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 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 to know if this is valid for where you would like to park your card as well.
General advice is to never to leave valuables 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
You must park outside the city center if you want 100% free parking in Budapest. You can park mostly anywhere in the 22nd district of Budapest and in other “outside districts” such as the 4th district, the 17th district, and many others. Still a better option is to park in the giant parking lot by the shopping mall Campona outside the city center of Budapest. From there, you can travel with public transportation buses to Moricz Zsigmond Korter, Bikas, Park, or Ujbuda center, and then you can travel further on with the green metro line to wherever you want to in Budapest
You can type Campona Budapest in your GPS and you will be taken to the mall and its giant parking lot. This is probably the best option right now if you want a 100% free parking in Budapest.
Market Central (Vecsés, Fő út 246-248)
This is a shopping area very close to Budapest Airport. Here you find all sorts of stores, such as Tesco, Praktiker, DM, kik, Deichmann, SportFactory, Lidl, Müller, Burger King, and many others. A large parking lot is in front of the complex, and you can leave your car here for free. From here you can travel by bus 200E towards Köbanya Kispest and travel on the blue metro line from there to the city center of Budapest.
The parking lot along the main road connects the city center with the airport. You should, of course, be careful with leaving valuables in the car, just like you should anywhere else in the city.
P+R parking in Budapest (not free, but very cheap).
It is hard to find free parking in Budapest at central locations, but there are a couple of P+R parking options that will allow you to leave your car at a cheap price and then travel on with public transportation to all of Budapest within a few seconds. These were completely free until July 1st in 2023, but they now require a payment. Luckily, they are still cheap, making them great options!
What is the price of the different P+R parking options in Budapest?
The price is 350 HUF per entrance (valid between 06.00 and 22.00). In other words, if you arrive at 8.00 and leave at 21.50, you only pay 350 HUF (less than 1 euro) for the entire parking time. If you leave your car there for the night, you need to pay 105 HUF per hour between 22.00 and 06.00. If you arrive at 10.00 on a Monday and leave the parking lot at 10.00 on a Wednesday, you will end up paying three-day tickets (3×350) and also 16 night hours (16×105). The end result is then 2730 HUF, approximately 7 euro. The parking lot is guarded, meaning that it should be considered fairly safe to leave your car in this and other P+R locations in Budapest for a couple of days
1) Etele tér P+R (not free, but cheap)
You can type this name into Google Maps, leading you to a big 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 (not free, but cheap)
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 (not free, but cheap)
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 mall is between the main city center of Budapest and the international airport, making it ideal for those traveling between the city and the airport or who just want a good location for parking their car. It is possible to buy tickets for longer periods of time here, including a ticket valid for 30 days. Such long-term tickets must be bought in the parking office at the -1 level of the mall.
Above you can see the prices and tickets available for parking at Köki Terminal in Budapest.
4) Arena Plaza parking lot (this is not P+R, making it much more expensive than the other options)
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 P+R, so it is more expensive than the other options)
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.