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Budapest has three metro lines (including the first built in continental Europe), 35 tram lines, 14 trolley-bus routes and over 200 bus routes, as well as five suburban railway lines (called the HEV). All fall under the control of Budapest Transport Ltd (known as BKV). Most public transport runs between the hours of 5am and 11pm, although there are also over 30 night buses. Tickets are valid for use on all modes of public transport within the city limits (although not on the HEV outside Budapest - you must buy extension tickets for journeys to stations beyond) and are available at metro stations, hotels, newagents and tourist offices. These can be bought individually (230Ft) or in books of either 10 (2,050Ft) or 20 (3,900Ft) tickets: a single ticket entitles you to one journey without changing trains. In addition, you can buy tourist transport tickets valid for one (1,350Ft), three (3,100Ft), or seven (3,600Ft) days granting unlimited travel within the city boundaries. Although you can purchase tickets from the dirver on buses and trolley-buses, they are more expensive than prepaid ones and you will require the exact change. You should always validate your ticket at punching machines aboard trams, buses and trolley-buses or at the entrance to metro stations. Inspectors patrol the public transport system to check tickets and you will be fined if you are caught without a valid ticket. Officials will carry formal identification, so be sure to satisfy yourself that the inspectors are geniune.
Read more on this destination in the AA Key Guide to London.
Getting around in Budapest
Metro: The three metro lines are numbered and colour-coded - Metro 1 (yellow) runs largely underneath Andrassy ut (from Vorosmarty ter to Maxikoi ut); Metro 2 (red) is the only line to straddle the river, going from west-east (Moszkva ter to Ors vezer tere); Metro 3 (blue) follows the river in an arc from north to south (Ujpest-Kozpont to Kobanya - Kispest). Remember to validate your ticket in the machine at the entrance to the Metro stations.
Buses/Trams: Budapest has over 200 bus routes, 14 trolley-bus routes and 35 tram lines. Buses/trams run from 5am to 11am and there are over 30 night buses, all of which bear three digits starting with the number 9. Do remember to validate your ticket in the machine when you board the bus/tram.
Taxi: Always order a taxi by telephone. Rates offered on pre-ordered cabs are lower than those you will be charged when hailing them from the street. Furthermore - and more importantly - it is unfortunately common for disreputable drivers to significantly over-charge tourists. Only get into a taxi with a registered company name on the side. Check that the meter is reset to the base rate (of around 300Ft in daytime). You should tip taxi drivers around 10 per cent.
Other local transport: Budapest also has a funicular railway (Siklo, ascending Castle Hill from Clark Adam ter; tickets 700Ft one-way, 1,300Ft return), the Cogwheel Railway (running into the Buda Hills from Varosmajor station, near Moszkva ter, to Szenchenyi-hegy; normal transport tickets are accepted), the Children's Railway (from Szechenyi-hegy to Huvosvolgy stations; tickets 600Ft one-way, 1,200Ft return).