An article about Hungary’s main airport in Budapest and the other international airports in the country. I will explain how to get from the airport to Budapest quickly and inexpensively, or not so inexpensively, but most importantly, around the clock. There will be many tips and useful information that will save you nerves and even money.

International Airport in Hungary: General Information and List

Interesting Fact:

In Hungary, a country that spans just 300 by 500 kilometers, which can be crossed from end to end by car in a matter of hours, there are a total of 5 international airports on paper. But in reality, the situation is quite different. There are even more fascinating facts about Hungary, as discussed in the article.

In reality, there are only two full-fledged international airports:

  • Ferenc Liszt Airport in Budapest, the country’s main aviation hub.
  • Debrecen Airport, located in the second-largest city in Hungary, Debrecen. Prior to the conflict in Ukraine, it had an annual passenger flow of around half a million people. However, this has significantly decreased due to the discontinuation of direct flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg by the major European low-cost carrier, WizzAir. The airport is situated 6 kilometers from the center of Debrecen.
    • For detailed information on how to reach Hungary from European, Asian, and American countries by air, refer to the link.
    • For an overview of Debrecen, how to get to/from the airport, and things to see in the city, click here.
Debrecen Airport Hungary
This is the main building of Debrecen Airport, the second largest in Hungary. Can you imagine how the others look?

There are also officially three more international airports, which I will list for the sake of completeness:

  • Sármellék Airport, located near Lake Balaton.
  • Győr-Pér Airport, situated near the major city of Győr.
  • Pécs-Pogány Airport, located near the city of Pécs.

These three airports only handle charter flights.

They are not year-round operations, but rather seasonal. The largest airport among these three serves approximately 30,000 passengers per year. For example, at London Heathrow, the same number of passengers passes through in just 2 hours.

If you arrive in Hungary by plane, in 98% of cases, you will land at Budapest Airport. Let’s continue with more information about it.

Ferenc Liszt International Airport in Budapest: What a Tourist Needs to Know

This is a classic European airport of considerable size and Hungary’s main airport.

  • Opened in 1950.
  • It has two terminals: 2A and 2B, serving domestic and international flights.
  • It operates 24/7 and handles a passenger flow of 5 million people annually.
  • IATA code: BUD
  • Official airport website: You can find flight departure and arrival information there.
  • Facilities at the airport include currency exchange, shops, a duty-free area, and a large car rental zone in the arrival area. For everything you need to know about renting a car in Hungary, including pitfalls and nuances, refer to this link.
  • Public transportation from Budapest connects to the airport, but more on that below. The distance from Budapest Airport to the city center is 20 km.
currency exchange at Budapest airport
There are several currency exchange offices right in the arrivals area. However, it’s advisable not to exchange money there due to the unfavorable exchange rate. You can purchase a bus ticket online, so it’s essential to research this in advance.

Interesting facts about Budapest Airport:

Flights from here go to 54 countries worldwide. This airport is the main transportation hub for the low-cost carrier WizzAir, with hundreds of daily flights across Europe. If you’re flying WizzAir within Europe with a layover, there’s a high probability it will be in Budapest. This means you can take a stroll in the city if time permits.

Here’s an additional piece of advice: avoid exchanging currency at the airport, as the rates are quite unfavorable. It’s better to do this in the city. For comprehensive information on currency in Hungary, including where to exchange it and associated fees, consult this guide.

The duty-free shops at Budapest Airport are not the most budget-friendly. In general, prices for alcohol and sweets are lower in many European airports, but ultimately, it’s your decision whether or not to indulge.

Getting from Budapest Airport to the city: Bus, Train, Taxi

The most common question for all tourists arriving in Budapest is how to get from the airport to the city. Of course, you can simply take a taxi from the arrivals area for €50, €70, or even €100 and reach the city center in just 15 minutes. However, those individuals who choose this option likely won’t be reading this article. They’ll simply arrive and hail a taxi. For those who do want to know, I will explain how to get from Budapest Airport to the city center and back.

