STAF 2013 will be hosted by Budapest, the capital of Hungary, which was founded in 1873 as the unification of the separate historic towns of Buda (the royal capital since the 15th century), Pest (the cultural centre) and Óbuda (built on the ancient Roman settlement of Aquincum).
The city is bisected by the River Danube, which makes Budapest a natural geographical centre and a major international transport hub. Budapest has a rich and fascinating history, a vibrant cultural heritage, yet it managed to maintain its magic and charm. It has also been called the City of Spas with a dozen thermal bath complexes served by over a hundred natural thermal springs.
The conferences will be held on the south campus of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics:
Address: Magyar Tudosok korutja 2.
1117 Budapest, Hungary
Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/ikE23
The Budapest Ferihegy Airport (BUD) is connected to various main European airports by several flights a day including various cheap flights. information available at the homepage of the airport.
For getting to the city from the airport, there are two main options:
If you are travelling alone, the best choice is the door-to-door Shuttle Bus called "Airport Minibus", also known as "Airport Shuttle". The company has a at terminal where you can buy tickets. If you stay in the central part of Budapest, the fee is 3200 HUF for a single ticket and 5500 HUF for return see chart for more detailed pricing information. The company operates Ford Transits and other similar vans. Transport by the shuttle bus can be somewhat slower than by taxi, as the shuttle bus makes several stops to serve typically 3-5 passangers travelling to / from the same general direction.
For those travelling together, sharing a taxi may be a better option in some cases: "Fo taxi" is the officially licensed company taking passengers form the airport to the city. The company also has desks at the arrival side of both terminals. The price of a ride depends on the destination zone. Most of you will most probably stay in zones 2 or 3, costing 6000 HUF per taxi for leaving the airport, and somewhat less for returning (if you preorder the voucher at the airport). Please note that this price is only valid for the first stop in the city, after that the taxi operates on a per-distance basis.
The cheapest solution would be to use public transport, but it is not recommended as the airport is not particularly well-connected, and the trip will take quite some time. You can take bus line 200E from the airport to its other terminal Kobanya-Kispest, and board the Metro line M3 there. M3 will take you to some of the central areas of the eastern bank (Pest). In particular, at Corvin-negyed (formerly Ferenc korut) you can transfer southwestward (in the direction of Moricz Zsigmond korter or Ujbuda-kozpont ) to the trams 4 or 6 to reach the university (see below).
Taxi companies usually accept Euros, just as the shuttle bus company, therefore getting from the airport to the city is possible without having HUF. Public transportation tickets, however, are to be paid in HUF. There are teller (ATM) machines at the airport where you can buy HUF at a better exchanged rate than in banks.
When arriving by train at the Western Railway Station (Nyugati palyaudvar) take tram number 4 or 6 in the direction of Moricz Zsigmond korter or Ujbuda-kozpont directly. The Western Railway Station is a major hub for public transportation with the Metro line 3, trams 4 and 6, and many bus lines.
When arriving at the Eastern Railway Station (Keleti pályaudvar, main railway station for international trains) or at the Southern Railway Station (Deli palyaudvar), you can take the Metro line M2, go to Blaha Lujza ter and change to the tram lines 4 or 6 as above.
Please note that there are special reduced fares for various trains from Vienna, Munich, and many other cities.
Budapest has an excellent public transportation system. Recently a ticket costs HUF 350 (EUR 1,20 to 1.30) but different combined and daily tickets offer a good "go as you please" opportunity. Many major lines operate until approx. 23h-24h in the night, and a network of night buses serve the streets afterwards. For finding your way, the site utvonalterv.hu provides invaluable help in planning routes in Hungary (especially in Budapest) by public transport, by car, or by other means of transport. Alternatively, we recommend the pages of the Budapest Transportation Company (BKV) to find bus, tram or subway connections within Budapest.
For public transport outside Budapest, the ELVIRA service is helpful in finding domestic train connections, and for the schedule of the national coach services please visit the official timetable of the Volan company. (The latter site speaks only Hungarian, but the search function is almost self explaining: The first 3 fields are "from", "to", "via", then the date in year/month/day order. Leave everything else as default.)
In Budapest, you have to purchase a ticket before taking a public transportation vehicle, fares cannot be paid on board (excluding taxis, of course). Ticket vending machines or cashiers are usually available at railway stations, coach stations and stops of the subway system. On many lesser tram or bus stops, however, you will need a pre-purchased ticket or resort to newsstands and other miscellaneous ticket vendors. For coach or train services connecting towns, you have the option to buy the ticket on the vehicle, but only if you board it at a lesser stop where no tickets are sold. Be careful that many coaches and cheaper trains have no visual or audible announcements indicating which stop is next, therefore travellers have to watch out for signposts, trust the timetables for accuracy, rely on their familiarity of the surroundings or ask for help from other passengers to decide when to get off. Fortunately express train services like InterCity and EuroCity usually do have a stop indication, but they require a more expensive and pre-purchased reserved seat ticket.
Specially discounted hotel prices have been arranged for delegates at two hotels. Please complete the booking forms below, and fax them to the hotels ASAP to ensure you receive the discounted rates.
Note: The deadline for reservations at both of these hotels is the 13th May 2013. Further details can be found on the respective forms.
Hungary is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Border Treaty. The official language is Hungarian, and do not expect everybody to speak English, but you can easily get by with English or with German in places frequented by international tourism.
The official currency in Hungary is the Forint (shortly, Ft or HUF), and not the Euro. Of course, there are many places where they accept Euros as well, but you should not depend on it, and exchange rates are typically biased against the customer. You can exchange currency in banks and at dedicated exchange offices, or withdraw HUF from ATMs. The exchange mid rate is around 300 HUF for 1 EUR. Please note that according to a recent regulation in Hungary, 1 Ft and 2 Ft coins are withdrawn, and prices are rounded up (or down) to the next number divisible by 5. Ft. So, shopkeepers are not cheating if they do not give you back a change of 1Ft or 2 Fts.
In Hungary there are 3 cellphone providers:
- Telenor - a member of the Telenor group, formerly Pannon, Pannon GSM
- T-Mobile - a member of the Deutsche Telekom group, formerly Westel, Westel900
Here are some useful links to help you plan your trip: