If you decide to travel by public transportation in Budapest during your stay the first thing you should do is to get a map of the bus, tram, metro, HÉV network. These are the four major transportation ways in Budapest. Usually you get the maps on any big square like Deak Ferenc tér, Oktogon, Moskva tér and so on. But also on the train stations and at the Budapest airport. There you get tickets as well. You can choose between single tickets and weekend tickets or if you stay longer it would be good to get ticket for a complete month.

Budapest Metro

The Metro in Budapest is the fastest way to travel through the city. There are three different Metro lines going through Budapest.
M1 (yellow line) is going from Mexikói ut in the north east of Budapest to Vörösmarty tér in the center of the City.
M2 (red line) is going from Déli pu (Southern train station) on the Buda side to Örs vezér tér in the eastern part of Budapest.
M3 (blue line) is going from Újpest központ in northern Budapest to Köbánya Kispest in the south of Budapest.
M4 (green line) is going from Kelenföld Vásútállomás in Southern Buda to Keleti Pályaudvar in the East of Pest.
All Metros are running between 4.30 and 23.30 o’clock

Bus and Tram

The bus and tram network in Budapest is very big so there is no chance to describe it like the metro net. We give you some good links you can use.
The tickets are most of the time sol in metro stations. There you can buy one way tickets, weekend tickets or tickets for a month. Here you can find all ticket offices by district.
If you are at a ticket office ask for a bus and tram map.

Budapest HÉV

The Budapest Hév is a train going from different places at the center to the suburbs of the city. In total there are 4 Hévs starting from different points in Budapest. For quick travelling to places like Szentendre the HÉV is a perfect transportation as it is modern and fast and in the same time cheap. In the morning traffic the HÉV in Budapest is unbeatable.

Video about the public transport in Budapest

Have a look at this brilliant video to get an impression what the public transport is like in Budapest:

84 Comments

  • Reply
    4th November 2009

    Explain why my wife was charged 6000 HUF penalty even though see had bought a valid ticket. The ticket did not register when put through validiation machine. All the official was interested in was taking the money. Why should anybody be penalised because of a machine that failed to validate the ticket.

    Tourist beware!

  • Reply
    8th November 2009

    After looking at all the negative web site reports about TAXIS ripping you off and inspectos waiting to jump on you on the public transport i have cancelled our trip to budapest and are now going to berlin instead.Thank you web site for your tourist reviews.
    p.s Just to let know our trip to berlin is a lot more expensive than budapest. Its not the money but, like all tourists i hate beening ripped off.
    Every one has to make a living and i am the first to addmitt, but i am not going to be taken for a ride just because i am a tourist.I know you may not miss my family and i but,i am sure i am not alone in reading these reports.
    MAY BE IF YOUR SORT OUT YOUR TAXIS ETC I WILL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR. I WANT TO VISIT BUDAPEST BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER INTRESTING PLACES TO SEE.
    P.S I LIVE IN THE U.K.

    • Reply
      9th November 2009

      @latham First of all thanks for your comment.
      I personally find it a bit strange not to go to a chosen destination just because you hear that it might happen that you get ripped off by a taxi driver. First of all by far not all taxi drivers rip off and what I (and many others on their website) write about are extreme cases but we want the tourists to be aware of that. Secondly, that can happen to you in any city of the world no matter if Budapest, Berlin or London. In the UK not everything is going 100% correct as well.

      Anyways I wish you a nice trip to Berlin. A really nice and fascinating city.

      • Reply
        Djames
        22nd July 2011

        I would just like to say that because Budapest caters heavily (and welcomes) tourism that there will always be quit ea few people trying to take advantage of tourists. Do not let this dissuade you from taking a trip to this lovely city. A little bit of preparation and a quick trip to a site like this will prepare you for all you need to have a safe, enjoyable holiday. There are more than enough signs that warn you of what happens if you get caught without a validated ticket. Ignorance is no excuse. What you must know is that the ticket inspectors have no right to detain you if you are caught. You can simply walk away from them. Furthermore, while they threaten to call the police, the police have far better things to do and will likely never arrive. As for Taxis, do not trust any taxis at heavily touristed areas – train stations, Vaci street, etc. As in any country with a poorly regulated taxi system, avoid seemingly overly helpful drivers and settle the price for the destination BEFORE getting into a taxi. Make sure there is a meter and that the meter is running. These are all things that one must do in ANY country…you would not think to get in a taxi in the US or UK that did not have a meter running would you??? As of now (July 2011), City Taxi is the most reliable service and will always give you a fair price. A little common sense and knowledgeable preparation is required before travelling abroad, otherwise you run the risk of becoming the naive tourist who gets taken advantage of an runs online to scare others with their horror stories about wonderful locations, simply because of a lack of common sense.

  • Reply
    9th November 2009

    I guess there is a danger everywhere using taxis and public transportation, but in poor countries you experience more scams and trouble than elsewhere (I think). I know several guests who have been overcharged using taxies in Budapest, and even though it is not always a fortune (6000 Forints instead of 2000 etc) it is still the knowledge that you have been foold and tricked which makes such a bad impression on the visitor – and which can totally destroy a nice stay… unfortunately! (the same is when people who do not want to cheat on the public transportation get fined…)

    Unfortunately that is the way things are around so we just have to live with it somehow and if something bad should happen, try to forget it and live on and remember the nice stuff instead!

  • Reply
    Crystal
    16th August 2010

    Can you advise what the public transportation is like on a public holiday? Are all the services running normally or is there a reduced service?

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      31st December 2010

      Public Transport on a public holiday such as Christmas day 2010 may land you in jail. I am serious. PLEASE DO NOT VISIT BUDAPEST.

      I did not validate my ticket at Deak Ferenk Ter on Christmas Day and the ticket people said I had to pay a fine. Immediately they were calling the police as I was not happy about this corrupt treatment. I don’t even know if they were the real ticket checkers. They were abrupt and rude and adamant that we had to pay them money.

      BUDAPEST IS NOT A SAFE PLACE TO VISIT. I felt like I was raped – if you would like to have that feeling on your holiday then I would recommend Budapest.

      You will be ripped off at every chance they get. They are worse than rapists the way they treat visitors.

      • Reply
        Nicola
        6th January 2011

        @Imelda Kelly

        First of all, I am sorry that you had problems with ticket inspectors in Budapest. I know it is very horrible to be in a foreign country and run into problems like that.

        However, the fact that you always have to validate your ticket is very well publicised in guide books and at all the public transport stations. There are many signs and announcements (in English, Hungarian and German) advising you to validate your ticket. This has nothing to do with it being Christmas – you need to validate your ticket 365 days of the year.

        Budapest is a very safe place to visit, although as with any major city, you need to always keep your wits about you. It is a beautiful city with a lot of friendly people and interesting places to see.

        One more thing: being asked to pay a fine because you didn’t validate your ticket cannot be anything like actually being raped. I really do find this analogy quite puzzling.

        I wish you good luck in your future travelling.

