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72 Hr Budapest Card vs. BKK transportation Card

Are the above cards one and the same? If not what do you recommend? Thanks in advance

Andy

Posted by
9305 posts

The "Budapest Card" is a card for tourists. It offers some free entries and some discounts at various stores as well. I don't think you most people benefit from purchasing it. The difference in price is 4,750 forints or about $19.00. Here are all the rates: http://www.bkk.hu/en/prices/ To be honest with you I have gotten in the habit of purchasing books of 10 tickets instead of the card. The real advantage of the card is you don't have to have tickets to mess with and have to validate. You just show the card when questioned.

Have a good trip.

Posted by
9305 posts

You are correct oh great one (ignore me, I am in a mood tonight - proof: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/1st-timer-and-definitely-do-not-want-to-be-a-grump ). On vacation I prefer to spend as much time as possible above ground. I might use 4 tickets a day on average, maybe even just 3 on average. Of course the 7 day card is pretty cheap per day and I should probably be doing that .... if I were smarter. I will insist my kids have a card so I don't worry so much about the gorillas on the trams. The owner of the apartment we stay in provides the guests with a lanyard with a clear sleeve at the end that is just the right size for the card. They suggest you keep it around your neck in your shirt until requested

Also, another hint, go to the website, click on the card you are interested in and the print the photo. Show the clerk the photo and the cash. Just in case they don't speak great English (rare these days).

Posted by
1966 posts

I made good use of the 72 hour pass I purchased, liked the ability to just show it to the agents at the entrance to metro or on a tram and go wherever I pleased. Timing worked out just right, pass expired around 3 pm of my final day there and I planned my wanderings accordingly, though buying a single ticket if need be wouldn't have been an issue.

Posted by
9305 posts

@Worldinbetween: In June I had noticed that they had changed the style of the metro tickets. I was told by a friend that it might have something to do with plans to replace the old red punch boxes with a new scanning system. Do you know if any have been installed yet? I ask because I received this email a couple of days ago from a RS Forum member:

We are now in Budapest and it will be pouring rain. Need to get a
tram/metro pass? I know they have to validate it entering and leaving
the metro, but what does that mean exactly? Do I punch it or scan it?
Thanks

I answered, and tell me if I got it correct:

XXXX, sorry about the weather. I have some friends spending the week
[in] Budapest … this week and they already called with the bad news.
Okay, so it works like this. Go down in the nearest underground metro
stop. There is a stop of the Number 2 Metro near you. This
particular stop is sort of hidden under a 1970's vintage building
across the street from the Parliament. See if this link works:

https://www.google.hu/maps/@47.5057333,19.0469993,3a,84.6y,170.48h,83.36t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sH3txz5QGr4HGs8AbeEPKsg!2e0?hl=en

See the red band over the door, that's the entrance. Once down the
stairs you should find a ticket window. If for some reason the ticket
window is closed you can try and figure out the automatic machine or
you can look for a guard. Sometimes they have tickets for sale. The
price is 350 ft if my memory is correct but be a champ and give him
500ft for being so kind. If you figured out the machine you are good;
If you bought a ticket from the guard use the ticket you purchased to
ride the metro line to in the direction of Örs vezér tere to the very
next stop where you will get off. This is the main station where
three lines cross and the odds of finding an open window are very
good.

Validating. You will notice red / orange boxes at the entrance to the
underground metro stations. Put the ticket arrow first, and arrow up
into the slot until you hear it stamped. Wala, you are done, get on
the metro line but keep your ticket until you exit at your last stop
as sometime they check. At Deak Ferenc ter where the 1, 2 and 3
metros cross you can change lines without using a new ticket. On the
trams when you get on look around for the same red/orange validation
box. In the older trams you insert the ticket and then push down on
the trim around the slot until you feel it punch a chunk out of the
ticket. In the newer tram lines its electric like on the Metro.

An alternative is to purchase a Travel Card for 24 or 72 hours
use. No validation, just show it when you see a guard and walk on.

Clear as mud? Relax, look lost and confused and someone will stop and
help you.

Posted by
9305 posts

@Worldinbetween; so we don't panic Andy, the 24hour and the 72hour cards do not require an ID to purchase or use.

Taking the time to check to ensure that nothing has recently changed will pay off for me as well. We are having a bit of a family reunion in Budapest at Christmas with varying numbers of relatives in and out of the city for various periods of time so I have to plan the Travel Cards. Probably a couple of 14 Day Cards a couple of 24 hour group passes and a book or two of tickets. What a mess. Hope the apartment company has lots of lanyards.

Posted by
2081 posts

ajptravel93,

Whenever you look at those cards, ALWAYS do the math.

just look at the places you want to go/do/see things and add them up. Excel does a great job of that. You still need to do some minimal work.

by the way, i did buy the 72hr Budapest card. Because the math worked out, not because of a recommendation.

happy trails.

Posted by
9305 posts

@Ray, thank you. You made me go back and look at the Budapest Card again. The 72 hour Budapest Card comes at nearly a $20 premium over a typical 72 Hour Travel Card; but they have improved the benefits since the last time I looked into it. I think the worst case scenario is that you loose maybe $5 to $10 but I bet a lot of folks are going to save $15 to $20 over the 72 hour life of the card. Depends on where you go and what you see. Not a bad deal for a lot of people.

Posted by
12 posts

I pre purchased mine at a small discount only to lose one day in Budapest due to air France strike. I would recommend it seeing how much I could use it if I had another day, however it does not cover the Parliament Building which was a must. Also if you want opera tickets get them ahead because only very expensive tickets available when you get there.

Posted by
9305 posts

The opera house in general sells out very fast. It seats about 2,400 which is small by modern standards. For an opening night performance the best seats in the house might cost $80, excellent seats go for about $40 and the cheap seats in the balcony go for about $3. Yes, that's right $3; and that's where the tour companies generally dump their guests, although I have seen some on $15 seats as well. For other than opening nights and special performances the prices are much lower. The most prime seats will be about $60 for instance. There are very few places in the world where you can see quality performances at these rates. What is most meaningful to me is that this is Hungarian theater for Hungarians. As long as you stay out of the cheapest seats you will be surrounded by Hungarians of all walks of life. For dress, Google pictures of the interior of the Opera House and then copy the dress you see in the photos.

Sort of average pricing categories are:

14,500 forints (about 240 to the dollar right now)
11,500
9,500
4,500
1,500
600
500