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IDP is essential when driving abroad

driving abroad with idp

International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

How to get your IDP

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Do you need an International Driving License in Hungary?

An International Driver’s License does not exist. However, the proper document used to translate your driver’s license is called an International Driving Permit (IDP). This document allows foreign drivers to drive in the country as per Vienna convention on Road Traffic.

Although yes, an International Driver's License in Hungary is a requirement for tourists to drive. You may get an International Driver's License in the country on the website, either in physical or digital form. You will receive your digital copy of an International Driver's License in Hungary via email address.

Our IDP is recognized in 165+ countries worldwide including the following:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Portugal
  • Ukraine
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • and more.

Why do you need an International Driver's License in Hungary?

This document helps you in driving around legally. A translation of the license issued by your local government, an International Driver's License for the country, can also serve as a means of identification for checkpoints and police stops. The International Driver's License for Hungary's requirements are minimal and can be done online, quick and hassle-free. You only need to fill out the application form, a copy of your driver’s license, a passport-sized photo, and then pay the credit card fee.

Can foreigners drive in Hungary?

Yes, foreign drivers certainly can drive in Hungary or any other foreign country in fact. As long as they present their valid home country Driver’s Licence or US driver’s license (if they are from USA), and whether it is in English or not, they must have their IDL/ International Driver’s Permit with them.

However, the case will be different if they intend to do a road trip in the country for more than three months. They will need to apply for a Hungarian Driver’s License and go through the application process such as a medical examination, written test, and a driving test.

Top Tourist Destinations in Hungary

Touted as a tourist destination at par with Paris and Prague, Hungary or the city of lights boasts tourist destinations that are a combination of the old and new. The Danube River flows through the northern and southern parts of the country to the Visegrád Mountains, whose woods are ideal for hikers and trekkers. Visitors also enjoy traveling to photo-worthy traditional villages and architectural sites.

The Danube

There is no other tourist destination Hungary is most renowned for than the Danube. The Danube boasts beautiful sunset views from Freedom Bridge, the bridge above the waters that have made it famous. The Danube also splits the cities into Buda and Pest. One can visit other attractions nearby, such as the Matthias Church and Calvinist Church, which are popular places of worship in Hungary notable for their architecture.

Try your hand at spas, restaurants, and jazz clubs near the area that have established Hungary as a modern culture and relaxation place. Danube's cruises are also available, and April, May, September, and October are the best months to enjoy this as the weather is fair and ideal.

Driving Directions:

  • 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.

Esztergom Basilica

This Catholic Church, known as the Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven, proves itself to be one of Hungary's most formidable and beautiful attractions. Esztergom Basilica was built in 1507, and it is the most immense, tallest basilica in Hungary with a height of 100 meters. Artwork honoring the Virgin Mary is displayed inside, along with an array of Hungary's best Renaissance art from their finest artists.

Things get even bigger and bolder in the Esztergom Basilica, as it houses Hungary's largest organ with pipes stretching up to 11 meters. The Esztergom area is known for its museums such as the Christian Museum and Castle Museum. Visit Esztergom anytime between May-September, where the weather is perfect for strolling. Bring your native license and IDP for Hungary when driving around the country.

Driving Directions:

  • From Budapest Airport, continue to Vecsés.
  • Take M0 to Route 11 in Budakalász. Take the Route 11 exit from M0.
  • Continue on Route 11. Take Szentendrei út, Margitliget út and Dobogókői út to Simor János u. in Esztergom.

Tihany

Tihany is known as one of the best holiday destinations in Hungary, located close to Lake Balaton. Natural scenery is Tihany's best feature, with the Benedictine Abbey overlooking the lake, surrounded by luscious trees and fragrant flowers. The Inner Harbor is the perfect place for taking pictures and observing Budapest's natural, picturesque views. Visit the Lavender garden in the area, especially in June, to catch a whiff of these fragrant flora.

Tourists of all ages will enjoy the Freetime Park, where one can find a playground, a mini-golf course, and a bowling area, with various snack stands surrounding the area. Balaton wine is also sold in the area, so be sure to try it. Tihany is also home to Limnology Institute, where one can learn more about the wildlife ecosystem of Tihany. Visit Tihany during July-August for favorable weather.

Driving Directions:

  • From the airport, Continue to Vecsés.
  • Follow M0 and M7 to Route 710 in Balatonfőkajár. Take the exit toward Balatonvilágos/Enying/Balatonfüred/Route 71/Route 64 from M7.
  • Follow Route 710 and Route 71 to Kiss u. in Tihany.

Great Market Hall, Budapest

If you wish to buy Hungarian products, then look no further. The Great Market Hall, with its Neo-Gothic facade, is called great for a reason. This market near the Danube has various products from fresh produce to cafés, a different shop for every floor. You can take a piece of Budapest back home by going to the souvenir shops located on the Great Market Hall's higher floors.

Visit the Great Market Hall any time of the week except for Sundays. As overwhelming as all the selling can be, the exploration and buying are enriching. The best times to visit Great Market Hall are 10:00 AM and 12:00 NN or 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM to avoid getting lost in crowds as these are the least busy times. If you are driving, know the place's exact address.

Driving Directions:

  • Get on Fő út in Vecsés.
  • Follow Ferihegyi Repülőtérre vezető út and Üllői út to Boráros tér in Budapest.
  • Take Közraktár u. to Csarnok tér.

