximum charge of HUF9,000. The long-stay parking lot charges HUF3,000 for the first day.
Free wifi internet access is available in Terminal 1 and in the SkyCourt area.