Free parking in Budapest

free parking budapestAre 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.

koki terminal

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.

Watch out for wrong currencies as you travel with taxi in Budapest

The taxis in Budapest does not have the best rumor in the world, and that is easy to understand. Watch out for how much you pay and for the change you get back as you use the taxis in Budapest.

Last week we arranged a guided tour for a nice group of Scandinavians in Budapest. They were a pleasant group and we had a great time together as we discovered Budapest together. Along the way the guide told them a couple of good advises concerning taxi traveling in Budapest:

  • Order your taxi from your hotel or your restaurant.
  • Do not jump on taxis on the street.
  • Watch out for the change they give you back, and especially pay attention to receive back money in the right currency.
  • The fact that a taxi is yellow does not guarantee you anything.

Those were the advises we gave. 48 hours later we met the group again to go on a half-day trip to Szentendre with wine tasting and more cool stuff. They had some interesting stories to tell by then!

Budapest taxis
Watch out for taxis in Budapest so that you will not be ripped off!

Some horrible Budapest taxi stories

First taxi rip-off in Budapest

First of all some of the ladies in the group had traveled alone. They jumped on a taxi on the street and by the time they reached their hotel he wanted them to pay 40,000 HUF (a normal fare in Budapest should cost between 1500-4000 HUF). They did not really know for sure how much that was by then, and the driver looked really scary, so they paid. It didn’t take much time before they knew they had been ripped off heavily.

Second taxi rip-off(s) in Budapest

Then it was interesting to hear that several other people in the group had experienced the same problem that we told them about during the guided tour. They paid for the taxi ride (which had a okay fare), but then it was time to receive the change. Instead of getting back 10,000 Hungarian Forint they receive Indonesian money (which has no value at all compared to the Hungarian Forint). Some others received change in another currency as well. Some of them discovered it and got really made at the driver (who according to the tourists almost peed in his pants), while someone only discovered that they had been tricked a few moments later.

Budapest taxi rip-offs

It is incredibly common with such rip-offs in Budapest. 95% of such things happen when you jump into a cab on the street. Avoiding such will save you from most trouble. But, stay alert and if you jump into a cab on the street, feel free to write down the number plate (before you enter) so that you have something to fight with in case there should be trouble in some kind of way. If you are afraid of a fight, do not jump on a taxi on the street instead.

Fly with Norwegian to London from Budapest

The Norwegian airline named Norwegian is about to launch a new destination from Budapest. Until now Norwegian has only connected to Budapest to their bases in Scandinavia, but this summer they will launch a direct flight from Budapest to London Gatwick.

This is a big and interesting step for the Norwegian company, making them enter into the Hungarian market, not only competing on travels to Scandinavia, but also fighting for travelers going from Hungary to the UK.

If you are going to the UK, visit and check if they might have the best prices available for you!

Fly from Budapest to London

And if you are going to London, check out the London Guide for more information about the English capital.

Free usage of Metro 4 until Sunday evening

Today is the day… the day when Metro 4 will open in Budapest. From 12.00 today, until Sunday evening it will be free to travel with the new metro line in Budapest, so if you are in town make sure to check it out!

The new metro line will travel from Kelenföld Városközpont to Keleti Pályaudvar, making eight stops in between the two stations. This will hopefully make it even easier to get from A to B in Budapest for tourists, because the metro system is easy to use and understand. To make everything easier, you can also find the new metro map for Budapest here! Enjoy!

Budapest Metro Map
Click the map for a bigger version!

Public transportation tickets at Budapest Airport

Transport tickets at Budapest airportUntil know you have only been able to buy a very limited amount of public transportation tickets at Budapest Airport, but that is about to change.

Last week I noticed a temporary stand that has been placed in Terminal 2A where visitors can buy quite a lot of different public transportation tickets such as 1-day card, 3-day card, 7-day travel card, some group cards and single tickets. This is a great improvement, because earlier you had to buy single ticket at the airport and travel to Köhanya Kispest, and only there you could buy a one day pass, three day pass or a pass for one week.

At the moment this is a temporary stand, but as I asked them they said that in a while they will get a permanent stand looking nicer with an even larger amount of tickets for sale. So, if you want to travel from Budapest Airport using public transportation instead of a private airport transfer, then this makes it a whole lot easier.

Change in taxi prices from Budapest Airport (and in the rest of Budapet)

There are lots of changes taking place in the taxi business in Budapest. The most visible change is that more and more taxis are turning yellow. Another change is that fares are going up.

Until now visitors coming to Budapest just jumping in a taxi at the airport would get a set fee based on what area of the city they were going to, at least if they used the official Airport Taxi company named Fő Taxi. Due to the changes this has now changed, and you will not be able to know the price of your ride to your Budapest hotel before you actually arrive, because how much you pay is based on the length of your ride in kilometer and in time. The fee you pay per kilometer and the initial fee for just jumping into a taxi has also been raised. The new initial fee is 450 HUF and the new kilometer fee is 280 HUF.

