Public Transport

Hi, I move to Budapest next month. I am deciding if to buy a car there or get by walking and public transport, any advise?
Thanks Kathy

Gym-Kathy wrote:

Hi, I move to Budapest next month. I am deciding if to buy a car there or get by walking and public transport, any advise?
Thanks Kathy

If you are living in the centre of the city, then public transport is best. If you live in the suburbs, you'd probably want a car (most large shopping malls/hypermarkets are out of town). Also it can take a long time to travel on public transport and during the winter (like now), it's a bit miserable being in the snow. Crossing the river is always a problem in the rush hour.

I will be in District 13 so not too far out and next to tram stop etc... :-) Thank you!

Gym-Kathy wrote:

I will be in District 13 so not too far out and next to tram stop etc... :-) Thank you!

District 13 should be pretty good for public transport - metro runs up that way and plenty of buses too. There's also Duna Plaza shopping mall with a direct metro stop but you can easily reach the centre of town from there. A car would probably be a nuisance as parking is quite difficult in many places. It would depend how far away you are from the centre of town and if parking was chargeable in the area you live in. It can be quite strange parking in Budapest - on some streets it's chargeable and 100m away, it's free.

In case of snow (happens a few times every winter, you might miss it completely) the only thing more miserable than public transportation is ... [drumroll] sitting in a car in a traffic jam! [ba-dum-tisch]
DUI rules are very strict, taxes, fees, price of gas and parking are so high you could easily get a cab home after every night out and come out ahead.
Not to mention the price difference between what you'll pay for the car when you come and what you get for it when you leave...

For comparison, the monthly pass for the whole of Budapest costs around 10.000 HUF which is half a tank of gas.

Thats great info... public transport it is!!! Thank you!

perhaps you can get a better idea by checking out the homepage of these, offering shortest route search. (try 'Lehel tér' which is a local hub in 13th Kerület, to, say, Moszkva...sorry, I mean 'Széll Kálmán tér' )
                 http://bkv.hu/en/
I disagree with the statement that 'crossing a river is a problem' - this may well be so in a car during traffic jam, but the tram lines are rather seldom effected by jams or events.
The 'Great Ring' (Nagykörút) has the tram lines 4 and 6 (they only differ in 2 stops at the end) running like every 3 minutes during rush hours, and perhaps 15min at night, brand new carriages, too.

[When I'm in Budapest I live in Újlipótváros, a more central part of 13Ker.. Eg. that central, it seems a really not worth to get a car, at least the perspective of someone who grew up with public transport good health, and has no kids.]
Taxi costs around 1000-2000 HUF (4-8 EUR)to get around in what I consider reasonably central, and around 5000 HUF to get to the airport (usually faster than by bus/train).
I did not make the calculation, but I guess Szöcske is right, for a 'usual' sans-family person even with fairly frequent taxi trips you still save money if compared to buying/maintaining a car with no real life quality compromises.

fireroller wrote:

...
.... say, Moszkva...sorry, I mean 'Széll Kálmán tér' )

I disagree with the statement that 'crossing a river is a problem' - this may well be so in a car during traffic jam, but the tram lines are rather seldom effected by jams or events.

I always seem to cause controversy with Mr Fireroller.

I did of course mean (or rather I thought it was obviously implied), that "crossing the river is a problem" when you are in a car (during the rush hour) but other ways are not usually a problem.

Széll Kálmán tér:  When I saw a bus going there, I thought, where is it going? Did they change the route?  Luckily I know now.

But still, it'll always be Moscow Square to me....

Thanks so much everyone!! Loving this forum its so helpful and much appreciated! Thanks!

fluffy2560 wrote:

I always seem to cause controversy with Mr Fireroller.
I did of course mean (or rather I thought it was obviously implied), that "crossing the river is a problem" when you are in a car (during the rush hour) but other ways are not usually a problem.
Széll Kálmán tér:  When I saw a bus going there, I thought, where is it going? Did they change the route?  Luckily I know now.
But still, it'll always be Moscow Square to me....

No controvery here:-) I was misled though by the word 'always' in your sentence.
I am totally with you on Moszkva tér, too:-) One has to say that there is the argument that it had been named Széll Kálmán in '29 (i.e. under Horty) and renamed Moszkva in 1951 under Rákosi's rightly hated regime (stalin was still alive). Still, I feel the local gorvernment could have asked the 'people' before renaming back one of the main hubs of the city after 3 generations grew up with it. But that is not their style, also the style how the in itself formidable idea of including Liszt's name in the Airport was carried out was pretty alarming.

And that is totally on topic as it is still comparatively difficult to get to the Airport, as the train only runs up to the old Terminal 1 and you have to take the bus or cab (after carrying your luggage over the train-bridge, unless the elevator happens to work), and then you don't even know its name. What if they open five other airports tomorrow just to honour other great hungarians...?

Getting a bike or motor scooter is also an option. The former especially for the fitness minded. Provided you are not bothered by urban traffic.

