How To Save
- Domestic Ticket: In spite of price rises and supplements the domestic rail ticket comes out as the most reasonable compared to international tickets even if bought with a Rail Plus discount, except for special offers like EURegio and €29.-&39.- tickets. There are reasonable connections from border train stations like Sopron, or Hegyeshalom (Vienna-Budapest) where you may purchase your ticket. Note that you must change trains if you want to use a domestic ticket; if you want to travel e.g. from Budapest to Vienna without changing trains, you are required to purchase a Budapest-Vienna international ticket.
The mileometer of MÁV stops at 500 kilometres: any rail trip within Hungary in excess of 500 km is available at the price of a 500 km ticket. In case of a brake of journey get a validation at the information counter after getting off the train - or from the conductor before getting off at a station without MÁV-Start staff.
- Free travel for EU citizens below age 6 and above age 65 with Volán Bus, MÁV State Railways and City Transports. Simply present an ID card of a EU member state as a proof of eligibility. In Budapest even Swiss citizens from age 65 are entitled to free use of BKV tram, bus and light rail. Only domestic travel is free, for cross-border rides to and from Hungary you must have a ticket, valid from the station where you board the train or bus leaving Hungary, or until the location of your first change within Hungary. Upon arrival the Hungarian section of the ride is not free, but once you get off the train or bus, any European Union ID card serves as a travel title.
- Budapest Airport to City by rail. If you hold a city transport pass, or purchase one upon arrival (at the post office or the driver of airport bus line 200E), the Ferihegy–Budapest City 20 minutes train ride is free!
If you require no city public transport pass, purchase a single ticket at the platform ticket machine for HUF 365 (little more than 1 Euro). Passenger trains depart for the Western Station every 10 or 15 minutes. Do not board an InterCity train unless you hold a MÁV-Start VIP or Prémium card.
Terminal 1 next to the rail station closed down due to the grounding of Hungarian state airline MALÉV. Terminal 2 has no railway link, BKV bus no. 200E run from Terminal 2 via Ferihegy railway station to the Kőbánya-Kispest metro terminal. By night bus lines 900 + 914 many downtown locations can be reached in early morning hours. If you do not hold a Budapest BKV travel pass, Hungarian railways now sell special tickets valid for BKV buses between Ferihegy rail station and Budapest Airport Terminal 2. Upon arrival at T2, depending on your city destination, it might be a good idea to get off the bus at Ferihegy railway station and take the train, or continue by bus to Kőbánya and take the metro or another bus line.
- Budapest city transport: network passes usually work out much cheaper than single tickets. (A single ticket is valid only for one ride on one single means of transport - with the exception of the Metro system where a ticket is valid for 60 minutes, no need to validate another ticket when changing to another Metro line.) There are passes for various periods of times, and in particular there is a group day pass valid for 2-5 persons travelling together, and a "5/30 pass" valid within 30 days on 5x24 hours of your choice! This is excellent if you stay longer in Budapest and do not need public transport all the time, or if also travelling elsewhere and returning to the capital. Budapest network passes are also valid for train and Volán bus rides within city boundaries, except for InterCity trains.
Regular Budapest BKK transport passes are valid for the boat lines (D11, D12, D13) on the Danube! The speedy north-south-links are also good for crossing the river between Pest and Buda, or for a quick pleasure trip.
- Hungary Card Plus: Hungarian Tourist Card holders are entitled to a number of reduced price tickets for the trains (2x2 half price return tickets second and first class and 2x 33% single ticket second class), busses between cities (3x50%) and boats. There are also free and reduced tourist passes for city transport as well as numerous other excellent offers for tourists including reduced admission to sights and discounted accommodation along with extensive listings. Costing around 30 Euros, purchase Hungary Card Plus (with the voucher booklet) at a major train or coach stations, or from a 'Tourinform' tourist information office (online ordering available if you have an address in Hungary).
- Rail travel on a friendly rate with InterRail - choose the number and the dates of travel days, valid in Hungary for both the MÁV and GYSEV networks.
- Railways reduced bike ticket price! Now any route within Hungary only costs HUF420, and bike tickets into nearby countries are also available for 5€ (Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia) or 10€ (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland). During the warm season some MÁV-Start trains on relations popular with bikers (Danube bend, Balaton south, Lake Fertő/Neusiedler) have bike waggons or large bike compartments. Watch the bike icon in the timetable or search for services with bike transport only. If the train does not have a bike compartment, 1 or 2 bikes can be carried only at the very front or rear of the train.
- MÁV START Club cards: Personal Start Club cards are also available for half a year - of interest if you stay in Hungary for an extended season and frequently travel by train; 25% RailPlus reduction for international tickets. 1. A "BahnCard" type annual 50% card scheme for HUF 34,900/year and HUF 24,900 for 'under 26', 5,000 reduction in case of prolongation or with a Hungary Card voucher. 2. With Bónusz Card for 250 th HUF you can ride all trains 2nd class during one year, pay only supplements and 1st class surcharge if required. 3. VIP Card for 280 th HUF is an all-inclusive individual rail travel pass, ride any train 1st and 2nd class (like Prémium but only the holder may use it). 4. MÁV START Klub PREMIUM Card for companies and organisations (not available to private persons) is valid for 1st and 2nd class, no supplements required, free optional IC seat reservation and business lounge use, anybody can travel with it! Prémium Card is an excellent option for frequent travellers with a corporate/organisational background. For less than EUR 1,000 +VAT, next to good management of the card within the organisation it can greatly simplify travel and reduce both administration and travel expenses. All Klub cards: On Saturdays another accompanying person not holding a card can travel for half the price.
- Major social reductions for MÁV and Volán: Children under 6 may travel for free, youngsters from 6-14 years of age with a 50% reduction. 33% discount for under 26’s for tickets valid from Friday 10am to midnight on Sunday and on holidays. EU citizens aged 65 or older may travel for free, simply present the ID document of an EU member state as a proof of eligiblity. Together with 2 minors 1-2 adult companions are entitled to a 33% discount, and if accompanied by 3 or more children of their own, one parent or both parents as well as all children will receive a 90% discount. Group reductions: Presently only a graduated reduction is available to large groups of 10+. Monthly or weekly commuter rail tickets are available for the relation of your choice. Remember Budapest passes are also good for trains and Volán coaches within city limits.
- EURegio - Special Hungary return tickets (ÖBB Austrian Railways / MÁV): travel with EURegio trains from Vienna, Graz and Wiener Neustadt to Hungarian towns and cities near the border, or other way round.
- Volánbusz NetPrice (allocated online tickets) and Bonus 10-40 (no alterations, return ticket, the earlier the cheaper)
- Orangeways is a private coach company with a fairly good service, a simple concept and friendly rates
- Accommodation: Reasonably priced private accommodation can be found on the homepages of numerous towns and cities. Most professional databases are less helpful. If you speak no Hungarian and no English info is available, then allow friends or spontaneously made acquaintances to help you in your choice or to make phone calls for you, or pay a visit to the local Tourinform office where they will be happy to help.