Train from Budapest Airport to the City

In my opinion, this option is rather pointless, but it exists, and some people use it. Here are the general details:

  • There are no direct train connections to the airport.
  • The closest train station to the airport is located 5 kilometers away.
  • The train route from the airport to Budapest looks like this:
    • At the airport, in the arrivals area, you board bus 200E (details about it will be provided below, including how to purchase a ticket).
    • You ride the bus 200E to the Ferihegy train station, located at coordinates 47.43736665959711, 19.22383334425648. The journey takes about 10-15 minutes.
    • At the Ferihegy train station, you can board any train, such as a commuter train, etc. There are around a hundred trains daily, departing every 10 minutes. Tickets can be purchased directly at the station, on the website, or at a terminal. The train will take you to the Nyugati railway station in Budapest (or, in English, the Western Station), located at coordinates 47.51050634517696, 19.057773227958904. The train ticket costs approximately €2-€3, depending on the time and type of train.
      • The Nyugati railway station is located in the center of Budapest and offers access to the city’s metro, buses, and trams.

A detailed article on intercity buses and trains in Hungary, covering everything a tourist needs to know, including how and where to purchase tickets, can be found here.

how to get from the airport to Budapest
This is the type of train you can expect to take to Budapest if you choose this option.

Why is this option considered less practical for most people?

Because the same bus, 200E, goes directly to the metro. There’s no need to get off at an intermediate stop and transfer to a train. Afterward, you would still need to take the metro to your desired station, making it much simpler to take bus 200E without transfers to reach the metro and then proceed to any part of Budapest.

The train option may be more appealing to those who want to leave Budapest Airport and head directly to Debrecen or Szeged without stopping in Budapest.

How to Get from Budapest Airport to the City by Bus

This is the most popular and convenient way to reach Budapest from the airport, but it can be a bit confusing. So, I will provide you with detailed instructions to make it easy for you to navigate.

Here are some general details to begin with:

  • From Budapest Airport to the city, there are two bus options: 100E and 200E.
  • They both depart from the same location, with coordinates at 47.432748826996715, 19.261203635163792. When you exit the arrival terminal 2A, just follow the signs, and it’s a short 50 meters away.
airport in budapest
In the airport building itself you need to follow these signs, I have highlighted with a red rectangle and an arrow where to look

Now, let’s dive into each bus, so you understand the differences and where you can purchase tickets.

Bus 100E Airport to Budapest

  • This is an express shuttle. You need a separate ticket for this bus; regular city transport tickets won’t work.
  • Bus 100E operates 24/7, including at night, with intervals of about 30-40 minutes.
  • There are only three stops along the route, all of which are near metro stations. The journey to the last stop, Deák Ferenc tér Square 47.49706731796201, 19.05562977799549, takes approximately 30 minutes, assuming no traffic. Deák Ferenc tér Square is a large square, so here are the exact coordinates of the bus stop to prevent any confusion.
  • As of the end of 2023, the ticket price is 2,200 Hungarian Forints, which is approximately 6 euros.
  • You can buy tickets at the automated machines right at the airport bus stop. The machines accept coins, banknotes, and cards. They don’t accept paper euros, only Forints. You can also pay by card directly to the driver; there is a payment terminal at the front door. Alternatively, the simplest way is to buy tickets in the Budapest GO app. The price is the same regardless of your choice.
airport buses budapest
Screenshot from the Budapest GO app. 450 forints is a ticket for any city bus, including 200E. But the bottom line for 2200 forints is for a 100E bus

A large article about public transport in Budapest: metro, buses and trams, a must-read for everyone who travels on both the 100e and 200e. You will learn in detail how to buy a ticket in the app or machine, how to validate it, and how to save on transfers.

It’s essential to know that

bus 100E is not part of the regular city transport system. Regular passes and tourist day cards don’t apply to it. You need a specific 100E ticket, as shown in the app screenshot above.
card payment in budapest airport bus
Starting from 2023, you can purchase 100E tickets on the bus itself. There are devices like the one shown near the driver, and payment is possible only by card.

Bus 200E from the Airport to Budapest

Now, let’s get into the details of bus 200E, everything you need to know as a tourist.

