Please sign in to post.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation: Budapest, you will be asked to provide a picture ID to purchase a multi day pass. What they don't tell you is that you have to carry that ID with you when using public transportation, and it's an 8000 florin fine when the arm band ones stop you.

Posted by
21032 posts

That sounds correct. Did you get burned.? For me that would not be a problem since I always have my passport with me.

Posted by
12215 posts

Just on the 7 day or longer. It is because it is issued for one person's use and this is to prevent passing it around. Not an issue as you are required by law to have your passport on you at all times in Hungary ... so you have it covered at purchase and during use.

https://bkk.hu/en/budapest-7-day-travel-card/

Sorry the sales person forgot to tell you, but "they" have always told me the couple of dozen times I have purchased one.

Posted by
8 posts

To Frank Yes
To James: Thank you for the info. When we initially asked for a multi day pass, the clerk asked for our passports. We hadn't mentioned for how long yet. After the fact, we were told any photo ID would do. In our Rick Steves book, it mentions validating a multi day pass the first time used. Nothing on carrying a passport with you. I had to ask the clerk about validating, and she said no. Glad to hear you were told to carry but they said nothing to us about it. If I used my drivers license, I wouldn't have carried it either, unless told to do so.

Posted by
12215 posts

No validating on a TravelCard Rick.

Hey, this is an easy thing to mess up if no one told you. Another tip, dont toss you tickets until you are a 5 min walk from the stop you just got off at. They can and could ask to see your validated ticket 300m after you get off. You better still have your used ticket. The passport thing is real, and I suppose if you were ever in a situation involving the police, it might be a good idea to be in compliance.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks James. The things one finds out after the fact, and if you read every web site there is for just one country you'd never have time to go there. That's why I buy travel books, it just takes a few months of study and I think that's what Rick Steve's travel is all about. My point of this entry is in hope it makes it to the update so it doesn't happen to another American tourist.

Posted by
1604 posts

If you haven't already done so, I hope you'll send feedback directly to the Rick Steves organization about this issue. There's a place to give feedback in the online shop under the specific guidebook you're using.

Posted by
12215 posts

No book can cover every detail. My tactic is to remember I am not at home and there is no way I can act like I was. I always error on the safe side. That's why I know my passport should always be on me. I say "know" cause I don't do it in Hungary. Spent so much time there the last 15 years that I am careless, but if something does happen, I will just grin and know it was my fault. But, then, like at home in the States, I have a support network in Hungary .... and a bank account ;-).

Also, its these small details that the forum is great for. Still, I've written about TravelCards a dozen times here and never once mentioned needing an ID on 7 day+ cards. My bad.

And I have also paid a fine on the metro, not too many years ago. Validated the receipt instead of a ticket ... they look identical. The metro cop followed me out of the station and another half block to nail me.

I suspect anytime you purchase anything that ends up with your name and ID printed on it, you had better have that same ID on you when you use it.....

Posted by
1889 posts

...and if you read every web site there is for just one country you'd never have time to go there

Isn't that just the truth!

Sorry to hear that you got fined. I remember how sheepish I felt when I was fined in Italy... and I knew I was supposed to validate the train tickets...I just forgot on that train. My bad. Still it stinks to waste money.

Ok...ID...(and validate.) Got it. Thanks for the heads up / reminder!!

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks tp all. All good points. And yes, first thing I did when I got back was to go to Rick Steve's feedback to suggest keeping that ID used for a pass on you at the update site. So far, no results. I always go to the update sites before leaving for Europe myself. The time spent with the arm band ones caused us to miss the opera so the 90$ in fines was just the beginning. We also had to walk back to our apt. rather than taking transportation. I'm just hoping other American tourists don't get caught in the same situation.

Posted by
5580 posts

My memory of getting a 7-day travel card in Budapest (2018) was punching an ID number into a ticket machine outside a station.

Posted by
12215 posts

Laura, then you have to carry the ID that matches the number you put in.

The closest thing to validation that goes with those cards is putting the start date and time on them ... which can be automatic if you start with the time of purchase.

Jesseree, 3 of you? So sorry.

Posted by
2119 posts

Without being dismissive of your situation, I will note that 8000 Hf = 26.67 USD. Enough to notice. But not enough to destroy your vacation, IMHO.

Posted by
12215 posts

But it was 3 of them! Nearly an $85 mistake. That hurts. Not to sure why it affected the Opera visit. Only took me about 60 seconds to look embarrassed, pay, get the receipt.

Posted by
8 posts

There were 3 of us and it took the arm band one about 5 minutes each to write up the offense, and to pay the fine on some hand held gadget. Once letting us go, we had to go back to the apt. to pickup our passports. Couldn't take the subway, they blocked our path. So we had to walk home, about 30-45 minutes, Then, we would have had to transport back to the Opera, and it was too late.

Posted by
21032 posts

We have had the carry/not carry passport discussion to adnauseam. I fall on the side better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I just don't understand the enormous reluctance to carry the passport. I carry a drivers license everyday even if I don't drive. I sorry about your situation but it does highlight the importance of id and especially the passport when traveling.

Posted by
12215 posts

That's too bad. You could have purchased 3 tickets for about 1500 forints and taken the metro ... no passport required on individual tickets ... but I understand.

Posted by
8 posts

Yeah, I didn't think about just purchasing single tickets until later, wasn't thinking clearly at that point. My last comment on passport is we've always been warned about it being a target for theft or just losing it. Rick Steve's book is always suggesting a money belt for cash and credit cards, which I do. We don't carry keys, wallets, purses, etc out of fear of pickpockets. And for 15 years, it's never been an issue.

Posted by
12215 posts

And it never will be an issue .... till it is .... then it could be a life saver. But I understand those that differ. About 15 years ago I started carrying a cross body shoulder bag, not much larger than a passport and about 1.5 inches thick. My life is in it when I travel. It's one of those slash proof, double latch Pacsafe bags (they dont make this small one any longer). Never comes off and it's such a habit to wear, I just dont notice it any longer. I've only needed my passport once in all those years, but it would not have been a happy experience without it that one time. Still, I understand your point of view.