If you the holder of a Budapest Card, you will receive two free excellent guided walking tours in English, one at Buda side and the other at Pest side worth a total of 5,980 HUF. These guided walking tours covers lots of major tourist attractions in the city such as the State Opera House, Synagogue, the Grand Market Hall, Chain Bridge, St. Stephen's Basilica and the Parliament Building at Pest side and Buda Castle, Mathias Church, Presidential palace, statue of St. Stephen and the Fisherman's Bastion at Buda side. Don't miss the free guided walking tours if you intend to purchase Budapest Card.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Horse-drawn carriages are common sights on the streets in the Castle District at Castle Hill especially at Mathias Church, Hotel Hilton, Fisherman's Bastion and the Buda Castle. They are certainly very popular means of transportation for local and foreign tourists. Our photograph on the right was taken just outside the tourist information office at Castle Hill near the Mathias Church.
Passengers have the comfort of exploring the various tourist attractions from a different perspective. You may just simply relax at the comfort of the carriage and take the slow moving horse-drawn carriages to explore the colourful streets and wonderful architectural buildings of the Castle District. Horse-drawn carriages are especially popular for family travel with small children and elderly and for those who are lazy to walk!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
How to travel cheap and cost effective in Hungary
How to travel cheap and cost effective in Hungary:
a) Regular discounts
60% off TCV price for any return tickets Hungary-Croatia and Hungary- Serbia (30% off for one way tickets Hungary-Serbia, except Subotica-Szeged route, where 60% discount is valid for one way tickets as well)
60% off Hungarian part and 55% off Slovak part for any return journey between Hungary-Slovakia
60% off Hungarian part and 50% off Slovenian part for any return journey between Hungary-Slovenia
50% off Hungarian part and Romanian part for any return journey in Hungary-Romania connection (35% off for one way tickets)
50% off Hungarian part, Croatian part and 40% off Bosnian part for any return journey between Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina via Croatia.
50% off East-West tariff fare for any return connections Hungary-Ukraine
50% off Hungarian part, 50% off Ukrainian part and 30% off Russian part East-West tariff fare for return journeys in Hungary-Russia connection via Ukraine
40% off TCV price for return tickets Budapest-Warsaw(Krakow, Katowice, Gdynia) and 30% off on other Hungary-Poland routes
40% off TCV price for return tickets Budapest-Prague.
20% off Global price on Hungary-Italy return tickets for EN 240/241 (Budapest-Venice) train (additional discount offered for passengers 26 and >60 years old, minigroups of 2 to 5 passengers traveling with offer "Friends and more")
You can as well take advantage of special Multilataral Agreement between East European railway companies. It allows you to get 30% (or 40% for youth26 years old and 50% for groups more than 6 passengers) discount from regular TCV tariff fare on any return ticket purchased for connections between countries participants of the tariff Agreement. Those are Czech Republic (CD), Hungary (MAV), Romania (CFR), Poland (PKP), Slovakia (ZSSK), Bulgaria (BZD), Serbia (ZS) and FYR Macedonia (MZ).
But be careful and consider possible bilateral agreements between certain countries as well (those might be the better option for you). In case of Hungary it's cheaper to purchase tickets to Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia and FYR Macedonia with a help of other discounts (Special offer and bilateral agreement for Serbia, bilateral agreement for Slovakia, SparSchiene and bilateral agreement for Czech Republic (Budapest-Brno/Prague connections), SparSchiene for Poland (Budapest-Krakow/Warsaw), bilateral agreements for Romania and FYR Macedonia and CityStar for Bulgaria)
b) Special offers (SparSchiene)
Offers with unlimited number of tickets :
Austria: Budapest-Wien (25 euro/4 day validity return ticket or 31 euro includes Vienna city transport fo two days); Budapest-Linz (35 euro/4 day validity return ticket); Budapest-Salzburg (39 euro/4 day validity return ticket); Budapest-Graz (33 euro/4 day validity return ticket or 40.5 euro with city transport);Budapest-Bad Ischl, Bad Gastein, Zell am See, Kitzbühel (69 euro/4 day validity return ticket); Budapest-Radstadt (79 euro/4 day validity return ticket); Budapest-Jenbach, Innsbruck (89 euro/4 day validity return ticket).
