Recommended: public transport
Budapest offers a diverse efficient public-transport system managed by BKK. In addition to emblematic trams, four metro lines which include the world’s oldest electric underground line outside England, buses, trolleybuses, bikes, and suburban railways, the Budapest public-transport system includes a number of less usual means of public transportation options that are attractions in themselves. In particular, you can travel on the Danube by boat, including boats D11 and D12. Other unusual transports include Fogaskerekű Cogwheel Railway, János Hill Chairlift, Gyermekvasút Children’s Railway, and Buda Castle Funicular. If intrigued by the diversity of Hungarian transport forms, you can further explore it in various transportation museums of the city.
Transport tickets can be easily acquired from widely present ticket-vending machines, which also accept payments by credit cards. If you prefer to buy your tickets from a person, such offices are much less common but can be found at end stops of metro lines and major railway stations. A single ticket is not the most cost-effective solution unless you really need a one-way ride or a round trip. Another caveat is that the single ticket has to be validated before you start the ride. Budapest transportation rules are simple but highly nonintuitive, even for Hungarians. For tourists and locals alike, the lack of familiarity with the rules is a notorious source of traumatic encounters with ticket inspectors. You might want to watch Kontroll, a comedy-thriller film on the topic.
For these reasons of saving money, moving freely, and preserving your peace of mind, we recommend you to buy one of transport passes: 24-hour pass (1,650 HUF, i.e., $5.8 or 5.1 Euros), 24-hour group pass (up to 5 people travelling together, 3,300 HUF, i.e., $11.6 or 10.2 Euros), 72-hour pass (4,150 HUF, i.e., $14.6 or 12.8 Euros), or 7-day pass (4,950 HUF, i.e., $17.4 or 15.3 Euros). The passes are for an unlimited number of trips within Budapest, can be purchased in advance, and require no validation before travel. As a nice perk, you can use a pass to sail on boats D11 and D12 on workdays.
To reach the venue of the SIGCOMM 2018 Student Dinner in the Bálna (Whale) Building on Tuesday, you can take tram 2 (one of the most scenic tramlines in the world) from stop Vigadó tér in front of Vigadó for 3 stops down south along the Danube embankment to stop Zsil utca.
Budapest has distances that are quite long for pedestrians. Nevertheless, one can get around on foot in the Budapest center without much exertion. In particular, walking between the SIGCOMM 2018 venues is fairly easy. The conference hotel is one block away from Vigadó, the banquet cruise leaves from (and returns to) Vigadó Pier, the N2Women Dinner is also a short walk away. Walking to the Bálna Building from Vigadó should take around 20 minutes.
Not recommended: driving
You can rent a car or come with your own one to Budapest. However, we advise you against doing this. Parking is scarce and expensive. Peculiar arrangements of one-way streets make driving far from straightforward. Traffic jams happen even during the vacation month of August. Taxis also suffer from the limited routing choices and traffic congestion, which does not affect trams and metro lines.
Going elsewhere in Hungary
For exploring Hungary outside Budapest, your best options are trains operated by MAV. Budapest has 3 major railway stations: Eastern (Keleti), Western (Nyugati), and Southern (Déli). Your desired destination determines at which of the stations you should take the train. Or, you can rent a car.