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BudapestGO App and buying correct ticket

I have read a few things of people buying the wrong tickets and getting finded or not validating the ticket and getting fined. I see the following options on their website (https://bkk.hu/en/tickets-and-passes/prices/travelcards-valid-for-one-or-more-days/) but not on the app. On the app I see a 24 or 72 travel card. Would this be the correct ticket? How do I validate the ticket on my phone? Any experience with the app and transportation would be helpful.

Posted by
18860 posts

TravelCards are usually the most cost efficient way to get around. 24 or 72 or 15 day or Month is up to you. Very straight forward and hard to screw up.

There is no validation except for single use tickets. You present it to an inspector when asked. Sometimes an inspector is present when entering the metro, sometimes when exiting, sometimes none at all. Very random. On trams and trollies and busses someone ocassionally stands up and puts on a BKK armband and checks.

TexasTravelMom is better on the BudapestGo tickets, I still buy paper ones so I dont have to screw with my phone when traveling. But both work the same.

The only instance of getting fined because of the wrong ticket that I am aware of is a friend of mine who once bought a group of 10 single use passes from a vending machine. She did not realize that one of the "tickets" was actually the receipt, and she used it and validated it like a ticket. Got caught getting off the tram.

Posted by
4355 posts

Yes, I like using the app and yes, that would be the right ticket/pass/card for a 3 day (or less) visit. But:

  1. You must have data access (I use an Airalo plan myself).
  2. You can’t run out of battery (lol - been close).
  3. You can purchase and tell the app when you want your travelcard to begin up to 30 days ahead. This is the step that matters, instead of validating.
  4. When you get ready to board the metro, scan the QR code - these are in slightly different places in different stations, but always easy to find. In the app, there is also a feature that, as you approach, finds nearby stations and you choose which one you are about to enter (saves stopping to scan in a busy station). Trams and busses also have a QR code on each door. I truthfully think you only scan for the metro, though. Edit: just found confirmation of this - so no scanning (with a pass or travelcard) for trams, busses, or trollies unless you can only enter through the front door.
  5. After scanning (or finding your station in the app), you get a little animated picture and that is what you show an inspector if asked. He takes a glance and keeps checking others. Even if you close the app, it doesn’t disappear so you don’t have to worry. Just open the app again.

I just took a look at my app and saw a “group 24 hr travelpass” for 5,000 HUF. It says it is good for up to 5 people and only one person needs to have it on their phone. It’s a simple convenience for two people - and a savings for 3 or more.

I haven’t used a paper travelcard since 2018 and don’t know how it works as far as knowing when your 24 hours starts (I bought at the moment it was needed and can’t remember what, if anything, I did). So I am no help there.

And the only use for a single ticket I can come up with is if you need one last ride after a pass or travelcard expires. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Before using the app the first time, I set up my account, which includes email, password, the ID I plan to carry if asked (my passport with # - Mister É uses his DL, I think) and my payment method.

Posted by
4640 posts

I just took a look at my app and saw a “group 24 hr travelpass” for 5,000 HUF. It says it is good for up to 5 people and only one person needs to have it on their phone. It’s a simple convenience for two people - and a savings for 3 or more.

As noted on another topic, we bought this at a kiosk (paper) and it comes in 2 pieces + receipt. Both pieces, a larger piece and a regular ticket-sized piece are required for use. At issue there is a prompt for when to begin, it defaults to the next quarter hour but I think you have to accept the default, or change it. So it's impossible to issue without being validated, and no further validation would be possible. A person can choose English and it's quite straightforward. The hardest thing is getting the 3 pieces out of the dispenser with the plastic flap the way it is.

I wouldn't want to use the metro with an app that requires cellular service, but maybe an irrational fear.

Posted by
18860 posts

When you get ready to board the metro, scan the QR code - these are in slightly different places in different stations, but always
easy to find. In the app, there is also a feature that, as you
approach, finds nearby stations and you choose which one you are about
to enter (saves stopping to scan in a busy station). Trams and busses
also have a QR code on each door. I truthfully think you only scan
for the metro, though. Edit: just found confirmation of this - so no
scanning (with a pass or travelcard) for trams, busses, or trollies
unless you can only enter through the front door.

Thats all a bit of a hassle. With a paper TravelCard you never scan or validate anything. Just keep it in your pocket for when asked. I got asked today when I got off the M1 Metro line. No problem.

BUT, I get my paper TravelCards at an office. There is one at the airport, one at Deak Ferenc ter and today I noticed one at the underground at Nyugati Station. When I buy them at the office they ask what time I want it to start. So, old school avoids Tom's problems. I have clear ID sleve that is hung on my key chain. I slide it in a forget it.

And here is lot of additional confusing information: https://bkk.hu/en/tickets-and-passes/budapestgo/

Posted by
237 posts

Thank you all for all your helpful information. I will be in Budapest for four full days and on the way to the airport on the 5th. So I must purchase a 72-hour Budapest-travelcard 5 500FT, 24-hour group 5 000 Ft (for my friend and I) Budapest-travelcard, and a single ticket 650 Ft.

