Since September 1st, 2013 there has been a completely new taxi regulation in Budapest. There are numerous changes but the most important is the actual tariff. According to this regulation, the following tariffs apply day and night (as of April 2023, 1 EUR = 360 HUF):
Base fare: 1.100 HUF (about 3.05 EUR)
Kilometre-based fare: 440 HUF/km (about 1,22 EUR)
Minute-based fare: 110 HUF / Minute (about 0,30 EUR)
With these tariffs, you should never pay more than 6,000 HUF (about 16.60 EUR) within the city centre. Nevertheless, many tourists (and often locals too) are ripped off by the black sheep of the taxi industry. They often pay two or three times the normal price. The tourists are easier to rip off because they don’t know their way around the city. Unfortunately, it can sometimes happen that you have to do an “unwanted city tour”. Possibly with a manipulated taximeter…
Here are the main rules that real Budapesters learn from a very young age:
Try to avoid the freelancer, private taxis. The taxis that belong to a company are usually very reliable and drive with the legal tariff. Since the introduction of the new taxi regulation, all taxis have to be yellow, so the yellow color isn’t much of a help. However, the logos and the telephone number of the respective company cannot be overlooked on the front doors. Another good identifier is the taxi sign. Independent taxis operate with a simple standard sign that simply reads “Taxi”. Taxi companies, on the other hand, have patent-protected signs that can usually be recognized from afar because of their unusual shape or color. Usually there is also the telephone number and the name of the company on it.
Standard sign of independent drivers (prefer to avoid)
Sign of one of the reputable companies
Local people always call a taxi by phone / app. You should remember some of the following numbers. It is best if you also insist at the hotel reception that you get a taxi from these companies. You can also download the English-language app from one of these companies and – after registering – simply order a taxi using your smartphone.
Best to recommend:
Citytaxi: (+36 1) 211 1111
Fötaxi: (+36 1) 222 2222
Taxi 6×6: (+36 1) 666 6666
Taxis waiting in the immediate vicinity of tourist attractions, train stations, pedestrian zones are almost always dubious private taxis. In these cases, you should also call a taxi by phone/app.
Taxis at the train stations in Budapest are strictly forbidden! Arrived at the train station, always call a taxi company from the list above by phone or app!
Always ask the taxi driver before the trip what the approximate price will be. Make sure that the taximeter is always on, check the change that they are actually Hungarian banknotes…. And if you have the slightest problem, ask for the taximeter receipt, which is automatically printed out at the end of the journey.
Can I use UBER in Budapest?
No, but instead there is the taxi company “BOLT”
Uber has been banned in Hungary for violating competition law. However, there is an international taxi company, Bolt, that operates in a similar way but conforms to local regulations. The start-up company BOLT from Estonia is now also driving numerous cars in Budapest. You can order and pay for the cars directly via the mobile app, just like in many other cities in Europe. They always drive with the above-mentioned statutory tariff.
More information: https://bolt.eu
- From the airport to the city center
- Currency exchange
- Public transportation in Budapest
- Pickpockets and similar dangers
- EU citizens 65+ travel for free
- Driving your own car in Hungary
- Inside visit of the Parliament building
- Sightseeing boats on the river Danube
- Buying cigarettes and smoking
- Where and how much tip is usual?
- Private tour in Budapest. By car or on foot?