Getting Around Hungary
There are currently no scheduled domestic flights within Hungary.
Hungary has a modern and efficient road system. Tolls are payable on some roads and all motorways.
Side of the roadRight
Most roads in Hungary are of good quality.
There are eight arterial roads in the country; all but the M8 start from central Budapest. From Budapest, the two main highways are the M1 to Györ and Vienna and the M7 along Lake Balaton. The M3 connects Budapest with eastern Hungary.
International and local car hire firms are located in all of Hungary's main towns and at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. The minimum age for car rental is 21 years.
Taxis, which can be found in all major towns and cities, are reliable and reasonably priced.
As rural Hungary is fairly flat, getting around the countryside by bike is reasonably easy. Between towns, busy highways should be avoided in favour of quieter country roads. Heavy traffic in Budapest city centre can make cycling challenging, but there are dedicated cycle paths around the city as well as cycle lanes that run along the Danube.
Regular coach services connect towns throughout the country. Most run via one of Pest’s three major bus stations: Népliget, Stadion and Árpád. The national bus company is Volánbusz (tel: +36 1 382 0888; www.volanbusz.hu/en), which also represents Eurolines, while Orangeways (tel: +36 30 182 6630; www.orangeways.com) operates services to surrounding countries.
Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas, 90kph (50mph) on main roads and 130kph (75mph) on motorways. Seat belts must be worn. Children of 16 years and under must sit in the rear and child seats are compulsory. It is obligatory to keep headlights dipped when driving, and the use of handheld mobile phones is prohibited. There is a zero tolerance policy concerning drink driving – it is illegal to have any level of alcohol in the bloodstream when driving.
Magyar Autóclub (the Hungarian Automobile Club) (tel: 188, in Hungary only; www.autoklub.hu) operates a 24-hour emergency breakdown service.
Pink format EU licences are accepted. An International Driving Permit is required if an EU licence is not held.
Almost all towns and cities in Hungary have a well-established and efficient public transport system that consists of buses, and occasionally trolley buses. Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged and Miskolc also have trams.
Budapest: Budapest Travel Limited (BKV) (tel: +36 1 325 5255; www.bkv.hu) operates buses, trolleybuses, trams and underground trains in the capital. Tickets must be purchased in advance and validated for travel. The city also has a night bus service and a suburban railway (HEV). Day passes and season tickets are available.
Debrecen: The Public Transport Company of Debrecen (DKV) (tel: +36 52 502 640; www.dkv.hu) operates buses, trams and trolleybuses in Hungary's second city.
Services are operated by MÁV (tel: 06 40 494 949, in Hungary only or +36 1 444 4499; www.mav.hu). All main cities are linked by efficient services and the most popular tourist rail routes are Budapest-Kecskemét-Szeged and Budapest-Siófok-Lake Balaton. Supplements are payable on express, EuroCity (EC) and InterCity (IC) trains, with reservations compulsory for the latter.
InterRail One-Country Pass: offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month within Hungary. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Travellers under 26 years receive a reduction. Children under 12 travel free when accompanied by an adult using an Adult Pass. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Available from Voyages-sncf.com (tel: +44 844 848 5848, in the UK; www.voyages-sncf.com).
Eurail Hungary Pass: offers travel for three, four, five or eight days in one month within Hungary. Available to non-EU nationals from Eurail (www.eurail.com).
Cheap fares: available for groups, children, students, families, pensioners and people with certain disabilities. Season tickets are also available. The Hungary Card (www.hungarycard.hu) offers discounts on rail, bus, taxi and MAHART ferry services, as well as accommodation, restaurants, museums and road tolls.
There are regular MAHART (tel: +36 1 484 4013; www.mahartpassnave.hu) ferry services on the Danube from spring to late autumn linking Budapest with Szentendre, Vác, Visegrád and Esztergom. On Lake Balaton, Balaton Shipping Co. (tel: +36 84 312 144; www.balatonihajozas.hu) operates ferries between most of the major towns on the lake from April to October.