Home > Budapest City info/public transport > City and transport guide

Budapest city-info, history and public transportation

A complete guide to the need-to-know details of Budapest such as Budapest's history, and general infos about Budapest. We also recommend a guide how you can be safe in Budapest, and about the public transportation including Budapest Airport Transfers's general city and public transport guide

If you're coming to Budapest, here's some basic facts which will help you to get around in the city. In the general information chapter of, we collected a short list of everything that could be interesting and useful during your visit. 

Buda (photo by Myreille) Pest (photo by Myreille)
Buda and Pest from the Chain Bridge 

Budapest general info

Budapest is the capital of Hungary. Its two parts are divided by the river Danube (Duna): the western, hilly part is called Buda, while the eastern, flat area is Pest. If you need more general information, you can find it here.

History of Budapest

The illustrious history of the city dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. If you want to know about the tricks the Ottomans used to occupy Buda, or when the Turkish baths were built, the process during which Buda, Pest and Óbuda became one city, or the events that formed the city to its current form, click here.

Safely in Budapest

Budapest is one of the safest cities in Europe. As everywhere, though, there are certain things visitors should be aware of, to make sure they only take home great memories after the visit. Read the info from the Budapest tourist office here. 

Making calls

Old telephone center Budapest
One of Budapest first phone centers. Don't be frightened, now it's digital.

When in a foreign city, dialing the right number in the right way can be tricky. In the following, you can get to know exactly when and what to dial:

From a Budapest public phone (eg. from a hotel)

7 digit number, Budapest: (XXX-XXXX), only the 7 digits have to be entered.

6 digit number, provincial:  06 (distance call)+XX (local code)+XXX-XXX (6 digit number)

7 digit number, mobile phone: 06 (distance number)+ XX (provider – 20, 30 or 70)+XXX-XXXX (7 digit mobile phone number)

Call abroad: 00 (abroad call)+ (country code)+(phone number)


From outside Budapest (eg. a hotel in the provincial area):

7 digit number, Budapest:: 06 (distance call)+1 (Budapest)+XXX-XXXX (7 digit number)

6 digit number, provincial:  06 (distance call)+XX (local code)+XXX-XXX (6 digit number)

7 digit number, mobile phone: 06 (distance number)+ XX (provider – 20, 30 or 70)+XXX-XXXX (7 digit mobile phone number)

Call abroad: 00 (abroad call)+ (country code)+(phone number)

If you have a foreign or Hungarian mobile, from anywhere:

Budapest number: +36 (Hungary)+1 (Budapest)+XXX-XXXX (7 digit Budapest number)

Provincial or mobile call: +36 (Hungary)+ XX (city code or mobile provider)+6 digit provincial number or 7 digit mobile phone number

If you get a number that looks like eg. 06-30-555-5555, in this form, it can be called from Hungarian phones. If you call the number from abroad, use +36 instead of 06, dialing +36-30-555-5555.


In case of emergency

If you experience problems, the most important thing is not to panic. If you know who to turn to, you will be able to get help quickly. In case of falling ill, you can find a pharmacy on almost every corner, but there are several non-stop pharmacies also (you can find the list here). The easiest thing is to get in a taxi and tell the driver to go to the closest pharmacy – the trip will not be longer than 10 minutes. You can also inquire by phone.

If the problem is serious, dial the 122 emergency line, which can be accessed from any phone. Here you can reach the ambulance, the police and the fire department. You will be asked to state your name, your current position (street, house number) and explain the problem calmly and shortly. If you are having language problems, ask someone nearby to help you. The best is to show to them this sentence:

  „Kérem, segítsen felhívni nekem a 112-es segélyhívó vonalat, bajba kerültem, segítségre van szükségem! Köszönöm a segítségét!” ->  „Please, help me to call 112 emergency, I’m in trouble, I need help. Thanks for your help.”

List of important Hungarian expressions

Hungarians appreciate hearing their own language like no others. If you learn some words, you will surely achieve unbelievable success. Furthermore, there are certain expressions that are necessary for certain situations. It is advisable to print our little dictionary, and, if you cannot pronounce the sentence, just point.  

Airport and railway transfer

Budapest Airport Transfer

After a long period of instability, the precarious taxi situation at the airport has finally been settled. The winner of the new tender was Zóna taxi, a reliable company with quality cars and low prices – the era of overcharging and rude taxi drivers is over. If you are looking for an even cheaper way, you can opt for Airport Minibus. If you want a customised service, you can order your transfer here.  

At train stations and main bus terminals, the taxi situation is not regulated – here, you have to be careful not only when choosing a driver, but even a place to eat at. Stations – like everywhere – attract criminals, keep this in mind, and be cautious. For transfer you can choose Rail Bus, but you can get around easily also by public transport. If you want a taxi, we recommend reading our guide to taxis. You can order your station transfer here also.

Renting a car

In Hungary, along with the biggest international companies, there are also Hungarian car rentals with perfect service, but lower prices. We work with Fox Autorent, where you can book your car, now. 

Public transport

It is fairly easy to get around in Budapest by public trasport. The subway network is quite small, but you can get anywhere by bus or tram. Tickets are mostly unavailable on the vehicles themselves, you have to buy them in advance, at the ticket office. Buying a Budapest Card is recommended, as it allows you to use all kinds of public transport, plus get lots of other discounts as well.  Regular public transport is from 5 am to 23 pm or midnight, during the night there are several night lines troughout the city.


