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The Liszt Ferenc Budapest International Airport is 16 km from the city centre. It takes 30-40 minutes to get to the city centre from Budapest Airport, although it depends on your means of travel and the exact destination. It costs around 1800-9000 HUF (4.5-23 EUR) to travel from Liszt Ferenc International Airport to Budapest city centre.

By choosing bus 100E you opt for the direct, yet expensive way of getting to the city centre. A better, more budget-friendly option can be bus 200E combined with Metro Line 3 or with train. Taxi is a tad more comfortable option, but more expensive. Plus, many drivers are trying to rip off tourists.

Budapest Airport can also take you to your accommodation by miniBUD, if you don’t mind paying more and sharing your journey with some fellow passengers. And if you want to enjoy peace, then choose a private transfer. Albeit it’s the most expensive option.

Arriving in Budapest for your Erasmus year means the beginning of a truly unforgettable journey. Yet, the first “challenge” you’ll face is getting from the airport to your student accommodation. Let’s dive into the details!

1. By public transportation: 100E, 200E, train

Navigating from Budapest Airport to the city centre using public transportation is both economical and relatively straightforward. You have three main options: the direct 100E bus, the 200E bus combined with metro line 3, and the 200E bus paired with a train connection. Each route offers a unique blend of convenience and cost-effectiveness.

Bus 100E

The bus 100E serves as a direct link between Budapest Airport and the city centre. Departing from the airport, it operates with a frequency that caters to most arrival times and completes its journey in about 30 minutes. Here’s what you need to know about the 100E bus.

  • Departure: It departs directly from the airport terminals, in front of the gates.
  • Operating Hours: Operates regularly throughout the day from 12 am to 11:50 pm.
  • Key Stops: Kálvin tér, Astoria, Deák Ferenc tér.
  • Journey Time: Approximately 30 minutes to the city centre.
  • Ticket Type and Cost: A special airport shuttle ticket is required, costing 2200 HUF (5.5 EUR).
  • Ticket Purchase: Available at airport ticket machines, customer service centres, and online. We recommend the dedicated airport ticket machines right in front of the gates.

Pros: fast, direct, efficient, gets you to the centre.

Cons: more expensive than other public transport options, tend to be full with fellow passengers.

Bus 200E + Metro line 3

Combining bus 200E with metro line 3 is a cost-effective public transport option to the city centre. Bus 200E also departs directly from the airport terminals, but has a different route. Its final stop is at Kőbánya-Kispest, where you can change to Metro Line 3. By Metro Line 3 you can get to practically every central part of Budapest.

The only caveat is that it can be a bit challenging for foreigners to find a way to the entrance of Metro Line 3 at Kőbánya-Kispest.

The Bus operates from early morning (from around 4-5 am) to late evening.

  • Departure: It departs directly from the airport terminals, in front of the gates.
  • Operating hours: Regular service, matching the local public transport timetable.
  • Journey time: It takes approximately 50-60 minutes to get into the city centre.
  • Important Stops: Transfer at Kőbánya-Kispest for Metro Line 3.
  • Ticket Type and Cost: Buy either a pass, or regular Budapest public transportation tickets. At least 2, due to the transfer from bus to metro.
  • Purchase Locations: Available at airport ticket vending machines and service centres. You can also buy tickets at Kőbánya-Kispest Metro Station

Pros: Cheap, fewer passengers, better access to various city parts.

Cons: Requires transfer to Metro Line 3, the entrance at Kőbánya-Kispest can be challenging to locate for foreigners, and the area around Kőbánya-Kispest is perceived as less safe.

Bus 200E + Train

Alternatively, you can change to train at Ferihegy vasútállomás train station/bus station. The train travels directly to Nyugati Railway Station. The best thing is: you can use any trains with the standard public transportation tickets within Budapest.

You can find ticket vending machines at Ferihegy vasútállomás station.

  • Where to change to Train: At Ferihegy railway station/bus station.
  • Frequency: Trains run regularly every 5-15 minutes during operating hours.
  • Timeframe: Services run from early morning till late evening.
  • Important Stops: Direct routes into the city centre.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 50 minutes to the city centre.
  • Ticket Type and Cost: Normal public transportation passes/tickets are valid.
  • Purchase Location: Tickets can be bought at airport facilities and at Ferihegy vasútállomás station.

Pros: Quick, direct, efficient.

Cons: Trains run less frequently than buses; this public transport route is only useful if your destination is in the vicinity of Nyugati Railway Station.

2. By taxi

Major taxi operators in Budapest include Bolt, Főtaxi, 6×6 Taxi, Taxi4, and City Taxi. Unfortunately, Uber is still unavailable in Hungary, but will soon be available again due to an agreement between Uber and Főtaxi. Taxi travel from the airport is fast and direct, taking about 35 minutes to the city centre, with costs varying based on your specific destination.

You can pay by either card, cash, or in the app (if applicable), and taxis are readily available at the airport. Additional luggage fees are not common, but being aware of potential scams is crucial.

To avoid scam taxis, opt for well-known taxi companies and confirm the fare in advance. Look for official taxi ranks and avoid accepting rides from solicitors inside the terminal.

3. By official miniBUD Airport Shuttle Bus

The miniBUD Airport Shuttle Bus is an official service that provides direct transfers to the city centre.

  • Benefits: It combines the convenience of direct travel with the efficiency of scheduled services.
  • Cost: Varies, with an average price providing value for money considering its direct route. Depending on your route & destination it can amount to 3000-9000 HUF (8-23 EUR).
  • Travel Time: Approximately 30-40 minutes to the city centre.
  • Capacity: Transports multiple passengers, max. 10 persons.

Pros: Fast, free wifi on board, direct service.

Cons: More expensive than public transport, potential waits until has enough passengers, multiple stops, taxi may be cheaper.

4. By private transfer

Private transfers offer a seamless travel experience from Budapest Airport to the city centre. This pre-booked service means a hassle-free journey to your accommodation, especially beneficial for groups. It provides a personal and efficient travel option, with advance payment removing the need for on-the-spot transactions.

Pros: Fast, the most comfortable option, completely private, cost-effective for really small groups.

Cons: The most expensive option for individuals.

As you start your Erasmus adventure in Budapest, selecting the right transportation option can significantly influence your first impression of the city. Whether you prioritise cost, convenience, or speed, Budapest’s available choices ensure a welcoming start to your journey. Welcome to Budapest, and enjoy every moment of your Erasmus semester!

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