Hungary Driving Guide
Hungary is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit
Among Central Europe's most popular tourist destinations, is Hungary. From the Danube River that bisects Budapest, the capital, to its architectural marvels in the form of basilicas and cathedrals, right down to caves and green landscapes, Hungary is a traveler's dream. This European country draws influence from Roman and Turkish nations, evident in their art and culture.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Allow this guide to help you discover more about Hungary, from its culture and people to the driving rules in Hungary to the top tourist attractions you don't want to miss. Included here is some information regarding an International Driver's Permit for Hungary, which will come in handy for driving in Hungary. Familiarize yourself, as well, with the processes for obtaining employment and residency in this beautiful Central European country.
Hungary is a nation that comes with a rich culture and remarkable tourist attractions. From places of culture and art such as museums and town squares, to their caves and forests, which are hikers' paradise, to the famous, picture-worthy spot, the Danube, Hungary is truly a unique place to visit. If you decide to visit Hungary, gather first some necessary information about the country and health protocols, border states, and requirements.
Hungary is a landlocked Central European country, bordered by Slovakia on the northeast, Ukraine on the northeast, Romania on the east, and Serbia and Croatia on the south. Slovenia is located in the southwest of the country, while Austria borders it on the west. Budapest is the country's capital.
Hungary has always been a mixture of various cultures, and it has been homogenized since World War I. The primary language has ever been Hungarian, with 83.7% of the population using it as a primary language. 3.1% use Romanian, and 1.3% use German. Other languages make up 11.9%. Even the ethnicities are diverse in Hungary, with Finno-Ugric Hungarians making up most Turks, Slavic, and Germanic people. Other minority groups include:
- Roma or Gypsies
This landlocked European country has a land area of 93,030 square kilometers. Hungary lies between latitudes 45 and 49 N and longitudes 16 and 23 E.Lowlands are the majority relief in Hungary, such as the Little Alfold, separated from the Great Hungarian Plain or Great Alfold, which covers central and southeastern Hungary by a low mountain.
Hungary's volcanic peaks are the Matra Mountains at Mount Kekes, with an elevation of 3,327 feet. Mount Keks is Hungary's highest peak. The longest and most famous river is the Danube River, of Alpine origin, and Raba and Drava Rivers. Danube floods twice a year in early spring and early summer.
History of Hungary
Early reports say that Hungary’s beginnings are owed to the Magyar people. Hungary’s creation in 670 came with the arrival of conquerors. The year 1000 saw Hungary embrace Christianity thanks to St. Stephan. Hungary became Central Europe’s cultural hub, posing a huge threat to the flourishing Ottoman Empire. In 1718, after being under Ottoman rule, the Habsburgs claimed Hungary once more.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire became the most significant power in Central Europe, which turned the country into an agricultural and industrial-centered economy. World War I led to the collapse of the country, with the Trianon treaty stating that 72% of the country’s territory is lost. The following years saw Hungary in a communist government. In 1989, a multi-party system came into play and opened its borders. Hungary joined NATO in 1990 and the EU in 2004.
Government of Hungary
Hungary’s present-day government is a hybrid of 19th and 20th-century autocracy. Hungary endured communism, which fell in 1989. Nowadays, Hungary adopts a parliamentary style of government. The National Assembly has supreme legislative power. The Prime Minister heads the Council of Ministers while the president is the head or commander of armed forces but with limited authority.
Tourism of Hungary
Tourists visit Hungary for various reasons. Most visit for the local cuisine like Goulash and the fresh produce and cheese found in the Great Market Hall. The scenery is also too good to bypass in Hungary, with natural sights in parks, caves, and rivers pristine and maintained. Hungary is also known for being a budget-friendly tourist destination with affordable food, drink, and tours.
Hungary is an incredible natural and cultural experience. In this country, you will never run out of things to do. Whether it's a thermal bath in a cave, admiring the rock formations, or a visit to museums and cathedrals to appreciate art, Hungary has an adventure waiting in every corner.
International Driver's Permit for Hungary
Driving in Hungary is one of the best ways to explore the country. Driving a car in Hungary allows you to be free and spontaneous and control your time and destination that public transportation doesn't offer. To drive legally in Hungary, have an International Driver's Permit for Hungary with you. One of Hungary's driving laws requires you to have complete documents, and the IDP is just one of them. Read below to get to know the IDP.
Is a Local Driver's License Valid in Hungary?
Driver's licenses are required to be naturalized in Hungary. If your country of origin is any of the International Vehicular Agreement of Vienna members, then there would be no need to naturalize your foreign driver's license in Hungary. These countries are:
- Bahamas Islands
- The Central African Republic
- Czech Republic
- Ivory Coast
- Republic of Macedonia
- Russian Federation
- the Philippines
- San Marino
- South Africa
- Islands of Seychelles
EU Citizens can also use their native driver's license. If you're a resident of another country, EU requires a license change. Suppose you are a Canadian citizen seeking to go driving in Hungary with a Canadian license. In that case, you must first pass a medical exam, first aid, and a technical exam and submit it to the Vehicular Supervisor Authority. American tourists must also have their licenses naturalized, as driving in Hungary with a U.S. license isn't allowed.
Does an IDP Replace a Native Driver's License?