Bus 200 takes you to both airport terminals from the M3 subway (very reliable) in reasonable time. Or if you just miss it and are in a rush, you can still get a cab from there.
Parking costs so much nobody I know actually drives to the airport: we usually drop each other off at the kiss'n'ride on the way out, and get a cab by phone while waiting for the checked luggage after landing.

szocske wrote:

Bus 200 takes you to both airport terminals from the M3 subway (very reliable) in reasonable time. Or if you just miss it and are in a rush, you can still get a cab from there.
Parking costs so much nobody I know actually drives to the airport: we usually drop each other off at the kiss'n'ride on the way out, and get a cab by phone while waiting for the checked luggage after landing.

It's all bit hit and miss working out the transport to the airport. The M0 (south) is really the long way around and it's easier to just drive across the city with a drop off.  If they complete the northern route for the M0 then it might just make sense to avoid the centre of town.

The new charging system is ludicrous for departures - just 5 minutes free and only twice a day in the same vehicle. However, if one stops a distance away, do the goodbyes and organise the luggage, then it's possible to be lightning fast and not incur the insanely high parking charges outside departures. The 10 minutes free at the arrival car park is not enough really either.  What they need is to create a large FREE public (not taxis) short term waiting area some distance away with large screen showing arrivals and departures. Then they wouldn't get all those people parking at the airport museum or hanging about on various slip roads at the airport with the resultant waste of police enforcement time.

I do drive to the airport sometimes but usually only because I will arrive back too late for a pickup and I've had unreliable taxis in the past. I sometimes now leave the car in the long term ("holiday") car park and walk to the terminal which can be ok if you don't have large heavy luggage. It's very expensive to park in the long term parking area but cheaper than it used to be. Because of the high costs, it's very underutilised - about 70% of it is empty when I've been there (twice in the past 2 months). The thing to do is to work out if a taxi would be cheaper. For people living inside the Budapest taxi area, then the fixed price taxi would work if the number of days in the car park is less than 2.

They've not pitched the parking price correctly. I think this might be dressed some kind of "green" agenda. This is similar to Vienna airport. However, it just seems to be organised as a rip off because they have not tackled proper alternatives. It's a real nuisance someone didn't have the foresight to run the metro or rail system out to T2.

And don't get me started on the road to the airport......

fluffy2560 wrote:

It's a real nuisance someone didn't have the foresight to run the metro or rail system out to T2.

I agree, traffic to the airport is somewhat below the current western standards - which would be having direct, possibly train service from the city center. I wouldnt' expect this too quickly either: While the rail tracks always runright there, it was not until ~2005 (when they re-opened the charming little airport T1 - now closed again) that the State Railways, MÁV, managed to build a goddam station there. Of course you need to go down first, and get a regular train ticket, it would be too user-friendly to offer 'hop-on' tickets. (Yet another demonstration of the incapability of the MÁV-management) To be fair, this seems to me not the most urgent problem in Budapest as public transport is still okay (city-airport usually <1hour), and even a cab is <20EUR.

The cheaper alternative (~10EUR to the center) is the
  shuttle bus which delivers every passenger: http://www.airportshuttle.hu/en/
(does 'travelling salesman' as a graph-algorithm problem ring a bell?:)

If I may comment on the exorbitant parking fees, perhaps they highlight a typical problem with profit-oriented infrastructure paired with insufficient regulations [The airport's 75% belonged to the British BAA which sold it to german Hochtief] - while MÁV excellently highlights the problems with publicly owned infrastructure...

Traveling Salesman? More like Flying Dutchman :-)
And if the unnecessary Subway -> Train transfer on Kobanya-Kispest seems odd (admittedly highlighted by the presence of the airport), take a look at the Ors Vezer Square Subway -> Commuter Train (HEV) transfer: Both are operated by the same company, but they make you take 2 flights of stairs and a ~300 m walk to get from one to the other for absolutely no reason, it could be a side-by-side transfer, or even a continuation of the subway.

Oh well.

szocske wrote:

Traveling Salesman? More like Flying Dutchman :-)...

Oh well.

Reminds me of Metro 4.

I happened pass Kelenfold terminus yesterday and I saw there was a train in the shed. I think they are running tests on the line (finally!).  When they built Metro 4, they could have upgraded the blue metro line out to the airport properly or done a branch out to the airport with the new line.

Oh well, indeed.

szocske wrote:

Traveling Salesman? More like Flying Dutchman :-)

Sure, the Flying Dutchman is operated by a Travelling Salesman, according to the documentary 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. (P=NP was proven in the uncut version but then someone allegedly said 'this margin is too small to contain it' in the merchandised version...right?).
On topic again: last time I checked you could not order the Flying Dutchman at the airport terminal, but a longer Metro would be nice. Before investing all your savings into the Project: M3 has around 8 Mio passangers per fortnight(whatever that figure exactly means), the same as Ferihegy - per year; that's factor 100. (Vienna has 22Mio p.a.!). I think I'd invest into smoother metro/train->bus transfer & nicer Metro... wait, they just did...

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