Taxi in Budapest

For you as a tourist this means that traveling with taxies in Budapest has gotten more expensive, but do not be afraid, it is still cheap (if you are not tricked). As you come to Budapest Airport your taxi towards the city center has also gotten more expensive, maybe with 1500-2000 HUF compared to earlier. This means again that our fares for prebooked and private airport transfers cost exactly the same as if you just jump into a taxi at the airport, however you will know the price beforehand and you do not have to fear that you are being tricked by a driver taking slow roads, standing in lines on purpose and so on.

Enjoy your taxi ride and enjoy Budapest.

Budapest tour on foot all alone

The reason that I came up with the idea to write this article is as follows.  Once a month I get visitors from the Netherlands (they are really curious about the city I fell in love with and of course they are also happy to see me) and my ‘’duty’’ is to show them around the city. When the first person came to visit me, I made a ‘’ Budapest Tour’’ and now I use this route for all my visitors. I would like to share this route with you, because it can be useful for you too maybe!  The route shows all the great sightseeing attractions in Budapest and nice places to lunch or have a coffee along the way!

The starting point is Déak Ferenc Tér. If you come by subway take the exit that says Erszébet Tér and the first thing you will see is Starbucks. If you are still a little bit sleepy have a cup of coffee here. Otherwise, skip this place and go to the left to Fashion Street. At the end of this street is Vörösmarty tér (This weekend there is an Easter Fair!). If you go to the left you are in Váci Utca, the main shopping street. I do not recommend buying souvenirs here since they are quite expensive. If your visitors want to buy souvenirs I would like to recommend buying these in the Central Market Hall at the end of Váci Utca.

After visiting the Market Hall cross over the Liberty Bridge, enjoy the amazing view and make yourself ready to climb the Gellért Hill. If you have reached the top of the hill go down and walk along the river till you see the train, Sikló, that brings you to the Castle District. Halfway (when you pass the Palace), have lunch at the first café you see (on the corner of the street). They have nice sandwiches and Latte Macchiatto (or other coffees).  After the lunch bring a visit to the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Matthias Church and walk through the narrow and cozy streets.

As you leave the Castle Hill walk down Ostrom street you will soon see Mammut shopping Mall (it’s up to you if you want to stop here to do some shopping or to go to Starbucks for example).  You can walk to Elizabeth Bridge or you can take the tram 4 or 6 to Jászai Mari Tér. If you get off the tram go to the left (you will see the Parliament already). It’s nice to walk along the Danube to the Parliament. After visiting the Parliament show them  the statue of Imre on the bridge and walk hand in hand with Ronald Reagan. Then walk further to the Basilica. After visiting the Basilica you are just only a few minutes away from Andrassy Út and that means time for a tea break in one of the cozy tea houses in Andrassy Út, the Book café in Alexandra Bookstore or you can go to for example La Delizia, the Chocobar or SUGAR. These are all close to Andrassy Út !

If you still have energy after an extensive walking day you can walk to City Park at the end of the street. My visitors and I do this always the next day (combining City Park with relaxing in Szechenyi Spa).

You can go for dinner in Nagymezö Utca (this street has many nice restaurants, for example Két Szerecsen) and have some drinks in the ruïn pub Instant (also in this street).

Have fun!




When does the last bus leave from Budapest Airport in the night?

I will arrive to Budapest Airport around 23.30 and wonder how to get to the city center? When does the last public transportation bus leave from the airport?

Public transportation from Budapest AirportThank you for the question! The last bus (200E) that leaves from the airport to Köbánya Kispest (where you can change to the metro) leaves from Budapest Airport at 22.52 every night. That is quite early, but this is timed in such a way that you will get to Köbánya Kispest just in time to reach the last metro leaving from there at 23.15 (if the bus is a bit delayed you will though not reach the last metro).

In your case this means that you will not reach the last bus and be able to use public transportation with such a late arrival. You could therefore consider a private airport transfer, or the usage of the official Airport Taxi or a minibus shuttle at the airport. The usage of the minibus shuttle is probably the cheapest, but then you will not be able to leave the airport at once, but you will have to wait for a while for a group to come together, and only then you will leave the airport, which is not the best, at least not when you are tired and want to get to your hotel in a hurry!

Enjoy your stay!

Does senior citizens travel free on public transportation in Budapest?

Pensioners on public transportation in BudapestI have seen on another website that Hungarian citizens and citizens of the European union over 65 years travel free of charges in the transportation network of Budapest? Is that truly so?

Thank you for the question. The answer to your question is yes. People aged 65 or more travel free of charge with the public transportation in Budapest as long as they have a passport confirming their age. But, it is not enough that the passport confirms their age, it also needs to show that the person traveling comes from an EU nation or an EEA nation. If your passport confirms your age above 65 and home country (within the EU or EEA), then you can use the public transportation system in Budapest for free.

This question was originally answered in 2012, but as of August 29th in 2017 the answer remains the same. Let us all hope the answer will not change in the near future.

Does pensioners travels free in Budapest?
Do pensioners travel free in Budapest with public transportation?

If you have further comments or questions related to this, please use the comment field beneath.