An IDP does not replace your native driver's license. If you are a Canadian driving in Hungary, your native driver's license is still valid. Still, the IDP will serve as a Hungarian translation of your native license or a version of your foreign driver's license in Hungary, as driving in Hungary with a Canadian license is not allowed. An International Driver's Permit for Hungary also comes in handy when renting vehicles since car companies require you to have an IDP before renting.
Do I Need an IDP to Drive in Hungary?
An International Driver's Permit is essential in Hungary, especially for tourists living outside of the EU. While requirements for British tourists have not changed and you can still go driving in Hungary with a U.K. license, car rental companies and checkpoints still require tourists to have an IDP on top of car insurance and safety equipment. You can also use the IDP for other legal transactions and as a means of identification.
One will also need an IDP in Hungary if their driving license is not printed in the Roman alphabet. Even if your country agrees with Vienna's International Vehicular Agreement, an International Driver's Permit for Hungary is a recommended document.
How Long Is an IDP Valid?
The validity and price of an IDP depending on the chosen package. The 1-year validity, the cheapest package, is recommended for tourists since they won't be staying for long periods in Hungary. People staying for longer durations are urged to get the two and three-year validity packages to make traveling and driving in Hungary more convenient for them, especially if they are going in and out of the country within the span of two or three years.
The International Driver's License in Hungary's prices depends on the package, the validity, and whether you select a digital and physical copy.
What Will I Do If I Lose My IDP?
If you lose your IDP in Hungary, a new one can be reprinted and issued to you free of charge. The only fee you'll be shouldering is the shipping fee. Call the customer service number on the IDA website and give the IDP # and your name. Your new IDP will be processed and printed, and all you'll have to pay is the shipping fee.
Renting A Car in Hungary
Driving is the best way to enjoy the natural scenery in Hungary. Renting a car in Hungary is the first step to driving in the country. With a rented car, there are no limits to where you can go. You control your destination. Before you can think about driving, consider some tips on renting cars in Hungary and what you need to note if it's your first time renting a car. This guide includes requirements, where to rent a car, what fees come and don't come with your rental fee, and a bit of insight on insurance.
Car Rental Companies in Hungary
Now that you've decided to rent a car in Hungary, you might be wondering what the most popular rental companies are. Among the notable ones are the Hungarian owned Game RentACar, United RentACar, Autonom RentACar, and other familiar ones that cater to clients in order countries such as Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, and Europcar.
Car rental companies in Hungary are located in major cities such as Budapest and near the airports where tourists are abundant. Having rental companies near airports makes the renting process convenient for tourists who have just landed and seek to drive cars in Hungary.
You must first have a valid driver's license to rent a car, valid for at least three years. A recent photo or passport, address, credit card, and flight ticket are essential documents that you should have to rent a car. While some companies come with car insurance, it is recommended that you obtain car insurance before renting your car. Most companies require an International Driver's Permit for Hungary before letting tourists rent their cars.
Driving rented cars from Hungary to other parts of Western Europe is allowed; however, certain vehicles have restrictions. Driving restrictions in Hungary apply to luxury vehicles due to their insurance regulations. Some companies may place surcharges upon the driver should they drive to Eastern Europe. If you wish to go to places where restrictions apply, inform your rental company to verify if driving is allowed.
Car rental companies offer an assortment of vehicles tourists can rent. Pick the vehicle most suitable for your itinerary. Are you driving around the city? A compact car or economy car is most recommended for you. If you are driving in the countryside in Hungary, renting an SUV that can sustain whatever terrain. Before picking your vehicle, select the car category that suit your needs wisely based on your budget and destination.
Car Rental Cost
The coverage of your rental fee depends on the company. Typically, rental companies provide GPS, child seats, Wi-Fi, mobile phone holders, and other driving necessities. Invest in these if your car rental company doesn't provide them. Car insurance is also included in some rental fees; AutoEurope says that fire and third-party liability insurances come with their rentals.
The prices of your desired motor vehicle vary depending on the make and model. Kayak.com lists the rental rates of different models of cars daily. Among them are:
- Compact Station wagon-$20/day
- Compact SUV-$18/day
- Standard SUV-$27/day
Hungarian car insurances have a Bonus-malus system(BMS), which is a no-claims discount. The Bonus-malus system states that the annual rate increases when the driver causes an accident, but the rate decreases if there is no accident.
For a driver to rent a car in Hungary, the driver must be at least twenty-one years old with a valid license in possession. The license must be valid for at least a year. While 21 may be the minimum age, rental companies will place a driver's surcharge on drivers below 25. The minimum age to acquire an International Driver's Permit for Hungary is 18, so if you're 21 with
plans to rent a car in Hungary, obtain an International Driver's Permit for Hungary first.
What Are the Restrictions for Renting Cars in Hungary?
According to AutoEurope, the places where driving restrictions take place are:
- Czech Republic
Car Insurance Policy
When driving in Hungary, it is essential to have car rental insurance as it protects and covers you in accidents, but it is an essential document that authorities require tourists to have. The kinds of coverage are third party liability insurance and comprehensive insurance or CASCO. Third party liability insurance protects you in legal matters in case of accidents, while CASCO has a fuller, more extensive coverage.
