Getting Around Budapest

Bonus of living in Budapest: Public transport is rife.

Difficulty for me: It will take me years to sort out all the bus, tram and trolley numbers. Never mind the subway. Yes, they do have all of these types of public transport. Mix with this bicyclists, pedestrians and a ton of cars and you begin to have an idea of the myriad ways of getting around this city.

As far as the subway goes, it pleases me to no end. My first few visits to this city were largely explored by subway. Since I like to happy foot it (walking or driving indeterminately while singing out loud or talking to myself), it was a good thing I always had my beautiful wife with me. Happy footing it tends to lull me into a trance and I wind up not knowing where the hell I am. I’ve had this problem for years. I once got lost in deep east Texas right before a cousin’s wedding. As for happy footing over here, I can imagine accidentally finding myself in Slovakia (I once did accidentally drive over the bridge to Slovakia – another post).

The odd (but nice) thing about subway travel for me is that it makes a rather large city that happens to be divided by a river seem small. I guess that is the beauty of a subway system. You get around town much quicker that by foot or car, and with the added bonus of not realizing how far you’ve actually traveled.

Anyway, enjoy this brief video interlude of a Hungarian film’s view of subway life.

I can’t say that any of my subway rides have been this crazy or colorful, but I can say that the ticket agents in the movie do remind me of the real life ones to some extent.

And to defend myself a bit, I have sorted out that tram one runs around Hungaria körült. I’ve even been on this tram recently. Bonus hint #1 ~ Going either way on this tram will get you to Buda. I did notice lots of black riders (non paying ones), but I’m too full of chicken to take chances like that. Never mind we had a valid ticket to use (you to have punch these to prove you’ve used it).

Just to give you a few more glimpses into public transport here, here’s a video by Jamie Woon. Lady Luck isn’t a favorite song of mine, but the video is worth watching if for the scenery alone.

I’ll add some of my own videos later. I think they’d show a slightly less stylized side of things. It’s just worth being aware of the fact that if you come visit this wonderful city, you won’t have a lack of options when it comes to getting around town.

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