How to get to Debrecen?
soon you will arrive to Hungary, yay! We don’t know which method of transport you will use to get to Hungary, but we assume that most of you will arrive to Budapest first.
Step 1. If you arrive via plane
If you arrive via plane to Budapest then you will land in Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport Terminal 2A or 2B. Unfortunately, you cannot take a direct train to Debrecen from the Airport.
How to get to the train station from the airport?
The public transport company of Budapest (BKV or BKK) has a bus that takes you to the train station. You will find it just outside the terminals, between the terminals. The bus is numbered 200E, it is painted light blue, the public transport buses have BKV or BKK on them, and usually, they are a bit older buses. Its end stop is called: Kőbánya-Kispest. The bus departs every 6-8 minutes from the airport. You don’t need to take a shuttle service or a taxi, they would cost you much more. Inside the terminal, you can find ATMs to withdraw Hungarian Forints.
DON’T FORGET TO BUY TICKETS FOR THE BUS! If you buy the ticket in advance from the Ticket Vending Machines next to it, then it costs 350 HUF but if buy if from the bus driver then it costs 450 HUF. On the bus, you also need to validate your ticket. If you do not have a ticket or have not validated it, and a controller gets you, you will have to pay 16,000 HUF, so better safe than sorry!
To reach the train station, you need to get off at the 5th stop, called “Ferihegy vasútállomás” (Ferihegy train station, also introduced in English on the bus and a short form will be used on the screen: Ferihegy vá.)
Schedule of bus 200E is here: https://bkk.hu/apps/menetrend/pdf/2005/20180616/11.pdf
You need to cross the street on the bridge above it. There are only two platforms: A and B. Your train will depart from Platform A. On this platform you will find a Ticket Vending Machine, so you can purchase your trains ticket until Debrecen. From Debrecen main station (Nagyállomás) follow Step 4.
Here you can check the schedule: (From: Ferihegy, Destination: Debrecen) and even buy your ticket 60 days in advance: http://elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/x/index?language=2
From Debrecen Airport
If you arrive by plane to Debrecen Airport then you need to get on the Airort1 or Airport2 bus (Timetable), buy a ticket for 500 HUF and then get off after approximately 13 minutes at bus stop “Nagyállomás” (Debrecen train station). Then follow Step 4.
Step 2. If you arrive to Budapest NOT by plane
If you do not arrive to Budapest by plane, you also need to catch a train to Debrecen from train station called “Nyugati pályaudvar”. Fortunately, Nyugati can be reached quite easily by metro and you need to buy only ONE TICKET even if you change metro lines (only in case if you change where the metro lines meet and do not come up to the street level – thus you do not need to go through the validating gates again). You can buy your ticket for 350 HUF from the Ticket Vending Machines that are at the metro gates. You may use your credit card to pay for your tickets.
Check train schedules from Nyugati Pályaudvar to Debrecen here: http://elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/x/index?language=2
If you arrive by train:
If you wish to go to the Nyugati railway station from “Keleti pályaudvar” train station, you need to take Metro number 4 (green line) towards “Kelenföld vasútállomás”, get off at the third tram stop called “Kálvin tér” and change to Metro line 3 (blue line) towards “Újpest-központ” and travel 4 more stops until “Nyugati pályaudvar”.
If you want to reach Nyugati from “Déli pályaudvar”, you need to take Metro number 2 (red line) towards “Örs vezér” square and get off at the fourth tram stop called “Deák Ferenc tér” where you need to change to Metro number 3 (blue line) towards “Újpest-központ” and get off at the second stop that is “Nyugati pályaudvar”.
If you arrive by bus:
And what if you need to catch your train at Nyugati pályaudvar but you are at “Népliget” bus station? Then you just have to take Metro number 3 (blue line), travel until the eighth stop and you will already be at the Nyugati train station.
Once you arrived successfully to the “Nyugati pályaudvar”, you only need to catch a train towards Debrecen. You can read more about these trains under step 3.
Step 3. How to get from the train station to Debrecen?
There are 2 kinds of trains in Hungary. Normal ones are called “személy”, and faster and more comfortable ones are called “InterCity”. We suggest using InterCity (IC) only when you first travel in Hungary as it is safer, faster and more comfortable. You will get 2 tickets for an Intercity, a normal ticket plus a special extra ticket which includes the extra fee and the seat reservation. If you travel from the airport then you need to buy a ticket from Ferihegy to Debrecen, otherwise from Nyugati to Debrecen. With an InterCity it takes 2.5 hours to get to Debrecen, with a személy it takes 3.5-4 hours. They sell tickets in every station.
Price: (we only show InterCity)
full price: from Ferihegy: 4,195 HUF; from Nyugati: 4,485 HUF
50% discount: from Ferihegy: 2,355 HUF; from Nyugati: 2,515 HUF (you get discount only from the normal ticket, the extra ticket costs the same, 540 HUF)
Who can get 50% discount? Students of the European Union (you don’t have to be a citizen of the EU, you just need to study at a university that is in the EU)
33% discount: from Ferihegy: 2,975 HUF; from Nyugati: 3,185 HUF
Who can get 33% discount? People younger than 26 years, ONLY on Fri-Sat-Sun. You must have an ID Card/passport with you to prove your age and there must be a photo on the card as well.
Schedule: http://elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/xslvzs/index?language=2 (English language website of the Hungarian Railways = MÁV)
If you arrive late then we suggest you stay at the airport until morning – it’s not the most comfortable solution but there is a toilet, there are shops and restaurants, and you are in a building at least. If you spend the night at the airport then the first IC leaves from Ferihegy train station at 06:28 AM. The next one is at 07:43 AM and it leaves hourly afterward.
Step 4. What to do when you arrive to Debrecen?
Well, hopefully, your Erasmus Buddy will be waiting for you in the train station. Do not hesitate to ask his/her help! :) We told them to help you as much as possible so we hope that they can make it. However, if your Buddy is out of town then you just need to take tram number 1 (Timetable:) from the train station (“Nagyállomás”) to the University of Debrecen (“Egyetem”). If you arrive between 11 pm and 5 am, only tram 2 runs also from the railway station ("Nagyállomás") but it has different stops (please check the schedule here: ) (Timetable). from the train station (“Nagyállomás”) to the University of Debrecen (“Egyetem”). Do not forget to buy a ticket for 400 HUF from the driver and also to validate it. In the university you need to find the Erasmus Office – your buddy should know where that is and you can also find them in the map we have uploaded to the Facebook group.
Step 5. Have a drink with your Buddy