Transport methods in Hungary

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There are plenty of interesting places to see outside Budapest and thankfully they aren’t too hard to get to. Here’s how to get around Hungary by car or public transport.

Contents

Trains in Hungary

MAV START run the trains in Hungary, alongside train networks from neighbouring countries that terminate in Budapest. There is a timetable checker on the MAV website and it’s possible to purchase tickets online and collect them later at the station.

Seat reservations can be purchased although are usually unnecessary on domestic routes. Be aware that MAV trains are quite old. They work just fine and they are air-conditioned, but the level of comfort is below what you’d find on modern trains running in West European countries.

Busses & coaches in Hungary

Volanbusz (part of the European-wide Eurolines network) run domestic coach services around Hungary. On the most part, you’ll find prices cheaper than the train and the online booking system is modern, making it less of a hassle than the train as well.

Driving in Hungary

There is an extensive, good quality motorway network in Hungary. Like most European countries, the purchase of a vignette is required and there is a hefty fee for those caught without one.

You should also note that Hungary has a zero tolerance on drink driving (about 0.05% is an offence), while expats that have been living in Hungary for over 12 months are required to exchange their driver’s licence for a Hungarian one. Enforcement of this last rule however is quite patchy.

Car sharing in Hungary

Ridesharing companies like BlaBlaCar have become increasingly popular recently as a (sometimes) cheaper and more flexible alternative to busses and trains.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, people who are driving from one place to another list their journey on the website and set a price for each spare seat they have. If you find a suitable ride you contact the driver, arrange a place to be picked up and then give your driver cash when you see them.