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Last updated : Nov 2009
Hungary Getting Around - Internal Travel
Hungary Internal Travel - Getting Around Hungary - TravelPuppy.com
Air

Currently there are no scheduled internal air services in Hungary, but they are planned for the near future.

River/Lake

There are regular services on the Danube and Lake Balaton from spring to late autumn. MAHART and the Budapest Travel Company (BKV) also operate ferries within the city centre, the Roman Embankment (Római Part) and at some crossing points.

Due to the opening of the bridge between Esztergom and Párkány (Sturovo) during 2001, the former ferry service on the Danube is no longer available. On Lake Balaton, a ferry operates during the summer at 40-minute intervals daily between Tihanyrév and Szántódrév, and between Révfülöp and Balatonboglér 0620-0000 hrs, at other times of the year the service runs 0630-1930 hrs. Contact MAHART for further details (see Travel – International section for contact details).

Rail

Services are operated by MÁV. All main cities are linked by efficient services but the facilities are often inadequate. Supplements are payable on the IC and express trains. Reservations are compulsory for IC trains and recommended for the express trains, particularly during the summer.

Tickets can be bought 60 days in advance on domestic railway lines, as can the seat reservations.

The most popular tourist rail routes are:

Budapest–Kecskemet–Szeged– Budapest and
Budapest–Siofok–Lake Balaton.

Rail-bus services are available between the main railway stations within Budapest at fixed rates (telephone number: (1) 353 2722, fax number: (1) 353 2187, website: www.mav.hu). Narrow-gauge railways are in operation in many parts of the country.

Cheap fares

Concessions are available for groups, minimum of 10 persons, children, families and pensioners. Children under 6 years travel free. Children aged 6 to 12 pay approximately a third of the full fare.

Balaton and Tourist Season Tickets (7 to 10 days) are also available. Contact MÁV for details (see Travel – International section for contact details).

The Hungarian Flexipass, sold by travel agents worldwide and by Rail Europe, offers unlimited first-class train travel for 5 days in a 15-day period or for 10 days in a 30-day period. The Hungarian Tourist Card offers discounts on rail, bus, taxi and ship services, as well as accommodation, restaurants and museums. The Hungarian National Tourist Office can provide further information.

Road

Traffic drives on the right hand side.

There are 8 arterial roads in the country, all but the M8 start from the centre of Budapest. Tolls are payable on some roads and all the motorways. Season tickets can also be purchased.

From Budapest the 2 main highways are the M1 from Györ to Vienna and the M7 along Lake Balaton. The M3 connects Budapest with eastern Hungary.

Generally the road system is quite good.

Bus

Budapest is linked with the major provincial towns. Tickets are available from Volán long-distance bus terminal, Budapest, and at Volán offices throughout the country. A bus season ticket is also available.

Car hire

Available at Ferihegy Airport or at Volán and Budapest tourist offices as well as at major hotels.

Regulations

Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in the built-up areas, 90kph (50mph) on main roads, 110kph (62mph) on highways and 130kph (75mph) on motorways.

Seat belts are compulsory. Petrol stations are frequent and there are no special tourist petrol coupons. There is a total alcohol ban when driving; severe fines are imposed for any infringements. It is obligatory to keep headlights dipped at all times when on the open/main road. Mobile phones are allowed only with headsets and child seats are compulsory.

Breakdowns

The Hungarian Automobile Club operates a breakdown service on main roads at weekends and a 24-hour service on motorways. For further details contact the Hungarian Automobile Club, Rómer Flóris utca 4/A, H-1024 Budapest (telephone number: (1) 345 1800 or 345 1755 (24-hour emergency helpline); e-mail: info@autoklub.hu).

Documentation

Pink format EU licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.

Urban Transport

There is good public transport in all main towns. Budapest has bus, trolleybus, tramway, suburban railway (HEV), a 3-line metro and boat services.

The metro has ticket barriers at all stations. The bus–trolleybus–tramway system has pre-purchase flat fares with ticket puncher on board. Day passes are available for all the transport modes in the city. Trams and buses generally run from about 0430-2300 hrs. Some night services also operate. The metro runs from 0430-2310 hrs and stations can be identified by a large ‘M’. There is also a cogwheel railway (Városmajor–Széchenyi Hill), a Childrens’ Railway (Hüvösvölgy–Széchenyi Hill), a chairlift and a funicular. Day passes and season tickets are available to purchase in Budapest.

The following chart gives approximate travel times from Budapest to other major cities/towns in Hungary.
  Road Rail
Sopron
3.00 2.25
Miskolc
2.30 1.55
Pécs
3.00 2.45
Szeged
2.30 2.20
Szentendre
0.30 0.50
Lake Balaton
2.00 2.30
 
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Hungary