Special offer ÖBB-Sommerticket from 3rd July to 12th September youth can take advantage from special summer holiday pass, which offers unlimited travels though out whole Austria for just 39 euro (20) or 69 euro (20-26). During weekdays pass valid from 8am and whole day during weekend.
Croatia: Budapest-Split-Budapest for 68.8 euro
Montenegro: Montenegro Spezial - Budapest-Bar return for 66 euro.
Romania: Budapest-Arad (21 euro/4 day validity return ticket); Budapest-Timisoara (27 euro/4 day validity return ticket); Budapest-Cluj-Napoca (31 euro/4 day validity return ticket)
Slovenia: Budapest-Ljubljana (29 euro one way or 39 euro return).
Serbia: Budapest-Belgrade(15 euro one way or 26 euro return).
Switzerland: Budapest-Zurich (one way 51.9 euro, Zürich Spezial: return ticket 109.4 euro); Budapest-Basel (Basel Spezial: 123.8 euro); Budapest-Bern (Bern Spezial: 131 euro); Budapest-Lausanne (Lausanne Spezial: 143.4 euro); Budapest-Geneva (Genf Spezial: 152.4 euro);
EURegio: Austria (Tatabánya – Vienna – Tatabánya: 18 euro; Győr - Vienna - Győr: 14 euro; Mosonmagyaróvár - Vienna - Mosonmagyaróvár: 12 euro; Szombathely - Graz - Szombathely: 13 euro; Szombathely - Wien - Szombathely: 22 euro etc.)
Offers with limited number of tickets (purchase in advance required):
Austria: Budapest-Wien (one way from 13 euro); Budapest-Graz (one way from 19 euro); Pecs-Wien (one way from 19 euro).
Italy: Budapest-Venice (from 29 euro seat, couchette from 43 euro, 3 bed sleeper from 54 euro).
Germany: Budapest-Berlin/Dresden (Sparnight: seats from 29 euro; couchette from 39 euro); Budapest-Munich (Sparnight: seats from 29 euro; couchette from 49 euro); Budapest-Dresden/Munich (SparDay: seats from 29 euro in 2nd class and 45 in 1st class); Budapest-Berlin (SparDay: seats from 39 euro in 2nd class and 65 euro in 1st class); Budapest-Frankfurt/Cologne via Vienna (Sparnight: seats from 29 euro, couchette from 39 euro, 2 bed sleeper from 69 euro)+10 euro for Budapest-Vienna; Budapest-Hamburg/Hannover via Vienna (Sparnight: seats from 29 euro, couchette from 39 euro, 2 bed sleeper from 69 euro)+10 euro for Budapest-Vienna.
Czech Republic: Budapest-Prague (Sparday from 19 euro).
Poland: Budapest-Krakow (couchette from 39 euro, 3 bed sleeper from 45 euro); Budapest-Warsaw/Katowice (seats from 29 euro; couchette from 39 euro, 3 bed sleper from 54 euro).
Romania: Budapest-Brasov ("Fortuna" ticket - seats from 19 euro, couchette from 29 euro, 3 bed sleeper - from 49 euro); Budapest-Bucurest ("Fortuna" ticket - seats from 29 euro; couchette from 39 euro, 3 bed sleeper from 59 euro).
Switzerland: Budapest-Zurich (by direct train EN466/467 from 39 euro seat; 49 euro couchette).
Austria - 46 euro 100km in Austria, from 100 to 400 km – 78.6, >400km – 103.6 euro etc.
Germany (via Austria) – 175 euro (EC, IC) or 197 euro (ICE) etc.
Germany (via Slovakia and Czech republic) – 208 euro (EC/IC); 230 (ICE)
Greece (via Romania and Bulgaria) – Thessaloniki (150 euro); Athens (187euro) etc.
Greece (via Serbia and FYR Macedonia) – Thessaloniki 109 euro
Bulgaria (via Romania) – 113 euro
Bulgaria (via Serbia) – from 77 euro (210km in Hungary and 70km in Bulgaria) to 93 euro (>210km in Hungary and >70km in Bulgaria)
Czech Republic – 60 euro (100km in Czech republic); 82euro (from 100 to 300km); 100euro (>300km)
t is possible to purchase Rail Plus card in Hungary (allows you 25% discount on any international tickets between almost all the European countries).
