Parking in Budapest

Like in most other European capital cities, parking can be challenging in Budapest as it is often hard to find a spot. Municipal parking is divided into different parking zones and street parking varies according to the area of the city. Budapest also has several parking garages conveniently located in the center of the city. If you are planning to drive in Budapest, here is some useful information about on-street parking, parking garages, park-and-rides and airport parking.

Most European capitals are bustling towns, with heavy traffic, and motorists find it increasingly challenging to find a place to park their cars safely. Budapest is no exception. Below you will find useful information on how and where to park your car in Budapest.

Budapest is sectioned into several parking zones, and different hourly fees for parking are charged depending on which zone you park your car in (between HUF 175 and 525).

In the territory of Budapest, there is a charge for parking between 8 am and 6 pm on working days.
There are special areas of Budapest where the parking tiem is between 8 am and 8 pm: On Grand Boulevard and within the Danube area, full District V. and parts of District VI., VIII. and IX. Parking on the street does not mean that it is guarded.

On Staurday, Sunday and on National Holidays aprking is free of charge. Exception are ditrcit IX. Csarnok tér (7-22) and Citadella (always). The parking ticket has to be put behind the windshield of the car.

The minimum parking time is 15 minutes, after which the ticket machine prints a ticket for the period of time equivalent to the sum of money inserted. The maximum waiting time varies from 3 to 4 hours, although there are certain districts that do not impose waiting time restrictions (districts I., VI., VII., VIII. and XIII.).

Tickets must be purchased from the nearest parking meter and they need to be displayed on the dashboard. Parking meters except cash (HUF) or credit cards. Meters that have "Mobile Parking" stickers accept payment by cell phone as well. Registration to pay by phone is via SMS (you text your license plate number to the phone number indicated on the sticker and you text 'stop' when you wish to finish parking). Be sure to check with your mobile provider in advance to find out whether they are part of the Mobile Parking program and if there is an extra fee for using the service.

For longer periods, it is advisable to leave your vehicle in a P+R car park. P+Rs are generally found at underground stations and bus terminals. (Pest side of Árpád Bridge, Nagyvárad Square, Örs vezér Square, Népliget etc.), from where commuters can then easily access public transport for the rest of their trip.

Cars parked illegally (e.g. without paying, or where it is forbidden to park) will be clamped by the Municipal Public Roads Department. All cars fitted with a wheel clamp will also have an information sheet in several languages stuck to the windscreen to inform the driver on how to go about having the clamp removed.

For more information on parking charges and other conditions visit http://parkall.hu/zone.html?city=budapest site (clik to the picture)

Multi-storey car parks are open 24 hours a day; most larger hotels also have an underground garage.


Parking garages

Aranykéz Parkolóház (HUF 600 /hour) - near Váci Street and the Danube Promenade
Address: Aranykéz utca 4-6, Pest, District 5
Bazilika Mélygarázs (HUF 500 /hour) - by the Basilica
Address: Sas utca, Pest, District 5
Erzsébet Mélygarázs (HUF 400 /hour) - next to Deák Square
Address: Erzsébet tér, Pest, District 5
Lipót Garázs (HUF 200 /30 minutes) - underneath Szabadság Square
Address: Széchenyi utca, Pest, District 5
Szervita Parkoló (HUF 370 /hour) - near Váci Street
Address: Szervita tér 8, Pest, District 5
Vörösmarty Mélygarázs (HUF 500 /hour)
Address: Vörösmarty tér 1, Pest, District 5
Opera Parkolóház (HUF 440 /hour)
Address: Zichy Jenő utca 9, Pest, District 6
Oktogon Parkolóház (HUF 240 /hour) - near the House of Terror Museum
Address: Aradi utca 8-10, Pest, District 6
Dob Parkolóház (HUF 400 /hour)
Address: Dob utca 63, Pest, District 7
Holló Parkolóház (HUF 400 /hour)
Address: Holló utca 6, Pest, District 7
Krisztina Garázs (420 /hour) - behind Hotel Mercure Buda
Address: Kosciuszkó Tádé utca 15, Buda, District 1

Shopping mall parking and P+R

SHOPPING MALL PARKING
Árkád - Örs vezér tere 25, Pest, District 10
Arena Plaza - Kerepesi út 9, Pest, District 8
Corvin Plaza - Futó utca 37-45, Pest, District 8
Mammut Shopping Mall - Lövőház utca 8-10, Buda, District 1
Mom Park - Alkotás utca 53, Buda, District 12
WestEnd City Center - Váci út 20-26, Pest, District 13


BUDAPEST PARK AND RIDE (P+R)
Budapest's Park and Ride lots are conveniently located near metro stations, outside of the city center. The daily fee for parking is around HUF 320. These are the biggest Park and Ride locations in Budapest:
P+R Mexikói út - near metro line M1, Pest
P+R Déli Pályaudvar - near metro line M2, Buda
P+R Batthyány tér - near metro line M2, Buda
P+R Budapest Sportcsarnok - near metro line M2, Pest
P+R Újpest-Városkapu - near metro line M3, Pest
P+R Váci út - near metro line M3, Pest
P+R Népliget - near metro line M3, Pest
P+R Kőbánya-Kispest - near metro line M3, Pest
P+R Hűvösvölgy - near streetcar No. 56, Buda

Driving in Hungary

Driving in Hungary is on the same side of the road as in North America. Traffic jams are frequent and parking can be challenging, as it is often hard to find a spot. If you do succeed and find space, parking must be paid for between the hours of 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday. (Parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays.) Tickets must be purchased from the nearest parking meter.
Hungary requires international driver's permits (IDP) issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance in conjunction with a state driver's license. American driver's licenses will be accepted in Hungary for one year after arrival provided that a certified Hungarian translation has been attached to the license. Those with IDPs do not need to have the license translated, but must present both IDP and state driver's license together.

When driving in Hungary the following rules are enforced:
Hungary has a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence. Police often conduct routine roadside checks where breathalyzer tests may be administered and often are.
It is against the law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving anywhere in Hungary and seat belts are mandatory for everyone in the car.

Speed limits:
The speed limit for cars and motorcycles on the motorway is 130 km per hour (approximately 80 mph); on highways, the limit is 110 km per hour (approximately 65 mph); and in town and village areas the speed limit is 50 km per hour (approximately 30 mph).