Car Insurance Cost
Car insurance cost varies depending on several factors. The make, model, and age, along with the car's driving history, city of registry, and if children are traveling in the car. Discounts are given for memberships and multiple insurances. Other forms of insurance include Collision Damage Waiver for windshield damage, dents, and cracks; Super Collision Damage Waiver in more severe crashes. These insurance policies exist to lower your costs in accidents.
While the thought of spending for insurance when traveling to another country sounds daunting, know that getting insurance is a must to protect yourself in times of accidents when driving in Hungary. A great tip to save money when getting insurance is to continually compare insurance quotes and see which can give you more protection for less. Discounts and bundle promos are also helpful in getting insurance policies for a budget-friendly price.
The Road Rules in Hungary
As excited as you may be to drive in Hungary, remember that knowing the driving rules in Hungary is key to making your journey a memorable one. Nothing is more disastrous than getting into trouble in another country because you didn't understand the driving laws. Allow this section to be your guide to the driving laws in Hungary, from basic and familiar ones to ones particular to Hungary. Included are driving in Hungary tips to help you get around, as well.
For general driving in Hungary, rules are the same as anywhere else in the world. Drivers must abide by these rules to not only stay on the right side of the law but to keep them safe as they journey. Among the general standards of driving in Hungary include:
Have Your Important Documents At All Times
Hungarian traffic authorities urge citizens and tourists alike to carry their essential documents. Since police checks occur frequently, carry your native driver's license, V5 Car registration, car insurance, an International Driver's Permit for Hungary. National IDs and passports may not always be required but have them with you as a means of identification.
Authorities must also find emergency tool kits in the tourists' vehicles. Fire extinguishers, warning triangles, light bulbs, and reflective jackets are emergency equipment you must have to keep you safe in case of an accident. An e-Vignette is required when driving in Hungary. Tolls are present in motorways, and you need an e-Vignette valid for 10 days to drive on them. E-Vignettes are obtainable online.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Before driving your car in Hungary, ensure that your rented car is in perfect condition. Sometimes even the most well-maintained vehicle breaks down due to small problems, so make sure to check for any dents and cracks on the body and the windows; check if the brakes and pedals work, and inspect the wheels for any punctures. Make sure to have a tank full of gas before heading out to drive in Hungary, especially in the rural areas. Also, ensure you have appropriate child seats if you're traveling with children.
Honk Horn Appropriately and Follow Speed Limits
The honking of horns is not allowed in built-up areas, except for emergencies. You may honk your horn in other sites when necessary. Follow the speed limit at your destination. Overspeeding can land you a fine. Street parking is also allowed in Hungary. It is paid on weekdays and free at night and on weekends.
Purchase an E-Vignette
E-Vignettes are needed for tolls. Driving in Hungary’s motorways requires an e-vignette since this is the only way to access them, so it’s best to obtain one, especially if you’re going on a road trip outside of the capital. You can obtain one online.
Follow Seatbelt Laws
Seatbelts laws are one of the most important driving laws in Hungary. All passengers of the vehicle are required to buckle up. Children below 150 cm are required to have a child restraint suitable for their height and weight. Smaller children are prohibited from sitting in the front seat unless in a proper child restraint. Fines for driving without a seatbelt range from 15,000 HUF- 40,000 HUF.
Seatbelts are required to be worn by all passengers in the vehicle at all times. Children are required to have child restraint systems if they are below 15 0cm in height. Failure to comply would result in on the spot fines. Abstain from mobile phone usage and park in the designated areas. Built-up areas have limited parking, so be sure to read the signs properly before parking. Parking in the wrong area could get your vehicle clamped and towed away.
Speed limits in Hungary vary from place to place. Built-up areas have a speed limit of 50 kph. Open roads have a speed limit of 90-110 kph, and the speed limit at motorways is 130 kph. Police signals are often used to monitor delinquent drivers, so a tip for driving in Hungary is not to use any radar equipment to interfere with police signals.
Hungary is a landlocked country, and its neighboring nations are accessible by car. If you wish to drive from Hungary to Austria, Slovakia, and other countries near it, take note of these driving directions. To avoid inconveniences, have a map or GPS ready when driving around Hungary or nearby countries.
Hungarians drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left side. Remember to overtake only when permitted. If a no-overtaking sign is present, abstain from overtaking. Public transportation such as buses and trams always have right of way. Here are the main routes when crossing borders:
Driving from Hungary to Germany:
- Get on M5.
- Continue on M5. Take M0, M1, E65, D1, ... and A4 to L1042 in Andisleben, Deutschland. Take the B176 exit from B4.
- Continue onto B176, B84, B247, L2103, and L1042 to your destination.
Driving from Hungary to Austria:
- Get on M5 and keep continuing. Take M0 and M1 to Burgenland Str./B50 in Parndorf, Österreich. Take exit 43-Neusiedl a. See from A4.
- Follow B50 and Burgenland Str. to Burgenland Expressway in Eisenstadt.
- Continue on Burgenland Expressway. Take S6 and A9 to Schoberpaß Str./B113 in Steiermark. Take exit 95-Treglwang from A9.
- Continue on Schoberpaß Str./B113. Drive to Mödlinger Hüttenweg II.
When driving to other countries, bring your critical driving documents with you, including an International Driver's Permit for Hungary. You could be subject to checkpoints by border security, and it's best to be prepared. Have your seatbelt fastened at all times, and don't drink and drive. For any driving restrictions in Hungary, check with your rental company before venturing to other countries.
