I just realised how complicated it can be to find one’s way to Budapest/Kecskemét upon arrival at the airport after a colleague from Singapore got in touch saying he was going to visit.
Here’s a blog entry with pictures to help all future English-speaking Kodaly Institute/Liszt Academy students and/or first-time visitors who are non-native speakers on how to get oneself to the “Ferihegy Railway Station” from the Liszt Ferenc Airport Terminal 2.
Look for the sign below upon exit from the airport and take public bus No. 200E. Bus tickets are available from the Jegyek (Ticket) vending machine.
Sometimes, the bus driver will also have tickets for sale for you.
Bus 200E takes c.a. 10 min to reach Ferihegy Railway Station. The Hungarian name for this is Ferihegy Vasútállomás (fair-read-hedge vor-shoe-tah-low-mahsh). I would do this in IPA to be absolutely scientific about it but considering most people don’t do IPA, I shan’t bother. I would suggest writing this out on a piece of paper and ask the people on the bus. You might find the following sign on the bus helpful:
Don’t worry if you see the bus going to the highway and feels like it stops in the middle of nowhere. This would be the correct bus-stop:
Tickets can be bought at the vending machine on the platform. Check out the boxy machine on the right (this platform goes to Kecskemét by the way). If all else fails, there are always train conductors who check for cheats and can deliver fines to you immediately on the spot with their cool portable ticket-printing machine. They don’t always speak English though although they probably can sell tickets to you if need be.
Do note that like in Tokyo, trains that go to different cities arrive at the same platform. You will need to check the overhead signs to double check the timing and cities that the trains are going to. E.g. Trains to Kecskemét generally arrive at every 13 min past the hour (i.e. 113pm, 213pm etc.). Why is this piece of information important? Because you don’t want to be stuck outdoors at -15 degrees celsius temperatures waiting for 45 min for the train during winter. I would encourage checking the train schedules here: route planner. Train ride from Ferihegy Train Station to Kecskemét takes c.a. 1 hour and c.a. 15-20min to Budapest Nyugati Station.
It is straightforward for those going to Budapest since Nyugati is the last stop. For Kodaly Institute students, do check and ask locals whether the train has arrived in Kecskemét (usually arrives in the town around 10-15 min past the hour). The train for some reason stops at more places at certain timings and lesser stops at others so it is no good going purely by number of stops.
Kodály Intézet 2011-2012
Using Credit Cards at the Ticket Vending Machine
I would strongly encourage you to NOT use your credit card on the ticket vending machine. I saw someone at the Ferihegy train station who attempted to pay via credit card… and his credit card was literally eaten up by the machine – it does not allow for a manual ‘swipe’ found in more advanced atm machines so there is absolutely no way you could stick your finger in to pull it out and nothing we did could make the machine spit it out. You have been warned!