        • Reply
          Imelda Kelly
          11th January 2011

          hello Nicola,

          I felt like it was a type of rape because I was indeed violated – on Christmas day I was set up (I firmly believe the ticket people zoned in on us). I spent a lot of money in Budapest, very willingly, but to be set up like that and to have a fine imposed on me, on the spot, with no room for any explanation and to be threatened with getting the police to attend the situation and to be made feel like a criminal – that in my view is a very serious violation.

          • Nicola
            11th January 2011

            Okay, first of all you were not set up. You made a mistake, and you had to deal with the consequences. The fact that you didn’t validate your ticket makes you liable for a fine, and the police can rightly be called. Validating your ticket is a very easy thing to do: You put the ticket into one of the many machines available, it punches a hole, and you take it out again. It takes about 2 seconds in total.

            You said that you weren’t convinced that they were real ticket inspectors. Why would fraudsters call the police?

            You said, “You will be ripped off every chance you get”. That’s clearly not true, is it? You said you willingly spent a lot of money in Budapest, and it was only the one incident that your mistake landed you a fine as per the rules on public transport. Nobody ripped you off.

            I’m not sure why you feel it is so important that it was Christmas day. On every day of the year you have to validate your ticket. I personally think it is great that Budapest provides public transport on a public holiday – the city I lived in in Britain didn’t do this.

            Finally, you said, “They are worse than rapists the way they treat travelers.” There are no words to describe how ridiculous this statement is. You made a mistake, so you had to pay a fine. This is not in the same league as being raped.

            I would just like to say that I am very happy you won’t be returning to Budapest. It makes the city a much nicer place.

          • Gabriella
            25th January 2011

            I agree with Nicola in every way. The public transport system in budapest has been run like that since I was a child (now 53 we have regularly visited Hungary each year since). So I have many many different experiences, from blatantly riding free hundreds of times, to actually being pulled up, might I add, quite innocently in my recent years, when I actually did have the tickets – but didn’t have the stubs from the book it came from. But hey ho, I too was reeling about the unfairness which festered in me for some time after. However, it hasn’t stopped me from going back because it is such a delightful place most of the time.

            It’s a city for goodness sake. I’ve experienced being ‘ripped off’ in Prague by taxi drivers, but it wouldn’t stop me from going back. I’d just be more careful. I experienced a few such incidences of bad service and rudeness when I visited Milan. But it wouldn’t stop me from going back. The whole point of visiting another country is the experience, not the ‘I want to be treated like a special person because I’m a visitor’ attitude. So you take the bad with the good. Of course, if you visit a place and get mugged on every street corner and every shop you walk into you get held up at gunpoint, then its a reason to maybe not go back again. I certainly wouldn’t. But Budapest, like every major city is a wonderful place to visit, with the most wonderful sights – and of course, on the whole, very friendly and honest people.

          • Imelda Kelly
            25th January 2011

            hello Gabrielle – that is a very good point you made about it being run like that since you were a child.

            So, that must be at least a good 50 years as you gave your age….we do not live in a world that is run by systems from 50 years ago Gabrielle, at least not in my country or western europe.

            How things were done 50 years ago are now obsolete.

            In my country 50 years ago women were not allowed to vote, they had to give up their jobs if they got married, they were sent to MAGDELEINE LAUNDERIES if they were not “good” girls – go look that up – it is the Magdeleine Laundries – and you will be very shocked and disgusted.

            Budapest has NOT caught up – and it is a shame for that country – it is still very communist, faschist – whatever – you might get the picture … I am sorry – I hope you can speak up – I know in my country my ancestors had to speak up …

            Gabrielle – I went there because I saw an article in a women’s magazine which was lovely. I have written to that magazine and I intend to follow up with every single bone in my body to ask them to change their original review of Budapest.

          • Nicola
            26th January 2011

            Imelda – Women over 30 got the right to vote in 1918, and then in 1928 this was changed to women over 21. I think your maths skills need a little brushing up, don’t you?

            Ireland is not the only country with a dark history regarding women (or with different races, different sexualities, different religious affiliations…etc), so please don’t make out like we will all be totally horrified at the ill-treatment experiences by some of your country’s women and so amazed at how far you have come. Humanity as a whole has a lot to answer for, but this has nothing to do with your ill feeling towards Budapest. You really need to get a grip and move on with your life – you seem to have this deep burning need to keep tourists away from Budapest when there are clearly thousand upon thousands of people that love it here.

            Here it is again: YOU MADE A MISTAKE = YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES. Simple?

            Please get some perspective: You were fined because you couldn’t be bothered to follow clear instructions. This is not in the same category as being raped, being sent to a Magdelene Asylum or being in a communist/fascist country.

            So you have written to a magazine, declaring that because you made a mistake with your ticket, they should tell all their readers to never set foot in the terrible, awful place that is Budapest? You are truly laughable in every way.

            Just because you have to buy a ticket, then validate it, doesn’t mean that Hungary is a fascist country. I suggest you look up dictionary.com and research the meaning of ‘communist’ and ‘fascist’, because your message shows a clear misunderstanding of those words. You are insulting people who have had to and still have to live under a fascist regime with your sheer ignorance.

            So you have written to the magazine? I would suggest you write to your MP, your local newspaper, holiday companies that promote trips to Europe and perhaps the Prime Minister to tell them about what a fascist country Hungary is for daring to fine you for breaking the rules. I’m sure they could do with a good laugh.

            Thanks for your support Gabriella – it is nice to find someone with a head on their shoulders!

          • Gabriella
            27th January 2011

            Again Nicola, you’ve said it all exactly as I would have done – but didn’t, because this whole issue has turned out to be NOT the incident with being fined in Budapest for not having a valid ticket, but something much deeper.

            Imelda, there are much more deserving and valid causes which you could be spending your fighting energies on, as close as in your own country, but if you want to spread your wings because you feel that everything in your garden is now rosy, then join the crusade for the poor women in Afghanistan, or Iran. Now there’s a worthy cause. Read some books. Visit the places. I’m sure your obvious endless energies would prove to be a huge weight.

            As for Budapest, well, they HAVE caught up, and quite nicely thank you. And I say that from actually having seen the changes take place over the years – from the days of the Russian rule to now. I have seen an amazingly wonderful rebirth in all areas. Oh, I’m not saying its perfect, but neither is London, or Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris etc etc. So please, for your own sake, move on from your ‘little’ unfavourable experience and contribute your energies to something more worthwhile. My 21 year old son will shortly be travelling to Budapest for a few days with his girlfriend and they’re both extremely excited about it. One of the advices I will give them is to make sure they ALWAYS have the necessary tickets to travel with. Simples!

  • Reply
    flying spud
    18th September 2010

    who do you think you are latham,you get fraudsters in every major city in the world!!why would you cancel a holiday because of a blog on a website!!?the people of budapest dont want little evil englanders like you in their country anyway!do you wrap yourself in bubble wrap every time you leave your house?i hope you got your wallet stolen in berlin,your a disgrace to your country.”MAYBE IF YOU SORT YOUR TAXIS OUT I WILL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR”!cock!
    i will again be spending some quality time in budapest this autumn away from idiots i have to spend my life with in the uk.

    regards AN ENGLISHMAN

    • Reply
      27th September 2010

      Haha, you are really funny.
      Where is it written that ONLY in Budapest there is fraud?

