Whether you take a first glimpse at its buildings from the windows of the plane or the train, this city of myriad highlights is likely to enchant you immediately. Enjoy the spell, but please always keep an eye on your luggage. Busy railway and bus stations, airports are frequented by opportunistic thieves everywhere, and Budapest vacation is no exception. Never leave your belongings unattended (especially not at the airport due to security considerations). If you travel in a group, one person should always be in charge of watching the luggage. If you cannot yet check-in to your accommodation, but would like to do some sight-seeing, baggage lockers are available at the airport and the railway and bus stations. Do not hesitate to take advantage of these services, for a few hundred Forints you can be sure your luggage will be in safe.
If you are not familiar with the city, it is easiest to get around by a Budapest taxi cab. In Budapest these vehicles are equipped with yellow number plates and usually have a yellow "TAXI" sign on the roof. The make and color of the cars vary; there are no restrictions in this regard AM cabs must be equipped with a meter, It should be on and should provide you with a receipt showing the exact fare upon arrival to your destination. The fare to be paid is the sum of the Initial fare, a per kilometre charge and a fee charged for idle time, if applicable. Gratuity is not included, but should be more or less equal to 10% of the total fare, if you are satisfied with the service provided.
The list of fares is visibly displayed on the back door of the cabs, on the right hand side. It should also be shown on the dashboard.
We suggest you do not necessarily listen to the "advice" of the taxi driver when seeking a bar or club, as they sometimes earn commission to take you to expensive establishments. Instead we suggest that you make inquiries about bars and dubs at your hotel.
Passengers arriving to Ferihegy airport should avoid cabbies offering their services in the terminals at rates considerably higher than the maximum tariff.
If you decide to take a cab downtown use the official airport taxi company. Zona TAXI, which operates at a fixed price between the airport and the four various zones of the capital. The zone tariffs range from HUF 3000 to HUF 4300 (14-20 EUR). You can order a Zona taxi by telephone before you arrive (this can be done, naturally, from abroad) or they have a taxi stand by the airport exit.
Budapest takes pride in its very well-developed public transportation network. Services are cheap, so you should consider riding a bus, a tram or the subway while getting around In the city. However, some precautions are warranted if you are travelling on a crowded vehicle, as these are often frequented by pickpockets. We suggest that you keep any articles of value and your purse in an inner pocket of your clothing. Never have a significant amount of cash on you. If it is absolutely necessary to cany large sums of cash, store ft in different pockets. Mate sure that your documents are kept in your pocket out of reach, and have your bags and purses zipped all the time. In the city it is not necessary to carry our passport with you, you can leave that inside your hotel safe; but you should carry some picture ID, your driving cense for example, It can also come in handy to have jotted down the name and address of your hotel so you can find it again after a tiring day!
You need a pre-purchased ticket or pass to travel on the vehicles of BKV (Budapest Transportation Services). When you get on the vehicle (or upon entering the subway station) you need to validate your ticket Machines either punch the ticket or validate it by cutting the coiner and stamping the date and time of travel on it.
To be able to get well acquainted with the city, we suggest that you opt for the Budapest Card, available at the major subway ticket offices, tourist information centres, Budapest hotels and travel agencies. It is valid for unlimited travel on public transportation vehicles for 48 or 72 hours, and also offers free or discounted entrance to museums and other valuable savings on tourist attractions.
BKV (Budapest Public Transportation Services) also has a wide variety of tickets and passes (including transfer tickets, subway section tickets, discount coupon books and one day tickets) to make travelling even more economical. These are sold at subways stations, ticket vendor machines, newsstands and tobacco stores. The widest array is available at the subway stations. The price list posted there offers abundant information to help you select the most appropriate ticket or pass. When selecting the applicable ticket, please note that a new ticket must be validated upon boarding each vehicle of public transportation (for example, when changing Metro lines)! The use of Budapest Kartya (Budapest Card) is recornmended! Tickets are often checked on the vehicles or at the subway exits by controllers wearing an arm-band and a photo-ID (Controllers usually work in pairs, but at subway exits groups of 4-5 controllers are also common). You should always keep your ticket till you exit the vehicle or leave the premises of the subway station. If you cannot show a validated ticket you are liable tow fined Besides those travelling without a ticket, a penalty must be paid by all those who present an invalid (expired, not validated or illegible) ticket or pass.
DRIVING AND PARKING
If you arrive in Budapest driving your own a car, we suggest that you leave it in the guarded parking lot or garage of the hotel. The most practical way of getting around the city, especially if you are not familiar with Budapest, is by public transportation. Should you decide to drive, always make sure that your car is locked before walking away. Do not leave anything of value in your car, not even an empty bag, objects or articles of clothing! In all cases, take your car stereo or the faceplate with you.
Budapest is divided into various parking zones, with different parking fees applicable in each (ranging from HUF 115 to HUF 430 per hour). According to the relevant regulations, parking tickets must be purchased Monday through Friday, 8am-6pm. You may park free of charge on Saturday, Sunday and national holidays. You may obtain your parking ticket from the vending machines. It must be displayed behind the windshield. It must be visible and legible from the outside. The minimum parking period is 15 minutes. Vending machines provide tickets according to the amount inserted. You may not stay longer than 2-3 hours. If you need to park your car longer, we suggest you seek the so-called 'park-and-ride' (P+R) parking lots. These lots arc located near major subway stations and bus terminals (head of Arpad Bridge in Pest, Nagyvarad ter, Ors vezer tere, Nepliget, etc). It is more convenient to continue your trip by public transportation from these car-parks.
Cars parked at unauthorized locations, without parking ticket or with an expired ticket art subject to penalty. Penalty tickets and/or wheel-clamps may be applied by the company operating the parking facility or by the Fdvarosi Kozteruletfelugyelet (Capital Public Area Directorate). A multi-lingual information sticker will be affixed on the car, informing the owner on the steps to be followed. There are many ways you can guard your car against theft. Always have your car alarm and Immo-bilizer on, park your car in a guarded lot and never MM any documents in the vehicle, Unfortunately despite all the possible precautions, incidents might still occur. If your car was stolen, please alert the police immediately at the nearest police station so they can try to recover your vehicle.
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