Castle hill Budapest statue

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As a good guy with absolutely no foresight, it wasn’t until I arrived at Budapest airport a few days ago (well, probably longer, by the time you came across this article) that I asked myself “bah heck, how do I get to the city center”. The good thing is that it’s actually quite clear and you have several options. I’m going to tell you all about it, with prices and timetables: how to get by train, what shuttles there are, the different buses and also the cab options. Let’s have a look!

From Budapest airport to the city center with BUS 100E

This is the cheapest option, and frankly, it’s not the worst. The 100E bus makes it super-easy to get from the airport to the city center (you can, of course, go the other way), with 3 convenient stops:

  • Astoria station, south of the Jewish Quarter
  • Kalvin Ter, right next to Budapest’s market halls
  • Deak Ter, the city’s most central point, where all metro lines run

The price of a 100E bus ticket is HUF 2200 (approx. €6) The journey takes about 30min to Deak Ter. To buy tickets :

  • the information desk in the arrivals hall, just after passing through the gates
  • the kiosks (purple) with the big “airport shuttle” button
  • the Budapest GO application, superbly practical for all forms of transport.

Note that this bus is not included in the Budapest Card (which includes all other transport). In terms of timetables, it’s very good:

  • it runs every day
  • it runs 24 hours a day!
  • every 7/10 minutes from 3:30 a.m. to midnight
  • about every 40 minutes from midnight to 3:30 a.m.
Departure times bus 100e airport budapest city

Take the TRAIN to downtown Budapest

This is a bit more complicated. There’s a train station not far away, but you have to take the bus to get there, so take the 200E bus from the airport to Ferihegy station. From there, take the train to Nyugati station, one of the city’s two central stations on the Buda side.

  • the 200E bus ride to Ferihegy station takes 7 minutes (5 stops)
  • the bus ride costs HUF 350 (included in the Budapest Card)
  • the train journey from Ferihegy to Central Station takes 30min and costs 350 HUF, tickets are bought directly from the kiosks at the station, not from the airport and not from the Budapest GO app (also included in the Budapest Card).

4 recommended accommodations in Budapest

Hotel Roombach budapest cheap center


  • Top and very well located
  • 9.0/10 on Booking
  • From €78
rent flat budapest city center cheap


  • 40m² in the city center 
  • 9.3/10 on booking
  • From €43
Kozmo Hotel Suites & Spa budapest 5*


  • A superb affordable 5* hotel
  • 9.4/10 on Booking
  • From €130
Parisi Udvar Budapest Hotel beautiful


  • Just exceptional
  • 9.2/10 on Booking!
  • From 290€ onwards

Taking the TAXI from the airport to the city center

I should preface this by saying that I have a problem with cabs abroad. Why? Because of their recurrent lack of honesty. Fixing a price in advance and not respecting it, adding charges on top of what’s displayed on the meter…

I ONLY use official cabs and I still have problems from time to time, most recently a few days ago in Vienna. So I prefer to use the services of online drivers/Taxis.

Bolt is like Uber, but it’s a real cab company that you order and pay for online. And I think it works really well. There’s no hassle, no ambiguity, and the drivers I’ve had have been really nice! The only problem with the app is that you can’t tip, which is very silly. Taxi/Bolt fares in Budapest aren’t super-high, but they’re not cheap either. Fares for a cab (Bolt or other) from the airport to the city center are around 10/12,000 HUF (or 27/30€), for a 30-minute ride if all goes well.

Take a MINIBUS from the airport to the center of Budapest

If you want to be dropped off at your hotel (or nearby) in the city center, without having to wait too long, being squeezed into the bus, or paying too much for a cab, there’s an alternative that’s not bad at all: the shuttle bus.

It costs 12 euros, and you’re picked up in the arrivals hall, there’s the stand right next to the luggage before you get out. Once at the stand, you’re given your ticket for the shuttle. My big tip would be to book in advance so you don’t have to wait.

When we arrived, my wife and I wanted to take it, but as we hadn’t made a reservation, we were told we’d have to wait an hour. There are several stops in the city center, serving the main hotels and tourist attractions. We also save money by booking the return trip.

Now you know everything! There really are plenty of options that are convenient and not especially expensive.

I just don’t see the point of taking the train, except maybe for the price because it’s the cheapest. But otherwise, both the shuttle and the direct bus to the city center are excellent options. It runs all day, all night too, and in both directions.

5 activities you must do in Budapest

Such an incredible city. There is so much to see in Budapest! So here are my top 5 activities you have to do there :

  • Visit the Parliament. One of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. Not only from the outside, go inside!
  • Relax yourself in a thermal bath like in Széchenyi and its beautiful old buildings !
  • Discover the ruin bars, like the Szimpla Kert. Crazy bars set up in abandoned buildings
  • See Budapest from the Danube with a small cruise, to have another view over the city
  • Enjoy the sunset over Budapest from the Castle Hill, the most beautiful view in the city !
vincent voyage instagram northern lights norway

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