      And sorry to say but I live here since more than 5 years so I guess I can say that the people want me here, at least the ones around me.

      You can spend as much quality time here as you want… Enjoy it!
      Cheers

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      10th January 2011

      flying spud: From your comment about hoping someone gets their wallet stolen – you really are quite a dope.

      The basic problem is with the people running the City of Budapest – I suppose that would be the government? I don’t know if the Metro is run by the government or if it is a private company – the bottom line is the people working in the Metro should all be either fired or else educated very extensively on how to deal with ‘foreigners’. We spend an absolute fortune going to Budapest, yet for some reason the Metro workers think we are trying to rip them off and ride around for free on the Metro to the tune of a couple of euro, and then they are rude and abrupt and quite honestly they are like Hitler’s army the way they treat you on the spot. The only reason I took the metro was because of the distance – I didn’t want to piss off a taxi driver by asking him/her to travel a very short distance.

      STAY AWAY FROM BUDAPEST.

  • Reply
    miniszlan
    15th November 2010

    I am from Budapest but living and married in the UK, of course I go back “home” at least 2x a year to see my relatives and besides I love the city since I grew up there partially. (Obuda ftw)
    Now, for those people who are complaining about being charged on trams/HEV/busses/Metro : Unfortunately I have witnessed scenes myself where ticket inspectors are trying to get through to tourists. The problem is lack of communication and the fact that most of them just don’t speak English at all, many of them also being more senior and therefore only had Russian as foreign language back then – still I think there should be a mandatory basic English course for people working in public transport.
    That of course causes misunderstandings and people assume that they are being scammed. Trust me guys, most of the time it’s the language barrier but apart from the ticket inspectors/people behind teh ticket stand you can communicate in English and Grerman pretty much anywhere.

  • Reply
    nish
    17th November 2010

    just wondering how to get to Keleti train station from the airport like what number buses trams etc to get?
    many thanks

  • Reply
    Berlin
    28th November 2010

    Just got back on my Eastern European trip. My fond memory of Budapest would be the Tram 49 driver/operator flipping me off and spitting on my camera after I took a picture of his tram. I like trams and I’ve done the same thing in Vienna and Prague without incident. The guy was so furious that I tried to calm him down by deleting the photo in front of him. Instead he spat on my camera. Welcome to Hungary!

  • Reply
    Daub
    3rd January 2011

    just spent 10 days in budapest and i must say first of all, all taxis in EVERY COUNTRY rip tourists off!! No country is completly clean of this menace. I know this bcoz I have travelled mostly half of the world.

    Out of 8 diffrent taxis I ordered in budapest, about 4 ripped me off, so about 50% rip me off, some will say not bad ratio of ripp off.

    but overall i’m glad I visited buda

    • Reply
      3rd January 2011

      Did you call them or just took some off the street?
      Yes, if you just take the next best passing you on the street there is a 50% chance that you get ripped off… not if you call them though.
      If you take one of these taxis: http://www.budapestagent.com/taxi-in-budapest.html I bet you wont get ripped off. I tried all of them several times and had no problems, thats why I recommend them.

  • Reply
    an american
    7th January 2011

    AVOID BUDAPEST AT ALL COSTS. ASKED FOR AND PURCHASED SUBWAY/METRO TICKET FROM AGENT IN A BOOTH FOR MY HUSBAND AND I AND 6 CHILDREN THE DAY AFTER XMAS. TICKET CONTROL AGENT SAID WE PURCHASED THE “WRONG” TICKET,THOUGH THIS WAS THE TICKET SOLD TO US BY THEIR METRO AGENT, DETAINED US AND FINED US $60.00USD ON THE SPOT. WE WERE UNABLE TO CONTINUE OUR ONE DAY OF SIGHT SEEING AND WERE SHAKING WITH FEAR FROM THE DISGUSTING TREATMENT WE RECIEVED FROM THE CONTROL AGENT- SHE HAD NO SYMPATHY FOR A FAMILY WITH CHILDREN ON XMAS-EVEN THOUGH WE PURCHASED THE TICKET FROM THEIR AGENT, AND AS A PARTING SHOT SAID TOUGH LUCK- SHE HAD TO WORK ON XMAS AND MAKE MONEY BY FINING PEOPLE. BUDAPEST METRO IS RUNNING A SCAM TO RIP OFF TOURISTS- STAY AWAY FROM THIS CITY, REAL ANIMALS ARE RUNNING THINGS.

    • Reply
      7th January 2011

      Sorry to hear that but I would not judge an entire city by that what happened to you. There are tons of tourists taking the public transport every day and they manage it.
      Additionally this happens probably all over the world every day… if you buy a wrong ticket you get fined. That happens in Hungary, Tokio and in the US as well.

    • Reply
      Manuel
      8th January 2011

      Probably you bought the short travel ticket instead of the normal one. Also, there are family tickets that are way cheaper in your case. Anyway, Budapest metro doesn’t scam anyone, and they are usually reasonable when they find someone without ticket. You probably started showing the same behavior you show in your post and she got pissed. I would too.

      • Reply
        an american
        10th January 2011

        I am always very polite; especially to a government official. we were sold the family ticket. Corruption is an ongoing problem with your metro system and reflects extremely poorly on your city and does have a chilling effect on tourism. In retrospect, it is completely clear that the ticketing agent/control agents set us up to scam us as we were very specific about the number in our group, how long we wanted to travel, and where we wanted to go. The control agent knew this, too, and said “tough luck if she had to work on Xmas she was going to assess fines”. We only had one day in Budapest and I will judge the entire city by what happened to me and my family. I will never ever go back and will tell everyone to avoid this city as it is the wild west where gangsters hold you up for cash and you have no recourse when injustice occurs.

        • Reply
          Imelda Kelly
          11th January 2011

          an american says: I am in total agreement with you. There are some people who try to make fun out of the very bad experiences some people have had on the train system in Budapest.

          I have in fact written to the Irish Ambassador in Budapest to see if they can do something about changing the system where you are unable to travel or gain access at least to the train until you first put the ticket in a machine to validate it. I have asked him to help the people of Budapest to help tourists.

          The reply ………”As I am sure you will appreciate, foreign Embassies based in Hungary have no real influence on the manner in which public infrastructure operates in Budapest. However, I have asked a member of the Embassy’s staff to raise the issues that you set out, and in particular the behaviour of metro personnel, at the next meeting of EU Consuls in Budapest. The EU Consuls’ network has in the past proven to be a useful forum through which Embassies can communicate their concerns to the Hungarian authorities.”…..

          It seems that the system is set up for the ticket collectors to abuse tourists. It was probably THE most distressing event of my life – some forum readers will laugh that poor me I have lived a sheltered little life in Ireland !

          • Pietasa
            10th March 2011

            1: Public transport is a neccessity in any city.
            2: Corrupt public officials are everywhere.
            3: Most public officials, however, are helpful and would not rip you off – in any city!
            4: You get creeps anywhere in the world, even in Dublin!

            Point is: if you let one bad experience makes you feel to avoid a place at all costs, you should never pack your bags. We are going to Budapest in June,and that is why I do my homework. Now I know: Validate The Ticket!!!!

