Budapest is fast becoming a bike lover’s city, with cycling both a good commuting option and a great way to explore.
- Where to buy or rent a bike in Budapest
- Where to cycle in Budapest and beyond
- Renting a public BUBI bike
- Socialising with other cyclists
Where to buy or rent a bike in Budapest
If you need to get yourself a bike then there are plenty of shops in the city where you can rent or buy one. If you’re only staying for a few months enquire with the shop. Some will offer to buy back the bike once you’re done.
If you’re looking for a second-hand bike then there is a thriving trade of them thanks to the turnover of exchange students in Budapest. Outside of shops you can look in the ‘Used bikes for sale in in Budapest’ Facebook group where there are regular listings of everything from dirt cheap town bikes to high tech road bikes.
Where to cycle in Budapest and beyond
Budapest has around 200 km of bike paths. You’ll find dedicated cycle lanes up major roads such as Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street and Andrássy Street as well as along the shores of the Danube.
You can use online tools such as [email protected] to plan yourself a safe route. Cycling on the pavement is prohibited but this rule seems to be rarely enforced. Pedestrians can be unpredictable though, so sticking to the road is probably safer.
Finally, keep in mind that you can only take your bike on some public transport. These include trams 59, 59A and 60 (cogwheel tram), buses 65, 65A and 165, as well as the HEV suburban trains and the public boats. You’ll need to get an extra single ticket for your bike or purchase a bicycle pass (even if you’re otherwise entitled to free travel).
If you’re looking to travel a little further afield Eurovelo is a big cycling route network crisscrossing through Europe. Eurovelo route 6 passes through Budapest and you can take it to Bratislava and on westwards towards France, or head south to Belgrade and onwards east to Bucharest.
Renting a public BUBI bike
After some delay and much anticipation the public bike rental scheme in Budapest, known as ‘BUBI bikes’, launched in 2014 and offers an alternative to renting from private companies. The network includes 1,000+ bikes and 158 docking stations and is set to expand in 2022.
Users must pay an access fee and then a further usage fee depending on how long the bikes are used for. Access passes are monthly or yearly. There is also a PAYG option.
If the bike is used for less than 30 minutes the journey is free. Over 30 minutes and there are further charges. Users can return a bike before 30 minutes are up and rent the same bike immediately to start the clock again, thus avoiding the extra charge.
Socialising with other cyclists
Critical Mass the worldwide cyclist organisation also run the successful ‘I Bike Budapest’ event. It sees thousands of cyclists take to the streets of Budapest and along the banks of the Danube and looks set to return in future years.