Flying to Budapest
If you are coming to Budapest from abroad, the chances are that you are landing in the BUD airport, officially called Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and commonly known under its original name of Ferihegy. On the global scale, the BUD airport is a cozy affair with its both terminals 2A and 2B being basically two small interconnected wings of the same building. In the midst of the baggage reclaim area, between its several carousels, there are three booths: for currency exchange, shuttle bus, and taxi. The booths are open throughout the day, from the first until the last flight arrival. If you leave the restricted area of baggage reclaim without benefitting from these booths, you can find similar booths in the public part of the airport.
Most convenient: taking a taxi
Reaching your Budapest accommodation, especially when you arrive from a different continent, is the most convenient by taking the most expensive option of taking a cab, which is not that expensive at all. A recent personal check put the cost of a taxi ride from BUD to the conference hotel at 7,700 HUF, i.e., $27 or 24 Euros, and confirmed that the taxi booth takes credit cards. For other destinations in Budapest, you can use a taxi fare calculator. The typical travel time to Budapest center is about 25 minutes, which can double during traffic jams, which do happen.
It is suggested using only taxis with the following logos:
Shuttle bus from the airport
The shuttle booth at BUD also accepts credit cards. The ride cost depends again on the destination address. Upon a personal check, a shuttle ride to the conference hotel was recently priced at 4,900 HUF, i.e., $17 or 15 Euros. The cost of the round-trip ticket was 8,400 HUF, i.e., $29 or 26 Euros. You can also see the website of miniBUD.
Then, there is a sharing economy
While Hungary has no Uber, you can use the Taxify app to have a similar ride-sharing experience with the fare paid via the app, and with the receipt emailed to you by the platform.
By public transport
It is doable, and quite feasible, but not the most comfortable. Once every 20 minutes, bus 100E, which is called “Airport shuttle bus” by its Budapest public transport company BKK, can bring you in about 30 minutes in the absence of traffic congestion from BUD to Deák Ferenc Square (Deák Ferenc tér), which is an 8-minute walk to the conference hotel. The one-way ticket costs 900 HUF, i.e., $3.2 or 2.8 Euros.
There are even more cost-effective public-transport options for reaching Budapest center, e.g., by bus 200E and then metro line 3. You can explore these options through the BKK tip planner. Note though that, like other cities, Budapest intensively upgrades its public-transport infrastructure during the vacation month of August, often disrupting its typically offered transportation options.
Driving from BUD
Yes, you can. But why would you, given the options above?
Sightseeing in BUD?
In terms of sightseeing, the BUD airport fares badly in comparison to the wonders that Hungary or Budapest in particular has to offer. Nevertheless, if you have time after or before your flight, consider taking a short walk to Aeropark, an open-air museum of the old Soviet aviation glory which - depending on your roots - you have never known or might have forgotten.
Air is not the only means to reach Budapest. For example, you can also reach the Hungarian capital by train, bus, car, boat, and bicycle. Land routes from Vienna, Bratislava, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Belgrade, or Prague might bring you to Budapest faster than flying. The train, bus, and boat stations in Budapest are well-served by the city public transport.