I will tell you about taxi in Hungary in general, and in Budapest in particular. You’ll learn about prices, tariffs, where to find airport transfers, and I’ll share tips and hacks that will save you time and money. You’ll also find out about the most common mistake tourists make that can end up costing them a lot.

Taxi in Hungary and Budapest

The article is concise, so let’s get straight to the point:

  • All taxis in the country are legal. There are many taxi services, but no unified service.
  • In Budapest, almost all taxis are classic yellow cars with checker patterns. In other cities, cars may not be yellow, but they always have checker patterns on the roof.
  • A yellow license plate indicates an official taxi, not an illegal one that simply slapped on a checker pattern.
Taxi in Hungary
Official taxis in Budapest look like this: checker patterns and a yellow license plate.

Useful to know:

Hungary doesn’t have a unified taxi-hailing service like Uber. When Uber came, taxi drivers went on strikes nationwide because Uber had significantly lower rates, and the government sided with the taxi drivers. Result: Uber left the country.

Today, every major taxi service develops its app for calling taxis.

  • The largest taxi service in Budapest is Főtaxi (Fő means “main” or “central” in Hungarian): official website – https://fotaxi.hu/en/. Download the app, and it’s easy from there.

Don’t forget that you need internet to fully use the app in Budapest. Here’s a useful article on mobile communication and internet in Hungary, rates, operators, where a tourist can connect.

You can also confidently hail a taxi on the street with a wave of your hand. If they are yellow cars with yellow plates, you’ll pay the same fares as in the app.

Taxi fares in Budapest

Let’s talk about prices and fares in Budapest; fares in other cities are slightly lower. By the way, all taxi service fares in Budapest are the same.

  • Starting fare – 1100 forints, almost 3 euros (the minimum fare for a trip up to 2.5 km).
  • 1 km = 440 forints, approximately 1.2 euros.
  • If the car is stuck in traffic, and the average speed drops below 15 km/h, a per-minute tariff is applied = 110 forints/minute, approximately 0.3 euros.
taxi rates in Budapest
Fares for taxis in Budapest in one snapshot.

Generally, there are plenty of taxis on the streets of Budapest and other cities. Prices are reasonable, an average 5-6 km trip in Budapest usually costs 6-7 euros, even with some traffic.

Airport transfers

The only difference between a taxi and a transfer is the distance. Taxis are for within the city, while transfers usually go beyond the city, to the airport or another city.

Budapest Airport has excellent transportation connections with the capital. A regular city bus runs to the airport around the clock, with some exceptions. Details on how to get from the airport to Budapest using public transportation are in the article: Budapest Airport.

If you are traveling with a large family or a lot of luggage, then of course, a taxi is the only reasonable option. You can book an airport transfer on a specialized platform like Intui – they’ll meet you with a sign in the arrival zone and help with luggage. The most reasonable rates.

taxi in hungary prices uber app
This is, for example, a taxi in Szeged. Outside Budapest, many taxis are not yellow. If the license plate is yellow, the taxi is official, regardless of the car’s color.

Travel Tips

A few general tips that will answer all your questions:

  • The metro in Budapest, and public transportation in general, is top-notch. There are even night buses that run 24/7. You can reach almost any part of the capital without traffic. In general, getting around Budapest is easy, even without a taxi.
  • Hungary is a completely safe country. Taxis, if you ride with official ones with yellow plates, are also entirely safe. No one will rob you or drag you into the woods. More about safety in Hungary and what tourists should be aware of.
  • However, the small tricks that all taxi drivers use worldwide are still relevant here. If you are not using the meter but hailing a taxi from the curb, negotiate the price immediately. A little bargaining is appropriate.


2,000 and 20,000 forint bills look very similar. At night, in the twilight in the car, they may seem the same color. Don’t confuse them, or you’ll end up paying 10 times more for your trip. This is the most common mistake of drunk tourists who take taxis at night in Budapest.

In conclusion: you can easily do without a taxi in Hungary, but if you still need one, use the app from the main service in Budapest or book an airport transfer in advance. If you do catch a taxi on the street, go for the yellow cars with yellow plates, and you’ll have success 🙂

Safe travels!

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