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- 1 Hitching in
- 2 Hitching out
- 2.1 West towards Bratislava, Vienna, Zagreb (M1, M7) E 60 E 75
- 2.2 South towards Szeged, Serbia, Arad (Romania) (M5) E 75
- 2.3 South towards Érd, Pécs (6, M6) E 73
- 2.4 East towards Miskolc, Košice (Slovakia), Ukraine (M3) E 71
- 2.5 East towards Szolnok, Debrecen, Oradea (Romania) E 60, (4)
- 2.6 M2 North towards Slovakia, Kraków (Poland) E 77
- 3 Public Transport
- 4 Sleeping
- 5 Food
If your driver is only going around Budapest on the ring road, and not entering the city, the best exit points are Dabas-Soroksár (close to M5, south-east) from which you can take a bus to Népliget, and Dunakeszi-Újpest (close to M2, north) from which you can take bus 104.
(These directions are for leaving the city centre. See Budapest Ferihegy international airport for hitching from there.)
West towards Bratislava, Vienna, Zagreb (M1, M7)
There are several possibilities. It is best to use a sign "M1" or "M7", according if you want go to west or to south.
Edit July 2015: Do not go there! Motorway under construction = bad place! Much better option is to take bus 272 from Moricz zsigmond and stop at Budaörs, benzinkút.
Edit August 2015: We went there and after the petrol station, there is an other one (like 1 minute walking further), and you can hitchhike directly on the road front of it. The construction is actually great because cars aren't going that fast. Got a ride to Vienna in 10 minutes.
The best option, tried several times. This petrol station is at the very beginning of the motorway that few kms later splits into motorways M1 and M7. Many cars stop here also because of the McD's (thumbing at the exit works well, as many cars go only to McD's and do not tank). To get there take bus no. 8 (starts at Keleti railway station and stops e.g. at Blaha Lujza tér, Astoria M, Uránia) or from Buda side bus 139 (starting at Széll Kálmán tér) and get off at Nagyszeben út (not Nagyszeben tér!). From there you should see the OMV and/or McDonald's sign, it's 100m away. Alternatively, if you find yourself at the Budapest-Kelenföld train station (Kelenföld vasútállomás), the petrol station is ~8mins of walk from there. At the train station, walk through the underpass and then follow in that direction until you reach the big busy road Budaörsi út. It's the beginning of the motorway, you should see the OMV sign. [Edit by fidradikoj: This spot works great but info about how to reach it by bus is misleading. The correct bus to take is 139 (towards Gazdagréti tér), if you want to get there from Keleti then hop onto bus no. 8, and change to 139 at BAH-csomópont. I didn't tried it out, I went for metro ride to Kelenföld and walked.]
- When heading west (M7 to Balaton or M1 to Austria and Slovakia), you should take bus 272 from Kosztolányi Dezső tér or Sasadi út and get off at the stop Budaörs, benzinkút. It stops right in the Agip service station with a lot of traffic to both motorways. The journey takes 20 minutes. It can be a great place if you get a chance to talk to drivers, though the staff of the petrol station may not allow it. Note: This is a bad spot, even though it looks perfect - it's next to the motorway, but most cars come there from the small local road and are driving only in the vicinity. Went from there 4 times, waiting time from 1h to 3.5h.
- Starting from inside the city (between Moszkva tér and Kelenföld) is a possibility worth trying, especially because there are some good spots that are quite popular among local hitchhikers.
- There is another OMV petrol station which is even closer to the city center. It is situated at the beginning of the street Budaörsi út. You can reach it easily by walking across the big white suspension bridge, from Pest towards the Citadel, or by taking tram 61 from the square Moszkva tér. Coming from the Pest side you could also take bus 112. There is a lot of traffic to the M1 and M7.
- If you are ready to invest some time to get to the first petrol station after the motorway splits, you should do so because it is a perfect spot since essentially all the cars there are going towards Vienna/Bratislava. From Kelenfold just get on a train to the suburb of "Biatorbagy". It costs about EUR 1 (HUF 370) and takes less than 20 minutes. Once you get there, just walk out of the train station, direction east, towards the motorway and turn left immediately, following a road parallel to the motorway for about 20 minutes until you get to the petrol station.
There are several possibilities for leaving the city in this direction.
- Take the metro to Határ út. Then take bus #84E, #89E or #294E to the stop Naszód utca (Használtcikk piac). You should see a Citroen car lot on the other side of the road. Here you can start to hitch. A sign "Szeged" is useful. If you take bus 84E, you can continue straight onto the motorway to a OMV petrol station that you can hitch from.
- Take tram 4 or 6 to Boráros tér, then take bus 54 or 55 to the stop Radnó utca. There is a petrol station on the other side of the noise barrier wall. You could also thumb at the bus stop on the bus-only lane. Don't go any further, this road will change into a motorway in few hundred meters.
