Most of us will probably go to Budapest by plane. Finally, you’ve safely landed! Time to go to the city center and really start your city trip! This is how to get from the airport to the city center in Budapest.
There are different ways to get from the airport to the city center. Depending on the time and money you’re willing to spend and the location of your hotel, your preference can differ from other travelers.
Of course, all of these can be used the other way around, from the city center to the airport.
- From Budapest Airport to your accommodation by car
- Take a cab from the airport to your hotel
- Book an airport transfer to the city center
- Take public transport from Budapest Airport to Budapest’s city center
From Budapest Airport to your accommodation by car
You probably won’t be driving into the city, but I still wanted to mention it.
There’s no need to rent a car for your stay in Budapest. It’s a very walkable city, public transport is easy to use and navigate, and there are cabs everywhere.
But if Budapest is the starting point of your road trip through Hungary, Central Europe, or even all of Europe, it’s good to know that there are several car rental companies at Budapest Airport. You can get a car rental in Budapest through Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, and AVIS, among others. Here’s an overview of car rental companies at Budapest Airport.
After pick up your rental car, you can easily take the highway to the city center. Depending on where you need to be and how busy the roads are, it’ll take you between 40 to 60 minutes to get to your destination.
A cab from the airport to your hotel
Another option is to take a cab from the airport to the city center. It’s great because you don’t have to worry about a thing and you’ll be dropped off right in front of your hotel, apartment or hostel. But it’s more expensive than public transport!
Fötaxi is the official transport partner of Budapest Airport. Most drivers speak English and you can use a credit card. Their phone number is +36 1 22 22 22 (yes, really).
Walk out of the arrival hall (until you get outside), and there’s a small Fötaxi taxi stand on your left. You can request a cab here. There’s usually a queue, but it moves fast since there’s also always a line of cabs ready to pick up passengers.
There are regulations for taxi prices in Hungary. A ride starts at 700 HUF (ca. €2,20) and each kilometer will cost you 300 HUF (about €0,95). There’s also a tariff for waiting. A ride from Budapest Airport to the city center should cost about 7200 HUF (ca. €26), depending on where in the city you have to be and how busy it is.
Keep in mind that unofficial taxi drivers are trying to get customers at Budapest Airport—just like at many other airports. These taxis are often more expensive and the drivers will address you in the arrival hall or when you walk out. The drivers of Fötaxi are waiting for customers in a line at the taxi parking spaces.
Another way to get a cab is by using the app Bolt (formerly Taxify). It works the same as Uber and feels easier to many internationals because the app can be used in English, you can pay online, and receive a price indication before ordering.
In my experience, it’ll take 40 to 60 minutes to get to your destination in Budapest city center from the airport.
Book an airport transfer to the city center
miniBUD is the official shuttle service for Budapest Airport. Book an airport transfer to and from the airport through miniBUD’s website, starting at €6 and payable online.
miniBUD promises vans with WiFi and drop off and pick you up at your hotel, apartment or hostel.
Take public transport from Budapest Airport to Budapest’s city center
I personally prefer to use public transport to get from Budapest airport to the city center.
You’ll probably have to transfer at least once to get to your accommodation. So it’s not as easy as an airport transfer or taxi. But it’s cheaper and a fun way to dive right into the local life.
Buy your tickets at a ticket office in the arrival hall on your left hand, at the purple ticket machines located at the bus stop, or with the mobile public transport ticket app Mobiljegy. A day ticket will cost you 1650 HUF (ca. €5) and tickets for the airport shuttle bus 100E will set you back 900 HUF (about €2,95).
There are two public transport options to get to Budapest’s city center from the airport.
Bus 200e + Metro 3
During the day, bus 200E is waiting for you in front of the airport. This bus will take you to metro station Kőbánya-Kispest, this bus line’s final stop. Here, you can get on metro line 3 (blue) to get to the city center. Your stop depends on your ho(s)tel or apartment’s location. You may have to transfer again or walk a few minutes.
Getting to your destination will take 45 minutes to 1,5 hr, depending on the time of day and location of your accommodation.
Please note: Metro line 3 is currently undergoing renovations. At the time of writing, bus 200E will take you to metro station Nagyvárad tér, from where you can take M3 to the city center. During the weekends, there’s a replacement bus from Nagyvárad tér.
Since July 2017, there’s a shuttle bus between Budapest airport and the city center. It’ll take you from the airport right to the central square of Deák Ferenc tér. From there, you may have to transfer to get to your hotel. Keep in mind you need a special ticket for bus 100E. The shuttle bus tickets cost 900 HUF (ca. €2,95) and is available at ticket machines, ticket offices, and the mobile app.
Bus 100E will take you to Deák Ferenc tér in about 40 minutes.
From Deák Ferenc tér, you can transfer onto metro line 3 (blue), a central metro line where many hotels and apartments are near. Not yours? You can also get on metro line 1 (yellow) and 2 (red) and various buses. Looking for metro line 4 (green)? Transfer at Kálvin tér in that case (bus 100E stops there too).
Would you rather take a train? Hop on bus 200E to Ferihegy railway station. From there you can take a train to Nyugati railway station (Nyugati Pályaudvar), reasonably central in the city.
Unless your accommodation is located very near to Nyugati, I recommend choosing one of the options above.
– Read more: Your complete guide to public transport in Budapest
The metro’s don’t go during the night, but night buses are available during that time. Budapest Airport created these great infographics showing how to get to the city center from the airport and the other way around.
(These infographics have been updated to reflect the changes due to renovations on M3.)
From the airport to the city center
From the city center to the airport
Now you should be able to get to your destination without any problems. If you have any questions, leave a comment or get in touch at petra[at]todoinbudapest.com.
- Your Complete Guide to Public Transport in Budapest
- Mobile Ticket for Budapest Public Transport: What You Need to Know
- Budapest Airport to Budapest City Center: 100E vs. 200E + M3
This blog post was originally published on January 18th, 2017. Last updated on October 17th, 2020.
First picture: Esther Aagtjes