Budapest is one of the most fascinating and historic cities in the world, bursting with beautiful Roman, Gothic and Turkish architecture. If you feel drawn to Budapest, it’s time to start planning your trip. You can make the most of your spending money and get around easily with a Budapest travel card. Here’s how.
And while you’re saving all those pounds on transport, make sure you also get the best deal when you spend in Budapest with a Wise multi-currency account.
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BKK runs Budapest public transport services across the city, offering a choice of single tickets and daily passes for buses, trams and metro services.
Single tickets cost 350 HUF¹ (around £0.88), but this is only for an uninterrupted journey. If you want to change lines on the Budapest metro map, you’ll need the slightly more expensive transfer tickets. To save you buying a new ticket for every journey, it can be much more convenient to buy a Budapest Travel Card. These are sold by BKK and cost 1650 HUF (around £4.16) for 24 hours or 4150 HUF (around £10.47) for a Budapest 72 hour travel card.
Spending longer in the city? Maybe consider spending 4950 HUF (around £12.49) for a Budapest 7 day travel card. These cards are an absolute bargain, as well as making it super easy to travel around the city. Pick up your Budapest Travel Card from the airport, major metro stations or even from newsstands and tobacconists around the city centre.
> Top tip: buy your Travel Card as soon as you land and you can use it for transfers from Budapest airport to city centre.
The Budapest Travel Card is excellent value, but there could be an even cheaper alternative for the savvy city breaker. Get yourself a Budapest Card instead and you’ll get free or discounted access to the city’s top attractions along with free public transport.
The Budapest Card includes:
- Free entry to Lukács Baths.
- Free entry to the best museums in Budapest, including the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest History Museum and the Museum of Aquincum.
- Two free guided walking tours – in Buda and Pest, one on each side of the river.
- Discounts at famous thermal baths in Budapest, participating restaurants and attractions including Budapest Zoo, St Stephen’s Basilica and Budapest Opera House.
- Free Pocket Guide app – including handy Budapest tourist map.
This all-in-one tourist pass can save you a bundle, as well as making it a breeze to hop a metro or a bus, access must-see museums and enjoy a dip in Budapest’s famous spa baths.
Just like with the Travel Card, you can choose a Budapest Card based on the length of your trip.
Here’s the full price list²:
|24 hours||€22 (approx. £12.49)|
|48 hours||€33 (approx. £27.99)|
|72 hours||€44 (approx. £37.31)|
|96 hours||€54 (approx. £45.80)|
|120 hours||€64 (approx. £54.28)|
If you’re planning to include sightseeing and trips to museums in your visit, this combined travel and tourist card is probably the best value option to go for.
There’s even a 72hr Plus Budapest Card³ (costing around £56.74) available which gives you juicy extras including a free cruise on the Danube, ride on the Buda Castle funicular, admission to Matthias Church and even a free chimney cake!
All information correct as of 12/02/2020. Estimation of amount in GBP is calculated based on the exchange rate at the time of writing. Always check the up-to-date exchange rate when converting currency.
If you plan to change money from GBP to HUF when you land, you may want to avoid airport and hotel exchange bureaus as these tend to be the most expensive.
Instead, you may want to head to an exchange bureau in the city, to find the best places to exchange currency in Budapest. A really important point to remember though – currency bureaus tend to add a sizable markup to their exchange rates and they are all likely to charge fees. This could mean you get fewer Hungarian Forints for your money.
An alternative way to spend in Budapest is a Wise multi-currency account, allowing you to spend on a debit Mastercard with low fees and the real exchange rate.
Get a Wise debit Mastercard and you can spend in the local currency in Budapest – the Hungarian Forint (HUF).
This debit card is your secret weapon in Budapest, as you’ll automatically get the real exchange rate and only have to pay tiny conversion fees of just 0.35-1%.
There’s no hidden costs or commission, or any sneaky markup on the exchange rate. Simply hand over your Mastercard and easily pay for your goulash, or a souvenir from the central market during your trip without worrying about exchange rates or fees.
So, add this to your travel to-do list: get a multi-currency account with Wise and get ready for easy, low-cost spending in Budapest.
It’s easy to reach the city centre from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport by bus or taxi.
The cost of a taxi from Budapest airport to the city centre can be quite expensive, so one of the cheapest and quickest ways to travel is by shuttle bus. Take Bus 200E from the airport to Köbánya-Kispest metro terminal and your ticket will cost just 350 HUF (around £0.88 – the same as a single public transport ticket). It only takes around 25 minutes.
If bought or picked up from the airport when you land, you can use either a Budapest Travel Card or a Budapest Card for the bus transfer.
It is possible to reach the city centre by train, but you’d still need to take Bus 200E from the airport to Ferihegy train station first – so it could be worth just getting the bus.
Budapest is already a very affordable city, especially when it comes to public transport. But you can make every penny of your travel budget work even harder with a money-saving Budapest Travel Card or Budapest Card. And, don’t forget to see how much you can save with a Wise multi-currency account.
- BKK: Tickets and Passes
- Introducing Budapest: Budapest Card
- Budapest Information Centre
- Introducing Budapest: Getting to Budapest Airport
Sources checked on 12-February 2020.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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