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Tips For Bus Travel In Hungary

„Volán“ means steering wheel and this is the name the state bus and road haulage company has born since Socialist times. The regional bus companies created after the change in political system have inherited the name and carried on the task of transporting people.

Usually purchase your ticket from the bus driver. Larger terminals also have ticket counters where staff may even speak English (rather than drivers most of whom are nevertheless very helpful). If you do not know exactly where to get off, try to choose a seat with eye-contact to the driver, or get in touch with fellow travellers who know their way around. If you have a good road map it also helps to keep an eye on the actual route.

By western standards the Hungarian bus network is unbelievably extensive. At present almost every settlement is still served by buses, including the most isolated corners of the hills and of the sparsely inhabited puszta grasslands which means that you can easily get off the beaten track. Note that for network reasons buses may take different routes at various times. This may result in longer travel times; as for the fare, however, you will always be charged the shortest route to your destination.

Like the rail network the roads are also centred on Budapest. This sometimes results in regional links made rather tiresome by unfortunate timetables or road connections. Regrettably the bus and train timetables are only partly organised around each other and there are differences as for the frequency of local runs. We hope that you are lucky with your destinations ;-)

Since 1990, most buses have already been replaced by comfortable and safe vehicles although on some stretches the original Ikarus buses are still in use and naturally the average age is somewhat higher than in the West.

Together with Eurolines partners Volán maintain a fair number of international lines. An up and coming coach company in Central Eastern Europe with competitive fares and service levels is Orangeways.