Guide to BudapestThe river Danube runs through the centre of Budapest, dividing it into two sections: the hills of Buda on the western bank and Pest on the east. The two sides are connected by nine bridges (two for railway traffic), the oldest one being the famous Chain Bridge that opened in 1849 - and this is only one of the amazing historical momuments that have made the Hungarian capital famous all over the world.
If you want a vacation to remember, Budapest is the place to be.
Travelling towards it should be no problem: Hungary's international airport (Ferihegy) is easy to reach from any point on the globe.
When already here, travel-related services are widely available: whether one wishes to dine in a friendly restaurant, relax in the spa and wellness center of the famous Gellert Hotel, or the unusual Hotel Fortuna Budapest Boat, to book an airport transfer or rent a car and explore the farther parts of Hungary, several companies offer a large selection of colorful alternatives. Most of these can be solved over the Internet before the actual arrival to Budapest: online reservation system allows you to compare prices and book your room months ahead of the scheduled trip; if you are English, German or Italian and want to use your mother tongue while arranging the details of your journey you can do so easily, just click to here:
Budapest Hotels Online
and you can get special discount prices if you choose to make a group reservation. After that all you have to do is enjoy your stay and miss as little as possible from what this wonderful town has to offer.
The city is divided into 23 districts marked by Roman numerals;
Hungarian addresses look like this: H-1111 Budapest XI. Lágymányosi u. 11. III. 312.
The postal code and town/city come first, then the district number is followed by the
street name, number of the building, floor (Roman numerals) and apartment number. Postal
codes are 4-figure numbers; the middle two digits of the postal code in addresses show the
district. (E .g. H-1196 postal code means XIXth district. This is valid for real addresses
in Budapest; postal codes with post box numbers are different.)
Hungarian is a very strange sounding language with a particular grammatical structure - not very easy to
understand and speak; unlike in most other languages for example, in Hungarian the surname precedes
the Christian name. (E.g. the Hungarian version for János Kovács is Kovács János.)
However, communication while in Budapest should not be a problem: service providers generally speak English and/or German, so do most young people who study foreign languages at school - if you happen to get lost in town or need help finding something on the map of Budapest, don't hesitate to ask for help. In Budapest hotels staff members understand and speak several languages, they can help you translate simple phrases or provide tourist information about local sights and events. To give you an idea about what and when is worth seeing, click here for pictures of the best known places in the Hungarian capital and for a weather forecast for the next few days.
|Arrival/departure from/to Ferihegy Airport||
Regular international flights at Ferihegy Airport start from Terminal 2A or
Terminal 2B (these terminals are just a short walk from each other); usually
Terminal 2A serves the national company (MALÉV), and Terminal 2B serves most
other flight operators.
For actual changing rates see The 164 Currency Converter
All major credit cards are accepted in Hungary in places that display the emblem.
If you want to use the local currency, look for exchange offices; you might be approached by private money changers who offer very favourable rates - their activity is illegal, dangerous and it usually produces considerable losses for the client.
The valid Forint coins are the double-coloured 100, the silver 50, the gold-colored 20,
the silver 10, the gold 5, the silver 2 and the tiny gold 1 coins.
Rates (referential rates):
Calling taxi in Budapest:
Public transportation in Budapest is excellent by international standards: extensive, reliable and cheap.
There are three metro lines (Yellow, Blue and Red); all of them meet at Deák tér and run from 4:30 am to 11:30 pm.
Most bus and tram lines operate until 11 pm, except for certain key lines that run all night (sign: letter "E" is attached to the line number e.g. bus number 182E).
Suburban trains called HÉV can be used to visit the tourist attractions in small towns outside Budapest (Szentendre, Gödöllő).
Fares cannot be paid on board and there are fines for traveling without a validated ticket. Tickets are good for one ride only and a new ticket must be used every time you change lines. Tickets can be purchased at vendors, metro stations, hotels, news-stands and tobacco shops; they can be validated in meters (red punch slots), on board (tram, bus) or at station entrances in case of metro rides (orange boxes).
Instead of single tickets you may consider buying a carnet of 10 / 20 tickets, a pass
(for 1 / 7 / 14 days or for a month), or a Budapest card. These are available at metro
stations or at end stations of public transport.
Most public telephones in Budapest are on a digital network. Blue pay-phones
take 10, 20, 50 and 100 forint coins. There are more silver card
phones. Phone-cards can be bought at hotels, post offices, petrol and
railway stations as well as newsstands.
Expensive places and apartments for long term use, 5 star luxury hotels and cheap lodging, affordable 4 star hotels
and budget accomodation - Budapest offers a wide variety of choices for every category of tourists
from bussinessmen to backpackers, from honeymooners to large families.
Hotel Flamenco ****A good quality hotel at 10 minutes walking distance from MTA SZTAKI, looking on a park and a small lake. Swimming pool, all rooms with bath/shower, TV, radio, telephone, minibar. Under a special arrangement MTA SZTAKI visitors can get special price in the Hotel Flamenco.
Address: H-1113 Budapest, XI. Tas vezér u. 7. Hungary
Address: H-1119 Budapest, Fehervári ut 179. Hungary
Hotel Charles ***Budapest Hotel Charles is a three star hotel with a four star restaurant and five star services for two star prices. The location of the hotel is ideal, the city center with the shopping area and business world, entertainment or historical buildings (like the Royal Palace) lie only few hundred meters away from it.
You can get special prices in case you make a group booking, at request you can be picked up by an airport minibus , the multilingual staff provides useful information in English, German and Italian, and the János Restaurant offers awaits the guests with specialties of the international cuisine as well as traditional Hungarian recepies.
Address: H-1016 Budapest, Hegyalja út 23. Hungary
Address: H-1051 Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7-8. Hungary
Ambulance, Police and Fire Department can be called without coins.
Detailed street map of Hungary
Sights of Buda (450KB)
Sights of Pest (500KB)