Transportation

WHAT ARE THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION USED DURING OUR TOURS?

Most of the tours are walkable. If not, then city public transportation is convenient and affordable. We can use also taxis or for maximum comfort we can organize a transfer by car, minivan or bus.

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ARRIVING TO THE HUNGARIAN CAPITAL

Budapest by AIR
The largest airport of Hungary, Ferihegy, is located at a distance of 20 kilometers southeast of Budapest downtown. Budapest Airport Ferihegy is served by many international airlines, as well as many low-cost European lines.
Budapest Airport was established by the Hungarian State on 1 January 2002 as a legal successor of Légiforgalmi és Repülőtéri Igazgatóság [Aviation and Airport Directorate], simultaneously with HungaroControl pursuing air navigation activities, in order to separate air navigation and airport operation activities. In June 2005, the State’s privatization agency initiated a tender for a concession. Seventy five percent minus one vote of Budapest Airport Zrt.’s shares were to be given to new private owners. The tender was finalized by the end of the year and the British company BAA, owner and operator of the major British airports, took over the management of the airport company. In 2007, BAA and a consortium led by HOCHTIEF AirPort formally closed and completed the transaction of the sale of BAA’s shares in Budapest Airport to the HOCHTIEF AirPort Consortium.
Budapest Airport handled over 894,000 passengers in September 2011, seeing its busiest month of September ever. The airport saw an increase of 6.1% in passenger traffic over September 2010 and an increase of 5.3% compared with the last record year in 2007. These latest results reinforce outstanding third quarter results that were well ahead of both the EU average and Budapest’s peer airports within the central and eastern European region. Budapest Airport handled over 8.9 million passengers by the end of 2011.
History
- plans and construction of Ferihegy 1 between 1939-44
- after World War II reconstruction began in 1947, airport reopened on May 7th, 1950
- the runway was extended to 3,010 metres (9,875 feet) in 1961
- the most important addition was finalized in 1985, the second runway (Rwy 13L-31R) built for the new terminal, Ferihegy 2A, is 3,706 meters (12,162 feet) long
- in 1998 the new Terminal 2B was opened
- in 2005 in an interval of 9 month Ferihegy 1 was completely reconstructed, serving now the European low-cost lines
- from 16th July 2007 Terminal 1 can be accessed by train as well from the Nyugati (Western) railway station.

In 2011, the name of Budapest Ferihegy International Airport was changed to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport to honor the great composer, who was born in 1811, 200 years earlier.

Sky Court, the new expansion project including shops, restaurants and lounges, also connecting Terminals 2A and 2B was opened in 2011. In summer that year, the refurbishing of the old terminal parts in T2 began.

Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport - official homepage
Google map of Budapest Airport
Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airportal
Transport: the ways to get from the airport into the city
Hungarian planes
List of airlines banned within the European Union

Budapest by BOAT
The river Danube, DUNA in Hungarian, plays an important role in the life of the locals and offers excellent opportunity for visitors to come to the city, to take part in a sightseeing cruise or just to spend time walking on the promenade. Our grandparents could swim in it, today a few still fish in it, others just admire its silver flow standing on one of the bridges.
International boat companies bring hundreds of visitors to Budapest on the river every week.

Sometimes it floods us, it makes us plan the city according to its desire. Budapest is the result of an ingenious planning that took into consideration the capricious Danube. An artificial embankment was constructed all the way along the city (28 kilometers, about 17 miles, exactly 1% of the total length of the river) to protect it from the floods.

MAHART Passnave Passenger Shipping Ltd - the biggest and oldest shipping company in Hungary
LEGENDA - sightseeing boats
Hungexpo: Budapest Boat Show
Wiking Yacht Club
Balaton Shipping Company Lake Balaton will have a separate chapter in this blog one day…For now, just a few words: it is the largest freshwater lake of Western – Central Europe. Not too far from Budapest, if you plan a longer stay here, you shouldn’t miss it.

Budapest by TRAIN

ELVIRA – internet database for train departures in Hungary in English

Hungarian Railway History Museum – a fantastic railway museum, the largest of its kind in Europe. It is an interactive museum, children and adults can also spend a great time here.

KELETI (Eastern) Railway Station:
Read about on Wikipedia
Photos from a bird’s eye-view
Find a list of Hungarian movies with scenes shot at the railway station here.

NYUGATI (Western) Railway Station:
Read about on Wikipedia
Find a list of Hungarian movies with scenes shot at the railway station here.

DÉLI (Southern) Railway Station:
Read about on Wikipedia
Find a list of Hungarian movies with scenes shot at the railway station here.

DRIVING in Budapest
Are you sure? Ring-roads with no left-turning possibilities, one way streets, parking fees to be paid everywhere and very expensive fuel these days :-( . If you come by car however, you should read in advance some useful information to get the most out of it. Get a good map or GPS, or invite us to guide you as your new Hungarian friend to join you on the front seat :-) . Make sure you keep an eye up on the buildings as well while you are driving. Impossible? Start walking then with us on a tour and discover the hidden treasures.

Highways:
- M1: Budapest-Győr-Hegyeshalom- Vienna
- M3: Budapest-Gyöngyös-Füzesabony
- M5: Budapest-Szeged-Röszke
- M7: Budapest-Lake Balaton-Letenye
- M8: Székesfehérvár-Rábafüzes
- M0: Budapest Ring

M1, M3, M5 and M7 are toll roads. Stickers for 10, 30, 365 days are available at gas stations, pre-purchase is needed. You can pay the toll through mobile phone or online.

