Budapest Airport Guide

Outside view from the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport
Romeo Reidl / Getty Images

Budapest Airport is the leading international hub for Hungary. It’s a small airport with two terminals, but only Terminal 2 is currently in use for passengers. Because it’s relatively compact, Budapest Airport is easy to navigate. You won’t be walking miles to reach your gate, but it’s big enough to do some last-minute shopping and get a bite to eat. In 2018, the airport handled 14.8 million passengers with flights to most European countries as well as direct services to the U.S., Asia, and North Africa. Budapest Airport’s facilities continue to expand with more and more routes being introduced. 

Budapest Code, Location, and Contact Information 

The Budapest Airport, known officially as Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD), is located in the southeastern part of the city in a neighborhood called Ferihegy. It’s approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles) outside the city center.     

Know Before You Go 

There are two terminals in Budapest airport, but Terminal 1 has been closed to passenger traffic since 2012. Terminal 2 is split into two sections, Terminal 2A and Terminal 2B, which are connected by the SkyCourt, a new passenger hall packed with shops and restaurants. The airport gets busier with each year as the airport adds more routes, which is why there are plans to construct an additional terminal for low-cost airlines. The airport is open 24 hours a day, but there have been plans to ban flights taking off or landing at the airport between midnight and 5 a.m., but this has not been strictly enforced.    

All flights are international, with direct flights to more than 140 cities and more than 45 countries. Most flights are to European destinations, but there are also flights to the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, China, and South Korea.

Although parts of the airport look old-fashioned and could do with a little modernizing, you can find all the amenities you need for your travel to be comfortable. The SkyCourt is a light-flooded passenger hall with a food court on the first floor offering plenty of choices and a wide selection of shops on the ground floor, including duty-free and Hungarian souvenir shops. Check-in and security lines move pretty quickly, and you only need to go through passport control if you’re leaving the Schengen Zone. There are also e-passport facilities too. You’ll find shops and restaurants beyond passport control and close to most of the gates. 

Budapest airport is pretty compact. It’ll take at most 15 to 20 minutes to reach the farthest gates. Sometimes you will take a shuttle bus once you’ve gone through the gate; other times, you’ll take a walkway. Some low-cost airlines go through a container-like terminal, where you have to walk outside and then wait inside a corrugated metal building to reach the plane. This is why there are plans to build the 2C terminal for budget airlines in the future. 

Airport Parking 

There are more than 2,600 parking spaces at Terminal 2, including the parking facilities at the Premium Parking, Terminal Parking, Holiday Plus Parking, Holiday Parking, Business Parking, and Bus Parking sections. You can book and pay for your parking spot with this online parking site at least 12 hours before your planned departure. You’ll need to print the confirmation with the barcode and bring it with you, then just wait for the license plate recognition system to print the ticket. You can also pay for parking by card at all pay stations, and there is a customer service office as well. Parking is available 24 hours a day. Rates within 24 hours range from 3,000 Hungarian forint (HUF) to 30,000 Hungarian forint depending on which parking facility you choose. 

Driving Directions 

Budapest Airport is easy to reach by car. When there is no traffic, it can be as quick as a 20-minute drive, but during rush hour, the trip can take 45 minutes to an hour. From the city center, drive southeast along Üllői út for 2.3 kilometers and turn on to the Ferihegyi Repülőtérre vezető út until the exit points to Terminal 2.   

Transportation and Taxis 

If you want to take public transport, the best option is to take the 100E bus, which takes you directly to the city center and costs 900 Hungarian forint for a one-way ticket. You can also take the 200E bus to the Kőbánya-Kispest metro and go into town from there. The MiniBUD door-to-door airport shuttle service is a good choice if you have a lot of luggage and would prefer to travel more comfortably. You can book your ticket for this minibus online at for 4,900 Hungarian forint one way to the center, or just go straight to the miniBUD kiosk in the arrivals hall. You’ll share a minibus with guests who are going the same direction as you, and you will wait up to 10 to 15 minutes for your bus to depart. If you prefer to travel by taxi, you can find the Főtaxi booths in the arrivals hall. Taxis should typically cost 7,200 Hungarian forint to the city center. 

Where to Eat and Drink 

There are cafes and restaurants all across the airport, sometimes even after you’ve gone through passport control, but the best place to go is the SkyCourt. You can find restaurants like Burger King, Upper Crust, KFC, and Costa Coffee if you want something quick to go, or you can sit down for something fancier at Leroy or Ta.sh.ba. If the weather is good, head up to the Terrace Cafe, on the roof of Terminal 2A, which is partly open-air and can also be used by smokers. 

Where to Shop 

There is a wide selection of shops in the SkyCourt ranging from designer or high-end shops like Hugo Boss, and Swarovski to Hungarian souvenir shops like Memories of Hungary, which is stocked with chocolates, paprika, Unicum, and other Hungary related souvenirs. Heinemann Duty-Free has got you covered with duty-free perfume, alcohol, cigarettes, cosmetics, accessories, and toys. There are also more shops scattered around Terminals 2A and 2B in the departures and arrivals. 

Airport Lounges

Budapest airport has six lounges. The bud:vip lounge is available for customers with a bud:vip member’s card or for 215 euros individual entry. The SkyCourt Lounge is the largest business lounge at the airport, offering complimentary food and drinks, daily newspapers and magazines, business facilities, and more. The Mastercard Airport Lounge is available to any retail premium Mastercard holder. There is also the Celebi Lounge, the Menzies Lounge, and the LOT Business Lounge.   

Where to Spend Your Layover 

Budapest Airport is not really used as a hub for transfers, so it’s not equipped for long layovers. There are no showers or rest spaces, for example. If you have a very long layover, you also have the option of exploring Budapest a bit, as it can take under an hour to reach the city center. If you would like to rest before your flight, there are a few hotels close to the airport, like the ibis Styles Budapest Airport or the Airport Hotel Budapest.  

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations 

There is free internet access in departures, arrivals, SkyCourt, and the Visitor Terrace in Terminal 2, and it's available for two hours. Just choose the bud:free Wi-Fi network, log in with your email address, and accept the terms and conditions. You can also find plug sockets around most waiting areas to charge your phones and electronics and phone charging stations with USB-B and AC outlets on the mezzanine level of the SkyCourt. 

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