Miskolctapolca

Miskolctapolca is known for its Cave Baths that can be a way to relax after driving. The Cave Bath is part of a natural cave system that tourists can also explore while allowing the mineral-rich water to soothe them. Not only is this a pampering spot, Miskolctapolca's cave's 30C water has reported health benefits. Try the Cave Bath's thermal springs for a unique, natural spa experience complete with the rocky interior.

Other things to do in Miskolctapolca include a tour around Buuk National Park, going for a boat tour at Lillafured or if you happen to visit in winter, go ice skating since the lake freezes. Visit the Pannon Sea Museum to expand your knowledge of Hungary's marine life forms. Visit in May, June, August, and September for good weather, though June has high rain chances.

Driving Directions:

  • Continue to VecsésZjW.
  • Take E71/M3 and E79/M30 to Route 304 in Miskolc. Take exit 24 from E71/E79/M30.
  • Continue on Route 304. Take Pesti út/Route 3, Futó u. and Miskolctapolcai út to Csabai út.

Szalajka Valley

If you're looking for some peace amongst the trees, or perhaps a hiking adventure, then Szalajka Valley is your destination. This hotspot enthralls tourists with the valley's wonders from the forests and the waterfalls. The plants and wildlife that thrive within enchant tourists, too. Hiking, cycling, forest school, and museums are amongst the many things one can do at Szalajka Valley.

Nature is the main attraction in this area. One can also visit the Szilvasvarad National Forest Rail, which includes a green view with countryside cottages and wildlife one can watch and study up close. The National Stud Farm is where you can see horses and go on a carriage ride. In Szilvasvarad, nature is the star.

Driving Directions:

  • Continue to Vecsés.
  • Take E71/M3 and M25 to Route 252 in Eger.
  • Take 25-ös főút/Route 25 and IV. Béla út to Miskolci út in Szilvásvárad.

Hortobagy National Park

Hortobagy National Park is one of Hungary's best landscapes, with a magnificent view and a reputation for being one of the top agricultural spots in Hungary. Tourists can see the farming traditions in the area. Wildlife has also thrived in Hortobagy National Park and is also home to the Przewalski Horses, a rare breed of wild horses.

One can go to Hortobagy National Park to visit the Bird Park and Clinic and the Puszta Animal Farm to catch a glimpse of the protected wildlife. Join the festivities at the Hortobagy Bridge Fair, where performances and cuisine abound. What seems like an idle plain has a lot of flair and history that any traveler will enjoy. Be sure to have your International Driving Licence ready to make car rentals smooth.

Driving Directions:

  • Continue to Vecsés.
  • Take E71/M3 to Route 33 in Füzesabony. Take exit 114 from E71/M3.
  • Turn left onto Route 33 (signs for Debrecen/Tiszafüred).

Aggtelek Karst Caves

This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts stalactites and stalagmites that are the largest in Europe with patterned rocks. The Caves of Aggtelek Karst that border Slovakia are protected and preserved. Today, tours are being conducted around the area to showcase the Aggtelek Karst Caves' beauty to tourists and make them understand why keeping this European wonder is essential.

June is the best time to visit Aggtelek Caves as June is the warmest weather in Hungary, and the cool interior of Aggtelek can help you cool down. When driving to this particular Hungarian zip code, have an International Driving Permit for Hungary ready.

Driving Directions:

  • Continue to Vecsés.
  • Take E71/M3 and E79/M30 to Route 306 in Miskolc.
  • Continue on Route 306 to your destination in Aggtelek.

Most Important Driving Rules

Now that you have an idea about the country and its tourist destinations, you might be entertaining notions of driving in Hungary. Driving in the said country is, indeed, the best way to freely get around the country and go to all the tourist spots you could dream of. While driving gives you the freedom and control over your time, it comes with the responsibility of knowing the country's most important rules, especially when it comes to driving licence. Understand these laws to have a pleasant travel.

Have Your Important Documents With You

Make sure always to have your important documents when driving in Hungary. Requirements come in the form of a valid native driver's license, car insurance certificate, and V5 registration for rented cars. Though passports aren't always required, bring them along for security purposes. Hungarian traffic laws state that emergency equipment is mandatory, including spare bulbs, first aid kits, warning triangles, and reflective jackets.

If you are a foreigner, obtain an International Driver's License.

Have an International Drivers License in Hungary

You might be wondering what an International Drivers License is. An International Driver's License is a document requirement that serves as a translation of your native driver's license. Not only will the international driver's license come in handy at police stops, and border security checkpoints, car rental companies require their clients to have IDPs before allowing them to rent.

Tourists can apply for an International Driver's License on the website, where the process is quicker. Digital copies take two hours to process, while physical copies take thirty days internationally to deliver. Provide your exact address so that your document can be delivered promptly.

Do not drink and drive

Hungarian traffic laws are strict regarding drunk driving. The blood alcohol content is at 0.00%, and getting caught driving under the influence of alcohol is equivalent to a fine, suspension, or jail time. Drunk driving is dangerous, posing a threat not just to the driver but also to his surroundings. Stay safe and avoid drunk driving in Hungary to prevent accidents and conflicts with authorities.

Wear Your Seatbelt

A general traffic rule is always to buckle up. Seatbelts are necessary when driving, regardless of whether it's in rural or built-up areas. Children below 150 cm are required to wear height and weight appropriate child restraints.

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