Townsville, Queensland, Australia
March 25, 2006
Public transport in Budapest is excellent and it provides a great security blanket if your ambitious walk proves to be too difficult. It is claimed that within the entire populated area of Budapest one can find a stop/station within 400m. A wide variety of buses, trolley buses, trams, and underground trains usually operate from 4:30am to 11pm, and you’ll seldom wait more than a few minutes for any of them. An invaluable transit map detailing all services is available at most metro ticket booths.To ride, you have to purchase a ticket in advance at the terminals, at metro stations, or newsagents. There is no conductor on the vehicles; you must validate your ticket at the start of the journey. Travelling ticketless is risky because, with increased surveillance (including a big crackdown in the metro), there’s a good chance you’ll get caught. Tickets are always checked on the HÉV, the suburban rail network.Like most European cities, the easiest way to get around Budapest's downtown area is by metro. It's fast, efficient and relatively inexpensive, especially if you purchase a 1-day or 3-day travel card.Budapest has three underground metro lines intersecting at Deák tér: M 1, the little yellow line from Vörösmarty tér to Mexikói út; M2, the red line from Déli train station to Örs vezér tere; and M3, the blue line from Újpest-Központ to Kõbánya-Kispest. A possible source of confusion on MI is that one stop is called Vörösmarty tér and another is Vörösmarty utca. The HÉV suburban railway line, which runs north from Batthyány tér, is almost like a fourth metro line.There are different types of tickets but the ones that will most concern you are: Single tickets are valid for one uninterrupted journey on all forms of public transportation, including the HEV, up to the city boundary. Metro Section tickets are good for short metro rides of up to three stops on the Metro without changing lines. One-day and 3-day travel cards are good for unlimited rides on all forms of public transportation.Another option to consider is the Budapest Card which is valid for one adult and one child up to 14 years of age. It gives unlimited travel on public transport, free entry to 55 museums and several sights, discount on sight-seeing tours, and discounts in shops, restaurants and thermal baths. It costs HUF 6500 for a 3-day card, and HUF5200 for a 2-day card.If you find yourself near Deak ter metro station in central Pest, I recommend you visit the tiny museum found in the metro station underpass. Displayed are some plans, drawings, models and carriages of the first underground system on the European mainland, which was built in Budapest in 1896. Two of the original carriages are exhibited in a section of the original tunnel.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6:00pm. Tel: 461-6500
From journal Walking Through Budapest