Essential Information for Navigating Budapest

Public Transport Schedules and Maps

All public transport services in Budapest follow approximate schedules, which can be found displayed at bus and tram stops as well as metro stations. Initially, these schedules might seem a bit confusing. Still, once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize it’s pretty simple: the left column represents weekdays, the middle stands for Saturdays, and the right one corresponds to Sundays and holidays. A crucial tip – always keep an eye out for the last service of the day to avoid long, unnecessary waits.

The Budapest Transport Authority (BKV) usually provides a transportation map at metro ticket windows, sometimes for a nominal fee. This map not only includes all the routes but also highlights the crucial night bus routes on the reverse side. However, due to their unpredictable availability, it’s recommended to have a digital backup ready.

After-Hours and Night Services

Most of Budapest’s public transport system ceases operation between 11:10 pm or midnight and 4:30 am. Despite this, there are 31-night routes – a significant increase from previous years. While generally safe, you may encounter boisterous locals or tourists on their way home from a night out. Remember, all-night bus numbers start with a 9 in their three-digit code. Some might share the same number as their daytime counterparts but could follow different routes. You will need a special night bus ticket costing 350 Ft (approximately 0,94 EUR / $1.09), which can be purchased directly from the driver with exact change. However, you don’t need to worry about additional tickets if you have a pass.

Underground Passages and Exits

Navigating major boulevards in Budapest is usually done via underpasses, which are essentially miniature subterranean cities brimming with vendors, shops, bakeries, and even bars. One challenge you might face is figuring out the correct exit, as many underpasses have multiple exits leading to different sections of the square or street, which can be disorientating. The signage inside the underpasses can help you find your way, often using the term ‘felé’, meaning ‘toward’, accompanied by the names of the streets at the top of the stairs. To help keep your bearings, note landmarks on the corner of your destination before heading underground.

Additional Notes: Stay safe and alert on your journey, especially during late hours and while navigating underpasses. Happy travels!