Last updated: 2023-10-12
So your application for a student exchange program in Szeged has been approved, you've booked your flight and you've done all the paperwork needed to start your next semester here - great! Eventually you have to figure out how to actually get to Szeged after entering the country. Worry not, you can refer to this guide as a valuable resource, covering most of what you have to know about getting to Szeged from Budapest.
The simplest, most hassle-free way of getting to Szeged after your arrival is via MÁV (National Railways). If you've arrived by airplane, you can travel from the Ferihegy train station to Szeged directly with MÁV, without having to enter the capital.
You can check the possible routes and departures and also buy your ticket in advance on their website or using their Android and iOS app. Enter "Budapest Ferihegy (Ferihegy)" into the From field, and "Szeged" into the To field. It is also recommended to change your ticket type to youth: "Youth (18-26 years)" if you indeed fall into that age range. If you change the ticket type, setting your date of birth is also required. Upon submitting your query, you'll see two different entries for each route with the same departure and arrival times - the only difference between these are that the more expensive ones (denoted with an R icon, meaning Seat reservation compulsory) let you pick the seat where you will be sitting during the trip.
Travel time is usually around 2 hours and there is no need to transfer to another train. Ticket prices are between 3000-4500 HUF.
Do note however that the Budapest Ferihegy train station is not directly at the airport! You need to take bus 200E in the direction of Kőbánya-Kispest M, and travel 5 stops from the airport to get to the station.
To get on this bus, you will need a single one-ride ticket (450 HUF) bought either:
- from ticket vending machines at the airport terminal, or
- using the Public Transport Mobile Ticket app or Simple app, or
- from the driver on the bus itself with cash. Be wary that the driver may only accept HUF as currency!
If you've arrived to Budapest via other means or wish to check out the capital, you will inevitably end up in the city center. Since you will need to use Budapest's public transportation to get to your destinations, it is heavily recommended that you use either Google Maps' builtin route planner with its public transportation option, or download an up-to-date public transportation route planner application. Our recommendation for Android users is the menetrend.app - Public Transit app, while iOS users should give the BudapestGO app a try.
Once you're ready to head to Szeged from Budapest's downtown, use MÁV's website and book your seat from Budapest-Nyugati, as that is the station with a direct railway connection to Szeged (thus no transfers needed).
Directly from the airport
If you wish to avoid trains or transferring to other vehicles altogether, you have the following options of getting to Szeged from right in front of the airport terminal:
- Oszkár (aka. Motar for English-speaking people), Hungary's most popular carpooling service offers routes from the airport directly to Szeged.
The number of possible rides can be different depending on the given day, so you should always check in advance. You can plan ahead by visiting their website and filtering for offers on the date of your arrival. The drivers are usually from trusted legitimate passenger transport companies with licenses and designated drivers, but you can find self-employed drivers too who provide an equally good service.
Prices vary, but in general you can get from the airport to Szeged for around 6000-9000 HUF. More expensive transfers provide door-to-door service, but are not cost-effective, so those are not recommended.
They can get you from the airport to Szeged in around 1.5-2 hours.
If you're in doubt about which driver or ride to choose, feel free to contact us.
- Several passenger transport companies provide rides right from the airport for a fixed price.
Among others, Zöldtranszfer offers two viable travelling options: Green Transfer and Orange Transfer. You can read all about these on their website, but in general, with Green Transfer you only have to wait up to 30 minutes to get going, while with Orange Transfer it might take up to 120 minutes, so that enough passengers accumulate for the ride.
Base prices are 11800 HUF and 9300 HUF for Green and Orange Transfer respectively, with an added 20% charge if you book your ride in the last 48 hours leading up to the departure.
They can get you from the airport to Szeged in around 1.5 hours. It is recommended to call them before booking a seat for the Orange Transfer shuttle - it might take a long time before enough passengers accumulate. Usually they have an English-speaking dispatcher available.
From within the capital
If you want to travel cheaper or feel like exploring Budapest a little before travelling to Szeged, you have several alternatives.
- As mentioned above, you can use MÁV to get to Szeged even from the city center, but this time you should set your departure station as Budapest-Nyugati and travel there in time via public transportation.
- Just like from the airport, you can also use Oszkár/Motar for getting to Szeged from Budapest, Népliget. You have more options for rides and they are also cheaper from here than from the airport (3000-4000 HUF).
- Volánbusz is Hungary's main passenger bus company. If the other options are not available, you can also get to Szeged from the main bus station of Budapest, Népliget.
You can use the Menetrendek.hu timetable for finding a fitting ride from there. When travelling from Budapest, you can buy your ticket in advance, but you can also buy your ticket from the driver.
An important thing to note about travelling with bus is that you won't find a route that does not require you to transfer to another bus - there is always at least one transfer necessary to get to Szeged. Due to this and the longer travelling time, getting to Szeged via bus is only recommended as a last resort.