Validating the e-ticket sounds easy enough
https://bkk.hu/en/tickets-and-passes/one-step-ticket-validation/#:~:text=One%2Dstep%20validation%20does%20not,need%20to%20open%20the%20app.

Posted by
4355 posts

Sounds like you have it sorted!

The link you posted is a new system that I haven’t tried yet that looks like they are aiming for easier than scanning a QR code - but looks like it still relies on data, I think. If not, let me know! I won’t be there to try it till Oct.

Tom, I guess cell signal failure is always possible, but if data goes out city-wide, there will be more people than just me with a problem. I have to have battery back up with me for general daily use anyway, so I don’t worry about that either. I have spent 3 weeks there in the past 10 months and never NOT had a cell signal - oh, except in my apartment, where I had good WiFi. I am bad with little pieces of paper or I would use Mister É’s system. (It’s the same reason I use an eSim instead of a physical sim.) If I were there longer, I would figure something out….. And good for me to know how the paper travelcard works! I probably won’t need it but I have friends who will!

Posted by
195 posts

LF, purchase the 15-day card (6.300HUF) for yourself and an 24-hour pass (2.500 HUF) for your friend.

You'll both need a special ticket for the 100E bus to the airport. 2.200HUF each.

Posted by
4640 posts

single ticket 650 Ft.

Are you taking the express bus 100E? It requires a special ticket, and is HUF 2200, about $6. I believe there is no app option for this, only contactless credit card when boarding. There are other ways to get to the airport, I saw a place where people were switching from rail to bus, but no idea how to do that.

I am a bit baffled by the comments about scanning things, I saw no place to scan nor anyone scanning, on either the metro or trams.

Edit: I see Christy beat me. Note that a contactless credit card is essential, I didn't order one in advance and regretted it every day.

Posted by
237 posts

@Christy There is no option for a 15-day card on the BudapestGO App. Thanks for the tip about the airport shuttle bus single ticket 100E. I can purchase this on the app.

I plan to put my iPhone on low battery mode and bring a fully charged battery pack, so hopefully my phone won't die. Big fan of Apple Pay. I plan to use Airalo on this trip.


LF, purchase the 15-day card (6.300HUF) for yourself and an 24-hour pass (2.500 HUF) for your friend.

You'll both need a special ticket for the 100E bus to the airport. 2.200HUF each.

Posted by
4355 posts

Tom, before boarding (sometimes upstairs and sometimes downstairs) is the little machine where you validate your ticket. It has the QR code on it.
https://budapezt.com/how-to-validate-ticket-budapest/

On trams and busses, it is on the door.
https://www.google.com/search?q=budapest+tram+qr+code&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjT2sO41-SAAxWdKN4AHanVCQcQ2-cCegQIABAD&oq=budapest+tram+qr+&gs_lcp=ChJtb2JpbGUtZ3dzLXdpei1pbWcQARgAMgUIIRCrAjIFCCEQqwI6BQgAEKIEOgcIABAYEIAEOgUIABCABDoECAAQHjoGCAAQCBAeUO8JWPlOYIJjaABwAHgAgAG2AYgByRqSAQQ4LjIxmAEAoAEBwAEB&sclient=mobile-gws-wiz-img&ei=OpfeZNPVIJ3R-LYPqaunOA&bih=719&biw=1112&rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS894US895&hl=en-US#imgrc=Xi4lYsFfaOTT9M

And yes, a contactless card is invaluable.

The 100E ticket can be done both contactless when you board or ahead of time in the app. And apparently there is a local bus that goes to the airport, so if your pass covered that time frame, it would be included. But it seems to make more stops and take longer. I have always just taken a taxi since I arrived late. This time I will probably try the 100E since I arrive at a decent time and am not far from Deak Ferenc.

LF, I think Christy just saved you the price of a glass of wine! I had missed the fact that your friend was only going to be there for 24 hours and a bit - I was assuming the entire 4+ days. Sorry!

Posted by
4640 posts

TTM: My only experience is with the pre-vaildated 24 hour group paper ticket, which had 5 bar codes-- what is done with those bar codes? Validation had already happened. Is there a scanner somewhere?

I assume what you are showing is for app-bought unvalidated single ride tickets that need to be validated? I can't see a logical reason for what you are showing otherwise. As an aside the Berlin app is entirely self-contained. There is no need to scan anywhere, and no need for cellular service. Your pre-purchased tickets wait in a wallet and you just initiate the ticket when ready to ride. Then a time bar is displayed showing beginning time and the time remaining on the ticket.

http://todoinbudapest.com/mobile-ticket-budapest-public-transport/

Surely this picture is in Prague? M1 in Budapest had nothing like this, used 4 different stations.

Showing my age but I can't for the life of me see anything but headache after headache by using this app.

