Are there any free parking spots in Budapest?
Thank you for the question! This is a good question and, at times a tricky question. The local government has removed more and more of the free parking spots in Budapest, but there are still some. Here we will write about some of those free parking spots.
First of all, in large parts of the city, it is free parking on Sundays and after 22.00 in the evening (on the other days). However, this is in general, so make sure to check it out as you park your car just to know if this is valid for where you would like to park your card as well.
General advice is to never to leave values in your car because, as in all other cities, there are people in Budapest as well who like to steal valuables from cars, so if you have lots of valuable stuff in your car, you better go to a secure parking lot instead with guards, to make sure that you, your car and your values stay safe!
Free parking in Budapest
Some parking spots are free all the time, and these are some of them.
1) Etele tér P+R
You can type this name into Google Maps and it will lead you to a free parking lot in Budapest. It is located next to a big shopping mall named Etele Plaza, and from here, you can travel by metro line 4 to Kalvin square and Fövam square which are central locations in Budapest. Be aware that many people use this option on weekdays, meaning it might be hard to find a free parking lot, but if you are patient and lucky, it should work out nicely!
2) Örmezö P+R
This is located close to the first parking lot mentioned (Etele tér P+R), on the other side of the railway lines. It is the perfect place to start your trip to Budapest as you can leave your car for free and travel by metro to downtown. You can buy tickets at the metro station. If you’d rather travel by tram to central Budapest, that can also be done using tram 49.
3) KÖKI Terminál P+R
This isn’t entirely free, but it is quite close to free. It is located next to metro line three (the blue line) and the station named Köbanya Kispest. It is a part of a giant mall, meaning that you can easily shop at this location besides parking your car.
The price for parking between 06.00 and 22.00 is 350 HUF (in total). It is free to park your car in the mall at night.
4) Arena Plaza parking lot
The parking lot belonging to the Arena Plaza shopping mall can be used for free. It is not super central, but by walking a bit you can reach the Keleti Palyaudvar, and there you will find two metro lines, making it easy to get on from there in town.
November 2022 update. You can now only park for free for 2 hours in Arena Plaza. After this, all the following hours will cost 300 HUF (appx. 1 Euro). The parking lot is possible to use during the opening times of the Plaza itself.
5) Bikas Park
This is not very central, but this location has a metro station, and from here, you can easily travel to central locations using public transportation. It is also nice to know that this entire region has free parking, so if you cannot park at the large parking lot on the Bikas park, then you can also park for free in the streets around the park. Be aware of the fact that it is a local market at Bikas Park every Saturday, so all cars have to be removed from the spot before the market starts (they have to be removed latest on Friday evening before midnight).
This is a great place to leave your car if you come to Budapest by car and want to do a day of sightseeing before traveling in the evening. You can also leave your car here for days, but that isn’t a normal thing to do. If you leave your car here, make sure not to leave it from Friday to Saturday as it will be removed due to the market (a great local market in Budapest).
December 2022 update: The local government just changed its policy about Bikas park. Since December 5th in, 2022, you need to pay a parking fee here of 300 HUF per hour between 8:00 and 18:00 on weekdays. It is still free parking here on Saturdays after the market has finished (around 13.00) and on Sundays.