- Take tram 4 or 6 to Boráros tér, then take bus number 54 or 55 to the stop Gyáli út. Walk straight for 75 m and then turn left on the street Gyáli út. After about 150 m there is a curve in the road, turn right there and walk to the motorway (it's not yet a motorway officially, so you can hitchhike there). There is no road or pavement leading there, but it's easy to cross. You will see a half complete ramp on your right going on the motorway. It's basicaly a 100 meters long lane with no traffic on it, it's ideal for cars to stop, and you are also visible from a long distance.
- If you have got HUF 1,000 (or a metro ticket and HUF 650) left you can take the metro (line number #3, HUF 350 as of Sep 2015) to Népliget. At the bus station there you can buy a ticket to Inárcsi elág. (M5-ös út) (e.g. from one of the domestic ticket machines, HUF 650 as of Sep 2015) and take Volánbusz #608 out of the city. After approximately 30km it will leave the motorway and go to Inárcs. Remember the way, leave the bus at the first station (shortly behind the town starts) and walk back to the OMV petrol station where the bus left the motorway. Take care, because there is no sidewalk and cars/trucks can be quite fast. It is the first big petrol station on M5 after Budapest  and there will be cars and trucks to all the Southern destinations - just ask around. You can look for foreign plates if you want to leave the country.
To get out of Budapest, get to the public transportation hub Móricz Zsigmond körtér. You can take tram 61 from near the train station Déli Pályaudvar, or tram 6 from Blaha Lujza tér or Ferenc krt. You can also take bus 7 from Ferenciek tere. Once you are at Móricz Zsigmond körtér, cross the street, walk further for about 20 m and get on bus 33 or 33A. After approximately 27 minutes, you’ll see a big shopping mall called Campona on your left. Get off at the next stop, Budatétényi Sorompó. From the bus stop, turn back and walk the way the bus just came. Cross the street at the first crossing to your right. There’s no street sign, so no name. That street has a railway overpass that crosses over it. Walk under the overpass and in a couple of minutes you'll arrive at a busy road. This is road #6 that goes south to Pécs. Turn left on that road and start hitching before the traffic light near the bus stop. There is enough room for cars to pull over there.
If you take bus 33, you can go until the last stop (Nagytétény, Chinoin). Walk forward (east) for 200 m and then turn left to the ramp which leads you to a roundabout. There is an entry to the M6 here where you can thumb.
For food, bathroom, and buses, get dropped of at the Tesco in Pécs. There's a bus station there where cars can stop.
- Take trolleybus #74 from the centre (near the metro station Astoria). You can go until the last stop, but it is better to get off one stop before the last. From there, you should hear the noise of the M3 motorway. Just follow it, walk back a bit (the opposite direction of the cars), and you'll find an entrance and also a petrol station.
- From the metro stations Astoria or Blaha Lujza tér take bus #173E and get off at the last stop Újpalota, Nyírpalota út. Walk along the big street on your left for about 10 minutes, check the signs and get onto the motorway. It's not the best hitchhiking spot, but it works after a while.
- Take the metro to Örs Vezér tér. Cross the big square and then from the HÉV (regional train station), take a train in the direction Gödöllő and get off at the station Mogyoród. Five minutes' walk from here is an entrance to the motorway, while two kilometres further there is a petrol station.
- To get to this spot take the bus #5 from somewhere the centre. Quite a long ride as you need to get off in the stop Szentmihályi út. Walk on the big road, you'll see the bridge over it. That's the motorway.
- Take metro line 3 to the end of the line where you will find a bus station. Take the airport bus, it will stop at terminal 1, stay on the bus until the second to last stop before the airport. You will notice that the city ends quite abruptly. Prior to this you will see a petrol station, this is the last petrol station for at least 10–15 km. From the second to last bus stop you will have to walk back to this station. There is no good place to hitch after this point for around 10–15 km as the road is motorway. Later on there are more hitching opportunities and it's easy to get dropped off somewhere useful.
- Take a regional train from the train station Nyugati Pályaudvar to the station Üllő (it costs about HUF 550 and takes 30 minutes). You can walk through the town to a big roundabout where there is a MOL petrol station.
Get on one of the very frequent Vac-bound trains from Nyugati Pályaudvar (which is the main train station) and get off at the Sződliget-stop which is roughly a half hour train ride(HUF 550/EUR 2) . When you get off the train walk find the road and take a left. Follow it for about 200 meters until you get to the motorway and then just stand on the motorway hitchhiking instead of the onramp as there's a a lot of space to pull over and people don't really drive to fast at that stretch of the road.
