We were close to buying the Budapest Card. The card includes metro/tram/bus use plus discounts at various sites, museums and restaurants.
The passes are pretty expensive and we were told that even though it says sites are free, they really aren't. Each museum says that they are having a special exhibit which the card does not include so you get stuck paying the admission regardless.
If you have a student ID you will save more money using it.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
A good solution to go from the airport to the city center is to take the minibus : inexpensive, and they will go to your hotel, wherever it is located, for the same price.
The trap is to buy a return ticket: you will have to call a number one day before you are leaving the country. I was leaving on a sunday, so I tried to call several times the Saturday, but nobody answered to me...Same on sunday morning... I asked the hotel reception to do it for me, but nobody answered to...When I arrived at the airport BY TAXI, i went directly to the minibus deck to ask for a refund, but they told me that it was written on the ticket " no refund for any reason..."
Unique Suggestions: So guys, just buy a single ticket airport - city center to avoid to lose money...
Fun Alternatives: To go back from city center, a taxi cost 20 euros.
- Budget Travel
Although taxis are controlled now by the city hall because of asking too much from tourists you have a better option; to buy a return ticket from the airport minibus service. It takes you to the hotel door and picks you up the day you leave from hotel door. You just have to book one day before and they will be there at the hour you choose.
It costs about 15 € return ticket
Unique Suggestions: Taxi only in an emergency situation or during night. During the day you use the metro to go everywhere and there are several buses and trams too.
Fun Alternatives: To go up Hills like Gellert and Castle use the sightseeing bus trips, one day trips of 2 or 3 hours that cost about 12 € with Budapest card or International Student card discount.
- Women's Travel
Beware on the tube, the ticket inspectors are RUTHLESS! We bought a ticket that we thought was for a day, yet didn't get it stamped to verify it. Despite our obvious mistake the inspectors would not let us get away with it, we had to pay the equivalent of £20 before they would let us continue on.
Fun Alternatives: Better still, go to a booth and get the "Budapest Card". For around £13 each we got 72hours use fo all types of transport, from tubes to trams to buses. There is a whole host of other benefits as well - the best being getting into the Zoo for free!!
- Budget Travel
The various travel information points promote the Budapest card. It gives free travel on trams, buses and metro within the city and discounts on entrance fees in some places. However, like all these things either you aren't interested in the activities offered, or else many are actually free in any case eg all state museums (not special exhibitions). We found having the card from when we arrived at the station was handy as we paid for it by credit card and so weren't fumbling for change to get onto the metro, and we certainly used it hugely during our 2 days there.
Unique Suggestions: But you can get a similar but cheaper travel pass from any of the metro ticket booths. It's no biggie really but just a bit niggling that they catch you before you have worked this one out.
Incidentally the public transport network is just awesomely wonderful and integrates like a dream!
Fun Alternatives: Once you have some change, getting a ride-by-ride ticket is also very cheap.
- Historical Travel
The same thing as described previously in another post happened to me last night. It was my first time in Budapest and I had gone for a walk. Two girls sitting on a bench when I was passing by asked me for the time. They claimed they were also visiting and asked whether I wanted to go have a drink with them. I (stupidly) said why not, and we went to a bar where we all ordered a drink. Then they ordered more drinks, then dinner, then more drinks. One of the girls started flirting and holding my hand. This went on for a couple of hours. When I said that I wanted to leave, the bill came, and the girls gave it to me. I did not mind, since I did not expect that it would be too bad, and we all had had a good time. The bill was 234.000 Forint!!! I complained, said that I did not drink that much, the girls claimed that we did. They claimed that they had no money, and I certainly did not have that much on me. They escorted me to a cash machine, but I complained. Then two heavies from the club showed up. Not knowing the language and not having any choice I paid the bill. Painful lesson that cost me €800. I felt like an absolute idiot!!! So, beware...
Unique Suggestions: Don't go!
- Business Travel
Everything advertised in English or German is pretty much a tourist trap. Hungarians are bad when it comes to tourism and they (people who work in tourism) also have this third world mentality that they think Western visitors actually crap money.
The City Council adds a lot to these problems by obviously allowing the ripping off going on (and probably profiting from it), they have blocked the building of a railway line from the airport to the city for decades (the lines are actually passing by the airport).
The best you can do is to get a decent guide book or get to know somebody there (who is not in the tourism industry) and check out everything yourself. Avoid visiting well advertised sights, the others ar more interesting anyway.
Fun Alternatives: A lot of people don't know about the Turkish/ Ottoman sights in the city. They are really nice,e.g Gul Baba's Turbe and the less known baths like Rudas.
We went to a restaurant that had local dancers and singers. We thought it would be good. My advise is to totally miss these out. The food is REALLY bad and service quite bad as well.
I've never known and waitress to get annoyed because you kept ordering drinks.
