Budapest Tourism Questions

Budapest Discovery Guide FAQ

On the Budapest Tourism Questions page you can find answers to common questions on travelling in Budapest, on what to do in Budapest and on what to see in the Capital of Hungary.

We have compiled some frequently asked Budapest Tourism questions and a comprehensible answer to each of them.

Should I look for a hotel in Buda or in Pest ?

It depends on what you like or on your style of travel. Pest is the bustling, administrative and commercial part of the city. It offers the advantage of being close from almost all the main attractions.

A large number of hotels in Pest are located near the most popular tourist attractions, metro stations and trams. In Pest, you will also find most of the luxury hotels, four star hotels and hostels.

Museums, shopping centres, nightclubs, art galleries, restaurants and a wealth of attractions make Pest a firm favourite for many locals and visitors alike .

Buda offers you the possibility to enjoy a quieter and leafier environment. In Buda, you will find a great number of guesthouses and pensions (panzió) and private rooms in small and friendly family run hotels.

Staying in Buda is a great idea ( actually I live in Buda and love it), however bear in mind that if your accommodation is not so near the river, you will most probably have to use public transport to get around.

If you want to stay close to everything with short commute times to the sites, dinner, shopping and nightlife I would suggest you stay in Pest. But If you want a more romantic atmosphere with scenic views stay in Buda.

How much money do I need to take?

Since all depends on the way you like travelling I am going to give you a minimal budget to start with. You can perfectly have a good quality holiday spending 20 Euros or less per day/person (without including the cost of your accommodation) and here is how:

  • Most of the sights you might want to see are free (Heroes Square, City Park, Castle Hill, Citadella, etc).
  • You can walk almost everywhere or buy a travel pass that you can use in tram, metro, bus and trolleybus.
  • You can easily have a decent meal for less than 10 Euros. Also, there are plenty of small restaurants or kebab shops where locals eat regularly that offer a fixed price lunch menu for less than 5 Euros.
  • If you get thirsty, buy water and soft drinks from small supermarkets (ABC in Hungarian) you encounter along your way.Surely, you will even have money left to enjoy a coffee or a beer (2 Euros).

Hopefully this minimum starting budget of 20 Euros per person/day gives you an idea of how much you want to spend and bring.

Do people speak English in Budapest?

Yes. People in Budapest speak primarily Hungarian but young generations might have a basic knowledge of English and will be happy to help you, they like practicing their English!

In most tourist areas, people speak fairly good English for you to get by comfortably. Although, I recommend learning at least, how to say please (kérem, pronounced (kay-rem) and thank you (köszönöm, pronounced (kö-sö-nöm).

Hungarians really appreciate people who make an effort to learn their language.

I would like to try Hungarian food, what would you advise me to try? ?

Hungarian cuisine has a wide variety of dishes and desserts, all delicious and very hearty .It is worth tasting them, especially the cakes, you won’t regret it.

To start you should try some of the most representative and most delicious Hungarian dishes:

  1. Gulyás leves (goulash-soup)
  2. Páprikás Csirke galuskaval (chicken paprika with homemade pasta)
  3. Töltött Káposzta (stuffed peppers)
  4. Libamaj (goose liver)
  5. Hortobágyi Palacsinta (stuffed pancakes a la Hortobágy)
  6. Töltött Káposzta (stuffed cabbage)
  7. Gyümölcs levés (fruit soup) usually available just in summer.


  1. Somloi galuska
  2. Diós rétes (nuts strudel)
    You will find a great assortment of strudels (cherries, cottage cheese, cabbage,plums..)
  3. Diós/Mákos Beigli ( nut cream /poppy seeds roll)
  4. Eszterházi Torta ( Layered cake filled with nuts cream.
  5. Dobos torta

Is there a strict dress code for attending a performance in the Budapest Opera House?

Not really. It is not compulsory to wear an evening dress or suit and tie but if you don’t want to stick out, wear at least a smart casual outfit. No one will tell you anything if you are wearing jeans but you yourself might feel out of place.

Hungarians are opera lovers since it is part of their cultural heritage. And when it is about going to the opera or to the theatre they know what is right to wear, so they dress up.

What is the Hungarian currency?

The Hungarian Forint. It is used everywhere. There are very few places that take Euro but it is advisable rather use Forint, the local currency, than Euro.

