If you wish to make good use of your Budapest Card with its many free goodies and discount coupons, you will need to fill out the card properly, otherwise you are endangering of disabling your card. Did you know that you cannot correct numbers or names on the Card? Did you know that Budapest Cards can only be used by 1 tourist? (The public transport is also free for one child under 6 accompanying the Card holder!) Please read our official Budapest Card guide on how to fill out the card so that it is valid for the days of your Budapest visit.
Hours of Validity of Budapest Cards
First of all you will need to choose which of the Budapest Cards you wish to use during your visit. There are three Budapest Cards issued by the single official tourism authority in Budapest, Hungary.
No other discount cards or tourist cards are in circulation, only the Budapest Card. The cards are valid for the number of hours printed on them, for a continuous, uninterrupted use. The hours must be rounded back:
24 hour Budapest Card: valid for the duration of 24 hours. You specify the starting hour, which can be from 3 am to next day’s 3 am, or from 16:00 pm to next day’s 16:00 pm (e.g. from December 18, 21:00 pm to December 19, 21:00 pm). Once you write the starting hour on the 24 hour Budapest Card, it cannot be changed or corrected. Please note that corrected cards are not accepted by the inspectors of the Budapest Public Transportation company, nor the Official Budapest Tourism Budapest Card Partners.
48 hour Budapest Card: valid for the duration of 48 hours. You specify the starting hour, which can be from 3 am to 3 am the second following day, or from 16:00 pm to 16:00 pm in two days’ time (e.g. from August 18, 21:00 pm to August 20, 21:00 pm). Once you write the starting hour on the 48 hour Budapest Card, it cannot be changed or corrected. Please note that corrected cards are not accepted by the inspectors of the Budapest Public Transportation company, nor the Official Budapest Tourism Budapest Card Partners.
72 hour Budapest Card: valid for the duration of 72 hours. You specify the starting hour, which can be from 3 am to 3 am the third day, or from 16:00 pm to 16:00 pm in three days’ time (e.g. from September 14, 23:00 pm to September 17, 23:00 pm). Once you write the starting hour on the 72 hour Budapest Card, it cannot be changed or corrected. Please note that corrected cards are not accepted by the inspectors of the Budapest Public Transportation company, nor the Official Budapest Tourism Budapest Card Partners.
It does not matter when you buy your Budapest Card, or when you order it: you choose the starting day with the starting hour, which means that the clock starts ticking when you want it to tick. Therefore, we suggest writing the starting hour on your Budapest Card just before you first intend to use it.
1 Year Valid Budapest Cards
Budapest Cards are usually issued every spring, not in January, but in April or May, so a card purchased in a given year is valid until next year’s spring, or for the duration of 365 days. For instance, the 2013 Budapest Card is valid from 1 am on April 01, 2013 to 12 am (midnight) on March 31, 2014.
How to Fill Out your Budapest Card?
It only takes 1 minute to fill out the Budapest Card, but it only takes 1 second to ruin the card. Filling out the Budapest Card would not be such a fuss, if you could make changes, corrections, but, unfortunately, it is not the case. Otherwise many people would just re-use an already used Budapest Card, and then Budapest tourism would have considerable losses. Budapest Card is only valid if filled out properly. But how to do that?
Please follow the instructions below to properly and safely fill out your Budapest Card:
- legible letters and numbers
- no corrections, cross outs, marks or smudges
- in pen (no pencil, felt tip pen or permanent markers) – recommended: blue ink ball point pen
- signed by Adult who is the user (the card is not transferable)
- hours rounded back (please see below)
Budapest travel authorities are quite strict about travel passes, tickets and Budapest Cards. Please trust us that no corrected Budapest Cards will be accepted. Should you have any questions or doubts, please leave a comment below our instructions so that we can help you to resolve an issue.
Step By Step Instructions on Filling Out Budapest Cards
Budapest Card is a plastic card, which feels like a Credit Card. Please turn your card to the backside. You will see 4 white boxes on the back.
There is nothing to do with the black dots on the left side of the card, you can leave it as it is. You will only need to fill out the white boxes on the right side.
