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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 four 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. Relatively cost effective Travel Cards can also be purchased which allow travellers daily or multi-day access to all public transport. 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, 50Hz. 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). It is divided into 100 filler. 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. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The area code for Budapest is 1. 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.
The metro station is reachable via bus number 200E running from Terminal 2. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes to the city centre via the metro. Tickets for public transportation are available at the airport from customer service points, from the post office, the newsagents (Relay) and from ticket machines at the bus stop. 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 at the Airport Minibus counter. Alternatively, a taxi can be reserved at the arrivals terminal information desk. A ride to the city centre will take approximately 20 minutes depending on traffic conditions.
Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz Rent-a-Car, Sixt Rent-a-Car and Europcar Rent-a-Car.
Taxis can be reserved in the arrivals hall. Fares are metered but can't exceed prices set according to city zones. A high speed road connects the airport to the city in 20 minutes. In September 2013 a new Taxi Decree was introduced in Hungary regulating the price of the taxis at a fixed tariff of HUF 280 per kilometre in addition to the one-off basic fee of HUF 450 and waiting fee. A ride to the city centre should typically cost around HUF 6500 depending on traffic conditions. Try not to use unsolicited taxis, as they may charge exorbitant fees. All official taxis are well marked and should display the rate for fares.
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. All flights are serviced by Terminals 2A and 2B. Terminal 1 is no longer serving any flights.
Facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, first aid, duty-free shops, childcare, post office, chapel, restaurants, tourist information and hotel reservations. There are facilities for disabled passengers and wheelchairs are available from the airport help desks; travellers with special needs are advised to contact their airline or travel agent in advance. A short walk from Terminal 2 there is an open-air aircraft museum.
There are dedicated parking structures for each terminal, offering express, short-term and long-term parking options. Express parking allows five free minutes if you just need to pick up or drop off a passenger. From there short-term prices escalate to HUF 800 for 30 minutes and HUF 1,200 for an hour.
Free wifi is available in all terminals and in the SkyCourt area.