During your stay


Hungarian uses the Latin script, but apart from that it’ll most probably look like a salad of letters to you, as it’s not closely related to anything else really. It does have a relation to Finnish and Estonian, but the branches of the Finno-Ugric tree of languages diverged so much time ago that the similarities are barely more than a shared set of weird-ass grammatical features.

English will get you quite far, especially in hotels, bars and restaurants.


Hungary drives on the right. Red and green mean the same. Recent years saw greatly improving numbers of bike lanes and bike paths in and outside the city. If there’s a bike path, you are obliged to use it, unless it’s shared with pedestrians. Don’t use sidewalks and tram tracks, and steer clear of freeways.

KRESZ bike signs

During the last two decades or so the city’s traffic ecosystem has seen a dramatic and unique improvement as a result of popular civil activism. While more bike lanes definitely mean more cyclists, it doesn’t necessarily mean less cars. Traffic can be dense, but people generally drive at moderate speeds. Motorists’ attitude has also improved, but arrogance is still present - regardless of people’s vehicle of choice.

Required equipment on bicycles

It is mandatory to have the following on your bike:

Riding under the influence

Driving - including your bike, known as cycling - after alcohol consumption is prohibited. In Budapest it’s unusual for police officers to harass cyclists on this topic, although sometimes they conduct targeted campaigns. That said, don’t do it.

Drinking and smoking

There is an open-container law in effect in most of Budapest’s districts, so drinking alcohol in public spaces (parks, squares, streets) is generally prohibited, even though it’s not monitored too strictly.

Consuming drugs is also illegal and can be prosecuted, this unfortunately includes cannabis as well.

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor spaces (including bars) and at public transport stations. This is universally respected even late at night.