SO WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW, IF YOU WANT TO DRIVE YOUR CAR IN BUDAPEST
In Hungary you can easily reach the most important cities and sights by car. The road network is quite good – but very Budapest-oriented – developed. The basic traffic regulations correspond to the usual regulations in Europe.
Speed limits for cars (up to 3,5t)
Within built-up areas: 50 km/h
Outside built-up areas: 90 km/h
On semi-motorways: 110 km/h
On motorways: 130 km/h
The electronic motorway vignette
A toll must be paid on most of the motorways and semi-motorways. Few sections are free, such as the M31 motorway near Gödöllő. The vignette can be purchased at petrol stations and online for 10 days, for a month or for a calendar year. However, this vignette only exists electronically. You must enter the license plate number when purchasing. The cameras on the motorways compare the read number plates with the database. If no valid vignette is saved for the number plate, a photo is taken or the driver is stopped.
In recent years, the network of toll expressways has been expanded several times, for example, many sections of the Budapest Ring Road M0 and other expressways are also subject to vignettes. So it is best to buy a 10-day vignette and then you are on the safe side. Drivers who are traveling with an 8-9 seater minibus or with a trailer still have to be careful, as the categories have also changed from 2015. As a result, only cars with up to 7 seats are considered passenger cars. Cars with 8 or more seats are already in category D2.
You can find more information about the motorway network and the motorway toll here.
Drink driving and other important rules:
- In any case, the 0.0 per mil limit applies
- Outside built-up areas, the low beam / daytime running lights must always be switched on
- It is not allowed to hold a cell phone, a hands-free system or a headset is requested
If you really want to drive a car in Budapest:
I recommend that my guests in Budapest do not use their own car and prefer public transport. You reach your goal much easier and often faster. If you do want to go by car, please note the following rule:
- You have to pay parking fees pretty much everywhere. Usually Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. to 6 or 8 p.m. You can find out when exactly at the machines and at the street signs. The parking fee depends on the zone and is currently 525 HUF per hour in the city center and in the castle district.
- The parking machines only take coins and have sometimes technical issues, so problems can often arise, which is why most car drivers now use different mobile phone apps to pay the parking fee. Download an app like Parkl and you can park sometimes with a discount and easily not only on the street, but also in numerous underground car parks and multi-storey car parks.
- In the Castle District, on Gellért Hill and on Margaret Island, you have to pay day and night!
- Margaret Island is basically closed to cars. The public parking lot on the northern part of the island can only be reached from the Árpád Bridge.
- A relatively large number of new underground car parks are available, e.g. those at St. Stephen’s Basilica and Freedom Square are in the immediate vicinity of tourist attractions.
- Make sure you always keep a distance of 5 meters from an intersection, otherwise you will quickly get a parking claw.
- Never leave valuables / bags / etc. visible in the parked car.
- If you have a disabled parking permit from an EU country, you can park anywhere for free. Please don’t forget to place your permit behind the windscreen so that it is legible.
- From the airport to the city center
- Travelling by taxi
- Currency exchange
- Public transportation in Budapest
- Pickpockets and similar dangers
- EU citizens 65+ travel for free
- Inside visit of the Parliament building
- Sightseeing boats on the river Danube
- Buying cigarettes and smoking
- Where and how much tip is usual?
- Private tour in Budapest. By car or on foot?