Prices: 26 and >60 – 15 euro and 25 euro for adults.Related to:
How to travel cheap and cost effective in Hungary
How to travel cheap and cost effective in Hungary:
The value of the Hungarian Forint has been dropping like a stone since the new government
came to power in May 2010, so for folks using Pounds Sterling, USD or € you will be getting more bang for your Buck..:)
Domestic routes in Hungary served by three major categories of trains
– regular, InterCity and EuroCity(EuroNight)
Regular trains (marked in green (fast trains) and black (passenger trains)
on MAV website) – no seat reservation required, but be prepared that
car wagons will be rather old and dusty.
InterCity (marked in blue on MAV website) – seat reservation required
(you pay additionally app. 2 euro), car wagons (aircraft cabin type seats)
are much cleaner and air conditioned.
(On some routes, like Budapest-Szeged, nominally IC trains carry regular
type tariff wagons, it means that you can actually ride the same train with 2 fares
– regular or IC fare)
EuroCity/Euronight (as well marked in blue on MAV website)
– international trains, seat reservation is not required, but in order
to use them on domestic routes special supplement (app. 2 euro) needed.
There is no discount if you buy return tickets in Hungary,
but there are some tricks how you can save on domestic routes
and pay less than MAV website quotes:
The most important trick is to use International tickets for domestic routes.
From one side sounds illogic, but not in Hungary (see below on this page in
“International routes section” for examples of international fares).
For example: picturesque and popular among tourist city of Pecs
– regular tickets cost as of now 3890 HUF(7780 HUF r/t or 27.5 euro),
ticket Budapest-Beli Manastir(first Croatian station after Pecs)-Budapest
costs only 22 euro, so you actually save more than 5 euro out of nothing
by simply smartly bought ticket + you save even more if you go by
International train – since you have international ticket - means you don’t
need to pay 2 euro (*2) supplement. So in total you can save up to 9 euro
on return trip to Pecs.
And there are dozens of other destinations where it is cheaper to buy
international tickets instead of more expensive domestic return tickets.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Public Transportation - Trains
Trains are the cheapest means of public transportation when traveling around Hungary.
The major train operator in Hungary is MAV-Start Passenger Railways, other operators are BKV, GySEV Gyor-Sopron-Ebenfurth Railways, forestries, local authorities and private operators.
Railway lines connect all major cities with Budapest and other cities:
There are minor rail lines with 5-15 passenger trains/day.
Railjet (rj)- ÖBB Austrian Federal Railways' priority trains with AC, restaurant car, on-board phone, business class etc. with compulsory supplement from Budapest to München via Gyor and Vienna
EuroCity (EC), EuroNight (EN) - priority trains to neighboring states, also linking some of the major cities in Hungary, with AC bar, couchette and/or sleeper cars on EN trains etc., compulsory supplement in domestic traffic
InterCity (IC) - priority trains to most major cities, bar, on-board phone etc. comp.reservation
InterPici (IP) - minor line trains distributing IC passengers, comp. reservation
fast 'gyors' - express trains stopping at major cities and junctions
limited stop 'sebes' - trains partially running express and changing to local
local 'szemely'- train stopping at all stations and stops
suburban limited stop 'zonazo' or 'gyorsitott szemely'- train serving suburban areas, skipping stop near Budapest and calling at all stations and stops further away
Fares are determined by the distance traveled. Tickets must be purchased in advance. When there are no ticket booths, try the nearest pub (seriously!) or shop. If there is no such 'institution' around, you'll have to buy your ticket on board, in such a case for the basic price, but if there was a possibility to buy a ticket at the station and you still buy your ticket on board, you'll be charged an extra 2000 HUF.
Cleanness of trains has improved significantly over the past years but often there is no running water on board and toilets are still disgusting sometimes - exceptions are priority trains and newer suburban trains.
Trains are often late, keep that in mind. At most mainlines, trains follow each other at equal intervals.
At least hourly intervals apply at these lines:
and some more lines.
In suburban traffic,in peak hours trains run every 30 minutes:
For your safety, always close carriage doors (if doors are not automatic).
Trains running for more than 2hrs always have a carriage or compartments for smokers.Related to:
The siklo, or funicular, in Buda is a short but fun ride up and down Castle Hill. Originally built in the 1870s, this sadly was destroyed during WWII but rebuilt so we can enjoy it today. It's a great way to skip all the stairs up to the palace and enjoy a fantastic view of Pest on the way down.