You won’t have any problem at exchanging your money, there are exchange offices in many places around the city. Most of them widely display their rates, so you can compare and find the best deal.

You can also use an ATM machine to withdraw your money, they are everywhere in Budapest and the transaction will cost you what your home banks charges.

What is the best way to get to/from the airport? And how much does it cost?

There are several affordable and quick ways you can get to the city from Budapest Airport.

Airport Minibus Shuttle

If you are travelling alone, and want to save some money on the transfer to the city, then consider to take the Airport Minibus Shuttle which provides door to door service taking passengers from the airport to any address in Budapest.

Tickets are sold at the Minibus Shuttle counter which is open 24 hours. One way ticket costs about 2,990 ft per person and a return ticket is 4,900 ft per person.

This service is probably less expensive than to take a taxi but will probably take you a bit longer in arriving to your destination since it usually shuttles several people at once. Nevertheless, this is a reliable service that counts with English speaking drivers and that will not surprise you with extra fees.

At returning, arrange your pick up by phone from your hotel 24 hours before your departure trip

Bus and Underground

Taking the bus 200E and the underground is the cheapest transfer to and from the airport. Bus 200E runs from outside Terminal 1 to the last stop of the M3/blue metro line (Kõbanya-Kispest).

From here take the blue metro to Deák Ferénc Tér stop. This is the metro station where all the 3 metro lines meet. Here you can change to yellow metro line (going to Heroes’ Square) or red metro line (going to Buda/Déli Palyáudvar).

Local bus 93 also runs from Kõbanya-Kispest stop to Terminal 1 every half hour; this is a slower service but a good alternative. Tickets can be bought on board or at the Terminal.


Definitely, taking a taxi is the quickest way to reach the downtown. If you are more than two travellers, it will be even cheaper than to take the minibus.

Outside the arrivals hall you will find the taxi service kiosk where you can give your name and address, then you will receive a ticket you need to hand in to the driver, it shows the fixed price to pay. Ask the driver to use the meter, and if at the end of your transfer the meter price is lower than the ticket price; do not hesitate to pay the lowest one.

This is a reliable service run by FõTaxi, the company that owns the airport transfer contract. There are also other trustworthy companies such as City Taxi (2 11 11 11) and FõTaxi. FõTaxi has a free toll line so you don’t need a coin or a phone card ( 2 22 22 22). To order a taxi in Budapest dial 00 36 (1) X XX XX XX.

All in all, if you are more than two travellers, taking a taxi is the best and quickest deal.

What are the real authentic or traditional Hungarian souvenirs and where can I buy them?

There is a wide range of traditional Hungarian goods you can buy for friends and relatives. The most popular souvenirs are:

  • Hungarian wines (especially Tokaji, a type of sweet wine made from grapes affected by noble rot )
  • Hungarian arts and crafts (wooden jewellery boxes, toys….)
  • Hungarian embroidery
  • Paprika powder (sweet or hot)
  • Hungarian Ceramics.
  • Chocolates filled with marzipan, a real Hungarian treat!
  • Turo-rudi ( cottage cheese fingers coated with chocolate)
  • Hungarian salami.

The best place to buy the most popular souvenirs (arts and crafts, goose liver, Hungarian salami, embroidery, ceramics and paprika) is the Great Market Hall, here there are lots of stalls offering a great variety of goods for all tastes. Hungarian wines and chocolates can be purchased easily in supermarkets or in specialised delicacies stores.

There are several other places where you can buy souvenirs in Budapest, for example there are some shops along Vaci utca and also a bazaar in the Castle district, where you will find the most common souvenirs such as magnets, t-shirts, key rings, as well.

If you are looking for something more exclusive then I advise you go for the well known Hungarian Zsolnay ceramics, dinnerware, tea sets, giftware, the fine Hungarian Herend Porcelain or the well known Hollóhazi ceramics.

The Great Market Hall (Nagycsarnok) is located in Fővam Tér in Pest, some steps away from Szabadsád Híd (Liberty Bridge). To get there you can take trams numbers 2, 47 or 49 or Metro Line 3 to Kalvin Tér, then walk towards the Liberty Bridge.

More Budapest Tourism Questions and Answers coming soon….

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