Riding the metro, the trams and even the cog railway puts you close to the heartbeat of Budapest. On the metro and trams, you see hordes of students (Budapest is a "young town" in many ways), workers and families. The trams on the wealthier Buda side go deep into the hills, where even the affluent ride. The HEV, Budapest's suburban rail, is in many ways like a large subway, but you'll also see many day trippers on the Szentendre line, especially on a weekend. The cog railway is full of tired bicyclists, mothers with children, and wealthy citizens who live on the hill.

Throughout it all, there are beggars and gypsies in this city where 25% of the population live below the poverty level. They cajole and politely plead with an almost irresistible charm and cleverness that can make you want to hand over your wallet. Everywhere, there is a feeling of romance. Young lovers hold hands and gaze into each other's eyes, smitten and barely aware they are in public.

Riding the urban rails in Budapest gives you a feel for the city, a taste of it's soul that you probably won't see on a sightseeing tour. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to peer under the covers and see the true face of this beautiful, majestic city.

The best way to ride public transport in Budapest is to buy a day pass, which costs 740 forints (about $2.25 US), which will give you unlimited travel on all modes of public transport within the city limits until midnight. Tickets are checked frequently, especially on the metro, so don't even think about forgetting to buy your ticket.

  The Metro

  The Tramstop

The Cog Railway

The HEV (commuter rail)

Other links to Budapest tram and subway sites

  • Tram and metro  pix from the ERS
  • Villamos Budapest
  • Budapest Transport Asssociation
  • A great collection of tram and subway photos from
  • Budapest metro home page
  • BHÉV jármuvei
  • Urban & Suburban Transportation in Budapest
  • Budapest metro by Benda György
  • Budapest tramways from Michael Taylor
  • Viktor Németh's home page
  • Hamepage of the Great Hamster
  • Line 4 Home Page
  • Line 4 planning team home page (Hungarian only)
  • A map of line 4, now under construction