It costs very little and you can get a one-way or round-trip ticket.
At the bottom of the hill, the funicular is at Clark Adam ter. It takes you up to just outside the Royal Palace.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Keleti is the other main station in Budapest (besides Nyugati) and this is most likely where you will arrive as Keleti is where the majority of international trains pull into town. It is located south and east of Nyugati just south of the big city park, Varosliget. It's not a large station but it is pretty and a nice welcome to Budapest.
Because this is where most of the international trains arrive, there is a tourist center here (there may be one at Nyugati as well but I didn't see it). They have maps and other information (get your hotel info here, not outside from one of the guys who hang around attempting to convince you to stay at certain hotels). When a train pulls into Keleti, however, this tiny tourist office can get pretty crowded. If you have a reservation somewhere just grab and map and slip out. You can always go back at another time when it's less busy to get other tourist information.
The Red Line of the subway system also stops here.
When you arrive, if you step out of the station and head north or northwest you should be fine but heading south or southwest will take you through some rather seedy areas. If your train arrives during the day, you should be fairly safe but I wouldn't want to walk through that southern area at night. My train arrived in the evening and I headed north, walking up Thokoly ut. and felt safe.Related to:
Only a few international trains arrive at this station, which is a shame because it would be a terrific welcome to Budapest. Designed in the 1870s by Mr. Eiffel (of the Eiffel Tower) this is a beautiful train station with an amazing restaurant inside (see my restaurant tips) as well as a Blue Line stop on the Metro. So, if you don't arrive into this station, take the metro over to see it sometime during your stay.Related to:
Trains in Hungary
Trains in Hungary are usually in bad condition and are totally overpriced.
The train between big cities are still bearable, for instance the train from Budapest to Szeged takes 2 hours but it's quite long distance.
Nevertheless, forget about finding any air conditioning in their crazily hot summer. The train is still deep into the communist time - dirty, not comfortable and costs 2780 Forint which is around 12 euro.
The situation is much worse in small train lines. I had to take the train Szeged-Békéscsaba twice - it's very not so far - less than 100km. But the trip takes around 2 hours in a very old train, stops at every station, makes a lot of noise, hot and dirty. And still it was over 7 euro. It is around the price you'd pay in The Netherlands, but for much better train experience (and much faster one).
The train staff has no idea of English or any other language other than Hungarian. The woman at the ticket office had her best companion, the huge train book. And she conducted all the impossible tracks that connect two cities. I wanted to go from Szeged to Arad in Romania, a mere 70km apart, but with no direct train. Instead of telling me: listen mate, don't take the train there - take a taxi, bus, whatever, she conducted me a journey of 8 hours involving changing twice and waiting at stations for 2 hours and arriving in the middle of the night - for a price of 30 euro... :-)
There is not much other solutions, yet. Maybe buses which are cheaper - just be prepared.Related to:
Regarding English at Budapest's Keleti Station - very little English is spoken. All the station announcements are in Hungarian and, from what I read in one of the local newspapers, few staff can speak English, even in the ticket office. The best source of information in English is from your fellow travellers who are having to overcome the same obstacles as you!
Budapest to Split train price
Just buy Budapest-Split train tickets. Now it is possible to go within a day if you use the morning trai from Budapest to Zagreb and from Zagreb you use the tilting ICN Zagreb-Split train.
The price of the round-trip is 20% LESS than the price of the one-way and if you buy your ticket in Zagreb, the total will be MORE than if you buy it the simplest way!
So the simplest way is the cheapest one: travel round-trip, the round-trip ticket is an open-ended ticket with 60 day validity and the price is well under 70 Euro. More precisely: 62.56 Euro +/- 1 Euro depending on exchange rate. The one-way price is 78.20 Euro.Related to:
- Budget Travel
ORANGEWAYS.COM scam? Going from Vienna to Budapest
I am upset I want to write about this "experience" and warn others.
Still hoping against hope that somebody will give me some explanation. And I will be more than happy to apologise for my imptience.
I used "services" of orangeways.com to go to Vienna for a weekend and I had problems coming back. Because there was no bus. My bus was scheduled at 7:00 on Sunday, I was waiting from 6:00 pm till almost 8:00 pm and there was no orangeways.com bus in sight. And nobody to explain the situation, anything.
