HOW TO TRAVEL TO SZENTENDRE
Szentendre is a delightful village, one that it easy to visit from Budapest.
As it happened, we had our own car, so all we had to do was follow Motorway 11 to Szentendre.
NO CAR - NO PROBLEM - PLENTY OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT
A TRAIN departs approx. every 10 - 15mins from Batthyány Square in Budapest (M2 red metro line). Your there in approx. 40mins.
BUSES are slightly quickly, usually only taking 30 minutes. Catch a bus from the Árpád Bridge coach station.
BOAT - Takes the longest time. Mahart, the Hungarain Shipping Company operates boat services between Budapest and Szentendre every day in the tourist season (30th April-30th Sept). See the timetable and ticket prices here.
PUSH BIKE - Those who are fit enough can hire a bike and ride the bicycle route that runs along Motorway 11.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Probably the most convenient way to get to Szentendre is Budapest's suburban rail service (HEV). This runs from central Buda, the first stop is Batthyány tér on M2 directly opposite the Parliament. From here you should buy a special ticket, as it's just outside the Budapest zone and so isn't covered by your day tickets, etc.
For Szentendre you'll get an orange ticket to the outer reaches of the city, and a special ticket to take you to the end of the line. Stamp the orange ticket on the train in the normal way. The other one should be timed and dated when you buy it. The total cost was 565 forints when I went in 2009.
How to move around
Szentendre is a small town so you can easily walk around and see everything.
There’s a map outside the train station (pic 1) that you can see all the sites and orient yourself although later you will see a Tourist Information anyway.
From the train station just walk under the main highway (pic 2) and walk straight for about 5 minutes and you will be in the center (which is just north of the train/bus station). The long pedestrian street (the Tourist Info is at the beginning) will lead you to main square (Fo Ter). Around the square you will see most of the churches and museums.
The only place you cant walk is Skanzen museum but you can take a local bus or a taxi, there are plenty of them next to the train station (pic 3)
how to go there
Szentendre is just 20km north of Budapest at the western bank of Danube river.
We took the suburna railway (HEV 5) from Batthyany ter metro station in Budapest and 16 stops later we arrived in Szentendre (it’s the final stop). There are 3 to 5 trains an hour. The train was old and noisy but the ride is just 40’. Your Budapest ticket or card is not valid as you go out of the city limits, so you need a special ticket (640Ft one way) that you buy at the kiosk just before you catch the train.
The train station in Szentendre is simple with not many facilities but there are some kiosks with snacks and coffee. There is also a WC (you have to pay 200Ft at the lady that keeps it clean)
The bus from Budapest is faster and takes 30’. There are buses from Arpad Bridge in Budapest(at Arpad Hid train station). You can buy the ticket from the driver or from the bus station half an hour before the departure.
The bus station in Szentendre is just behind the train station. There you can catch any other bus around Szentendre (we took one for Visegrad the day after which is 45’ away, Esztergom is 60’ away)
Take Route 11 along the Danube river
Another alternative is to take the river boat from Budapest. It must be more romantic but also slow (90’) and boring :) You can catch the boat at 10.00am at Vigado Square, 10’ later it stops at Batthyany Ter and then after a long journey you will be in Szentendre at 11.30am. One way ticket 1600Ft, return 2400Ft From Szentendre the boat departs at 17.00pm. details here
There used to be another boat from april to September that connected the towns along the Danube Bend(Szentendre, Visegrad and Esztergom) but it doesn’t operate anymore.
You can get the local HEV train from the Margit Hid (bridge) stop which is right beside the river on the Buda side . If you are coming from Pest you can catch the 4 or 6 tram and get off at the Margit hid- Buda side stop and then go down to the HEV station from there, which is right next to it.
The trains are frequent and the last one back is at around 11 at night. So you have plenty of time to spend there.
It costs 1500 forints for a return ticket which you can by at the HEV station. This is about 5 euros.
The train takes about takes about 40 minutes
Boat to Szentendre
leics has it right. You catch the boat just behind the Intercontinental Hotel in Pest, between the Chain & Elizabeth Bridges, OR from Batthyany Ter (Square) on the Buda side. The boat leaves Pest at 10:30, arrives Szentendre at noon, then leaves Szentendre at 5 pm, back in Budapest at 6 pm. We just took it today (Sep 24) and it was about 10x more crowded coming back to Budapest than it was going to Szentendre. Daily trips stop this coming weekend. After Sep 27, the boat only goes on Saturday & Sunday.
Volanbusz run from Budapest to Szentendre. They take about as long as the HEV, but the buses are much nicer and even air conditioned. I think they are a bit cheaper than the HEV too. The down side is that they run to the bus terminals outside Budapest. The one I took back home dropped me off at the District 13 station in Ujpest. BUT it's easy to get to as it's at the end of the M3 line.
Of possibly even more use is the bus onwards to Visegrad and Ezstergom. These run every 30-60 minutes, and it takes about 45 minutes to Visegrad, and 1 hour or so to Esztergom. The price to Visegrad was 400 forints one-way. The only difficulty you might have is that they stop at every little pissant place en route, so you might not know where best to get off. Worse is that Visegrad is strung out along the Danube, meaning a long walk if you get off in the wrong place. Esztergom is easy - it's the end of the line.
