Arriving at Budapest Airport -­ How to Exchange Money and Where to Buy Bus Tickets

Tourists traveling to Hungary for the first time may be a bit confused about currency issues and the public transport system. Here are some suggestions to help things go smoothly.

Exchange at the Airport

Be aware! If it’s not completely necessary, don’t change cash at the airport. The exchange rates there are ludicrously unfavourable. Unfavourable for you, not for them.

Don’t go for their “No Commission” offer.

In other parts of the city including the city center you can find fair exchange rates.

It’s a much better option to get Hungarian Forints (HUF) cash from the ATMs at the airport.

Read more about currency issues here.

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ATMs at the airport

Where to buy tickets for the bus and metro

Both on Terminal A and B there are BKK (Centre for Budapest Transport) offices and newspaper stands where you can buy your public transport tickets. This is the cheapest way to get to the city center, but it is also the slowest and most challenging.

Read more about the suggested route here.

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Newspaper stand at the airport

The BKK Ticket Office is open from 8 till 22 (10PM) on Terminal A, and from 9 till 21 (9 PM) on Terminal B. The newspaper stand on Terminal A is open from 8.30 till midnight. The terminals are a 3 minute walk from each other. Both the ticket offices and the newspaper stands accept bankcards and HUF cash, but no EUR cash.

The second option is to buy tickets is from the ticket vending machines that are installed in the bus stop of bus 200 E between Terminal A and B. They feature touchscreens in multiple languages and they are easy to use. Bankcards and HUF cash are accepted but they don’t accept banknotes with a higher denomination than 2000 HUF. The machines are accessible 24 hours a day .

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Ticket vending machine at the airport in the bus stop

The third option is to buy a ticket from the bus driver on spot. Instead of 350 HUF it will cost you 450. Buying a ticket from the driver is not an option on all buses in Budapest but it is possible on the airport bus.

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Bus stop 200E at the airport

Your whole trip to the city center with public transport will cost you 700 HUF (one ticket to the bus 200 E, and another to the metro 3. Each costs 350 HUF) but it may vary from the exact place you go. It’s cheaper with a transfer ticket (costs 530 HUF).

For a more confortable transfer take a taxi that will cost you roughly 7800 – 8800 HUF depending on the actual traffic. Send us an email to info@katonaapartments.hu if you’d like us to book one for you.


About the authors: Virág and János

Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.

 

Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/

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5 thoughts on “Arriving at Budapest Airport -­ How to Exchange Money and Where to Buy Bus Tickets

  1. Thanks for such detailed information! Bus travel can seem so daunting in a country foreign to you. And you are so right about exchanging money a the airport unless you use an ATM. It’s like donating away your mad money when you do.

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  2. Thank you for your comment. I totally agree. Bus travel can seem daunting but the public transport system in Budapest is fantastic if you have enough information about it.
    Unfortunately many people change at the airport. They notice their mistake just after arriving to the city and see the rates there. It can even mean a 20 pc. loss.

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  3. Hi. I found your blog by accident while researching about Budapest. Can a tourist buy the 24 hour travel card instead of the much expensive city card (the one with discounts to museums, attractions, etc)? And will the BKK ticket office at the airport sell them?

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    • Hi. Thank you for your questions. A 24 hour BKK travel card is probably the better choice unless you have exact plans which museums you want to visit.
      In case your accommodation is in the city center, the best solution may be to buy two BKK tickets for 350 HUF each. One for the bus 200 E and one for the metro 3.
      I should know the address of your accommodation to give you a tailor made suggestion for transport.
      I hope I could help. Enjoy Budapest,
      Virag : )

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      • We are staying at an AirBnB near the Nyugati station. Hubby and I decided to just take a taxi from the airport because we have 2 big bags and carry-ons. But we plan to take the Metro and Tram to see the city so a 24 or 72 hour BKK travel card is our best option. Now, I have been reading about taking public transport in Budapest. Validating the tickets is a very important step that is most often missed by a lot of tourists. Just need to clarify this one, if we get the 24 or 72 hour travel card (not the one way ticket), do we still need to have that validated?

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