Are you looking to explore Hungary by car? Since the country is connected by a series of decent-quality roads, going on a road trip through Hungary is a safe way to travel. It also gives you the flexibility to see everything on your own schedule and explore remote areas that may not be well-served by public transport. Read on to learn about how to take your car on a holiday in Hungary.
The Hungarian Rules of the Road
Before you commit to driving your car around Hungary, there are some things you should know. The driving culture is a bit different from what we’re used to, and Hungarian drivers have a reputation for being somewhat aggressive, with tailgating, honking and flashing lights being common. In some large cities, it’s not uncommon for drivers to pull each other out of their cars and start fighting.
Be aware also that the police have been known to target motorists for large fines for even minor offenses. There are speed traps even in isolated areas. Also, be aware that the expressway is not free and you will have to pay with a vignette system, which you can top up as often as every ten days. If you do not have one then you can face a steep fine.
There is also cultural custom of flashing one’s lights at an intersection to let other drivers know you are giving up your right of way. Other than that, though, expect to follow standard safety procedure, such as keeping your lights on after dark and minding the very strictly enforced speed limit.
Things to See and Do
One absolute must-see is the historic city of Budapest, the so-called “Queen of the Danube.” The city is packed with gorgeous Baroque architecture, world-class museums, and a great dining and nightlife scene. Make sure to taste a hearty goulash, a traditional Hungarian stew made of meat, potatoes and pleasant spices. For dessert, try the fresh local pastries (called torta) or the Gundel palacsinta, a crepe filled with rum, walnuts, raisins and lemon zest and then doused in chocolate sauce.
Once you get out of the city, you can take part in any number of outdoor escapades, like birdwatching, horseback watching, and hiking in Hortobagy National Park. You can also explore the ruins of Pecs, taste some delicious white wine in the Tokaj wine region, or visit a spa on the shores of Lake Balaton.
These are just a few of the adventures that await you in Hungary. And what better way to experience them than on a road trip, where you can set the itinerary and see exactly what you want. Good luck and happy trails!