For many people coming to Budapest the place of arrival is Budapest Airport. The airport has two terminals, terminal 1 and 2, but earlier this year the owner closed down terminal 1 due to few passengers, a natural consequence of the bankruptcy of the Hungarian airline Malév earlier this year. Even though RyanAir immediately launched more than 30 new destinations from Budapest, it still seems that the passenger amount decreased so much that they had to close down terminal one a few months later. This all lead to the closure of Budapest Airport Terminal 1 in the end of May 2012, and since then only terminal 2 has been in use.
A few weeks ago the news was given that the parking lot in front of Terminal 1 would be turned into a P+R parking lot, in which people coming from outside Budapest can park their cars and continue towards the city center of Budapest using either the train stopping at the Ferihegy stop next to the airport, or traveling with bus 200E from the airport towards Köbánya Kispest. From that stop travelers can travel on with metro towards the city center. This is of course nice, but what is going on at the parking lots in front of Terminal 2?
One of the fears of many tourists coming to Budapest deals with the taxi drivers of the city. Can we trust them? Will they trick me? Will they add additional fees for luggage and so on, thus giving me a far higher price than I should pay if I got a “normal” taxi? As a solution to this Budapest Airport Zrt. continuously try to make it harder for the unofficial airport taxi’s to operate at the airport, and so helping Fö Taxi (the official airport transfer company with set prices) to get more passengers. Until now there are lots of drivers approaching you as you arrive in the terminals, claiming to be official taxi drivers, offering you transportation to your Budapest hotel. Their cars have been parked outside the terminal and they simply get some passengers and drive on towards the city. Many warnings have been given against these so called official airport taxi drivers, but they still seem to get a lot of transfers, because they can still be seen.
New parking rules at Budapest Airport from August 8th, 2012
For the last years it has been impossible to park in front of the arrival terminal at Budapest Airport for anyone else than the official airport taxi’s and the airport mini bus. This means that even large tourist groups with buses ordered needed to walk up one floor to the departures part and walk out there, and then they could find their bus. This has been a really stupid solution and none really liked it. Since August 8th there have been changes, and now anyone can drive up in front of both the arrival and the departure part of Budapest Airport, thus with some heavy price changes.
If you want to park in front of the arrival or the departure part of Budapest Airport Terminal 2 they have introduced the so called Premium Parking since August 8th. The price for parking there is 2000 HUF for 30 minutes, but if you leave within 5 minutes the parking is free. It is though interesting that many workers with quite normal wages (500 HUF per hour) will need to work for four hours to be able to park for 30 minutes in front of the terminal. Of course those people with such salaries normally don’t fly so much, but still, this needs to be taken into consideration when setting a parking fee. If you walk outside the terminal building and down some stairs you will get to the big parking lots, and there you can park for 800 HUF if you leave within thirty minutes. If you leave within 10 minutes the parking is free.
I have been outside Budapest Airport several times since the new parking fees and rules were introduced, and it is interesting to see that there are almost no cars to see in front of the arrival and the departure part of Budapest Airport, the so called Premium Parking. In general there have been 3-4 cars parked in the parking lot, and everyone else just drive through picking up their passengers already waiting for them, or dropping of the passengers from the car, and then leaving within 5 minutes, thus not paying any parking fee at all. The question is if this is good for the airport, or not? An empty parking lot where everyone just drivers through, thus making no money, or a full parking lot with lower fees, but still making more money?
With the new system it has gotten much harder for pirate taxi’s to operate at Budapest Airport and that is for sure positive, but they are still there, so if you arrive at Budapest Airport, you should still look out for them, and just walk pass them as you arrive. It is possible to order private airport transfers before arrival, but if you have not done that, then you should walk by the drivers offering their services, and walk towards the official stand of the Airport Taxi or Fő Taxi outside the terminal building. The price of an airport transfer in Budapest with your own taxi driver should probably be between 6000-10,000 HUF, of course depending on where you stay, but if your hotel is in Budapest, it should fit into this price category.
If you would like to park your car at Budapest Airport for a longer period this can easily be done (so called long-time parking), as the airport has protected long time parking available, and at quite nice prices. This summer they have an offer giving you parking for 8 days costing only 9990 HUF, so this should be considered if you would like to leave your car at the airport.
Ferihegy, Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport or Budapest Airport
The airport in Budapest has two terminals, and earlier these have been known as Budapest Ferihegy Airport terminal 1 and 2 (A & B). Terminal A and B are located next to one another, so you can walk between the two terminals in one or two minutes. Not long ago it was renamed (as was lots of other squares, streets and so on in Budapest) to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport or as we know it in Hungarian “Budapest Liszt Ferenc Nemzetközi Repülőtér.” In Hungary many people still use the name Ferihegy Airport, while others use the new name and call is Ferenc Liszt Airport. A third group simply call it Budapest Airport… What is important for you if you arrive to the airport is to know that it is the same airport they speak of, no matter which of the three names they use.