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Walk or public transport?

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Livingston, United...
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Walk or public transport?

Hi

I will be in Budapset for three full days/ four nights at the end of February with my husband and three kids 15, 12 and 4.

The question is this, is Budapest a place where you can walk everywhere or would we be better using public transport?

Is the public transport pushchair friendly?

thanks

Budapest, Hungary
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1. Re: Walk or public transport?

I will say the truth - some vehicles are pushchair friendly, some arent. Every arrival which is supposed to be a low-floor vehicle is underlined in the timetable.

http://www.bkk.hu/en/timetables/

Edited: 05 February 2014, 16:10
Sedona
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2. Re: Walk or public transport?

Probably a combination of both. You can walk to many places near the Vaci Utca, but to get to other attractions the trams are a big help.

london/uk
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3. Re: Walk or public transport?

Hi meeno,

As the city is quite compact, walk is the most hassle-free option. Although public transport is relatively good but tram(unless low-floor ones) and metro/underground are might be better to avoid with pushchair. Besides you see more while you are walking.

However, some low-floored vehicle in central location is extremely useful. eg. tram no.4, 6 (even takes you over the river from Pest to Buda side)

If you have any further questions or doubts just post it

nyc, usa
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4. Re: Walk or public transport?

Walk, peek into courtyards, gaze up at lintels and facades, stop at cafes and cukraszdas (patisseries) for coffee, tea, beer, pastry, soup, and people-watching any time your energy ebbs ...

Livingston, United...
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5. Re: Walk or public transport?

Thanks everyone

Arlington, VA
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6. Re: Walk or public transport?

All the suggestions offered have been good, especially as you have limited time. However, to move around to highlights that kids will like (and with a puschchair in use) consider:

If you are centrally located in Pest you can easily walk to plenty of destinations and have easy use of the Metro. You can get over to Castle Hill from Pest. Walk across the Chain Bridge Using the Funicular (entrance at the base of Castle Hill near the vehicle-only tunnel that goes underneath after Clark Adam ter (on the Buda side of the Chain Bridge) is probably not a problem for you except on the one day a month it closes for maintenance.

Metro escalators often end at the mezzanine level, not the street level. Most M2 red line stops used by tourists (not Astoria and Blaha Lujza ter) have escalators to street level. A detailed M2 red line overview:

1. At one end of M2 line stops at Ors Vezer tere (to which you go if for some reason you want to go to IKEA, or the nearby large indoor shopping center) to take the suburban RR to the Godollo "Castle") is essentially at street level. However, to get to the HEV you must cross streets because steps down to mezzanine level crossing below the intersection are lengthy and steep.

2. Going from Ors Vezer tere toward Buda on the M2 Metro, the next station with escalators (as I recall) is at Keleti nearby the plaza to get to the train station. Metro escalator only goes up to mezzanine level (unless renovations have changed things in last few years) and there are probably still a couple of steps upon emerging from the Metro escalator. At many other red line stations the escalators end at mezzanine level, leaving one flight of stairs to street level exits.

3. Arriving at the central Deak ter Metro hub - escalators go up to mezzanine level but then to street level on the west side. It is then short walk toward Erzsebet ter (there is an entrance to the M1 (yellow line metro) and across the street from the Le Meridien hotel it is easy to catch the 16 buses that go up to Castle Hill, etc.) From the M2 red line platform at Deak ter an escalator in one direction goes up to mezzanine level and then a rider can go down to the blue line metro platform or the M1 but escalators do not go all the way to the M1 metro platforms and going down and up stairs may be required to take the M1 toward Heroes Square and the adjacent City Park, zoo, castle, etc.) There, or at virtually any other yellow line M1 station, one flight of steps are not so bad, depending on stamina. You should probably try to ride on the yellow line at least once if at all physically possible; except as noted above, even with a push chair only a single flight of steps up or down is required. Also, coming up from the M2 platform to the mezzanine, there are steps that lead to the 47/49 trams (very old, high double step entryway to maneuver a pushchair onto the cars) that go to the Great Market.*

4. Next is Kossuth ter on red line - near Parliament & ethnographic museum, etc. Escalator goes all the way to street level!

5. Next red line M2 stop is on west side of Danube, at Batthyany ter. An escalator goes to a mezzanine (on the same level as the adjacent suburban HEV RR - that can be taken, with a high lift of a pushchair into the RR car, up to the village of Szentendre). To the right at in the Batthyany mezzanine is a second escalator that goes to the street level plaza – the Danube and a great view of Parliament to the left at street level.