Traffic Road Signs
The road signs in Hungary are similar in other countries; some might even look quite familiar. These signs exist to warn, direct, prohibit, and restrict drivers to make sure that they drive accordingly on Hungarian streets. Follow these traffic road signs in Hungary to ensure a safe, friendly, and conflict-free trip.
Warning Road Signs in Hungary
- Warning for Traffic Jams
- Roads Ahead
- Uncontrolled Road
- Quayside or Riverbank Warning
- Slippery Road
- Steep Descent
- Deer Crossing
- Crossroads Ahead
- Speed Bumps
- Two-Way Traffic
- Road Works Ahead
- Stop Signs
Prohibitory Signs in Hungary
- Buses Prohibited
- No Entry
- Motorcycles and Cars Prohibited
- No Left/Right Turn
- No U-Turn
- No Pedestrian Crossing
- No Entry
- Speed Limit Signs
- Overtaking Not Allowed
Mandatory Signs in Hungary
- Drive Straight Ahead
- End of Path
- End of Minimum Speed
- Pass Right/Left
- Snow Chains Mandatory
- Mandatory Right/Left
- Mandatory U-Turn
- Roundabout Direction
Priority Signs in Hungary
- Give Way to Oncoming Traffic
- Give Way to All Traffic
- Priority Road Ahead
- Priority Road Ends
- Stop Sign
- Road Bends Ahead
The traffic lights in Hungary follow the international three-color system. Red for stop, green for go, and amber or yellow for yield.
Right of Way
The right of way in Hungary is on the right side. Drivers must give way to all vehicles coming from the right side when there are no signs at intersections. Triangular red and white signs signal are present at intersections, and they dictate what directions to take. If a yellow diamond sign with a black bar appears, this means that cars should yield to traffic coming from the right side.
Legal Age for Driving in Hungary
The minimum age for driving is 17. Drivers must own a valid driver's license before driving. For renting cars, the minimum age is 21. Young drivers are subject to a young driver's surcharge when renting cars. If you are a young tourist driver, get an International Driver's Permit before driving in Hungary. The minimum age for obtaining this document is 18.
Since the driving side in Hungary is on the right, overtaking happens on the left. Exercise caution when overtaking. Exercise caution when overtaking. Check both lanes before overtaking if there are any cars ahead. Do not overtake if a sign prohibits it.
Driving Side in Hungary
Hungary's driving side is on the right side, with its steering wheel located on the left side. Tourists from right-hand driving countries could have a bit of a hard time getting used to it. Some helpful advice for first-time left-hand side drivers include permanently having your hand on the gearstick and having your elbow on the window to assume the normal position for left-hand driving. Pedals and brakes are still the same, so they mostly function the same way.
While these are the common rules on Hungarian roads, there are other driving in Hungary tips one must consider before heading out to drive as a tourist. Knowing these other tips can help make your Hungarian journey a safe one.
Individuals below 18 are prohibited from driving, along with individuals who aren't holders of valid driver's licenses. Tourists without an International Driver's Permit in Hungary are restricted from driving in Hungary. Intoxicated drivers aren't allowed to go on the road as Hungary has a strict 0.00% blood alcohol limit. Infarction of which can result in fines or imprisonment.
Drunk Driving Laws
Hungary has a low tolerance for drunk driving, putting its legal limit at 0.00%. Police pull over and perform breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers. The penalty for drunk driving ranges from expensive fines to confiscation of your driving licence in Hungary. Police stops often occur in Budapest, so avoid drunk driving and carry documents all the time.
A drunk driver caught has to face serious consequences. So it's best not to drink and drive to avoid this. Drunk driving has been one of the major causes of a large number of deaths on the road.
Night Driving in Hungary
Roads in Hungary are well-maintained but using beam lights at night is illegal, so to stay safe when driving in Hungary at night, drive in well-lit areas such as the city and suspend countryside or rural driving for the day time. Avoid poorly lit streets and underpasses when going for a nighttime trip in Hungary.
Driving Etiquette in Hungary
When driving in a foreign country, you must always try your best to be composed and cordial with the locals. Understand their culture and keep in mind the driving etiquette are the most basic driving in Hungary tips. As much as you want to believe that driving in Hungary is safe, sometimes mishaps happen. Understanding how to approach the situation as calmly as possible and knowing when to approach and ask for help will make problem-solving quicker.
In case your car breaks down when driving in Hungary, be sure to pull over to the emergency lane, away from incoming traffic. Place your warning triangle or flares 50 yards away from your vehicle to signal an emergency. Contact the local tow truck for assistance and inform your insurance agent for breakdown coverage.
Breakdowns happen unexpectedly, and sometimes there is only little one can do to prevent it. You can lessen the chances of breakdowns by ensuring your vehicle is well-maintained through oil changes and regular maintenance. In foreign countries, learning basic Hungarian is one step to getting assistance should your car break down.
Good road maps are your friend when driving in a foreign country. However, driving on an unfamiliar road can still be terrifying. Getting lost while driving in Hungary is inevitable. Despite having a GPS or a map, you can still find yourself confused and lost in a country that doesn't speak your language. You don't have to be fluent in Hungarian to get around; you can learn basic Hungarian to help you navigate your way and ask the locals for assistance. Here are some useful phrases in Hungary:
- Szia (see-yaw)-Hello
- Beszelz angolou? (bass-ale-ss on-goh-lool?)-Do you speak English?
