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Confusion with Budapestgo app and the Budapest Card

I need some help with deciding what to do for our upcoming trip to Budapest. It is our first time there and will be there 5 days. I was told by someone who used to live there to get the Budapestgo app and load a 7 day travel card. But after looking at the Budapest Card, I think we are planning on seeing a lot of the discounted entry fee locations. So my questions are: 1) do I need both a Travel Card and the Budapest Card?; 2) Can I load the Budapest Card onto the Budapestgo app?; 3) If the Budapest Card cannot be loaded onto the app, how do i purchase the Budapest Card ahead of time?

Also, a related question has to do with the Budapestgo app. Do my wife and I have to both have it on our phones or can both tickets be accessed on one of our phones?

Thanks for any responses. I just recently came across this site and am amazed at how much information is on here. I had done most of our planning when i came across this, but added a lot more from it. I have already adjusted most of what i planned based on comments on here.


Posted by
18567 posts

Go to the BudapestCard website and look at the benefits and do the math; is all I can suggest. Compare against the cost of buying a travelcard and paying entrance fees. Some do find the BudapestCard a better deal, but very few. The BudapestCard does replace the TravelCard for public transport, but the length that they are good is different, so watch how long you will need it.

As for the App, I am old fashion and I carry a paper TravelCard in a clear plastic sleeve on my hotel room keychain. I dont want to screw with a phone at checkpoints, I just pull out the key chain, wave it and keep walking (did it twice today) while others are busy opening apps.

Can you put two cards on one phone app? No idea. Read the information page.

I think you can load the BudapestCard on the app, but again, I dont use it so not certain. You dont really need to buy it or the TravelCard (if you go that way) in advance. Tell me how you are arriving and where you are staying and I can tell you the closest office (or for the travelcard you can use a machine, but dealing with people is easier).

Sorry I wasn't more help. I know TexasTravelMom has run around Budapest on the BudapestGo app so maybe she knows more than I do. Like if you have to scan it every time you get on something?

EDIT: I do have the app, (even if I dont use it) so i checked it and didn't see the BudapestCard being offered on it.

Posted by
195 posts

If you're using the BudapestGo app from the BKK, you can have one ticket per phone, requiring that you both have an active phone (not in airplane mode, you must be connected). There are also some requirements for use such as scanning the pass as you board and boarding at the front only. You can read more here:

Like MisterE, I find it easier to use a paper pass. My phone has a clear case so I just sandwich my pass between the case and the phone. When asked by a transit inspector, I can easily show it since my phone is typically in my hand. If you're arriving by plane, you may purchase this ticket at the airport.

Regarding the Budapest Card, I think the majority here will vote against it. You'll have to work hard to get your money's worth.

As MisterE requested, please share what your interests are. He is generous with his knowledge of Budapest and has been helpful to so many of us on this forum. I'll stop now as he's probably blushing.

You are going to LOVE Budapest.

Posted by
4293 posts

I have not researched anything about the Budapest Card. However for BudapestGo, you cannot put two passes on one app. So you would each need a phone with data. And it can’t be used offline, so data is required.

Here’s a quote from the page for all passes: “ Please present your ticket for control or after scanning the inspector’s code if requested to do so. At metro stations and on buses/trolleybuses with front-door boarding policy, please show the image appearing after scanning the displayed code.” Sounds like you don’t scan. This is versus the wording for the single ticket: “ The digital single ticket must be validated before you start your trip by scanning the code sticker to be found at the metro station entrances and on the outside by the door of other vehicles. Please present the appearing animated image to access control staff on duty at metro station entrances or to the driver on vehicles where you must board through the front door.”

However a different page says: “ Passes - similarly to travelcards - require no validation after purchase. However, as you get on a bus that must be boarded through the front door or when entering a metro station, please scan the displayed QR code with your smart phone and show the appearing animation to your driver or to control staff. At metro stations, you can also use the “Metro stations” button to activate the animation instead of scanning the code, provided your app has that function.” So that sounds like you DO scan.

All busses, trams, and metro stations do have an easily accessible QR code available to be scanned, if you need it. I think I will keep scanning for metro, but I have quit for bus and tram. Paper or app? Personal preference.

EDIT: I found the little M sign on the pass in the app to touch that allows you to quickly choose the station you are entering - and eliminates the need for scanning.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your comments. We are arriving at Ferenc Liszt International Airport and are staying at Hotel Moments. The hotel is picking us up at the airport. We enjoy history, seeing local architecture and eating local food – especially the pastries. We were planning on purchasing the 7 day BudapestCard

Although I never purchase a tourist card in other cities I have been to, this one seemed logical to do – if it included the transportation. I calculated we would spend HUF 33,800 on entrance fees per person by going to the following: Basilica, Parliament, House of Terror, Opera House (just to see the architecture inside), Funicular, Mathias Church, Magdalen Tower, National Art Gallery, History Museum, National Museum and Szechenyl Thermal Bath. But if I have to additionally purchase a travel card for transportation, then it may not make sense to purchase the Budapestcard card.

Posted by
18567 posts

It covers transportation too.

All but the Funicular

When you exit the airport baggage area and go into the arrival hall, look to your left, and you will see the BKK storefront. You can purchase your card there.

Didn't see your dates, but if I am in town, I'll buy you a glass of wine.

Also, if you PM me with an email I have some tourist poop you might find useful.