Car Hire in Budapest
This information is correct as of April 2015
Get more out of your trip to Budapest when you hire a car with Skyscanner. Not only can you zip around the main attractions in the comfort of your own vehicle, you can also head out of the city and see a side to Budapest that very few travellers get to. Not only can we help you to find the best deals on car hire, we also have some great tips around driving in Budapest.
Where to hire a car in Budapest
At Budapest International Airport you can hire a car from Avis, Buchbinder, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. The airport is about half an hour’s drive from the city centre. If you would rather pick your car up in the city centre, there are a few car hire locations in central Budapest. Avis have an office in District V, Budget operate from Budapest-Déli train station, and there’s a FOX Autorent in District VI.
Driving in Budapest
All roads lead to Budapest: a high number of important European highways terminate in the city. The traffic on Budapest’s roads can be quite heavy as a result. Budapest has a one-way system, which can be confusing for people who aren’t used to the city’s layout. Bring a good sat-nav with you to avoid frustration.
The transportation system in Budapest is extremely innovative. Intelligent displays show road users their estimated journey times. Drivers can download an app to stay up to date on delays: only use this before getting behind the wheel, as mobile phone use while driving is illegal.
If you’re planning to drive on the motorways outside Budapest you will need to get a vignette (a toll permit). You can pick these up at post offices and many petrol stations. If you’re driving on country roads it’s required that you dip your headlights, even during the day. These roads can be quite dark and dingy.
Traffic in Hungary drives on the right side of the road. Any car you rent in Budapest will likely be a left hand drive vehicle. If you’re not used to this type of car, take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the controls before leaving the car park.
Parking in Budapest
On-street parking is available in Budapest. The city is divided into a number of different zones, with different hourly parking prices. Charges apply between 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, but some areas of the city centre have restrictions up until 8pm. Maximum stay is usually between 3 and 4 hours, although some spaces have no limits. Large commercial car parks are available throughout the city. Reáltanoda Street Car Park is a good place to park near the Danube, and there are a few other large car parks nearby. Many major Budapest hotels have their own car parks, which you may have to pay a daily rate to use.
Great day trips from Budapest
The Hungarian Open Air Museum
Half an hour’s drive from central Budapest, this open air museum is a must for anyone interested in Hungarian history, culture, and architecture. It’s on the outskirts of Duna-Ipoly National Park, and features seven small villages: each one show casing the building styles and local customs of Hungary’s seven main regions.
This park is full of the larger than life statues and monuments which peppered the city during the Communist era. It’s a 20 minute drive south of the city, and is a fun place to spend an afternoon. Look out for the massive statue of two feet standing on a plinth. These are a recreation of the feet belonging to massive 80 foot high statue of Stalin, which was toppled during the 1956 revolution.
The Danube Bend
It takes less than an hour to reach the quaint towns and tranquillity of the Danube bend, where the mighty river turns south and heads towards Budapest. Most people head to the three major cities on the West Bank (Szentendre, Esztergom, and Visegrad) but the East Bank has some lovely spots too. The baroque city of Vac, the resort town of Zebegeny, and the beautiful botanical gardens of Vacratot can all be found on the east bank.