- Koszonom (keu-seu-neum)- Thank you!
- Elnezest (el-neh-zest)- Excuse me
- Hol van? (Hol van)- Where is it?
- Itt/ott (ihtt/ohtt?-Here/there
- Igen/nem (ee-gen/nehm)- Yes/No
Should you get lost when driving in Hungary, keep in mind these everyday phrases to help you approach and find your way.
Police stops occur randomly in Hungary to perform sobriety tests or to inspect documents. There are cases wherein police can disguise as civilians to catch unsuspecting delinquent drivers. If police stop you while driving in Hungary, calmly obey orders and present your documents.
Hungary has a strict zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. With the legal limit at 0, avoid driving when intoxicated as police stop suspicious drivers for breath tests. Be a responsible driver and don't drink and drive. When stopped for a fine, pay at the corresponding office and not at the police officer.
Checkpoints exist at borders between Hungary and its neighboring countries. These checkpoints are for inspection of documents and compartments for any suspicious paraphernalia. If you wish to drive from Hungary to its neighboring countries, have your important documents ready. Avoid drunk driving and fasten seatbelts while driving.
You could be wondering, “how safe is driving in Hungary? ”Driving in Hungary can be a challenging yet fun experience. However, if you find yourself in a sticky situation, you might feel panicked and confused—no need to worry. If you get into an accident, take note of these tips.
If you happen to get into an accident when driving in Hungary, it is advisable to remain inside your vehicle and use the warning triangle signs. The driver involved in the accident has to sign an accident report form before moving the vehicle. The accident form contains details about the car, including the brand and make, the accident's details, and road conditions. Authorities will send this report to the car insurance company.
In case of serious accidents, administer first aid or call for an ambulance. Describe the details in the accident report and move the vehicles only when administering first aid. Accidents are why insurance is essential when driving in Hungary. Insurance helps cover you and lessen your costs in unfortunate situations.
Driving Conditions in Hungary
When heading out to drive in Hungary, you might be questioning what kind of conditions lie ahead. What kind of situations should you expect when driving in Hungary, and what cars do you expect to see. Do accidents frequently occur on Hungarian roads? Should you equip yourself for winter? It's natural to be curious and cautious, so this guide provides you with the necessary information for driving in Hungary.
Statistics here can answer your query of “how safe is driving in Hungary? ”According to reports, the number of road casualties in Hungary in 2019 is 16.6 thousand, lower than 2018's 17 thousand incidences. The year 2006 listed the highest number of fatalities on Hungarian roads at 1,303, declining to 633 in 2018. The most reported cause of death in Hungary is road accidents, below cancer, and suicide. Car-motorcycle accidents have been the recent cases of drivers getting injuries on the road. Based on the statistics of roadside accidents, Hungary is doing much work on ensuring everyone's safety on the road.
The most common vehicles in Hungary are compact multi-purpose vehicles, SUVs, family cars, and sedans. Compact cars and family vehicles have been popular in Hungary ever since, according to a 2014 report. SUVs are popular for terrain driving and large luggage space. Compact cars are easier to navigate and fit into built-up areas, not to mention fuel-efficient and low-maintenance.
Toll Roads in Hungary
Toll roads are present in Hungarian motorways, which is why e-Vignettes are a must-have for drivers. An e-Vignette comes in handy when driving on motorways and when heading outside the country. E-Vignettes are available either in the corresponding toll office or online.
Road Situation in Hungary
Highways in Hungary are in generally good condition, excluding some that are continuously under maintenance. Rural areas have poorly lit roads, checking headlights important and having spare tires and emergency equipment. Some roads near railways lack signage, and even some urban areas lack proper traffic signs. In urban cities, be mindful of pedestrians and be wary of wildlife crossing when driving in the countryside.
Apart from documents and emergency equipment, purchase an e-Vignette, which you will use in tolls when driving in Hungary. Since potholes have become quite a problem in Hungary, authorities urge drivers to take pictures of potholes, send them to authorities, and report damages and accidents caused by potholes. There is also gas station availability in rural areas.
Driving in Hungary has continuously become safer, with road accidents slashed to half compared to previous years. Despite strict seatbelt, speed limit, and zero-tolerance for drunk driving laws, there are still quite a few who breaks driving in Hungary rules. Still existing are incidences of fatalities involving driving under the influence and speeding, but these incidents don't influence the nation.
Hungary is a relatively safe country with the right roads and good people. There are still some good drivers who follow the rules and are polite and considerate towards others on the road, especially foreigners who are new to Hungary's driving scene.
Understand these other driving conditions to make your Hungarian driving experience a smooth sailing one. Simple tips such as knowing their speed measurement and what conditions await you when driving in the winter make all the difference.
Is Driving in Hungary Measured in Kph or Mph?
Around the world, 196 countries use KpH or Kilometers per Hour, and 17 use Miles per Hour. KpH and MpH are units of measurement for speed, used in speedometers and speed limit signs. MpH used to be the primary unit of measurement until the introduction of SI Units in 1961.
