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Other than the airport, all points of arrival are fairly central and most within walking distance or just a few stops by metro from downtown Pest. The city's three metro lines and three major roads meet at the major junction of Deák tér in Pest, making this the main transport hub of the city. Depending on when and where you arrive, it's definitely worth considering either arranging somewhere to stay before leaving the terminal or station (there are reservation services at all of them), or stashing your luggage before setting out to look for a room.

By air

Ferihegy Airport , 20km from the centre, has two passenger terminals next door to each other: Ferihegy 2A, serving Malév and Malév's joint flights with other airlines; and Ferihegy 2B, which is used by the rest. A shuttle bus ( Centrum Minibusz ; every 30min, 5.30am-9pm; 800Ft) runs from outside the terminal buildings to the Kempinski Hotel on Erzsebet tér in downtown Pest; tickets can be purchased on board. Alternatively, the more expensive Airport Minibus will take you directly to your destination. Tickets (1800Ft) can be bought in the luggage claim hall while you are waiting for your bags, or in the main concourse; you give your address and then have to wait five to twenty minutes until the driver calls your destination. Public transport might be more inconvenient but it's not much slower, and it's certainly cheaper: take the Reptérbusz from the stop between the two terminals and stay aboard until the final stop, the faded, red-and-yellow metro station at Kobánya Kispest; here you switch to the blue metro line, alighting ten stops later at Deák tér. It takes about 45 minutes and costs 100Ft for each of the two tickets. Tickets are available at the airport information desk or from the machine by the bus stop -buying one from the driver on board will cost you 120Ft. Airport taxis are mafia-controlled and known to physically threaten other cabs that enter their patch. They charge way above the odds, with fixed rates of 5000-6000Ft, depending on your destination - almost twice the rate of other cabs - though they will charge unsuspecting foreigners many times that. You can order normal city cabs at Ferihegy's tourist offices , who can also reserve accommodation in Budapest for you.


By train
The Hungarian word pályaudvar (abbreviated to pu . in writing only) is used to designate the seven Budapest train stations , only three of which are on the metro and of any use to tourists. Translated into English, their names refer to the direction of services handled rather than location, so that Western Station ( Nyugati pu .) is north of downtown Pest, and Southern Station ( Déli pu .) is in the west of the city; Eastern Station ( Keleti pu .), however, is to the east of the city centre.

On the northern edge of Pest's Great Boulevard, Nyugati Station has luggage lockers (200Ft) and a 24-hour left-luggage office (160Ft or 320Ft depending on size) next to the ticket office beside platform 13. You can change money and book rooms at Cooptourist (Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm) and Budapest Tourist (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-noon), down in the underpass in front of the station near the entrance to the metro, or at the Budapest Tourist Information Office, by the police office ( Rendorség ) to the left of the main entrance of the station (daily 9am-8pm; tel 1/302-8580), which is also good for information on the city. To reach Deák tér, take the blue metro line two stops in the direction of Kobánya-Kispest.

Trains from Vienna's Westbahnhof terminate at Pest's Keleti Station on Baross tér in the VIII district. This station is something of a hangout for thieves and hustlers, and there are plenty of police about checking people's ID. In summer there are long queues at the 24-hour left-luggage office (160Ft or 320Ft), and there are also long waits at Ibusz (Mon-Fri 8am-4pm) and the Tourist Information Centre (daily: June-Aug 7am-11pm; Sept-May 7am-9pm), both in the Lotz Hall at the side exit of the station down platform 6. Keleti is three stops from Deák tér by the Déli pu.-bound red metro line.

A warning about taxis at Keleti Station: the unmarked taxis lining the road outside the doors of the station are worth avoiding, despite their drivers wearing badges saying "official taxi". Instead, look out for taxis from the companies we've listed, such as Fo taxi, which you can find by going out the main doors and turning right.

Déli Station is 500m behind the Várhegy in Buda. Accommodation and exchange are handled by Budapest Tourist (Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-4pm), in the row of shops down the steps past the metro entrance (left-luggage is around the corner). Déli Station is four stops from Deák tér on the red metro line.



By bus
The majority of international bus services wind up at the Erzsébet tér bus station , just by Deák tér on the edge of downtown Pest. However the construction of a new conference centre on Erzsébet tér means the bus station will eventually move elsewhere, probably to the Népliget site, although exactly when this will happen is uncertain. Erzsébet tér bus station's left-luggage office is small but rarely busy, and there are several tourist offices in the vicinity - you'll find Tourinform just around the corner, Cooptourist at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 17, 150m north of the bus station (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm), and Ibusz at Dob utca 1, slightly further in the other direction (Mon-Fri 8am-4pm). Ten minutes' walk away by the Marriott Hotel on the Pest embankment is a 24-hour exchange office.

Services from Slovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia arrive at the Népstadion bus station in the XIV district, which is mainly used by services coming from other parts of Hungary, as is the Árpád híd bus station in the XIII district, the Etele tér bus station in the XI district and the Népliget bus station in the IX district. None of the four currently has any tourist facilities, but they're all just four or five metro stops from the centre of Pest.



By hydrofoil
Hydrofoils from Vienna (April-Oct) dock at the international landing stage , on the Belgrád rakpart (embankment), near downtown Pest. Ibusz is five minutes' walk north, on Ferenciek tere, inland of the Erzsébet Bridge (Mon-Fri 8.15am-5pm), and the 24-hour exchange office is just up the river on Petofi tér.
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