          • Imelda Kelly
            10th March 2011

            good luck sweetheart..

  • Reply
    an american
    11th January 2011

    Traveling for pleasure is a choice. After my experience with Budapest officials and their corrupt and systematic targeting of tourist, and the FACT that my family and I were set up to be scammed, I would recommend choosing another city/country for your holiday; avoid Budapest.

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      12th January 2011

      I would and will be definitely recommending to anyone to STAY AWAY FROM BUDAPEST. It is not a nice weekend destination to go to. Go to another city or country but I think also try to stay from Eastern Europe. If you are looking for a nice holiday don’t go to Budapest. The people there and by that I mean the people working for the City – trains, are the most unpleasant people you will have the misfortune of ever encountering. They threaten to call the police and send you to jail for a simple oversight of not validating tickets and they are quite scary to deal with to be honest. They seem to pose as beggars and pounce on tourists. TOURISTS PLEASE BE VERY VERY WARY OF BUDAPEST.

      If you are a tough, resilient, savvy, wits about you, guard up all the time kind of person then Budapest might suit you.

      • Reply
        Nicola
        15th January 2011

        Ok Imelda, please just give it a rest. You are obviously a huge fan of exaggeration – first you think that ticket inspectors giving you a fine for not following the rules is like being raped, and now you say that your personal bad experience in one European city (due to your mistake) leads you to advise other people not to go to ANYWHERE in Eastern Europe.

        Thousands upon thousands of people have spent wonderful holidays in Budapest and thoroughly recommend it to other people.

        You have had your chance to say what you wanted to say about Budapest. Hopefully the intelligent people looking at your comments will see how ridiculous and closed-minded they are, and will look elsewhere for travel advice.

        Your grand total of 5 comments on this board saying pretty much exactly the same thing is becoming a little annoying – We get it: You getting a fine for not following the rules ruined your holiday.

        Now please, move along, because you’re getting kind of boring.

        • Reply
          Imelda Kelly
          17th January 2011

          Do you know how to agree to disagree? I have my opinion and I have shared it – what 5 times? You have your opinion and you have shared it about 3 times.

          You can continue to share your opinion if you wish and I will also.

  • Reply
    reasonable
    17th January 2011

    Imelda

    I have spent a lot of time as a visitor to Hungary and Budapest and found the the people welcoming and the country and city beautiful.

    You need to appreciate that Budapest’s transport system can only be as efficient as it is because it operates on trust. Every ticket being checked or purchased on boarding would reduce it to the pathetic standard of most UK services. Such a system can only work with stiff penalties in place for transgressors and locals all know this. A very little research on the internet prior to your visit would probably have avoided your unfortunate incident. Inspectors all travel incognito and carry official photo ID, which you will have been shown as soon as they approached you.

    However, to slander the people of an entire country and, indeed, region of Europe because of this event is, frankly, hysterical and deeply offensive and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      18th January 2011

      to reasonable: I am sorry that you are so offended by my opinion, but it is what it is. I was threatened on Christmas Day in Budapest while I was on vacation, by the City of Budapest. I will definitely warn people to not go there as it is indeed not a nice place to go on vacation – especially at Christmas.

      Prior to my visit to Budapest I thought I might like to travel to some other countries in that region also, however my experience of the people (the people being the City of Budapest – BKV) in Budapest has ensured that I will instead not now ever travel there.

      We were laughing and having jokes when the doors opened on the train at Deak Ferenc Ter (returning from Szecheny Bath) and I was accosted by a dour, morose two city employees who looked like they had never smiled in their lives. I’m sorry but I think it is nice to smile and laugh, especially on Christmas day on vacation. They ABSOLUTELY knew, without a doubt that we were tourists – there were many other people on the train too and I noticed everyone was very reserved, non smiling, non talking and we were possibly the only ones having a laugh between ourselves. The employees KNEW WE WERE TOURISTS and the possibility of us not having done the required ticket validation was very high and they knew they could get a fine from us. It is a disgusting ‘Honour’ system and that is the City of Budapest in a nutshell.

      Total travel outlay from Deak Ferenc Ter to Szechenyi Bath and return was 1,280 HUF (approx. Euro 4.70). It was our one and only time taking the train. Anyone who says tourists try to ride for free on the trains – dear oh dear you are very stupid people. I really don’t know why the local Budapest people would even try to bother riding around for free either. It is a totally corrupt, disgraceful system and the people who are in on the scam of fining could be compared to Hitler’s Army – in my opinion. They look like beggars for a start – who comes to work looking like a beggar?

  • Reply
    an american
    18th January 2011

    Imelda; I totally agree. Our experience was also dreadful and frightening. Budapest Metro is corrupt; they target unsuspecting tourists in order to shake them down for “fees”. Just do a computer search “Budapest Metro Corrupt” and there are plenty of similar stories. One was recounted by Warren Beatty on The Tonight Show, when he was shaken down on the Budapest Metro. Budapest deserves any bad publicity it gets and traveler be warned. Vacation in a city that respects and welcomes tourists.

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      18th January 2011

      hello an american says:

      I would just love to see the video clip of Warren Beatty. Do you know where I might be able to find it?

      As you can see I am still upset by my treatment on Christmas day and I just want to make sure people are very aware of what they get themselves into by travelling to Budapest. I think it will only be a matter of time when there will be a tourist who gets a heart attack and drops dead because of the employees on the trains.

  • Reply
    Imelda Kelly
    29th January 2011

    I hope they enjoy their visit!

    Try to think of THE most distressing, most unpleasant experience you have ever had the misfortune to experience – I won’t belittle you for your most unpleasant experiences – the event on Christmas day with the ticket checkers – for me – was THE most distressing event of my life I would say. This is why it is fresh in my mind. In time I will most definitely move on from it but for now, unfortunately I can still see the situation very clearly – I could easily have had a heart attack. My partner could easily have had a heart attack and to be honest it really is only time before someone does –

    My apologies for not getting my facts right about when Irish women could vote – etc., etc.

    Some of you think Budapest has caught up and others seem to say the transport is still run as it was 50 years ago – you also don’t seem to have your own facts quite figured out either.

    I hope for all of your own sakes that when you do think of THE ABSOLUTELY most unpleasant situation you have ever been in that someone is there to support you and that they won’t make fun of you. We all have those. …. good luck to you all! PS: I have spoken to many people here already and they (say) they won’t be putting Budapest on their travel itineraries –

    • Reply
      Pietasa
      10th March 2011

      Imelda how lucky you are, that the Christmas experience has been the worst experience of your life. I wish you the best for the rest of your life, that it would not be marred by a mugging, hijacking, murder, rape, your house would not burn down, you do not get a heart attack, cancer, bird flu, any flu, colds, pushed in front of oncoming train, get a huge electricity bill after having been away (travelling to Hungary) for four weeks, your car does not break down in the middle of the night next to a highway and your cellphone and toch batteries are flat, you lock your keys in yourcar and theonly person near you wants you to pay first, then leaves without helping you, you do not ever exceed a speed limit – ever, never, ever park on a yellow line and your car gets towed away, get off PUBLIC TRANSPORT at the wrong station in a foreign city and no-one understands English…

  • Reply
    Des longmore
    12th March 2011

    I am in Budapest now and in order to avoid the many scams i bought a 7 day ticket which does not require validation. I only have 4 days but could not be bothered with the stress when I am on holiday. Discovering the tram, bus and trollybus routes is a nightmare. i asked at the tourist office and they said I had to buy a map from the metro for 500 forint but it is impossible to read without a magnifying glass. I’m not sure how to use my 7 day pass unless I just get on something and see where it goes. The inspectors in the metro realy do look scary. There was one lady who did not have any money to pay the large fine so she was asked to buy them an ice cream instead.