Hungary is one of the countries that use KpH. Expect that the speedometers and speed limit signs in Hungary are written in KpH. If you're from a country that uses MpH, take note of the conversion, that 1 kilometer is 1.609 miles and 1 mile is 0.62 kilometers. The more significant number on the speedometer indicates the primary unit of speed. Digital speedometers have more manageable to read units.
How Is Winter Driving in Hungary?
One of the main requirements for driving in Hungary are snow chains, chiefly for the winter season. The Winter season in Hungary occurs in December and is reported to be unforgiving. The main hazard for those venturing for a snowy vacation are the slippery roads and lowered visibility. When driving in Hungary during the winter, pack your snow chains and make sure your headlights and windshield wipers work.
When driving in Hungary during the winter, be mindful of your speed. The roads are slippery, and going too fast can result in terrible accidents. You wouldn't want a pleasant vacation to turn tragic instantly, so follow the driving in Hungary rules regardless of the season.
Things to Do in Hungary
You might find yourself enchanted by the wonder of Hungary that you could see yourself taking up residence in the country. You could be wondering how to get a driving licence in Hungary and see if you still have to attend a driving lesson in Hungary to get them. See what driving jobs in Hungary you could take as a means of subsistence or work as a tour guide. Living in Hungary has loads of opportunities for everyone.
Drive as a Tourist in Hungary
Driving as a tourist in Hungary is possible. Most tourists, especially those in part of Vienna's International Vehicular Agreement, can drive using their foreign driving licence in Hungary. If you are a tourist from a country that isn't a part of Vienna's International Vehicular Agreement, you need to naturalize your license to drive in Hungary. U.K. tourists can also go driving in Hungary with a U.K. license.
An International Driver's Permit is a required document for tourists traveling to Hungary and seeking to rent cars. If the tourist decides to take up residence in Hungary, they need to obtain a Hungary driving license. Getting one would require the individual to attend a Hungary driving school and pass the driving test in Hungary. You can also enroll in a driving school with an ideal driving licence in Hungary price.
Work as a Driver in Hungary
There are a lot of driving jobs in Hungary for tourists. Jobs ranging from chauffeurs and taxi drivers transport tourists, to truck driving jobs in Hungary for logistics and businesses. Getting a driving job in Hungary as a foreigner would require the applicant to have a work permit supported by your employer and a driver's license. Foreigners who are from European Union countries can exchange their licenses to a Hungarian driver's license.
One can find driving jobs in Hungary online. Some websites include Expat, Glassdoor, Linkedin, Indeed, and many others. Salary Explorer states that courier and delivery driving jobs in Hungary have a salary of 134,000-610,000 HUF. Truck driving jobs in Hungary earn about 72,900-222,00 HUF.
Work as a Travel Guide in Hungary
If you've enjoyed Hungary's tourist spots and sceneries and decide to earn a living from traveling and teaching, then working as a tour guide is the job for you! Tourism in Hungary is in demand and if you have a work permit and lots of enthusiasm for teaching tourists about the wonders of Hungary, make a living out of it by working as a tour guide.
Jobs in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in Hungary reportedly earn around 125,00-917,00 HUF. Tour guide's salaries are dependent on how many people avail for guided tour packages.
Applying for Residency in Hungary
A residence permit can be issued to non-EEA members for work purposes. The permit has a validity of three years and is renewable. Five straight years of residency entitles you to an EU Permanent Residence Card with five-year validity. As for eight years of residency, this can grant you Hungarian citizenship status. Benefits of citizenship may include access to health-care and educational benefits, visa-free travel, and real property purchases.
The requirements for residency application are :
- Proof of subsistence in Hungary (bank statements, income certificate means)
- Proof of accommodation in Hungary (residential lease contract, residence verification, real estate contract, etc.)
- Health insurance
- Documents on exit
- Original and photocopy of passport
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage contract if applicable
- Business plan
- Passport-sized photo
The embassy could grant citizenship for a short period if you were born in Hungary, married to a Hungarian citizen, or have Hungarian ancestors.
Other Things to Do
Aside from the aforementioned driving jobs, tourist guides, and residency tips; there are a whole host of things one can do when in Hungary. Foreigners such as Americans can try applying for driving schools in Hungary to get Hungarian driving licenses since driving in Hungary with a U.S. license isn’t allowed. Browse through the popular industries and websites where tourists can find employment to make their stay in Hungary fulfilling.
Working in Hungary
If you yearn to work in Hungary as a tourist, it is possible, but you must meet some requirements. Employers must secure work permits for foreign employers, but EU and EEA employees need not apply for a work permit. Non-EU/EEA citizens must have a residential contract and health insurance. A work permit can take up to nine months to process.
Job opportunities for foreigners in Hungary include engineering, IT, tourism, and teaching the English language. Take advantage of online job portals that cater to job seekers in Hungary, such as Monster, Jobs in Budapest, and Budapest Jobs. Linkedin, Indeed, and Glassdoor are also popular job search websites.
Getting a Hungarian Driving License
While some tourists can drive with foreign driving licenses in Hungary, extended periods of staying or permanent residence in Hungary would require them to obtain driving licenses in Hungary. How to get a driving licence in Hungary? First, one must enroll in driving schools in Hungary and attend a driving lesson in Hungary. The individual must be at least 17 with Hungarian residency and a clean bill of health.
