After a gruelling 10-hour+ journey from Krakow, we finally arrived at Budapest Keleti-pu train station.
Budapest Taxi Scam
According to many online sources, it is often safer to call for a taxi from a reputable taxi company e.g. City Taxi than hailing it off the street. However you are encouraged to make prior arrangements with City Taxi via email instead of asking the tourist info booth in Keleti-pu to call for you.
Instead of going by the rate shown in the taxi meter, the taxi (from City Taxi) arranged for us by the tourist info booth charged us a fixed rate of 2200 HUF – 700 HUF more than what was expected if the taxi had used the meter rate. The taxi driver slapped on another 300 HUF for my request for him to make a 1-minute phone call to our apartment landlord to meet up with us (if he had told me up front instead of just coming with an arbitrary number, that would have been fine). While the grand total sum that we were scammed of worked out to less than 2SGD per person, it still sucks to meet such dishonest people.
More about our Budapest apartment in the next post.
Public Transport in Budapest
Since we will be in Budapest for 3 days, we purchased a 3-day travel pass for 3700 HUF. You should validate your tickets immediately after boarding a bus/tram. Penalties if caught without a validated ticket is quite severe – at least 6000 HUF fine (on the spot) and up to 24000 HUF. More information on ticket prices and schedules at the Budapest BKV Public Transport website.
You can buy your tickets at various ticket offices; personally I would prefer to buy from a permanent ticket office than a temporary cart.
Budapest Metro Map – much less complicated than the London Tube map.
The M1 – M3 Budapest Metro Logo always reminded me of the Transformers logo whenever I see them. Can you see the similarities here? Maybe not – the Budapest metro logo is just a very stylish M but humor me :-p
Not part of the Budapest Public Transportation System, just a poor statue that we harassed day and night whenever we passed by it.
Actual transport in Budapest – different types – Tram, Metro, Trolley Bus (bus but powered by electricity in the same way as a tram), Bus; We tried them all – fully utilised our 3-day travel pass :-p
Money in Budapest
As of May 09, the exchange rate of Singapore dollars to Budapest Forint was about 1 SGD: 140 HUF. Instead of dividing all HUF prices by 140 which can be quite mind-boggling without a calculator, you can try using this formula:
For every 100 HUF you see, you need to pay about 0.70 SGD. So for a 3000 HUF item, it will cost you (0.70 x 30 = 21 SGD)