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      13th April 2011

      hello Des,

      I hope your trip turned out ok for you! You see this is part of the scam – you HAVE to buy 7 day pass in order to feel “safe”, when in fact you only need a 1 day or a 4 day pass. This is total intimidation in my opinion. It is indeed very cheap to travel on the public transport and i think they try to intimidate visitors to buy the most expensive travel pass – or you have to pay a fine – probably not too much difference in price really – I don’t know. How much is the 7 day pass?

      • Reply
        Geoff
        15th June 2011

        Imelda, grow up ! Years ago while travelling on the London Underground from zone 2 to zone 4 i got caught by ticket inspectors while travelling through zone 1. I did not realize i needed a zone 1 ticket, it was a genuine mistake but i had slipped up and i paid the fine. I certainly did not feel “as if i had been raped” because i got caught doing wrong and had to pay the consequences. Should i now advise all travellers to stay away from my home city ?

        Had you bothered to do a little research before or when you arrived, (as simple as asking your hotel receptionist) you would have found out that a 7 day travel pass for all of the 5 modes of transport in Budapest costs just 4600 HUF, approximately £16.50p at the present exchange rate, an absolute bargain in my opinion. How can i be so precise ? Because i am in Budapest at the moment, this is my 7th visit here, and never have i had a problem with the revenue inspectors.

        Because i am a visitor in a foreign country i am very careful to make sure i obey their laws/ rules while i am here, and i certainly wouldn’t bleat about a minor mishap like the one you experienced. If the public transport system in your country is so perfect, i suggest you holiday there in the future, and leave foreign travel to the grown ups !

  • Reply
    gus james
    19th April 2011

    I am afraid I had a similar experience yesterday. I took the bus from the airport to a metro station on Line 3 and then made my way to the main station for trains to Vienna. At the station I checked the prices and paid for a single ticket. I am afraid I could see no evidence of a requirement to validate the ticket. I dont as a rule read the smallprint on tickets. I just assumed that like many metro systems in the world ( I have found very few where single trips required validation)my ticket would be valid. When I changed lines the fun began. The ticket inspector was extremely aggressive. It was fairly obviously I was transiting as I was carrying my luggage and had come in on the train from the airport metro station. But this inspector was hellbent on getting something. In the end she took my ticket and I decided to keep moving. At my final destination I was called a tourist gipsy by one of her colleagues. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation I do think these inspectors should be trained to show a fair degree of restraint with tourists. Of course there are people who take advantage of systems which are based on trust but for the most part many tourists do make mistakes and is really worth risking a city’s reputation on such a minor matter. I have seen inspectors in other countries deal with tourists in similar circumstances and normally just make the tourist pay for the ticket.

    Having said that I do like Budapest as a city. The setting on the Danube is exceptional. I do think there is a problem when newspapers overseas warn their readers about the problem or the founder of Lonely Planet comments on his experiences. Lonely Planet must be one organization that Budapest doesn’t want to fall out with.

    • Reply
      Gabriella
      20th April 2011

      Quite sadly, this is an area which lets Budapest down somewhat, and it has to be accepted that their system has not changed for many, many years and, although it is easy to say that the solution would be to just change the system, but that is a matter of cost. Hungary has come on in absolute leaps and bounds since the 60’s when I used to visit there as a child with my family and so many things have already very quickly caught up with the rest of Europe, which naturally the citizens have paid for through their taxes, not to mention their tears, along the way. Anyway, the good news is that they do now have the transport system on their next agenda : http://www.caboodle.hu/nc/news/news_archive/single_page/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=8950 Thats planned for next year, so if the transport system is the only thing that seems to let the city down, then once thats completed, well, the place will be a dream. I think so anyway.

  • Reply
    Par
    30th April 2011

    Me and my fiancé just got back from Budapest and being fined by the aggressive ticket inspectors. Having heard of them beforehand, we were very careful with getting tickets and validating them before the Metro ride, and were met with, seemingly reluctant, approval on behalf of the numerous inspectors.

    However, as we boarded the train for our last trip, it turned out the most convenient stop was not on the line we were on, so we decided to go on to the central hub, switch lines, and go back a bit. The back of the ticket said nothing about the validity, which previous had, but I seemed to remember from the ticket machine info that one line change would be permitted.

    At the exit we were promptly singled out for scrutiny, looking like the tourists we decidedly were. The inspector examined our tickets, suddenly got very excited, consulted her colleague and triumphantly declared that they were invalid. I was certain there had been some mistake, and showed her our route on my map, after which she managed to explain that, in going back on the other line, we had made a total of five stops, whereas the ticket only permitted three. We were fined 6000 ft each, with the inspector rather unconvincingly stating she “was sorry”.

    This incident rather effectively tainted our otherwise pleasurable experience. Sure, our ticket wasn’t valid, but it must have been apparent to the official that it was an honest mistake by people trying to do the right thing, and not some freeloaders looking to save 100 ft, or whatever the extra fare might have been.

    Common courtesy would be helping guests of your country out, offering information on the correct procedure, not preying like vultures hoping for a mistake in order to slam them with exorbitant fines on the spot. The general badwill generated, in addition to making tourists feel unwelcome and reluctant to return, must greatly surpass the petty incomes from this draconic enforcement of often confusing rules.

    Even the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice states on its website that “Foreign visitors to Budapest are often caught out by the ticket system in Budapest, and fined by ticket inspectors”. Apparently Hungarian authorities have their hands tied, or couldn’t care less, or they would try to make public transport for visitors less of a tightrope walk.

    /Par, Sweden

  • Reply
    an american
    15th June 2011

    The ticket agents purposely sell the wrong tickets so the inspectors can asses fines. There is no recourse or higher power to contest an unfair fine. The ticketing agents act like greedy slavering scum. For a country that worked hard for fairness and political freedom, it still seems to embrace the thug attitude of its former regime. This is no way to encourage tourism or to welcome guests. If just one family decides to vacation somewhere else because of this post, then I will have done a service. Budapest needs to fix its problems; its subway bullying is world renowned.

  • Reply
    Jane
    18th June 2011

    HI All,

    Wow … there are some real horror stories here. Next month, my husband and I are taking an escorted group tour to Europe. Rome, Vienna and Budapest are three of the cities on our itinerary. I have been doing my homework; and incidentally all 3 cities have a metro system that requires ticket validation.

    In each of the above cities, we have an afternoon free for independent sightseeing.

    The Vienna metro doesn’t seem to have the problem of over zealous ticket inspectors; but there were just too many complaints about the ones in Rome and Budapest.