Unique Suggestions: avoid restaurants with singers and dancers, they are just there to bring you in and give you crap food.
Fun Alternatives: there are loads of genuine restauratnts.
we were here on a stag night so went for some lap dances at a place called Marilyns.
we had a laugh etc.
however the next day whilst chatting to some lads they told us that they went to some small lapdance place and were forced (by some huge hungarians) to pay over 250euros for 3 beers!! Apparently this is common practise there.
Unique Suggestions: ask at your hotels. Don't go to the place if it is too seedy and small. Ignore cab drivers recommendations.
you should not have to pay for entry. some will let you look around first for you to decide if you want to stay.
Fun Alternatives: go to a night club and watch hungarian girls for free. they are nice!!
Be careful of which taxis you get into when you are in Budapest. They will try to rip you off whenever they have the chance. I got into an unmarked taxi--it was the next one in line at the train station--and he took the long way to my destination. Then he asked for double what he told me the price was going to be. I started arguing with the guy, but I realized it was useless because I do not speak Hungarian and the police would probably side with him. This experience really tainted my memories of Budapest and I really don't care to go there ever again.
Fun Alternatives: Take the subway or the bus.
The building was built by
famous Hungarian archictect
Miklos Ybl..You can find his
statue just in front of the entrance.
Stay home and play
Monopoly or a card game like
Happy Families or Snap
- Casino and Gambling
I booked online at an Accor Hotel and was quoted a rate in Euros. It was difficult to avoid the charge for breakfast, but I thought that I had done it. When I left, they converted the EURO rate in to florins at an exorbitant rate and charged me for breakfast. The rate charged by my credit card was different to the conversion rate, so the actual payment in euros was higher than the quoted one. When I complained about the charge for breakfast, I was given a refund at a lower rate, so that the refund was less than my original payment. The amount involved was eurocents, but it niggled. Needless to say, since then I have avoided all forms of Accor hotel, unless there really was no alternative.
Unique Suggestions: Get a quote in florins and get cash from the ATM or change travellers cheques at a money changer. Now Hungary is part of the EU, you have the choice of the entry in the credit card being in local currency or the currency of the card. If the hotel fails to mention this fact, report it to the card company.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Take care of your money: burglars are ready and well positioned behind the windows of the INTERCHANGE office (the same hosts Western union as well) at Keleti railway staion in central Budapest.
The rate applied on April 23 was 207 HUF/Euro while all around the city centre the average was 260 and any shop would have changed at 250! Fly away from INTERCHANGE !!!
Pay so much attention in this stuff !!!!!
Im sure that we werent the first ....our last evening we get in Deak Ter Hall subway ready to purchase the ticket to go to Oktogon in order to drink something and have a nice time ....we noticed that the ticket machine had a roll strip that kept from insert the coins...we look for any other in the hall and it had the same problem!!! and another third !! it was amazing...so we resolve to get in the punch lines!!
we took the scalator and just at the bottom there was 2 controllers (in a "former eastern style" that scare at miles)...they asked for the ticket and we talked about the bother with the machine...they dont want to listen that and we had to pay the fine for pretty money !!!
it was a real trap a swindle!!!! luckily after several minutes a great local man ...came to us and ask for how was there ?
He talked very well english and he was arguing with that bastard for 20 minutes....without any solution ..finally really annoyed and under our surprise he resolved to pay the fine for us for a national pride.... REALLY !!!
we are amazed and we didnt want that but he was so determined to do that like hungarian !!
Afterwards we went together to drink sth !!!
A real pitty altogether !!!
Fun Alternatives: Ok !!! if u are involved in this crappy *** ....as the bastard told us purchase the ticket of course or in any station there is a small stall where teorically there is someone always... and ask about the problem to purchase a ticket
I guess that that strip was deliberatelly there on the opening where you insert the coins.....at least our local friend talk about that !!! it was Eastern and everybody solely move for money !!
Tourists invariably go here. While it has many wonderful places to eat and drink, it is on the whole, over priced and there are places which prey on tourists. Beware the menus! They know that almost no one speaks Hungarian because it is such a tough language. If there is anything written on the bottom of the menu in Hungarian that does not have an English translation make sure you ask the wait person to read it out loud for you. I found out the hard way that the dribble says things like, "Non Hungarians are required to pay a $1000 HUF surcharge." Crap like that to rip you off. Like a lot of tourist spots they are not concerned with repeat customers. I started asking the doorman at the hotel where to go and he never steered me wrong.
Unique Suggestions: Have them read anything you don't understand. This way you are informed and can get up and leave if you wnat to. After being burned once, it did not happen to me again.
Fun Alternatives: Ask your Concierge or Doorman. It is their job to give you this info. Don't forget to tip these people too!
- Work Abroad
- Luxury Travel
- Historical Travel