For Visegrad just get off at the first stop after the city gates - nowhere else has city gates!
The other difficulty I found with Volanzbus was that the help desk was completely unhelpful. The answer to my question, in Hungarian, asking if they speak English was a gruff "nem". No problem. But the answer to my next question, asked politely in Hungarian, was "nem" even before I could finish it. Even though the answer to the question was not yes or no!
Come on! I can count to a million in Hungarian now! It's infuriating to be treated with such disrespect!
Don't be put off. The information you need is on the signs around the station. You just have to look for it.
The station itself is easily found. It's outside the HEV. Just look for the big yellow buses.
If it's hot, go by boat........
You can easily get to Szentendre by train from Budapest.
But it was so hot I decided to go by excursion boat.
Mahart Passnave run daily excursion bots (with open top deck) from Vigado Ter/Batthany Ter in Budapest from May to September, at weekends only during April and October.
Because of the current, getting to Szentendre takes about and hour and a half whilst coming back takes only an hour.
To be frank, if the weather had not been so hot then I would have taken the train....this stretch of the Danube is not especially scenic or interesting. But it was a very pleasant excursion when temperatures were in the mid-30s.
The boat was full both ways (mid-week) so it would be a good idea to buy your ticket before the day you travel. If it's hot, and you want to sit on the open deck, you need to be queueing up 30 minutes or so beforehand.....there was a bit of a scrum to get on at Szentendre, to be honest.
Boats arrive at Szentendre at 12.00 and leave at 5, so you have plenty of time to explore. Or you could take the boat one away and the train the other.
I bought my ticket from the Mahart Office on Belgrad Rakpart, near Szabadsdag Hid, but you can also buy them at Vigado Ter. Return fare (July 09) was 2235 forints.
You can take bikes too, at 50% of the adult fare.
- Family Travel
We took the train from Arad station in Budapest to Szentendre. We thought we needed to go to a different station, but we told our cab driver we wanted to go to Szentendre and he dropped us at Arad, which was just round the corner from us. The journey took approx 40 minutes if I remember correctly and it was quite funny, cause the train was hopping along the tracks at one stage rather than gliding.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Easy to reach from Budapest
Szentendre is very easy to reach from Budapest. The HEV-train (with Szentendre as terminus) leaves from Batthyány tér a couple of times per hour. The single fare is 480 forint; tickets can be bought in the station but also on the train, I think. When you arrive in the Szentendre station, just walk to the end of the platform and there you will find a map where you can see where you are and where the historic village is.
To get to Szentendre from Budapest head to Batthyany ter metro station and follow the HEV signs. You can get a single ticket for 270 Ft if you have a valid travel pass. Get on the HEV train and Szentendre is the end of the line.
To get to the town from the train/bus station head right and through the supermarket complex until you reach the main road - Dunakanyar. Cross the street and cross over a small peice of greenery to a slip road. Head up North up this road and eventually you will reach a stream and the start of the town.
If you go by train to Szentendre, watch out, it not only will cost you 500 ft to get there but a normal orange ticket. That's because part of the trip you're still in Budapest, and the part you're in the next district, or whatever they call it, so remember to pay for both, and mark theorange ticket once in the train.
Getting the train
Ok, what I saw is that you don't need to buy the ticket at the station, but you can buy at in the train. It might resutl complicated if the accomodator doesn't know english, but you can always say you got in later on, so it'll cost you less. This better do it when going back to Budapest, tell you why in the next tip....
Access to Szentendre ( 2 images )
Located just 12 miles north of the Budapest border on the banks of the Danube, Szentendre is well served by land and river.
River Boat - a sightseeing boat calling at Szentendre and the other 2 Danube Bend towns of Estergom and Visigrad further north leaves from the Duna boat dock at V Vigado ter twice daily and offers a relatively inexpensive and scenic tour up the river. However, the schedule allows only two options to return - the first gives perhaps one hour in town which is far too little and the second requires a 7 hour stay. There simply are not 7 hours worth of attractions here other than beer. The boatride may be pleasant but we feel it is a bad choice.
Car - straight up Route 11 along the Danube.
Bus - one to three busses an hour from Arpad hid station to the Szenendre train station, quick and easy.
Train - 3 to 5 trains an hour on the HEV suburban line which leaves from within the Batthyany ter metro stop on the red line. Intermittent rail construction may mean making the last part of the journey on a bus. We used the train route - saw parts of Hungary that one will not see on the river - the evidence of Communist rule in the dark grey stained apartment blocks, the poor maintenance of streets, and perhaps most telling a vegetable garden in what seemed to be every residence along the way. And the bus was an antique. The train fare was less than 5$US. A special ticket is needed - the Budapest metro pass goes only to the city limits. Buy the ticket right at the metro ticket kiosk across from the HEV.
After leaving the train or bus, just follow the crowds under the main highway and walk into town straight for perhaps 8-10 minutes passing an increasing number of restaurants and stores as you proceed directly to the main square.
The images include the train station and the main street leading to the center of the village.
From Budapest to Szentendre
Szentendre is about 20km north of Budapest and there are plenty of transport options between the two places. We travelled by train from Betthyany Ter station in Budapest. The journey took about 40 minutes and tickets were 391 HUfs return. A more appealing, though slower, way to travel is by boat along the Danube. It takes 90 minutes from Budapest.
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