  • Bus 200E departs from the same stop as 100E.
  • 200E is a regular city bus that is part of the Budapest public transportation system. This means regular city transport tickets, passes, and daily tourist cards are valid on this route.
  • As of the end of 2023, the ticket price is 450 Hungarian Forints, approximately 1.2 euros.
  • You can buy these tickets only through the Budapest GO app or at a terminal at the bus stop. The bus driver does not sell tickets.

Here’s a useful tip:

There are 530 Forint (1.4 euro) and 750 Forint (2 euros) tickets that allow you to make free transfers to other city transport within 30 or 90 minutes, respectively. If you purchase a 90-minute ticket, you can easily transfer to the metro and avoid buying another ticket. In fact, you can often manage with a 30-minute ticket on the 200E bus. You can find more details on this in the article about Budapest public transport linked above. This will also help you understand when the ticket time expires, either at the end of your ride or upon entering another mode of transportation.
100e bus from budapest airport
Bus 100E and 200E look like the pictures above, taken at the Budapest Airport stop.

Both buses operate 24/7, with a few nuances. In short, the 200e from the airport to Budapest is perfect for those who arrive in Hungary from 5 am to 11 pm, when the metro is open. If you arrive at night, it is better to overpay and calmly take the 100E straight to the center.

Here are a few features of the 200E bus route from the main airport in Hungary:

  • If you’re arriving between 3:20 and 23:00, you can take 200E to its final stop at M3 Kőbánya-Kispest metro station (coordinates: 47.46344028397439, 19.14919833628358. From there, you can transfer to the metro and reach any part of Budapest. The metro opens at 4:30, so keep this timing in mind.
  • However, if you’re arriving between 11 PM and 3:20 am at night, all 200E buses go to a different final stop — Határ út. There is no metro service there at night. But you can find night bus routes (914, 914A, 950, and 950A) departing from that location, and the Budapest GO app can help you find these routes, schedules, and choose the one that suits your needs.

Everything I’ve explained about buses 100E and 200E from the airport to Budapest applies in reverse when you’re heading back to the airport. Below is all this information in one simple graphic for you to easily understand and read without the need for prior explanations. It can be challenging for some people to grasp without visuals.

100e and 200e buses budapest airport
Timetables and routes of buses 100E and 200E from the airport to Budapest

Taxi from Budapest Airport to City Center

A brief section for those with children, lots of luggage, or those who just prefer taking a taxi over public transport.

  • If you hail a taxi directly at the airport, it can be quite expensive.
  • Ordering a taxi at the airport’s service counter is also pricey, with fares reaching 70-100 euros to the city center, especially during nighttime. The journey only takes about 15 minutes.
  • All taxi drivers use official yellow cars, so it’s safe; no one will rip you off or take you to a strange place and bury you. However, they can earn a substantial fee. If you need a taxi and don’t mind paying, the drivers are professional and safe.
  • You can book a transfer from the airport to your hotel in advance online.
  • You can check the prices to your hotel on an international transfer service, where you can also make a reservation.
  • The standard price for a taxi from the airport to the city center is 30-35 euros. It can even be around 20 euros during the daytime. They meet you at the airport arrival area with a sign. When you book, make sure to provide your flight details.

In summary, that’s all you need to know about Budapest Airport and how to get from the airport to Budapest. If you’re traveling light during the day, bus 200E is the most convenient option. However, if you’re arriving at night, it’s better to pay a bit more and take bus 100E directly to the city center. And for those with a large family or a lot of luggage, there’s always the option of a taxi, especially if you book in advance online. If you plan to travel somewhere other than Budapest right after arriving at the airport, the train might be a good choice.

IMPORTANT: Below are useful links that will help organize your trip to Hungary and Budapest:

  • Flight: Aviasales – compares prices for flights among 30+ airlines flying to Budapest.
  • Tours and excursions:
    • Viator and GetYourGuide – the best services for finding tours in Budapest and Hungary with the largest database of activities in Hungary. They offer river cruises on the Danube, tickets to baths, and 1000+ tours (available in different languages).
  • Accommodation, apartments, hotels, hostels:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Hungary
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – the leading and largest car rental service in Hungary.
  • Travel Insurance: EKTA.
  • eSIMAiralo virtual SIM card in Hungary.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel