How to get there

This page contains detailed information about how you can get to the Summer School venue. You may prefer to arrive by plane, by train or by car. Although there are no international coach services to/from Keszthely, you may take the buses from Budapest or Győr to Keszthely.

Arriving by plane

Sármellék Airport

A limited number of budget airlines operate flights to Sármellék Airport (IATA: SOB, "Fly Balaton airport", 15 km from Keszthely), which is a recently opened countryside airport. You can take an airport transfer bus from there.

Additionally to the charter fligths, the airport is (according to the most up-to-date information) flown by the operators Lufthansa and Hamburg International connecting some German airports with the Lake Balaton. There are Lufthansa flights on every Saturdays from and to Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. Hamburg International operates flights from and to Leipzig and Dresden on some Wednesdays, there is only one flight from and to Leipzig on the 1st July during the summer school.

New information: Bulgarian Air flies from and to Burgas (Bulgaria) every Wednesday.

Budapest Airport

Another option would be to fly to the capital, Budapest, and then to travel from Budapest to Keszthely. The two terminals of the Budapest Ferihegy Airport (BUD, 220 km from Keszthely) are connected to various major European airports by several flights a day including various cheap flights. Low-cost airlines arrive at "Ferihegy Terminal 1" while main international flights land on "Ferihegy Terminal 2". More information available at the homepage of the airport: http://bud.hu/english/transport.

You have several options to get from the Budapest Airport to Keszthely.

We recommend ELVIRA to find domestic train connections, and the pages of the Budapest Transportation Company (BKV) to find bus, tram or subway connections within Budapest. For the schedule of the national coach services please visit the official timitable of the Volán company. (There is only a Hungarian speaking version, but the search function is almost self explaining: The first 3 fields are "from", "to", "through", then the date in year/month/day order. Leave everything else as default.)

General remarks about public transportation in Hungary

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 passangers 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.

Arriving by train

The capital Budapest is reachable by train from many major European cities. We recommend ELVIRA to find domestic train connections from Budapest to Keszthely. Most international trains arrive in one of the 3 main railways stations of Budapest: Keleti (East), Déli (South) or Nyugati (West). In most cases you have to change your trains in Budapest, if you arrive by train to the summer school. The procedure depends on from what direction you will arrive:

Please note that there are special reduced fares for various trains from Vienna, Munich, and many other cities.

Changing trains in Budapest

The main train lines arrive and depart in Budapest at the 3 main railways stations: Keleti (East), Déli (South) or Nyugati (West). Most trains from/to the West (e.g. Vienna, Komárom, ...) or South-West (e.g. Zagreb, Lake Balaton, ...) stop at Budapest-Kelenföld, as well, providing an option to change direction without travelling around the city inwards and outwards. There are several minor train stations in Budapest, but you most probably do not need to use them.

The trains to Keszthely depart in the Déli (South) or in the Keleti (East) Railways Station. If you have to change between them:

For reference see the railways map of Budapest. (The yellow marking is irrelevant for now.) The railways line number "30" goes to the Lake Balaton (and Keszthely). Line "1" goes towards Vienna, Austria, "70" towards West- and Middle-Slovakia, "80" towards East-Slovakia and Ukraine, "120" towards Southern-Romania, "100" towards North-Romania, "150" towards Beograd, Serbia, "40" towards Croatia.

Railways map of Budapest

From Budapest to Keszthely by train

You may find train connections online on the Elvira web site. As of April 2009 the one-way 2nd class fare for a Budapest-Keszthely trip is 2780 HUF (10 EUR) or 3170 HUF inclusive the extra fee for InterCity trains. Below we give a short summary of some of the train connections.

Legend for the last column:

If you take a train with "direct wagons" please pay extra attention to taking place in the right wagons. In case of doubt please ask the train manager.

Departure in
Budapest Keleti
Departure in
Budapest Déli
Departure in
Budapest Kelenföld
Arrival in
Balatonszentgyörgy
Departure in
Balatonszentgyörgy
Arrival in
Keszthely
train type
06:05-06:2009:1809:2009:30change, IC
-07:1307:2010:1810:2210:33direct wagons
10:00-10:1713:1513:2113:32through train, IC
10:15-10:3213:4213:5314:05direct wagons
-13:1313:2016:2116:3316:44direct wagons
14:05-14:2017:1117:1317:24change
16:35-16:5019:5520:0020:12change, EN
-19:1319:2022:1922:2222:34change
Departure in
Keszthely
Arrival in
Balatonszentgyörgy
Departure in
Balatonszentgyörgy
Arrival in
Budapest Kelenföld
Arrival in
Budapest Déli
Arrival in
Budapest Keleti
train type
03:4003:5203:5607:4807:57-change
05:5106:0206:1309:1009:17-direct wagons
07:3007:4207:5210:41-10:59change, EN
10:4010:5111:0114:1214:19-direct wagons
12:4112:5312:5615:54-16:09change
13:3313:4413:5517:15-17:34direct wagons
14:3614:4714:4817:46-18:04through train, IC
14:4014:5115:0218:2018:27-only Sundays, direct wagons
17:2517:3517:4520:4020:47-direct wagons
18:2518:3818:4521:40-21:59change, IC

Arriving by coach

There are no direct international coach services to Keszthely. Keszthely is well connected to Budapest and to West-Hungary. In Budapest the coaches depart at Budapest-Népliget Coach Station as follows (different routes lead to different journey times on this <200 km distance):

BudapestKeszthelyOperatingDirectionJourney time
06:3009:45dailySiófok-Balatonfenyves-Keszthely-Zalaegerszeg3:15
06:3010:10dailyBalatonkenese-Balatonfüred-Badacsony-Keszthely-Hévíz3:40
08:2510:50sundaysM7-Keszthely-Zalaegerszeg2:25
09:3513:56dailyVeszprém-Tapolca-Keszthely-Hévíz4:21
14:1017:55fridaysVeszprém-Tapolca-Keszthely3:45
14:1517:05daily except sundaysSzékesfehérvár-Balatonfenyves-Keszthely2:50
14:1518:20dailyVeszprém-Tapolca-Keszthely4:05
15:4018:55dailyBalatonalmádi-Balatonfüred-Keszthely-Zalaegerszeg3:15
18:4021:15dailyM7-Keszthely-Zalaegerszeg2:35
21:0000:20sundaysBalatonalmádi-Balatonfüred-Keszthely-Zalaegerszeg3:20
22:0000:20sundaysM7-Keszthely-Zalaszentgrót2:20

As of April 2009 the one-way fare for a Budapest-Keszthely trip is 2780 HUF (10 EUR). You can reach the coach station in Budapest by the subway line "M3" or by the tram line "1". For the schedule of the national coach services please visit the official timitable of the Volán company. (There is only a Hungarian speaking version, but the search function is almost self explaining: The first 3 fields are "from", "to", "through", then the date in year/month/day order. Leave everything else as default.)

Arriving by car

If you decide to arrive by car, please study the following map (use the zoom function or the enlarged version of the map):


Enlarge map

The white square represents the summer school venue, the single airplane is the Sármellék Airport and the double airplanes represent the two terminals of the Budapest Airport.

The motorway toll is 1530 HUF (5,2 EUR) for 4 days, 2550 HUF (8,8 EUR) for a week or 4200 HUF (14,5 EUR) for a month. It is sold as an e-vignette, you do not really get a vignette, but you have to tell the registration number of your car when you buy the vignette. Please verify all of the data on the voucher you get before confiramtion. You may read more about the Hungarian motorway system here

Car rental

Most well known car rental companies have offices at the Budapest Airport (airport fees may apply). Elsewhere in Budapest, you will find even more car rental companies, but in the other Hungarian cities the choice is definitely tighter. In the table below a one-way fee means the extra costs if the pick-up and drop-off locations are not the same (e.g. pick-up at the Budapest Airport and drop-off in Keszthely), and a collection fee means the extra costs if you would pick up or drop off the car in other places than the offices of the company (e.g. you drive to Keszthely, but the company has offices only in Hévíz or Tapolca). The rental prices usually include the motorway toll as well, but feel free to ask before starting.

CompanyOffices near KeszthelyOne-way feeCollection fee
AVISGyőr (130 km)  
Buchbinder/Denzel/National/AlamoTapolca (30 km)none100 HUF/km (0,35 EUR/km)
BudgetSzombathely (100 km), Székesfehérvár (130 km)none300 HUF/km (1 EUR/km)
EuropcarZalaegerszeg (45 km), Veszprém (75 km)none120 HUF/km (0,4 EUR/km)
FoxKeszthely?, Hévíz (7 km)none if you rent from them directly,
or 28 EUR if you rent through agents
 
HertzHévíz (7 km), Veszprém (75 km)5000 HUF (18 EUR) 
ReginaHévíz (7 km)10000 HUF (36 EUR) 
SixtGyőr (130 km)37 EUR