How to use the Hungarian public transport?

Travelling cheap is one great way to save money. I assume that is the reason why a lot of backpackers and students choose to take the Orangeways operated bus from Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary. A single journey ticket only costs around 10 € (yes, you have to see the price to believe it) and during the 3-hour long journey you can watch DVD-s, in addition there is a hostess on board serving hot drinks free of charge for everyone...

So, lets just assume that you are a tourist taking the last bus from Vienna and arrive at Budapest around 10.00 PM. The bus drops you off next to the FTC football stadium (opposite the bus terminal, called Népliget) and there is a subway station right next to it so... why should you worry??? As you are prepared from the tourist guide books you are aware that Budapest has got a whether well developed network of tram, trolleybus, bus and ground suburban train lines as well as 3 subway lines. (However, the comfort level needs to be improved a bit! :)) Therefore there must be an easy way to get to your hotel/hostel by using public transportation. The only problem is that using it is not always as easy as it seems. And here comes the thing a tourist like you ought to understand about Hungary. Complicacy! :) To use the public transport system you need to buy your single journey ticket or pass before boarding: you can not get one from the bus driver neither will find any conductors on board.

So dear visitor, what do you do late in the evening so as you can use the public transport?
A) you try to buy a ticket
B) you are 'ticketless' and have the freedom to travel without a ticket
C) you stand frozen in the subway station and ask for help

The correct answer should be A... And yes, you can purchase a ticket at the "jegypénztár" window near the entrance or get one from the ticket vending machine. (Most of the time out of order...) And here comes the complicacy... I guess you have no Hungarian currency with yourself, do you? That is a big problem... Because for some mysterious reason you simply can not pay by your bank card at the cashier and there are no bankomats near the entrance. And the fact that nearly none of the cashiers speak any language except Hungarian... Oh... Is it supposed to be a conspiracy? Now I guess you are in trouble and choose answer C... (Definitely not answer B as the subway line is full off with ticket controllers who you should avoid! Believe me it can be quite humiliating to get caught for travelling without a valid ticket.)

Ticket vending machine - obviously out of order :)

So, instead of automatically start panicking, ask for help. Hungarian people are usually friendly and most of the young ones speak English. I am positive that they happily help you to find a bankomat or to buy a ticket. Actually it is just a 5 minutes walk in the subway to get to the other side of the road where you can find Népliget station and an OTP bankomat.

Hopefully, it works... :)


Great news people... great news!!! There is a brand new bankomat next to the Orangeways bus stop operated by OTP Bank.

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