Alternatively, you can take train from Nyugati to "Dunakeszi Gyártelep" (HUF 150/300) and walk 3.5 km to the petrol station on the E77 (Hungarians call it Road Number Two). The walk is 40+ minutes but its pretty straight-forward - check this map From Pipa st. you can see the sign of the petrol station in the distance, and it will help you to navigate.
The motorway only has two lanes, and cars are going pretty slow, so it's not a problem to cross it. Once you get there its great spot to catch a long drive! You can be picky, so best wait for someone going straight to Poland because once you get the Slovak border the road is getting bad and this is your best shot.
If you're heading to Poland you'd most likely be better of finding a direct lift to Poland from the Hungarian- Slovak border rather than getting short lifts through Slovakia. Trucks go until the Chyzne border crossing between Slovakia and Poland, where it's easy to get a lift to Krakow or further to Warsaw.
Budapest has an extensive public transportation system consisting of a metro, buses and trams. A single ticket is about 1.15 (a set of 10 tickets is about EUR 9.90). After you buy your ticket, you have to validate it. There are red machines on buses and trams that punch a hole in a different place on your ticket each day, which is how they determine if you validated your ticket that day (or at least not the day before...).
Inspections on buses and trams are rare except for the most popular lines (e.g. buses 7, 7E, 173 and 173E and trams 4, 5 and 6). Rush hours are usually safe when the trams/buses are too crowded for the inspectors to walk through the vehicles. If you want to be safe, hang around the machine and if you see an inspector coming, punch your ticket immediately.
In the metro there are inspectors posted at the entrance to the platforms during all operational hours who will demand to see your ticket. Most of the time they check those who are entering and don't bother with people who are leaving the platform (Keleti railway station is one notable exception), so if you see no conductors at the entrance then you are fine. Either you take your chance that there will be no checking at the exit, or take the bus/tram, you can get pretty much everywhere without the metro.
If you get caught without a valid ticket, the official fine on the spot is HUF 8,000, which is about EUR 27. Do not let yourself be fooled with another amount, it is HUF 8,000, and the received paper is valid for travelling that day. But if you are cool enough you can get away without paying at all.
At around 20:30 or later, the ticket inspectors that stand at the entrance to the escalators go home, meaning you can get on the metro for free. Be aware also that if they have controls while you exit the station, they announce it as you get off the train and again every 2 minutes or so ("Please have your tickets ready for inspection as you leave the station.") If this happens, simply get back on the next train and get off a stop before or after your chosen stop. Do not try and run past any inspectors if they have a control - they are notoriously aggressive and will have no problem chasing you.
On the trams and buses the inspectors legally aren't allowed to touch you. Avoid speaking English or German to the controllers. Instead, pick the most obscure language you know and keep them busy until the next stop. When the doors open, simply exit the tram and walk away. Never give the controllers your ID or passport. Maybe try searching for it until the next stop, then get off the tram/bus then.
Some of the controllers will try to take you to a cash machine if you say you have no money. Same system applies - simply walk away from the controller. I've also heard of people stalling the controller for so long that the controller gets bored and walks away.
On the green line there are security guards stationed on the platforms, but don't worry, they won't check your tickets. They're just a security precaution. The same thing applies on tram 4 or 6 at night (they run 24 hours). They will stand at some entrances to the tram and check peoples' tickets as they enter the tram (They'll be wearing either a yellow vest or a green armband.) Choose a different entrance and you'll be fine, because the controllers stand at one door and don't move through the tram.
If you want to sleep outside in summer, you can do so anywhere in Buda hills. Other possibilities are the two big parks, Margitsziget (47.528694,19.047618) and Városliget (47.513566,19.085126). Margitsziget is an island in the Danube and it's a popular place to walk and escape from the busy city in the nice weather. Városliget is about the same. In both places you could find hidden places where nobody would bother you at night. Although there are sometimes people still awake at nights, especially young ones, but they won't harm you. Homeless people are harmless. In case the weather outside is not very warm nor welcoming, the mall Duna Plaza, in the northern part of the city XIII district, metro stop Gyongyosi utza offer great opportunities to find a shelter and not being discovered by security guards. In a cold night of november ('13) Fede found a perfect spot to lay down on his mat and sleep, behind the high bar of a closed (but open..) pub on the 2nd floor, next to the restaurants, emergency exit stairs on the back, at the highest floors are also a good option. Toilets are closed at night and security go around to check when they close the building around 02:00.
At Allee shopping centre (metro stop Újbuda Központ, green line. Tram 4 and 6 too) on the top floor there is a large food court where it's possible to table dive. Also at Kőbánya Kispest (last stop on the M3 blue line) there is a large shopping centre beside the train station. There's a large food court on the top floor also where you can table dive. Also in the Corvin Plaza there's a food court on the top floor to table dive. Try the market at Újbuda Központ (Vásárlócsarnok) and you can maybe get some free vegetables from the sellers there.trash:Budapest