Is it worth the cost of the convenience to take a taxi from the airport to hotel in Pest? What is the current cost? Any other suggestions to save time? Thank you.
Nothing is faster than a taxi. Nothing is more convenient than a taxi. It will cost you something less than 8.000 forints including a small tip. tdw is high on the price, figure about $28.00 if paid in forints, and maybe $31 if paid in Euro or Dollars. As airport taxis go, its a bargain.
When you exit the plane and go through baggage claim, look down and you will see a black line on the floor that says taxi. Follow it out of the baggage area, through the arrivals hall and out the doors to the street. On your left you will see a kiosk that says FoTaxi. Go to the window, tell the clerk where you are going. The clerk will give you a slip of paper with a taxi number on it and an estimate of the fee. Walk to the curb were an attendant will look at the paper and make sure you get in the correct taxi. The driver will then look at the paper to reconfirm he has the right fare; and off you go. 30 to 40 minutes later you are at your .... what ever .... in Pest.
They take Cards, Euro, Dollars and of course Hungarian Forints. If you pay with Dollars or Euro expect to pay about 10% more as arent in the exchange business and they dont give the best rates. There is an ATM in baggage and in the arrivals hall.
There is also a direct bus to Deak Ferenc ter for i believe 600 forints. Between waiting for the bus to arrive and the trip its self figure close to an hour. Then of course you have to get from Deak Ferenc to where you are staying. Deak Ferenc is the main hub for the metro and there is also the 47/49 tram at that location. So you can probably make the connection you need. Figure another 300 forint and another half hour.
Then there are the shuttles. Haven't priced them in a while but certainly no more than $10. You and 28 others get in a bus and it will drop you at your door step. If your drop is first, this is great, if not the whole trip from waiting till the shuttle fills to drop off could take 2 hours.
AND, there is the train option. The least attractive option.
I took James' advice on my first trip to Budapest--taxi from Keleti train station to hotel, and it was the start of a perfect trip. I take a taxi, just as he describes, from/to the airport--last year it was approximately $26 US. 5 trips now and counting, always excellent, fast & friendly service from Fo or City taxi.
From the airport FoTaxi has the contract; and they are good. Back to the airport I generally use City Taxi as I just like them.
Out in the concourse as you get off the plane, there is a booth for shuttle bus'. They'll take you directly to your hotel. They'll also make reservations to pick you up and return to the airport for your flight out. It's quick and efficient and the price is right.
Actually, I believe there is a line on the floor for that too. I've never used it. I think it's as little as 6 euro. I have heard the complaint that they dont leave till they have a full van and that can take some time. Then, if your hotel is last on the route that can take some time. But you can save $20 each way. I dont know how you time the trip back.
Saving money on a shuttle is tempting but I want a no-worries trip back to the airport—nothing makes my day like having the City taxi operator greet me with a cheery “Jo reggelt, Christa!” when I call for a 3:30 am pick up.
I think if I did anything on arrival other than a taxi, it would be the bus. 600 forints and it straight to Deak Fernec ter (one stop on the way I believe). From there its 2 stops on the M1 and a 3 minute walk "home". Returning, a taxi is a lot less stressful for me.
When we arrived in Buda-Pest last May, it was in the midst of a driving rainstorm. It was late. I knew that the city transit options would be shut down, so taking the shuttle to Deak Ferenc Ter was out of the question. Plus the rain was driving (it was the night of the terrible Danube boat disaster).
We made the mistake of taking the Buda shuttle. As 11:45, we made our reservation. We did not leave until 1:30 AM. Others who arrived when we arrived were also still waiting. People were very annoyed. We asked over and over "Shuttles are sitting in the bay, but we have not been taken". They apparently were waiting for reserved passengers.
There may be a good time for the Buda shuttle, but not late at night, with a lot of passengers who have just arrived.
On the positive side, getting to the airport for the trip out was simple and easy.