The first three white boxes in the middle of the Budapest Card are the date & hour info boxes when you wish to start using your card.
Let’s zoom in on the boxes you will fill out:
The boxes provide the instructions in English and Hungarian language, which may seem first self explanatory, but are a bit tricky: Month, Day & Hour. UK tourists may note that the order of the date is Month, then Day. Also, the Hour needs to be given in rounded hours (no minutes), and hours need to be rounded backwards (at 11:43 am you need to write 11, not 12). Please use numbers for the months, not letters: 12 for December, 5 for May, 8 for August, etc. as seen in the examples below.
For example: let’s say you are enjoying your Budapest Christmas holiday, and to save on your budget you will be using your Budapest Card free entries and discounts, free thermal bathing in the hot springs of Lukacs Baths, etc. You arrive at your hotel in Budapest late at night on December 20, where your Budapest Card is waiting for you, thanks to our free delivery service to hotels. Next morning, on Dec 21, you will fill out your Budapest Card with month, day and hour: 12 21 10
At the time of filling out the Card, it is only 9 am after breakfast, and you plan to go to the metro station by 10 am, so you will fill out the first hour of your use, rounded. When you use hours, you must round them, ignoring the minutes. In the hour box, please only write the rounded hour, no minutes:
To fill out the hour, only write the rounded numbers. You will need to round backwards, every started hour go back to the beginning. If you start using your Budapest Card at 9:30 am, you will have to write 9 in the box, not 10, or 9:30.
For afternoon and evening hours, please use the 24 hour clock (24 for midnight, 22 for 10 pm, 19 for 7 pm, etc.), not am or pm hours.
Please do not write am or pm in the hour box. It could be interpreted as cheating the system (e.g. adding pm to the 7 could result in getting an extra half day of using the Budapest Card by tricking the system), so am and pm endings are not to be used at all:
Please do not correct any of the numbers on your Budapest Card as it makes the complete card invalid, which means losing out on your Budapest deals and savings. No numbers should be corrected on the card at any means:
Just as with bank data, pin numbers and other important numbers, make sure you write the correct numbers in the correct order on your Budapest Card. Please note that the order of the date is MONTH / DAY (as in the US), and not Day / Month (as in the UK).
Tips for Filling Out your Budapest Card
- Practice the numbers on scrap paper
- Make sure to double check the trial numbers on your scrap paper before copying
- Use a blue ball point pen
- Let the ink dry to avoid smudges
- If you are left handed, make sure not to smudge the numbers: wait till the ink gets dry
- Give the hour of your first use rounded back (the last full hour elapsed on that day)
- Fill out all 4 boxes
- Sign your Budapest Card to make it valid for use
- Keep your Budapest Card at hand, but safe
- Note: Budapest Cards cannot be corrected or replaced
We suggest writing down the numbers you want to use first on a piece of scrap paper, then check if the numbers are OK in the proper order (month, day, hour), then copy the correct numbers on your actual Budapest Card. If you wrote an incorrect number do not correct it. Instead, try to see if adding a number before or after it can save your Budapest Card.
Miscellaneous Info on Budapest Cards
The Budapest Card is personalized and is not transferable. The owner of a Budapest Card can make use of its discounts and free entries between 1st April 2013 – 31st March 2014. Unused Budapest Cards are not refunded.
During the validity of your Budapest Card you may travel on all vehicles of the Budapest Public Transportation company (BKV Zrt) for free: on streetcars, trolleys, on metro (M1, M2, M3 lines), on the Millenium Underground (M1 line), on scheduled boats, on the cogwheel railway, on buses (to the airport terminals as well), and even on the HEV suburban train within Budapest (which saves some on the trips from Budapest to Szentendre or Budapest to Mogyorod).
During public transport, before entering the metro station escalators, please show your Budapest Card. On most buses, trolleys and streetcars there is no need to show the Budapest Card, only if random ticket inspectors ask you to do so.
Please note that Budapest Card is not valid for the Buda Castle Funicular, and the Chairlift on Janos Hill.
Discounts offered by this card are available only at points of acceptance and for the services indicated in the Budapest Card Booklet given at purchase.