Budapest Metro Map by Somebody
Budapest Metro Map (thanks to Somebody)


Strangely, Budapest taxis are cheaper if pre-ordered by phone, and not flagged down the street. Unfortunately, there are still some private taxis left, who charge you much more for less quality than the bigger companies. Avoid these private taxis, and stick only to these companies if possible:

City Taxi (2-111-111)
6x6 Taxi (3-666-666)
Tele 5 Taxi (3-555-555)
Rádió Taxi (3-777-777)
Taxi 4 (4-444-444)
F?taxi (2-222-222)
Zóna Taxi (airport transfer) (3-655-555)

Also, Budapest has unique ways of public transport, which are worth trying:


Libeg? (chair-lift) Budapest

The country’s very first suspended – cable-railway – passenger rail, is the chair-lift that runs between Zugliget and János-mountain (Jánoshegy). Travelling on these “flying chairs” is an amazing experience, especially if the weather is nice and we can link it with some hiking.
The chair-lift operates all throughout the year, on the weekends and on public holidays as well, welcoming visitors from January 1 to December 31. except on maintenance service days.
The lower terminal of the chair-lift can be reached via bus line 158 from Moszkva Square.
700 meters from the upper-end terminal of the chair-lift, via a short stroll along the tourist-hiking path, we find the Jánoshegy station of the Children’s Railways (Gyermekvasút).



Children's railways in Buda Hills

The Children’s Railways at Széchenyi-mountain is an experience not only for the kids.
The train goes from H?vösvölgy to Széchenyi-mountain and on weekends and national holidays, apart from the traditional passenger trains, a nostalgic (vintage) steam locomotive also runs.
On Sundays in the summer season and on holidays, we may also choose the nostalgic motor-trains that run on schedule.
The H?vösvölgy terminal can be reached by tram 56 or bus line 56 that goes from Moszkva Square all the way to the end-terminal of H?vösvölgy. The Széchenyi-mountain terminal of the Children’s Railways can be accessed via tram lines 56, 18 or 118 from Moszkva Square to Városmajor station where you should take the Cog-wheel Railways to Széchenyi-mountain terminal and then walk down the Golf-course path. There are many beautiful sights along the way, the Bártori Caves (Bátori Barlang), the Elizabeth look-out tower (belvedere), the Wildlife Park (Vadaspark), Normafa and the Chair-lift.



Cog-Wheel Railway Budapest

One of the many attractions of the Buda Hills, is the cog-wheel railway. Its lower end terminal is at Városmajor which is only two tram stops from Moszkva Square but also quite easy to reach by walking. The upper-end terminal on Széchenyi-mountain, quite close to the former Panorama Hotel, is only about 200 meters from the similarly named end-station of the Children’s Railways. The beauty of the trip up the slopes is the unfolding panoramic view, while during the down-passage, there is a great feeling of how the train literally descents into the city. The train runs on schedule all year round, from early morning till late in the evening. You may travel on board according to the BKV tariffs, using a single ticket, daily ticket, pass, the Budapest Card etc.


Funiculaire Budapest

The funicular (Budavári Sikló) at Clark Adam Square (Chain bridge, Tunnel) runs on a 95 meter long, 48 degree track of two cable railways via a two storey coach up to the Buda Castle. Whether we descent from above, or ascent from below, we may experience a marvellous spectacle that children especially enjoy.
The funicular operates every day from 7:30 am to 10 pm, running continuously in the high season and maximum every 10 minutes during lower traffic periods.
For the funicular, special tickets must be purchased on spot.



Fiaker Budapest

A rather genteel and intimate type of amusement is the horse and carriage ride in the Buda Castle district, though not necessarily always a carriage, but at times a landau, a hackney-carriage or a cab.

The ancestor of today’s cabs (coaches), was the pivot coache with a manoeuvrable first-axle, that was developed in the parish of Kocs and which actually revolutionized transportation at the time. Its name can be traced back to its town of origin, Kocs in Slovakia. The foreign manufacturers kept this name, calling it: in Germany “Kutsche”, “coche” in France, “coach” in England, “coccio” in Italy, “goetse” in Finland, “koczi” in Poland, “koczy” in Slovakia and “kusk” in Sweden.

The coaches are available from April to October, depending on the weather conditions, every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from the Mathias Church in the Buda Castle.



Bringo hinto at Margitsziget

On the Margaret Island, a very special type of cycle coach awaits those who wish to paddle some, about 2-4 people can ride this roofed “coach” along the winding paths of the parks and explore the entire island with it.

The centre of these coaches is the Bringovár (Bringo Castle), which also organizes group sight-seeing tours, children’s programmes and other events.

There are also a number of other different types of peculiar gears for both grown-ups and youngsters (electric car, electric rollers, tandem bikes etc.)




Trolley bus Budapest

This peculiar red transportation vehicle that seems to have evolved from crossing a bus with a tram is quite rare to find in Western Europe.
Interestingly however, even in Budapest it only runs on the Pest side, many times in narrow, one way streets.
It is an absolute must to try it out, but only if we have some time to spare as often they get jammed. Watch out, they are also quite shaky!

The best lines:

72 (from Arany János Street to Thököly Avenue) excursion in the City Park (Városliget)
74 (from Károly Krt. to Csáktornya Park) it leaves from in front of the Synagogue and goes through the Jewish Quarters and the City Park (Városliget)


  Bycicle singns (photo by Myreille)











It is an increasingly popular means of transport among the young city dwellers of Budapest, even though the city’s bicycle routes are not very well developed and other vehicles are not really considerate of the rights of bikers. This is why we always advice the use of helmets and if possible, to wear other protection as well once you hit the roads on paddles. If you decide to park, make sure to thoroughly lock your bike, in order to avoid having to walk home in the end!


Boat services

Sightseeing by boat Budapest

Although not frequently, but there are boats operating on the Danube – choose them of you want to have a spectacular trip.

(c) 2006-2007
Advertise with Us  -  Contact us