Budapest is actually two cities – Buda and Pest – that combined into one merged city in 1873. The two sides are divided by the Danube River. The castle district is in Buda and the restaurants and bars are in Pest. I recommend staying in Pest at night and visiting Buda by day.
The city is flat on the Pest side, making it easily walkable, but when your feet fail you, Budapest has a fantastic public transportation network that includes trams, trolleys, buses, a four-line Metro and above-ground suburban trains. Wherever you want to go, Budapest’s public transportation system can get you there.
The main Metro hub is Deák tér Station, so that’s a great area to stay in, but anywhere near a Metro stop is also good since you’ll only be a few stops from the hub. Trains run every few minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes late at night. They run from 4:30 AM to 11:00 PM.
You can buy tickets as described below. Be sure to validate single tickets at the Metro entrance or on the bus – failing to do so can result in a painful fine.
- Single ticket – can be purchased on a bus or in advance at any Metro stop. The same ticket is valid for bus, tram or Metro and can be used one time without transfer. Validate your ticket in the red box in the Metro or on the bus/tram.
- Single transfer ticket– same as a single ticket, but also allows you one transfer (from one Metro line to another, or from bus to bus).
- 24-hour travel card – valid on all public transportation, for an unlimited number of trips from midnight to 11:59 PM of the day indicated on the ticket (you decide on the starting time).
- 24-hour group travel card, for max. 5 persons – same as above but for groups. Great for families!
- 72-hour travel card – valid on all public transport vehicles for an unlimited number of trips for 72 hours starting from the time and date you purchased it.
- 7-day travel-card – valid on all public transport vehicles from 0:00 to 24:00 till the sixth day following purchase of the card for an unlimited number of trips.
- Block of 10 single tickets – Costs less than 10 single tickets purchased individually.
Here is a great website for more detailed information about transportation and everything else related to getting around in Budapest. http://www.budapestbylocals.com/budapest-public-transport.html