RyanAir in Budapest

Since the bankruptcy of Malév earlier this year RyanAir returned to Budapest and Budapest Airport and at the moment they have more than 30 destinations available from Budapest. As of today that makes up a very large percentage of all flights leaving and arriving to Budapest, making them very important when it deals with tourism in Hungary. Lots of people have a determination never to fly with RyanAir, while others fly regularly enjoying low fares and some not too comfortable stuff. Here comes a RyanAir in Budapest wrap up, at least the way Budablogger sees it!

Waiting outside for boarding unto RyanAir flight earlier this year!

As Malév threw in the towel Budapest Airport lost about 2 million passengers a year. Many of these passengers where transfer passengers only landing in Budapest and traveling on to the next destination within hours, spending hours and money at Budapest Airport. Since then Vienna Airport has taken over the role as leading transit airport and they for sure enjoy the benefits of the Malév bankruptcy. Only days after Malév went bankrupt RyanAir announced the fact that they will open their Budapest base flying to more than 30 destinations in Europe. Great stuff! The goal of RyanAir was to bring 2 million passengers to Budapest each year, thus filling the hole after Malév. The airport taxes paid to Budapest Airport per passenger flying with Malév is though less than what they in general get from a RyanAir passenger, so the part suffering in all of this is Budapest Airport. At the same time increased taxes makes it harder to operate the airport and that has also led to the increased fees for Budapest Airport parking.

Recently RyanAir has received some extra media attention in Budapest and Hungary due to two facts. The first is the fact that they always let their passengers walk to the flights, meaning no bus connection at all from the terminal building to the flights. Adding onto this is the fact that recently Budapest Airport set up small tents in which RyanAir passengers have to wait outside for their flights; with no toilets, washes or other similar facilities. The second reason just came to media as RyanAir announced that they will stop flying to 10 of their current destinations due to increased taxes demanded by Budapest Airport. So, what’s up with RyanAir in Budapest?

Personal RyanAir experience

The last year I have been traveling 4 return trips with RyanAir (all in all eight times). I must say that everything has worked out perfectly all travels. Of course, you might feel some fear if your hand luggage exceeds the allowed hand luggage size (do not try that). They might be strict if your paid luggage exceeds the kg amount you have paid for (15kg or 20kg). They might not let families with children enter before others to the flight (you will to pay extra to use the priority line), but still in quite some situations the crew at the airports have been nice and let us use the priority line even without paying for it… (thank you RyanAir)! In general I must say that if you follow the RyanAir rules, watch out for your luggage size and weight, and get to the airport and to your gate in time you should be able to enjoy your flight and hopefully also enjoy a real good price for your ticket.

Walking under roof from flight to terminal at Budapest Airport

Budapest Agent recently wrote an article complaining about the fact that passengers have to wait in tents at Budapest Airport. In my eyes this sounds much worse than it really is. First of all… before the tents where set up passengers had to wait outside in open air waiting for boarding their flights (done that a couple of times earlier this year). Luckily the weather was nice all times. Now they have set up tents and even built some kind of covered street to the tents, making it possible to get to the tent and almost all the way to the flight totally dry, even on a bad day weather in Budapest. I think that is a nice thing, at least compared to the fact that earlier this year no such thing existed at all!

Still it all sounds quite cruel. But, it is worth knowing that RyanAir only starts calling you to your gate 30-40 minutes before flight departure. This means that they check your boarding pass inside the terminal building and then send you out onto a short/long walk before finally arriving to the tent. As you arrive to the tent you do not have to spend hours there at all, but in general we are speaking of 5-15 minutes. Not the best, but compared to waiting outside in front of the plane (where there are no toilets either), I think this is no.

If you long for more luxury and no walking and waiting in tents or outside at all, skip both RyanAir, EasyJet and WizzAir, but if you want to fly very cheap, then this is what you get!

Less RyanAir destinations from Budapest

As of January 10 the 5 RyanAir flights flying from the base in Budapest will be decreased to three. The 30 destinations will be decreased to 20 and the RyanAir flights to the following destinations are supposed to be terminated: Baden-Baden, Birmingham, Bologna, Dusseldorf, Lubeck, Krakow, Malaga, Munich, Oslo and Thessaloniki. According to RyanAir this will also make 800 people lose their jobs as these destinations disappear. In addition the remaining 20 destinations will be visited less frequently (nine of them). This is a real tragedy, both for tourism in Hungary and Budapest and for Budapest Airport itself. But, who is to be blamed? Is it Budapest Airport who somehow had to increase the taxes? Or was Budapest Airport forced to do so by the present leaders of the nation? That is a good question and who really knows (see: Hungarian politics). What I know for sure is that RyanAir brings lots of tourists to town and 800,000 tourists not coming to Budapest means less hotel nights, less transfers, less people spending money on shopping and eating Goulash soup in restaurants… a pity!

Have you had good or bad experiences with RyanAir in Budapest? Would you like more RyanAir flights from Budapest, or would you rather see these Irish anti service people get out of the nation?