    We have decided to buy a 24-hour pass that’s good for unlimited use. And it will only have to be validated once … on our first ride.

    Buying a day pass may may cost a few extra bucks; but that’s better than the high fines that so many of you have complained about.

    Any thoughts, cautions, etc. on this subject would be appreciated.

    • Reply
      18th June 2011

      Hi Jane, when buying a 24h ticket the only thing you can do wrong is getting out of the area you bought it for or using other transport than purchased.
      But as far as i know the 24h ticket is for all types of public transport in Budapest and if you stay within the city there shouldnt be any problem.

      • Reply
        Jane
        18th June 2011

        Thanks. That’s what I thought; but better safe than sorry.

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      12th July 2011

      Jane,

      It is not the question of the high fine – it is how the very, very, nasty “comptrollers” get so very excited when they see a passenger has failed to “validate” their ticket – they are so excited because they now know they can get money out of you – it is just such a totally corrupt attitude – is it not?

      Basically, I see here that people want to know how to avoid the problem of running into these “comptrollers”- but the problem is not going to go away – everyone wants to look after themselves, and once they know exactly what to do to avoid the gruelling confrontation with them they are delighted to give the advice that “you HAVE to validate your ticket”, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,.

      What about the basic, ordinary, everyday, humble, tourist? Who has no idea of what these people are capable of? Very, very innocent people come along to travel on the public transportation, and, just because they can’t see anything telling them to F*****ing validate their ticket, they don’t, and then they get fined, after paying for the ticket. And now they feel like a criminal – welcome to Budapest.

      What a pity is Budapest.

  • Reply
    swarsha
    11th July 2011

    going to budapest in aug really worried about all the scams

    • Reply
      Nicola
      11th July 2011

      Don’t worry about these so-called ‘scams’. If you don’t have a valid ticket, you will be fined – if you do have a valid ticket, you won’t be fined. It’s not a scam.

      If you are unsure about which ticket to use then I would speak to the staff at your hotel for advice, or ask someone in the many many tourist information kiosks and shops. They can tell you exactly which ticket to buy and how to validate it. I lived and worked in Budapest for 6 months, and never had any problems – it’s a lovely city and I really enjoyed my time there. Of course there are some mean people dotted around, but where doesn’t have mean people?!

      Just remember – you always need to validate your tickets using the machines provided (there are many signs to tell you this (in English) and I don’t understand how anyone could miss them!

      Have a great holiday!

  • Reply
    an american
    11th July 2011

    swarsha, don’t go to Budapest. Pick somewhere else that is civilized. Nowhere in my travels as a tourist have I felt more targeted by a foreign government. We were totally set up, from the ticketing agent selling us the ticket, to the completely foul filthy ticket officer in the metro that demanded an exorbitant fine on the spot (my children and I were threatened) when we had a valid ticket. When I mentioned that this was no way to treat visitors to their country on xmas, the official sneered that she had to work on xmas and fine people to make money. The experience left us forever scarred.

  • Reply
    an american
    11th July 2011

    swarsha; worry about the scams. I had a valid and validated ticket and I was fined. It was a TOTAL scam. The ticket inspector was not just a “mean person”- they represent the government. It was a frightening experience and ruined our time in the Budapest. Avoid this city.

    • Reply
      Nicola
      11th July 2011

      An American – I don’t believe you. You can’t be fined for having a valid and validated ticket – you were obviously in a different zone to the one you had bought the ticket for (therefore making the ticket invalid). I know the rules regarding public transport like the back of my hand, and I can honestly tell you there is no way you were not in the wrong. If you really were ‘scammed’ then you could have taken the proof (i.e. your supposedly valid ticket) to your embassy.

      I appreciate there are some people (like you) who have had a bad experience in Budapest, so it would be lovely if you could appreciate there are people like me who have had wonderful experiences in Budapest.

      You had your say, then I had mine – there was no need to retaliate further.

  • Reply
    Imelda Kelly
    11th July 2011

    Hi Swarsha,

    I am in total agreement with “an american” above – I would not waste my time or money going to Budapest – my experience also on Christmas day 2011 was absolutely appalling and has most definitely left quite a scar – I just can’t imagine anywhere else on earth where people are so downright nasty – and yes the metro people represent the Government of Hungary – it is a mob/mafia style of exortion. Your human rights will be severely challenged there.

    Go somewhere else and try to avoid Budapest.

  • Reply
    Imelda Kelly
    11th July 2011

    sorry – that was last Christmas, which was 2010…. time flies so fast

  • Reply
    gus james
    11th July 2011

    Regardless of who is right and wrong, Budapest has a real
    problem with the negative pr generated by these exceptionally
    aggressive ticket collectors. Budapest is a very fine city
    and I would encourage people to visit it but I would also
    encourage them to walk everywhere to avoid the hassle.

    Surely the city will end up losing out financially if the likes
    of Warren Beatty tell the American public on the Tonight Show that paying
    the inspectors’ fine was one of his lasting memories of Budapest.

    The ticket inspector I came across was one of the
    rudest, most aggressive people I have met anywhere. She reminded of somebody
    working under the old communist system.

    • Reply
      Imelda Kelly
      12th July 2011

      Hi Gus – you obviously care about Budapest and are not too happy with the public transportation system – yes, of course, Budapest is going to lose out financially with people like me and others who have been made to feel like criminals. That is what they do to you – they make you feel as though you have committed a criminal iact, f you decide to object to the fine when you have bought a ticket – the instructions are most definitely not there in your face in English – they are very, very obscure, if at all – we saw nothing.

      I cannot, for my life, imagine this happening to a tourist in Ireland. I come from the South of Ireland – granted, quite different to these large cities – we only have about 4.5 million people in all of Ireland, so I know, the dynamics are very different.

      So, if Budapest is unable, for some kind of reason to change their public transport system, then they will have to live with alienating tourists for the foreseeable future….. and that is definitely not good for their economics. The other lady, Nicola, seems to know Budapest very well and has friends there, but what about the tourists who come to visit and have no-one to guide or help them in any way – these are the tourists that the public transport workers prey on.

      I am continuing myself to let people know about my experience and some people have said – ok, I thought about going to Budapest, but they say they have heard ‘stories’, and now this just confirms it from a bona fide source.

      Gus, I contacted the Hungarian Embassy when I returned to Ireland and I told them about my ordeal, and I suggested that they might try to help these people who run the public transportation, and the people who work on the trains, etc….. I think this is NOT going to happen, so unfortunately, in the meantime until it does – PEOPLE STAY AWAY FROM BUDAPEST – just not worth the hassel.

      • Reply
        Nicola
        13th July 2011

        Just to clarify Imelda – I arrived in Budapest in November 2010 with no job and no friends there. I had never visited Hungary before, but I had read a guide book and internet guides to the city of Budapest. I managed to read the numerous English signs advising me how to buy and validate my ticket, so that I was able to navigate around the city to find employment.

        Simples.

