What is the best way get from the Budapest airport to the Hilton City (on the Pest side)?
Take a taxi—FoTaxi is the airport taxi and you will see signs leading to their kiosk just after you collect luggage, they will give you the cost when you tell them your destination address . I was there in May and it was 6800 HUF to my hotel off Andrassy ut.
Christa is correct. I've been to a lot of airports and the Budapest taxi arrangement is really well done and we'll priced. Christa paid about $25. The sign is really a black line on the floor. Just follow it. The trip is a bit now than 30 minutes in normal traffic. The other options, even a private transfer, will take 30 to 60 minutes longer.
For cheapskates there's bus 100E, which makes just 3 stops, terminating at Deak Ferenc ter. It costs 900 forints. It was easy to find the stop at the airport, and there was a ticket-vending machine right there. You do need to be sure you're buying the right ticket, because the standard city-bus tickets are also available, and they cost a lot less. I don't remember how long the 100E took, but it wasn't bad, and it seems to run frequently. I thought it was a great solution for a solo traveler even though I had about a 15-minute walk after I got off the bus.
For Lynne, however, the 100E wouldn't make much sense, because her hotel is beyond Nyugati Station, rather far from Deak Ferenc ter.
Actually, for cheapskates, the cheapest is not the new shuttle from the airport to Deak Ter but the original 200E bus from the airport to the Blue metro at its starting point, and then metro to Nyugati. The transfer ticket is only 540HUF. With the long walk from Deak, you would only be back on the same metro but for more money (900 plus another 350 HUF)
So for a couple traveling together
The 100E + M3 (at Deak Ferenc ter) will cost 2500HUF ($10) and take about 1:00 hour
The 200E + M3 (at Kőbánya-Kispest) will cost 1080HUF ($4) and take about 1:20 hours
Budapest public transportation is great. The only drawbacks for doing this is it takes so long and you have to contend with lots of Metro stairs and luggage; and being a bit lost at Deak Ferenc and Nyghati metro stations --- the two most “complex” but fascinating and interesting. Then with the 200E option you don’t even get to see Budapest as you go through the heart of it because you are underground the whole way.
The taxi will take about 35 minutes and cost about 6500HUF ($24)
There is also a shuttle bus option that use to be fairly inexpensive. Their website now is sort of cryptic and the prices aren’t obvious. But does state, starting at 7 euro per person. So about the same cost as two people in a taxi. Also states you will not wait more than 30 minutes before you leave. Then you have to stop at every hotel along the way that your companions on the shuttle are staying at. So it could be quick or it could take over an hour.
Although, if we are counting minutes, by taking the 100E bus you will be taken to Deak Ferenc ter where there will be an information office where you can get your TravelCard for all your future trips. It's located at the bottom of the stairs in the metro entrance. You also might be able to get one in the airport, not sure. Even if you can, I don't think it works on the E100 bus. Again, don't know.
There’s a manned booth for travel cards at the airport, never encountered a line and I like to be ready to hit the tram ASAP with my hetjegy once I check in. I considered the airport buses, especially now I’m familiar with Budapest, but find a taxi from the airport is a much more relaxing way to start my stay in Budapest.
Christa, I arrive and I get in a taxi. Neve took much time to look around. Where is the booth? (only noticed the ATM in May).
As you’re exiting the baggage collection area into the main area it’s to the left of the FoTaxi kiosk.
So its outside? Thanks
Sorry, James--my mind's eye messed with me--the BKK transit booth is still inside the airport proper, THEN you go outside to the Fo kiosk where they actually send you to your taxi.
Thanks Christa. Old dogs can still learn new tricks.
Christi, I love bragging on the taxi service. You go to the kiosk, a person in perfect English asks where you are going, usually no more than a 2 minute wait, then you take the slip with the address and maximum charge and the car number 30 feet away where another person helps you with luggage and to get in the right cab. The cab driver checks the paper to again make sure you are in the right cab, because your destination was already sent to his GPS by the kiosk attendant, and off you go. Usually from grabbing luggage to car door well under 5 minutes. It's easier and faster than a private driver. Compared to what I experienced in most other places this is a well oiled machine. The cars are spotless and the drivers range from quiet to wonderfully chatty. But always polite.
The trip back to the airport I usually use City Taxi. In May I left my lap top in the front seat and didn't realize it till I was in the airport. A panicked call to City Taxi and the driver was back in minutes. Laptop and 3.000 euro in the laptop case were all there and fine. The driver got a huge tip and a G-d Bless You from me.
And City Taxi? Again, i love to brag on them.
We were traveling from Buda to our home in Pest on one occasion. We crossed the Elizabeth bridge and the car was rear ended. The driver pulled to the side and before doing anything else called for another cab for us. Within minutes the new cab arrived and i paid the meter on the first cab. Then off we went. When we got home i looked at the meter and paid the gentleman the exact fee ... i confess ... i was a bit bothered by the inconvenience. The drive handed me back 450 ft. Why I asked? He said the start fee was 450 ft and it wasn't right for me to have to pay that on the first cab and now on his meter too. Stunned I doubled it and gave it back as a tip.
On another occasion i had decided to do some shopping in Buda and thought when the time got close to a dentist appointment i had, i would just call City Taxi to come pick me up and take me to the dentist. When the time came i made the phone call, but couldn't for the life of me begin to pronounce the street name i was standing on. After a few failed attempts i told the dispatcher that i would find someone to translate and call back. He insisted that i not give up and within a few minutes we had it figured out and the taxi came.
On yet another occasion; again involving my dentist, i called for a taxi at the dentist office and told him where our home was. He had a creative way of getting back to my home. After about 10 minutes he pulled to the curb and pointed at a building. Oh G-d, he had misunderstood my lousy Hungarian pronunciation and taken me to a street with a similar name as mine. So I repeated the right street name, this time he got it. Before i could say a word he cleared the meter and started it over. He didn't have to do that. Bad Hungarian is my problem, not his.
Then last year I had to call a taxi from a hospital in Buda (inner ear issues).... No, lets back up, cause this is good. I went to an Audiologist in Pest to get fitted for hearing aids. They performed a lot of tests and told me the pressure in one ear was too high and they didn't want to fit a hearing aid that might not work properly when the ear had stabilized. I thanked and asked the charge. No charge. They couldn't help me so the tests and exam were free (try and find that in the US). Then the doctor informed me that there was a taxi on the way to take me to a hospital in Buda where a doctor was waiting to examine my ear. Really? They called around for me and found someone who could see me? Wow! The doctor had a ski trip to Switzerland planned but had waited to see me before leaving town. She determined some cause and gave me some drops (that worked). Cost? No charge. She was off the clock anyway and the drops were samples....
Okay, now, I had to call a taxi from a hospital in Buda .... Once again I couldn't pronounce anything. So i walked to the guard at the hospital gate and asked him to talk to the dispatcher. Problem was the guard didn't speak English either. So i found a grounds man who translated to the guard who translated to the dispatcher. A hoot. Wouldn't trade a moment of any of it.
Finally, every trip back to the states starts with a 4am taxi. I call the night before and that taxi is always there waiting for me about 15 minutes early.