Driving tests in Hungary vary depending on the age and license types. One must also pass the theory and practical driving tests, along with the first aid course. The types include:
- AM test (14 years old)-45 kph speed vehicles
- A1 test (16 years old)-motorbikes up to 125 cc
- A2 Test (18 years old)-moto,rbikes up to 125 cc to 35kW
- Car Test (17)-for driving a car in Hungary
- A test (20-21 years old)
Once you've passed these tests, the driver's license will be mailed to your address or claimed in person. A driving licence in Hungary is valid for five to ten years.
Enrolling in Hungarian Driving Schools
Enrolling in a driving school in Hungary is essential for learning how to drive and getting your driving licence in Hungary for a price. So, if you are looking for a driving school in Hungary, Szuper Jogsi Autosiskola and The Driving School in English are your choices. It is located in Budapest, where vehicles are abundant. If you live in the Gyal, Hungary area, then Obelix Motorcycle Driving School should be convenient.
Top Road Trip Destinations in Hungary
Traveling in Hungary is a rewarding experience. This Central European country has more than one attraction than just the Danube River. Beautiful sceneries, diverse cultures, and lively cities come together in Hungary, delighting locals and tourists alike. Be it urban adventures or nature escapades, a trip to old towns and churches, or merriment at festivals, Hungary has it for you. If you're ready to go on a road trip in Hungary, keep these top destinations in mind.
Heviz is the place to visit if you want to experience going for a relaxing dip in a hot spring. Located near Lake Balaton, Heviz's waters have temperatures rising to 100 F, ideal for swimming with reported medicinal benefits. Since this place is a relaxation spot, resorts and spas increased in the area. Heviz is more than just water fun. Join in the festivals and concerts in the area and get a taste of Hungary's vibrant culture.
Popular spots to visit apart from the lake and spas are the Museum Collection Heviz, which houses balneology or therapeutic bathing exhibits, or look for souvenirs to bring home at nearby shops. Heviz is never at a shortage of fun activities tourists will enjoy! When driving to Heviz, remember to bring your IDP to make driving your car in Hungary smooth and hassle-free
- Take Hegyalja út, BAH csomópont and Budaörsi út to M1/M7.
- Follow M7 to Route 68/E661 in Balatonújlak. Take exit 170 from M7.
- Take Route 76 and Route 71 to József Attila u. in Hévíz.
Things to Do:
1. Visit Egregy
Egregy is the place food enthusiasts need to visit to get a sample of Hungary's unique cuisine. From restaurants to cafés, Egregy is also home to wine cellars that are sure to excite wine enthusiasts. Tradition comes alive in this gastronomic destination as traditional music plays in the background while you go about sampling delectable dishes. Snacks and wines are being offered in the area, along with a gorgeous sight of vineyards.
2. Go for a Relaxing Spa Bath at Lake Heviz
Lake Heviz boasts relaxing thermal waters and a mud spa that will help you relax after a long day of driving, walking and sightseeing. The thermal baths are soothingly warm, and the lake is open for swimming.
3. Balaton Ballooning
Go for a hot air balloon ride that hovers over Heviz and Lake Balaton. This slow, steady, and exciting hot air balloon ride is an excellent way to view Hungary’s majestic lakes from above.
4. Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit
Hungarian churches are a true European masterpiece. The Church of the Holy Spirit in Heviz is no exception to this rule, with its white facade adapting to a more modern design. This church is known for having a thousand-person capacity.
5. Hiking Adventure at Montaro Keszthely
Aside from working up a sweat through hiking, Montar (or Mount) Keszthely is ideal for viewing the beautiful little townhouses nearby. Admire the breathtaking view it has to offer and enjoy this worthwhile trip.
Who could forget the most notable tourist spot in Hungary? The Danube River-which bisects the two cities Buda and Pest-boasts a beautiful sunset view and its pristine blue waters. Cruises that tour the Danube are available for those who want to experience its majesty. One can also visit the Matthias Church and Calvinist Church in the area, which are testaments of Hungary's architectural talent.
When you're in the Danube area, you can also try some local restaurants and pubs to taste Hungarian food and drink. Hop on a Danube River cruise to get the most of the city’s stellar view and travel through the cities that the Danube bisects. When driving in the areas around the Danube, don’t forget your important requirements such as an IDP. It’ll make your Hungarian journey easier and smoother.
- Take Ferihegyi Repülőtérre vezető út and Üllői út to M1/M7 in Budapest.
- Follow M1. Take exit 101 from M1.
- Take Fő u. and Route 1 to your destination in Gönyű.
Things to Do
1. Visit Godollo Palace
The Godollo Palace was built in the 18th century for a wealthy Hungarian family, and when the last member of the family died, royalty purchased the Godollo Palace. The Godollo Palace was a residence of Franz Joseph I and had gone through terrible destruction at the dawn of the Communist era. Nowadays, it is standing beautifully, remastered and reworked into the historical tourist attraction it is. Godollo Palace now has a park where tourists can frolic and take pictures.
2. Marvel at the Esztergom Basilica
Esztergom Basilica or the Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven is an architectural wonder in Hungary for many reasons. Apart from being centuries old and standing steadily since 1507, the Esztergom Basilica is the largest and tallest basilica in Hungary, measuring up to 100 meters. The Virgin Mary is honored in this basilica with a gorgeous gallery of artwork, paired with Renaissance masterpieces from Hungary's creative masters.