  • Reply
    an american
    11th July 2011

    Nicola, You obviously work for the transportation system or the government of Budapest. Your suggestion to take my ticket to my embassy is ridiculous. My embassy, American I presume, would have no sway over Budapest scamming transportation agents. I was on vacation- the vacation was ruined- you suggest I waste more time going to the American embassy that would be unable to do anything? I will continue to warn people so they are not also fleeced, threatened and harassed. Stay away from Budapest. Instead, choose a locale that respects and cherishes their tourists. Budapest needs to clean up their act and will continue to get negative publicity until they do so.

    • Reply
      Nicola
      11th July 2011

      Wow – get a grip!

      I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am just a lowly English teacher that happened to be in Budapest for a few months. I live in Iceland now, so the commute to the governmental buildings in Budapest would be a little hard for me to cope with.

      Your embassy would have helped you (if you had been scammed) because they are there to protect your rights. They would have mediated with the local law enforcement in order for the ticket inspectors to be investigated, and prosecuted if it was deemed necessary. You would have gotten your money back. As you say, your entire holiday was ruined by this one experience, so what did you have to lose?

      I’m so glad you are staying away from Budapest. After my baby is born I will be going back regularly for holidays to visit my friends there, and I will love it all the more knowing that people like you have been scared away.

      • Reply
        Imelda Kelly
        12th July 2011

        Nicola,

        People shouldn’t have to be driven by corruption on public transport to go to their embassy – the bottom line is people need to be able to feel safe in one of these cities – and they don’t – your comments are not nice to the “American” – it was a real bad situation and a very stressful event – for what? – the city of Budapest are driving people away with their negative attitudes towards tourists. It seems unless you know “the lay of the land” then you are fair game for these very nasty, very unfriendly, disgracefully unkempt workers on the metro.

        • Reply
          Nicola
          13th July 2011

          Oh I sincerely apologise for the ‘not nice’ comments I made to the American – I wonder if he will apologise for likening me to a Nazi?

          And if you are offended by these posts, Imelda, why have you decided to include ‘F******’ in your reply to Jane?

          I didn’t feel particularly safe when I went to Dublin last year come to think of it – so many drunks falling out of the bars during mid-afternoon. It was quite disgusting to be propositioned by slobbering men whilst trying to sight see with my mother. I think I may write to my travel company and tell them to warn people off from going there…

  • Reply
    an american
    12th July 2011

    Nicole, The nazis also persecuted victims and made scapegoats of those they oppressed. Your attitude supports a corrupt and despicable system, rather than acknowleging wrongs committed against visitors. The transportation system flaws should be addressed and corrected rather than supported and extolled. It is heinous to be “glad” that innocent visitors to a country have been “scared away.” It is reprehensible to wish misfortune on an innocent other, especially not a guest in a strange country. First the nazis came for the Jews, then they came for everyone else; one day your child might be accosted on the same thuggish transportation system that you choose to defend. Shame on you. I pray that your baby has better role models in its life than its mother.

    • Reply
      Nicola
      12th July 2011

      I find it incredibly offensive that you would take all this so personally, to the extent of likening me to a Nazi. The only thing I have done wrong is enjoy my stay in Budapest, and question the validity of your ticket. ‘Heinous’ is a word used to describe genocide, not a post on an internet site poking harmless fun at your mistake. You are completely over the top and irrational – my words in my previous posts have done nothing to harm anyone, so they should not be in the same league as the Holocaust.

      I will teach my child how to own up to her mistakes, shrug her shoulders when faced with a situation they cannot change, and move on and enjoy her life instead of making mountains out of mole hills.

      I hope you feel better now after taking out your aggression on me, and questioning my parenting skills without ever even meeting me. Congratulations – you have upset me a great deal. I always strive to be a good person and to stand up for what I believe in, and now I have been likened to a Nazi by a total stranger.

      If you are going to enter into a debate with a complete stranger, it is best not to include personal attacks such as parenting skills, because you don’t know the situation of the other person.

      We are after all just two strangers that have different experiences of the same system – I have as much right to say that I like something as you do to say you don’t like something. I never wanted to wish you misfortune and if I did inadvertently then I apologise. I only wanted to express that I was happy that my chances of ever running into your negativity and ignorance were minimal now that you have decided not to visit Budapest again.

      Enjoy your travels in other countries, but please let this rest now. We disagree on a trivial matter, so there is no need to attack me personally again.

      • Reply
        Imelda Kelly
        13th July 2011

        Nicola, to what you said to the “american” – “poking harmless fun at your mistake” -can you see what you are saying? She said from day one that it was a terribly traumatic experience for her, and you have now tried to make it all into some “fun poking fun thing!!

        It is not a fun thing here on the internet – the reason people come here is because they want to tell people about their very real experiences of travelling abroad – it is absolutely not a place to poke fun at people.

        You may be a teacher but you have a hell of a lot to learn girl!

      • Reply
        Imelda Kelly
        13th July 2011

        …. and you also said it was a “trivial matter” !????

        You know very well it was not. Stop backtracking.

        • Reply
          Nicola
          15th July 2011

          I don’t think either of your experiences would have been ‘so traumatic’ if you weren’t so sensitive. I have an American friend who also began teaching in Budapest at the same time as me, and he was fined once on the metro. He hadn’t validated his ticket properly – he didn’t say it was traumatic, he just laughed it off and said he would be more careful next time.

          I don’t think my comments warranted being likened to a Nazi, but then again you think being fined is like being raped so I don’t really think your perspective is normal.

  • Reply
    an american
    13th July 2011

    Nicola,

    You have the tone of a true collaborator and sympathizer. Your excuses for a corrupt system contribute to its existence. Unlike you, I will never teach my children to shrug their shoulders when faced with an ugly situation. I teach my children to work hard to make the world a better place. If enough people care, than any situation can be changed. You just don’t care, and even worse, support their foul behavior.

    The disgraceful way that my family and I were treated was not trivial and I would not wish that treatment on anyone and would certainly not “love it” that people, including children, were “scared away.” Shame on you.

    • Reply
      Nicola
      13th July 2011

      I have no respect for your comments, because you have the tone of an ignorant traveler that doesn’t respect the rules of the country they are guests in.

      You can wish now wish shame on me as many times as you wish, as I’ve realised that your comments are so ridiculous that they warrant nothing but laughter.

      Are you going to leave me alone now, or are you going to keep on pursuing this?

  • Reply
    an american
    15th July 2011

    Nicola,
    FYI, Victim blaming occurs when the victim(s) of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment are held entirely or partially responsible for the transgressions committed against them. Blaming the victim has traditionally emerged especially in racist and sexist forms. However this attitude may exist independently from these radical views and even be at least half-official in some countries. So, the nazi, racist, sexist comparison is apt in your case. It is sad to me that people like you laugh at the misfortune of others rather than speaking out to help make the world better. It is said that the Nazis laughed while their victims, women and children included, were herded like cattle into the gas chambers to be gassed to death. Shame, shame. Shame is your name.

    Anyone reading this thread, consider yourself warned to stay away from Budapest.

    • Reply
      Nicola
      15th July 2011

      You were not a victim of a crime, accident or abusive maltreatment. So there is no ‘victim blaming’ here.

      Me laughing at you making a mountain out of a molehill is nothing like Nazis laughing as they killed people. Get some perspective.

