Budapest public transport tickets: how much, where to buy, and what type is the best?

If you visit Budapest, it is almost unavoidable to buy a public transport ticket to discover the city quickly.

In Budapest, there are different types of public transport tickets, depending on the duration of stay. It is good to discover which one is worth buying if you stay for just one day or a couple of days.

Budapest public transport tickets: how much, where to buy, and what type is the best?

If you visit Budapest, it is almost unavoidable to buy a public transport ticket to discover the city quickly.

In Budapest, there are different types of public transport tickets, depending on the duration of stay. It is good to discover which one is worth buying if you stay for just one day or a couple of days.

BKK tickets

Budapest is quite a big city. Depending on the location of your accommodation, you can consider buying BKK tickets. If you stay downtown and like to explore the beauty of the main city, many attractions are reachable by foot. But a public transport ticket is always handy in your pocket, even if you stay just for one night in Budapest.

Single ticket

The single ticket costs 350 HUF if you buy it from the purple-coloured BKK ticket vending machines, but you can also buy it from the bus or tram driver; then it is a bit more expensive, costing 450 HUF. It can be used for one trip, no matter the distance. For example, you can go from one terminal to another with a single ticket. The 105 bus takes a very long route, but if you get on the bus at Clark Ádám Square, located under the Buda Castle quarter, you can visit Heroes Square via Andrássy Street. The single ticket is only worth it if you want to use public transport occasionally. It is important to validate your single ticket, otherwise you may be fined!

Block of 10 single tickets

The collection ticket costs 3000 HUF, and it contains ten single tickets. Be aware that if you use one ticket to go to a destination, you must use another ticket when you return. It seems like a lot, but it can sell out quickly if you use it many times. This type of ticket is recommended for those who live in the city centre and only want to visit a few attractions by public transport. For example, you can go up to the Buda Castle District with the 16 bus, and after that, visit the Jewish Quarter and then back to the accommodation. You will still have around six tickets for the next day to visit for example the Heroes Square by the underground tram or bus.

24-hour individual Budapest-travelcard

If you know yourself, as a spontaneous traveler, who likes to decide when and where to go according to his or her mood, then the 24-hour ticket is the best choice for you. The 24-hour ticket costs 2500 HUF, and it works exactly as the name suggests: it can be used for 24 hours from the time of purchase. It’s like buying a day pass, it can be used on any public transport within Budapest. It is a perfect choice for a 1- to 2-day trip.

24-hour group-travelcard

If you visit Budapest with your friends or family, you can even buy a 24-hour group travel card for 5000 HUF. The maximum number of people in the group is five, but if you’re visiting Budapest with a group, it’s an excellent option. The same applies to all members of the group as, in the case of the individual 24-hour ticket, they can board any type of public transport within Budapest. The point is that all persons must be present during the trip; the ticket does not work individually.

72-hour individual Budapest-travelcard

Luckily, in Budapest, they also thought of those who spend several days in the city and discover the sights at a comfortable pace. If somebody spends 2-3 nights in the capital city of Hungary, a 72-hour Budapest travel card is recommended. As the name suggests, this ticket can be used for 72 hours on any public transport within Budapest.

If you have the opportunity, it’s worth taking time to explore the city, because it contains many interesting sights. The Buda Castle District, for example, can be a full-day program, but it’s worth getting “lost” for hours in the Jewish Quarter, or just wandering around downtown Budapest, discovering some mini-statues of Kolodko, and going for a drink in a ruin bar. If you visit Budapest for a longer time, you can look around the bustling Great Market Hall on Fővám Square or even try out one of the thermal spas. The Gellért Thermal Bath and Rudas Thermal Bath, located close to downtown, were both built in Buda, near the Danube River, at the foot of Gellért Hill. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is further, located in Pest in the Városliget (City Park), but it can also be reached with the M1 subway.

Where do I buy the tickets and public transport passes?

It is easy to buy tickets for Budapest public transport. You can buy tickets at the ticket offices of several metro stations, which are usually located next to the escalators, but they can also be bought from purple ticket machines. The ticket vending machines are mostly located in the subway, but can also be found near bus stops or tram stops. There is also a BKK mobile app for online tickets.
If you are in a hurry or didn’t buy a ticket for some reason, it is possible to buy a single ticket on the spot. Bus drivers sell those, but not all vehicles have this option, so it is highly recommended to buy the ticket previously at the purple BKK ticket machines. It’s not worth playing the wag, because you have to pay fines if you get caught by the inspectors. It is important that the pass does not need to be validated as it has an expiration date, but the single ticket must be validated. There is a ticket marker on all public transport.

Now you know roughly how public transport works in Budapest. If you feel like visiting Budapest, contact me and let’s explore the city together!