3. Go Cycling by the Danube
If you don’t want to go on a cruise, you can always opt to go cycling with a group. Danube cycling groups are guided and follow a certain cycling path that allows them to experience and witness the majesty of the Danube river without getting on a cruise, not to mention it’s a good way to work out, too!
4. Sightseeing at Buda Castle Hill
This cobblestone wonder will truly bring any onlooker back in time. Situated by the Danube, the Castle Hill commemorates Hungary's illustrious history through monuments, museums, and galleries.
5. Board a Cruise on the Danube
In the tradition of saving the best for last, the most popular way to appreciate the Danube River is to go on a cruise. This cruise takes passengers to places such as Budapest, Munich, Vienna, and Prague, enabling them to see a bit of each country. Passengers can also enjoy amenities on board apart from taking lovely pictures of this one of a kind European sight!
The capital of Hungary is home to many sights. Three cities make up Budapest, namely Buda, Obuda, and Pest. Budapest mixes modern sightings and culture with an old-world facade. Contemporary and classic come onboard in Budapest, home to various UNESCO heritage sites and touted as one of the best tourist destinations in Europe and the World
Tourists will never run out of things to do in majestic Budapest. From stunning historical architectures, museums, and baths and exhibits, there’s something for everyone in the capital.
- Get on Fő út.
- Take Ferihegyi Repülőtérre vezető út and Üllői út to Henryk Slawik rakpart in Budapest. Then drive towards the exit to M1/Route 6/Route 7/Route 10/Route 11/Centrum/M7 from Rákóczi híd.
- Continue on Henryk Slawik rakpart. Take Valdemar és Nina Langlet rakpart, Raoul Wallenberg rkp. and Friedrich Born rkp. to Lánchíd u.
Things to Do:
1. Marvel at Budapest’s Architectural Wonders
Budapest’s cosmopolitan streets are abundant with architectural marvels that stand as a testament to the artistry of Hungarians. Tourists can visit Parliament Buildings, which are Gothic-styled parliament offices by the river. One cannot afford to miss St. Stephen’s Basilica that reportedly houses Stephen King of Hungary’s right hand. Visit the thousand-seater Neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House, where statues of Hungary’s famous composers stand.
2. Tour the Invisible Exhibition and House of Terror
The Invisible Exhibition gives tourists a chance to experience life as a blind person by way of darkroom tours. Budapest's’ House of Terror gives tourists a terrifying historical tour during the Fascist and Communist-era with prison exhibits and information.
3. Journey to the Faust Wine Cellars
Go underground and taste some of Hungary’s finest wines at Faust Wine Cellars. Guided tours often note that each wine is provided.
4. Shop at Ecseri Flea Market
Ecseri Flea Market has everything from food, fresh produce, and mementos of Hungary’s history. This place is ideal for buying souvenirs and memorabilia related to the country’s past.
5. Go for a dip at Gellert Baths
Housed in this Art Nouveau style building is the Gellert Baths and Spa center. Relax and unwind with pools and saunas. Special massages and treatments are available for an additional price but are well worth the money. Gellert Baths are the perfect way to relax after a long day of traveling.
Veszprem is one of Hungary’s most ancient cities, close to the Sed River. The religion established itself early on in Veszprem as churches were present as early as the 9th century. Since Hungary is known for its infrastructures with religious or historical significance, expect a number of them around Veszprem.
Gazing at beautiful architecture isn’t all there is to Veszprem. Tourists can visit market halls, the local zoo, museums, and many others. Hungary has hidden wonders all around it, and it’s up to the adventurer in you to discover. Drive comfortably to this Hungarian city with an International Driver’s Permit to make your European journey seamless and enjoyable.
- Drive from Budapest International Airport.
- Follow M0 and M7 to Route 63/E66 in Székesfehérvár. Take exit 64 from M7.
- Follow Route 8 to Fenyves u. in Veszprém.
Things to Do:
1. Visit Veszprem’s Notable Churches
Religion is predominant in Veszprem, having been around since the 9th century. Popular churches tourists flock to both for admiration purposes and to say a solemn little prayer inside include St. Michael’s Cathedral that houses the arm of King Stephen I’s wife. The Gizella Chapel, named after the wife of King Stephen I, proudly displays frescoes of apostles.
2. Enjoy the Veszprem Zoo
Visit the Veszprem Zoo on your own or with a family to observe, admire and learn more about animals and wildlife. Animal lovers are in for a treat when Veszprem Zoo not only has sanctuaries but petting areas, too.
3. Admire Castle Hill
Castle Hill’s quaint villages and medieval streets will surely take you back in time. The modern and classic come together in the said village, with restaurants and shops abound for you to try Hungary’s local delicacies and shop for items you can bring home.
4. Marvel at Fire Tower or Tuztorony
Who would’ve thought a tower as beautiful as Tuztorony has a fire station? This medieval-looking, picturesque station plays music every hour.
5. Enter the Laczo Dezso Museum
Do you have an affinity for archaeology and history? Visit Laczo Dezso Museum for its all-encompassing Hungarian history display. Whatever era from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages to the present day, Laczo Dezso Museum has it for you!
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