6. The next Metro2 stop is Szell Kalman ter and a long fast escalator to top. This is a transportation hub. The bus up to Castle Hill is up above the plaza. The 4/6 tram line originates from here and now is virtually completely accessible for push chairs (even at the mid-bridge span Margit Island stop - the cars are spiffy-new and air conditioned) and the track and platform rehabilitation along the great ring street should all have been completed through Pest and back across the Danube and looping all the way around through Pest to Buda. At the area of Móricz Zsigmond körtér* (where the new M4 station is being completed) is the nearby Allee shopping center.

7. The last M2 red line stop in Buda is Deli. The Metro escalator goes up to a plaza. Flights of steps must be taken to ascend up to the RR train station platform to catch trains to Balaton, etc. To get to street level using ramps, make a right turn exiting the Metro station and take a ramp down to the plaza and then go immediately left under the street and then up another ramp and at the top turn around on the sidewalk and go up Alkotas St. (about a half block) to where the 21A bus up to Normafa has a stop).

Blue line metro - M3, as best as I recall the following are of some tourist interest:

1. Continuing northbound) Klinikak (park area and Natural History Museum a few blocks away) has good escalator to street level.

2. Next stop with escalator to street level is Deak (as noted above).

3. Next stop (Arany Janos), the escalator is to street level, as I recall.

4. Next stop is Nyugati (RR station area). An escalator goes to the plaza under street level. When coming off escalator from blue line Metro, bear right to nearby ramps to street level of the ring street on west side of intersection, or alternatively, go straight ( as you walk, on the left will be stairs to the 4/6 tram platform that is in the middle of the great ring street, at Nyugati) and on to the entry to a store adjacent to the supermarket entrance & take the escalator up to the store and proceed out to street level across from Nyugati. A Finally, when coming up the escalator from the Metro platform one can turn left 180 degrees at the top and take a long underground stroll through the mezzanine level to the West End City Center mall & Hilton hotel. Also, as you walk in the direction of the West End center there is an escalator up to the RR station - if it is working.

Generally, for wheelchair/pushchair users a problem are the frequent major intersections (such as at Astoria) that can be negotiated only by going down steps to traverse the plaza under the intersection and go up the steps on the other side Not even involving a major intersection it is midway down the Vaci u. pedestrian shopping street from Vorosmarty ter (near Deak metro) south to the Great market. Extensive changes due to the completion of the M4 (the newest Metro line) have altered things in the last six months [since September 2013]. It is still probably necessary, in order to continue through the passageway in order to go under the street that comes from the Erzsebet Bridge. So, to go the entire length of Vaci without going down and up steps, detour at street level toward the Danube a block or two and then walk under the bridge and come up the other side and go left to return to Vaci u.

Don't be discouraged. Even in museums that may not appear to have public elevators they will assist in getting to other floors by escorting you to elevators in non-public areas. You can get around town with a pushchair or wheelchair & have a great time using a mix of walking and public transport.

*NOTE: the mentions of the 47/49 trams that go from adjacent to the Deak ter Metro stop (along the inner ring road) past the Great Market and over the Danube to the Moriscz Zigmond körtér intersection in Buda. On the way one can get off at the Gellert Hotel area and the long walk up the adjacent pathway - to the top of Gellert Hill (with the Citidella fortress - and Freedom monument on top). However, the tram goes two more stops to the Móricz Zsigmond körtér area. The 4/6 tram from Szell Kalman ter (after traversing the lengthy large ring road) also terminates near Móricz Zsigmond körtér. Instead of walking up to the top of Gellert Hill take a bus most of the way! From Móricz Zsigmond körtér walk to the right along Villanyi ut a block or so to the #27 bus stop (the #61 tram line terminus is in the middle of that street) and take the 27 bus (lift the pushchair up the steps into the bus) and take it seven stops to the Búsuló Juhász (Citadella) stop. Get off and walk up along the street route a few blocks to the Citidella fortress and the Monument (and the great views)! It is far easier to walk down the path, either to the Gellert Hotel area, or more to the north down past the St. Gellert monument and to the Erzsebet bridge.

nyc, usa
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7. Re: Walk or public transport?

Almost all of the mandatory crossings via subways have pretty much been eliminated, including at least in prospect the one on Vaci (I have not been there in a couple of months but the master plan calls for being able to cross at street level I believe, at least very nearby). It's possible to avoid the steps pretty much everywhere along the smaller ring road though I am not sure what it will be like at Astoria going north-south … Still it's doable to avoid all the steps with a detour of at most a block…

The detailed description above, though, is a terrific resource.

Livingston, United...
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8. Re: Walk or public transport?

DCEsq

Thanks so much for such detailed and helpful advice. It is so kind of you and will definitely help us. We are staying in central pest so I am sure walking and using public transport together will make this a lovely trip. I like the idea of the funicular to get to the castle. We are not far from the Chain bridge, actuall on Kiraly utca 13.

Thanks to you too again John.

9. Re: Walk or public transport?

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