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Budapest by car

Getting around in Budapest by car can be very difficult due to the continuous traffic jams and the lack of parking places. The worst periods are the rush hours and school days, when parents take the children to school by car. Mostly affected are bridges,  main boulevards and crossings. There have been many debates and ideas how to solve the problem of the ever increasing number of cars. Some suggested tunnels under the Danube, others wanted to copy the British example to create a toll zone for the downtown.  Nothing happened so far, only the construction works of the M0 ring have started, including the building of  a new bridge on the northern part of the city.

parking zone

Andrássy street traffic

Although the public transportation is fairly good in Budapest, many people insist on travelling by their own car avoiding the crowded buses and undergrounds. At the moment it seems that there is no hope for a solution. The other problem is parking. The city is divided to zones, where parking fees differ. The maximum stay is between 2-3 hours, so if you are lucky enough to find a place, you still need to instert coins in every 2-3 hours. A popular innovation is to pay via mobile phone, this way there is no need for hunting for coins any more, but first you need to register on-line.

There are few places, where parking is free of charge e.g. on the Danube quay and at Felvonulási tér (next to Heroes' Square). Otherwise you have to be very careful, the controllers are very strict and come frequently. In case you missed payment a red or blue package is placed on your windscreen, including your cheque of fine. This has to be paid first and the receipt has to be faxed to or presented at the parking company.

parking meter

Respecting the road and parking rules is another key question. You can find your car in a wheel lock, if not parking at the designated area. If this happens with you, first you need to pay the attached cheque, fax it to the given number and call the authorities to remove the lock. There are some public garages in the downtown, where parking is possible for longer terms, too e.g. at the St. Stephen's Basilica, at Szabadság tér. Parking houses are located at Oktogon square, in Aradi utca or at Szervita tér. The rates vary on a wide scale.  The other options are the empty estates temporarily converted to parking lots but these change frequently as the estates are getting built in.