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18860 posts
Posted by
4355 posts

First, apologies to LF for a slight hijacking. :)

Tom, while I am not sure the exact location of the picture for the metro in the link I included, the first picture in the first link looks exactly like the machine and location at Széll Kálmán Metro for the M2. It is at the top of the escalator. If you continue much further down the article, you will eventually come to a picture that shows the machine at a stop on the M1 (downstairs at platform level). Note: I only used this link for the first picture - I have not read any of the words in the article for accuracy. And definitely the photo in the link you included is in Budapest. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, to find it is from a station on the newly redone M3, which I have so far avoided since sections were being redone and replaced by busses. Maybe next time.

To be honest, since you had a paper ticket and didn’t need to do anything at all before boarding, maybe you just didn’t need the machines and so didn’t look. It is only when your ticket lives within the app that you have to do something before boarding the metro. This true of either a single ticket or a pass or a travelcard. If you use the app, you must use one of the provided ways to indicate which station you boarded from when you use the metro (not busses or trams). If you know how to use the Where’s My Station feature, you can even skip any scanning, waving, or validating - you just tell the app which station you are entering and it does the rest. If using paper travelcards or passes, this information is irrelevant.

I am far from saying this is the most efficient system and/or app in Europe. I am merely addressing how it works, so that no one will get caught while using the app and not having gotten their little animated image that an inspector wants to see. So I can’t see that a comparison to the Berlin system, while it may be accurate that it is easier, is of any use. Unless you plan to choose your cities based on how good the metro apps are. I have been to cities that make things easier, as well.

And not having used a paper pass, I was glad to read your experience about needing to keep all the small pieces of paper. I have friends going as a group in Sept. and probably the 24 hr group paper pass is what they will have to use - they don’t travel with data.

However, as I mentioned, I personally have trouble staying up with small pieces of paper (and other things, except my phone). :) So I just like using the app, even knowing its imperfections. Just a personal choice - wouldn’t deny that in some ways the paper is easier.

Posted by
59 posts

@Christy thank you for the clarification. Might be a stupid question but is a 15-day Budapest pass be used by non locals? My apologize I think I did not make it clear in my last post I will be traveling with my friend for the entire trip for 4 days and on the 5th day head to the airport with the 100E.

Please hijack away this is how we all can learn :-)

Posted by
4640 posts

TTM: thanks for the very thorough response. I hadn’t thought about recording the origin point and the use of that. The Berlin app has a 3 station cheap ticket that probably needs the origin recorded somehow, but I never used it. We also misread the app and bought the wrong tickets leaving Berlin Airport (but no enforcement consequence at 6 am).

It’s a noble objective that we can all pre learn and use all this stuff 100% correct from day 1 but it’s not going to happen every time. Like camera fines when driving, even trying one’s best to follow the law, one can still slip up and get fined, it’s part of the experience.

they don’t travel with data.

I haven’t either but it’s getting harder and harder, especially renting apartments. Meeting to get the key is a problem, can’t call for a taxi, can’t have delayed bags delivered without a phone number.

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4355 posts

WOZ/LH, the 15 day pass is for anyone. I can’t see that it would do a resident much good, so I assume mostly tourists buy it - even if they are Hungarian tourists. 🤣 There used to be a 7 day pass, but it recently went away.

So with both of you there 4 full days, you may be back to recalculating costs of multiple passes/cards …. versus ease of having 2 15-day passes. My brain may be fried, but I think it is only 600 HUF more to just buy 2 15:day passes. But each having a 72 hr travelcard, plus one group 24 hr travelcard works fine.

And then buy your 100E tickets to the airport.

Tom, yeah….it would be wonderful to be perfect. 🤣 I have made some whoppers of mistakes - most times, though, it just turns into a different, new adventure. And I gave up on traveling without data a little over a year ago and would never consider going back. With apartments, lost luggage, tickets, Ubers when I am worn out, keeping my kids happy when they need to know where I am, and a few reservations, it has saved me a number of times.

Posted by
18860 posts

Huh? Waaat? I'm walking. Or buying a paper pass in an office. (Ask agent questions, get answers, buy pass, put in pocket, travel, enjoy).

Tom. That group pass you got out of a machine, was each of tge 3 pieces tge same size and shape as a single use ticket? (About 1/2" x 2").

Posted by
4640 posts

Me E: We were splitting costs with another couple and I didn't pay for this. So I just briefly looked at the pieces.

  1. There’s one standard-sized small piece about 5/8” x 2" that’s double-sided. One side has a bar code, the other side had faint printing on it that I didn’t study but this printed side of the regular-sized ticket is what pleased the inspector.

  2. There’s a larger squarish piece about 2” x 2”, the equivalent of 4 regular-sized tickets placed in a row. One side has 4 bar codes, the rear is blank. The inspector was dismissive of this piece, and did not have a way to read the barcodes.

I didn’t pay attention to the receipt.

Posted by
18860 posts

I was just curious if it looked different because the machines only print on one size pieces of paper. Really doesn't matter, just a curiosity. I'm not too adventurous so I stick to buying stuff in person with a real person when I can.

In the past few weeks I have ridden some form of public transportation with 4 locals. They all had paper and two got checked (and me).