The Motorway Portal
Online toll payment

Budapest LOCAL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY‘s website (BKV)

This is a lovely video about the old days of the Budapest transportation. Don’t miss the opening images with the Chain bridge in the background. That’s the original, before it had been destroyed in WW2.

METRO network of Budapest
The first underground train of Europe was the Metropolitan Railway in London. The Hungarian Millennial Underground was the first line on the European mainland but the very first electric subway in the whole world! There are 4 subway lines at the moment in Budapest.

Budapest Metro – Wikipedia article about the construction, development and usage of the underground network in Budapest.
Budapest metro stations – Wikipedia article with the list of the stations.
Trains that ran or still run on or under the streets of Budapest.
Millennium Underground Museum – in Budapest downtown Deák square, where the junction point of the 3 lines is, in the underpass.
Urban Public Transport Museum – Szentendre

M1 – Millennial Underground, yellow, from downtown Vörösmarty square to Mexikói út:
Stations of the yellow line
History and photos in English
History in Hungarian
History in Hungarian

M2 – east – west line, red, from Örs Vezér square to Déli Railway Station:
Stations of the red line
M3 – north – south line, blue, from Kőbánya-Kispest to Újpest:
Stations of the blue line

TRAMS of Budapest
History of Budapest tram system
Novels, short stories and poems – This is a very interesting homepage. Unfortunately it is in Hungarian only, but a very useful collection of tram stories from the Hungarian literature. No doubt, writers and poets were inspired through the more than one hundred years since the first tram started to run in Budapest by the atmosphere of a tram carriage interior, the endless parallel tracks…
Trams of Hungary
The introduction of the TW6000 in Budapest
Trams in Budapest in the 60th and 70th – watch a short film.
Tram-hiker’s guide to Budapest

COMBINO. It needs a separate section. Watch short films, learn the story of the newest tram of Budapest running on the oldest route of the city.
Introduction of Combino in Budapest
Kilometers of Combinos

TROLLEYBUSES of Budapest
The first one started to run in 1904. There are 14 lines today. On some lines there are modern, low vehicles, accessible easily with wheelchair as well, but sometimes you can see some very old models still running.

Look at the picture below. Hm… What do you think, when was this photo taken? Well, not even the Hungarians would know the answer to this question. But we will share this with you! It is 1949, and Stalin is celebrating his 70th birthday. Naturally, everybody had to celebrate with him, so in Budapest a brand new trolley route was given line 70 on this occasion! We still have this line today!
Want to know more amazing stories like this? We would love to be your guide in Budapest!
Stalin's birthday
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Trolleybuses – everything you ever wanted to know about the trolleybuses of Budapest in English. History, routes, useful and interesting information and much more for serious addicts.
Trolleybuses of Óbuda (Oldbuda)

The story of the MTB trolleybuses in Budapest

The story of the The ZIU-5 trolleybus in Budapest

The story of the The Budapest Transportation Company – Ikarus trolleybuses in Budapest

The story of the The Ikarus 60 trolleybuses in Budapest

The story of the IK-200 series prototype trolleybuses in Budapest

The story of theThe Ganz Electric Works – IK-280 trolleybuses in Budapest

The story of theObus – IK-280 trolleybuses in Budapest

Foreign IK-280 trolleybuses

Low-floor Ikarus trolleybuses in Budapest
Trolleybuses in Budapest – short film

Budapest Castle Hill Funicular
The funicular in Budapest is a very special vehicle indeed. Started to run in 1870 and was much faster than today. Destroyed during World War II, reconstructed and reopened in 1986 today it is a main attraction for visitors, offering a slow, panoramic tour up to the hill.
- length: 95 m
- maximum inclination: 48%
- height: 51 m
- capacity: 24 passengers/car
- speed: 3 m/sec
- operated by Budapest Transport Company, runs every day from 07:30 until 22:00
Photos about Budapest Castle Hill Funicular.
More photos about Budapest Castle Hill Funicular.

Budapest Cog Wheel Railway
cogwheel railway in Budapest
In the ’30s.

Another interesting vehicle on the Buda side of Budapest is the cog wheel railway. It started to run in 1874, was reconstructed since and enlengthened. Locals of the Széchenyi Hill and also visitors of Budapest use it daily, the hill being the departure point of beautiful hiking routes. The carriages were made spacious enough to carry bicycles in them.
- length: 3700 m
- difference in height between the two terminus: 264 m
- capacity: 82 passengers seated, 170 standing
History of the cog wheel railway (in Hungarian).

Children’s railway

children's railway in Budapest
This wonderful little train started operating in 1948. For 11 kilometers long, the little train takes you through the greenery of Buda, and it is still ran by kids even today! Without those time’s uniforms of course.
Here is the short movie about the festive inauguration. Kids take it really seriously!

The movie bellow is a documentary made in 1958, on the 10th anniversary of its running.

And nowadays…

If you are interested in green Budapest, this is a must! We can organize a very nice green Budapest tour for you that combines cave visits, hiking tours, train riding and gliding above Buda to the highest point of the city. A super program for those with kids or romantics :-)

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