      Anyone reading this thread – consider yourself warned that you will receive a fine if you don’t have the correct and validated ticket (which is the same in every country). If you are unsure on how to do this, speak to the hotel staff, your travel agent, read the signs or ask for advice in the tourist information kiosks. Have a lovely holiday – I thoroughly recommend the Castle District.

  • Reply
    gus james
    15th July 2011

    I think both parties are being rather extreme in their views.

    Nicola, cant you accept that Budapest is developing a pr problem
    with its ticket inspectors. I dont read about these problems in
    many other cities where validation may be required.

    I think there are some issues which the local transport administration
    could address very easily. Firstly there is a ticket inspector on the bus
    which ferries people from the airport to the train station. He inspects and then tears the passengers tickets. The airport train station was undergoing
    some construction which made the whole setup extremely messy. I bought my
    ticket at a booth which appeared to be a temporary measure. The ticket sellers didnt speak english but given this was one of the main ticket booths
    for tourists maybe it would be advisable to employ agents there who spoke some English. I didn’t see any evidence at the booth that validation was required. Having encountered a ticket inspector on the bus why wouldn’t I assume that there would be an inspector on the train or one waiting to collect my ticket the other end. It is all very well suggesting that tourists should do their homework but I was only connecting in Budapest to take a train to Vienna. When the ticket inspectors greeted me off the airport train they were incredibly aggressive. I was carrying an unvalidated ticket and some heavy luggage with airline tags. Does that look like a fare dodger? Surely some common sense should come into play not an irate tirade on ticket validation. Ticket inspectors are generally in place to stop fare dodgers.

    Nicola if you dont think this is developing into a pr problem for Budapest try googling Warren Beatty and Budapest and you will find one of his memories of the city is the fine he paid the ticket inspectors. I like Budapest but their ticket inspectors are out of control and need to be properly trained.

  • Reply
    Nicola
    15th July 2011

    I’m not arguing against there being a PR problem – I just can’t take people seriously when they start making comparisons using rape and Nazis.

    I don’t deny that there are some people that have had bad experiences: there are always bad people in the world, and some of them happen to work within the Budapest transport system. I’m not excusing them – if they were unnecessarily rude and aggressive then the appropriate authorities should be informed.

    However, making sweeping statements like ‘I will never travel in Eastern Europe again’ or comparing me to a Nazi just make me disbelieve their version of events. When people are clearly capable of such exaggeration, then why should I believe them when they say that they were totally innocent whilst these big nasty meanies took all their money?

  • Reply
    Lidia Varvari
    16th July 2011

    Hello!

    Could you please tell me how i can get from Nepliget to this adress (Alapitvany Lyme Borreliosis – Tétényi ut.98 Budapest XI H-1119)?

    Thank you very much!!

    Lidia Varvari

    • Reply
      Ian
      22nd July 2011

      Go on to Google maps and enter both addresses.

  • Reply
    Ian
    16th July 2011

    I have just spent 3 days of a 5 day visit to Budapest and I have been ripped off twice – once in a taxi (5,200 for a 10 minute ride) and once in a Thai massage (2 notes of Rupiah 2,000 (worth approx $0.10) instead of Fl 2,000 – worse is I did not realise until I tried to pay for a coke with one of the Indonesian notes).

    And you know what – it will not stop me recommending Budapest to anyone because travel (and I have done a lot of it in the past 30 years) involves getting ripped off. I have been ripped off in hotels, bars, restaurants, taxis in Budapest, Istanbul, London, Paris, Chicago, Fiji, Hong Kong, Rome, and many many other places.

    I put it all down to experience. Certainly I would never consider a letter to an Embassy (Christ if I had a problem an embassy is the last place I would go – I know because one thing that does annoy me is the attitude of FCO reps).

    My advice is to get over it! Forget it! Move on! Thousands of tourists were ripped off today around the world and thousands more will be ripped off tomorrow.

    Next thing we know you’ll be complaining that the nice man playing the ball-under-three-cups game was cheating and perhaps the other two guys trying their luck may have been his accomplices.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    2nd August 2011

    How can I get a map of the Budapest transportation route befor I visit? Am interested in the tram system.

    • Reply
      3rd August 2011

      Dear Sharon,
      I think the best is if you check the official website of the Budapest transportation company, it is in English under http://bkv.hu/en/
      If there is anything else I can do for you just let me know.

  • Reply
    Matt
    25th December 2011

    I’m an American, living in Budapest, and I use the public transport extensively everyday. Here is my advice for visitors for a happy and safe BKV experience:

    1. Don’t try to dodge the fare. You should expect to be checked every single time you get on the metro, and many times leaving the metro as well. The tram and bus network run on the honor system, and it’s their job to find and prosecute fare dodgers, so of course they are going to adamant that you pay the fine. They are quite used to tourists trying to play confused, and they don’t buy it. So don’t try it. Buy your ticket. Validate your ticket. Don’t play dumb.

    2. If the validation machine doesn’t work, which is known to happen: if it’s the metro, try and use one of the other machines…. don’t think of it as a free pass. if you can’t get it to work at all, alert the controller checking when you board. If it’s on a bus or tram, and a controller comes to check your ticket… walk them to the machine, and demonstrate that it doesn’t work. I’ve never seen a controller impose a fine after doing this, even to a non-Hungarian speaker like myself.

    3. Observe the locals. There is a certain amount of institutionalized corruption that exists within the Hungarian public sector. There are always going to be controllers who think that it will be ok to give tourists a hard time. The best way to avoid this is to observe the way that the locals behave boarding the metro, and simply do what they do. Try not to look confused by the system, and try not to look too lost. I know that’s hard because the system can be confusing, and it’s easy to not know which way to go, but try and sort if out before you get to the controller so you can look the part.

    4. Know what the penalties are, and know how they are enforced. Use the Budapest page on wikitravel so that you know what the controllers are legally allowed to do or not. Know that the fine is 6000 forint. If they ask for more money, politely disagree. Point to one of the many signs advertising the fine. Always be calm and polite. Do not act defensive, aggressive, or angry. THIS is what makes the controllers act upset and aggressive, NOT the fact that you a tourist. They work long hours with little pay, and they don’t take kindly to being confronted. Check your ego when dealing with the BKV. It’s absolutely not worth it.

    5. Use common sense. Crowded trams and metros are prime targets for petty crime, so use normal precautions. Make sure you keep your possessions accessible. Backpacks are better held at your side when it’s crowded than worn on your back. Inside jacket pockets are a great place for your valuables. Just beware of who’s around you. The Budapest metro is no more dangerous, than any other crowded urban metro. Use common sense, and you’ll be fine. If you are a victim, report the location and time of the incident to your embassy.

    Budapest is an absolutely wonderful place to visit. Just like anywhere you go, you run small risk of having a negative experience because you aren’t familiar with the system. Educate yourself, be flexible, and don’t act confrontational, and I am confident that you will have a really rewarding vacation in beautiful Hungary.

  • Reply
    7th November 2013

    Thanks for sharing very useful.

  • Reply
    Keith Hecht
    7th November 2013

    I appreciate the advice that you gave. It was very helpful.

Leave a Comment