I tried also on Monday (stayed the night), again waiting over an hour, hoping that maybe something happened and there will be no problem with the Monday bus.
I stayed the night and because there was no bus I decided not to wait any longer (according to orangeways.com website there are two busses a day going Budapest-Vienna-Budapest) travelled back by train. Good and reliable trains.
I thought I will be saving but I am afraid the oposite was the case. And my trust in people again was put to test.
I am afraid my hopes for this "adventure" ending well are not high. When I called phone number given on the website, I reached a travel agency and from them I received a mobile phone number and when I tried it, there was just possibility to leave a message and without any indication that the number is orangeway's.
So, folks, check new companies and special offers carefully and save yourself trouble and choose realiable companies when planning your anything, journeys included.
Actually the problems started from the beginning. I thought that I will not reach Vienna by orangeways.com. The address given as a stop is a regular BUS station in Budapest and the bus was departing actually from somewhere oposite the BUS station, in the early morning dark place, not marked in any way and there was not information on the BUS station about the orangeways busses.
And on Saturday morning there were only three persons travelling to Vienna. Maybe some of the people missed the bus because they did not know where was the stop.
How to beat one-way international train tickets?
Hungary uses two-price system: one price is for the domestic, the other price is for the international tickets. Like in "good" old days of Communism, these are VERY different. There is a questionable law - according it passengers traveling internationally may not combine cheaper domestic tickets with international ones. Hungarian conductors not just enforce it, but sometimes collect fines in their pocket. All this can be beaten if we know the rules and how to go around.
Hungarian Railways are aware, these prices are unreasonable compared with the local salaries. No one would use the trains under such circumstances, so there is a widespread system of discounts to international tickets - but only on ROUND-TRIPS (rarely one-ways):
60%: Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Crna Gora, BiH, Slovenia
50%: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus (Hungarian portion, others 30%-40%)
50%: Bulgaria, Romania
40%-30%: Poland, Czech Republic
But this can be beaten easily because "round-trip" means "trip away and back", not "trip to/from same destination". This is what MÁV does not tell - and pocket the fare. Here is the way how to create inexpensive one-way tickets.
For instance, buying a Budapest-Záhony-Chop ticket using MÁV domestic tariff till Záhony and Záhony-Chop over-the-border would be 4280 Ft and 1+2.20 = 3.20 Euro, with 256 Ft = 1 Euro it totals 19.90 Euro. In order to pay only that instead of the regular international fare of 29.80 + 2.20 = 32 Euro the traveler has either to change the trains, use domestic cars till Záhony or a very dirty, run-down single Budapest-Chop couch connected to "Tisza" fast train to Moscow.
But we can pretty much "cheat" the system buying a Budaperst-Chop "there" + Chop-Záhony "back" ticket which would qualify for a round-trip discount. The total will be in that case (50% Hungary, 30% Ukraine discount): 0.5 * (29.80 + 1) + 0.7 * (2.2 + 2.2) = 15.4 + 3.08 = 18.48 Euro.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
The Budapest Tram
Personally I enjoy traveling by city trams more than any other means of local travel. Usually they are a bit more spacious than a bus and you can see the city out the window. Budapest is no exception. I took the tram here from the station by the Parliament Buildings to my hotel in Budapest. As in Prague, Budapest has a good tram line that goes along the river bank and is very swift and efficient. The ticket plan is tied into the Metro and city buses and include all kinds of passes for different periods of time. There are also single fares that based on how many stops you go through.
Hungary by Train
Hungary has a very efficienct train system. The trains are reasonably comfortable and usually leave exactly on time. Train tickets can be easily bought but outside of Budapest you might find that English is rarely spoken. Timetables are you posted in an easy to locate spot at the the train stations. Just remember that indul means "departure" and érkezik means "arrival." My only complaint about traveling my train in Hungary is the scenery is rather dull as much of rural Hungary looks so much like the American Midwest. I can stand only so many fields of wheat.Related to:
If you can afford it, the Gresham Palace, a 5 star luxury hotel owned by the Four Seasons group has...more
I used to work in the hospitality industry, so this is my professional opinion, but I did have...more
Pannonia ut. 6/b., 2000, Szentendre, H-2000, Hungary
Good for: Couples
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