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Budapest is the capital of Hungary.
- 1 Hitching in
- 2 Hitching out
- 2.1 Northwest towards Bratislava, Vienna M1 E 60 & Southwest towards Zagreb M7 E 71, Lake Balaton
- 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 Option 3: M3 Highway for Debrecen
- 2.7 North towards Slovakia, Kraków (Poland) M2 E 77
- 3 Public Transport
- 4 Sleeping
- 5 Food
- 6 Nomadwiki & Trashwiki
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.
Dabas-Soroksár is the exit from the M5 to the local road number 5. If you get from the highway onto the 5, walk or ask the driver to bring you 2km in direction of the city center (towards the M51). After you pass the M51 there will be a MOL petrol station. Behind the petrol station is the bus number 66. This one will go inside the city and will bring you to the next metro station, too.
These directions are for leaving the city centre. See Budapest Ferihegy international airport for hitching from there.
Northwest towards Bratislava, Vienna M1 & Southwest towards Zagreb M7 , Lake Balaton
Option 1: Motorway service station M1/M7 (OMV) - Kelenföld
This petrol station is the most popular spot with hitchhikers in all of Budapest, many young people use it to go to Balaton.. It is at the very beginning of the motorway that splits after a few kms into motorways M1 and M7. Some cars stop here only for the McD, so positioning yourself somewhere at the exit and thumbing or holding a sign works well. Asking around at the gas station is even better, ignore the clerks telling you to thumb.
There is another petrol station around 200m down the road, but it gets so little traffic that it is not worth going there.
Ways to get there:
- Take bus 8E from Keleti pályaudvar (Keleti train station) in the direction of Kelenföld vasútállomás M, (and change at BAH-csomópont for bus 139), or take bus 139 from Széll Kálmán tér in the direction of Gazdagréti tér, and get off at Nagyszeben út (not Nagyszeben tér!). Walk back 100m east in the direction the bus came from along Budaörsi út and you will see the OMV petrol station and McD on the right.
- Take metro 4 from Keleti pályaudvar to the last stop Kelenföld vasútállomás. Walk through the underpass and up the steps in northwest direction. Continue along the footpath till you reach the main road Budaörsi út. Cross the main road and turn left and walk west for 250m along Budaörsi út till you reach the OMV petrol station / McD.
A friend and I wanted to hitchhike to Vienna from here. Upon arriving, we encountered a couple of other hitchhikers going to Balaton. We found a single seat going to Vienna within 30 mins. Upon speaking to the other hitchhikers, I found them a ride within five minutes by asking at the gas station. Another hitchhiker arrived and together we found a ride to the Austrian border within an hour. - Rebew (Aug. 2021)
Option 2: OMV petrol station BAH-csomópont
Take bus 8E, 110, 112 from Keleti pályaudvar, or 139, 140, 140A from Széll Kálmán tér, in direction of Kelenföld vasútállomás M and get off at BAH-csomópont. Alternatively, trams 17 and 61 stop here. Also, you can walk ≈4.5km west from Keleti train station to the beginning of Budaörsi út.
This place is relatively close to the center and there is a lot of traffic to the M1 and M7. It appears like this is the only option in the list that nobody has specifically spoken against.
Option 3: Motorway service station M1/M7 (Agip) Budaörs
Take metro 4 from Keleti pályaudvar to the last stop Kelenföld vasútállomás. Take bus 172 or 173 and get off at stop Budaörs, benzinkút, which is right at the Agip service station. It has a lot of traffic to both motorways and 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.
Option 4: Motorway service station M1 Biatorbagy
Take metro 4 from Keleti pályaudvar to the last stop Kelenföld vasútállomás. Then take a local train to Biatorbagy (it costs about EUR 1 (HUF 370)). From the station, turn right for 20m, and then right again at the roundabout under the railway tracks along Dózsa György út for ≈350m until you reach a main road. Turn left (northwest) and follow this national road 1 for 2km to a turning on the right. Walk north along this road for ≈750m under the motorway bridge to the service station on the north side of the motorway.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 as essentially all the cars there are going towards Vienna/Bratislava.
Option 5: Various spots near the city centre
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. Pros are that you don't need to spend any money on transport; cons are that there is a lot of local traffic and so waiting times could be very long. (In real nobody will take you, go out to the edge of the city).
Option 1: Gyáli út
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. As of January 2017, there is some construction which leaves no space for stopping except on the exit lane of the petrol station nearby. The spot still worked quite well
Option 2: Petrol Station OMV on Nagykőrösi út
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. If you want to go any further, option 3 is about 800 meters down the road.
I got a ride to a rest station near Kecskemét within 30 minutes. My driver told me that thumbing at the bus station would've been a better idea. Kecskemét was good to hitchhike, but the tourists are annoying. This is also a perfect route to go to Kosovo, as 90% of drivers will be going there. - Rebew (30/07/2021)
Option 3: Start of M5 motorway
Take the metro to Határ út. Then take bus #84E, #89E or #294E to the stop Naszód utca (Használtcikk piac). Here you can start to hitch (you should see a Citroen car lot on the other side of the road. 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. (This information is unconfirmed; maybe this is the OMV in option 2.)
Option 4: Motorway service station M5 Inárcs
Take the metro 3 to Népliget. Take bus Volánbusz 608 to Inárcsi elág (M5-ös út). After approximately 30km, it will leave the motorway and go to Inárcs. Remember the way and get off the bus at the first stop (shortly past where 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 southerly destinations - just ask around. You can look for foreign plates if you want to leave the country.
Take tram 61 from near train station Déli Pályaudvar, or tram 6 from Blaha Lujza tér., or bus 7 from Ferenciek tere, to Móricz Zsigmond körtér. From here, cross the street and walk on for about 20m. Take bus 33 or 33A and get off at Budatétényi Sorompó (the stop after the big shopping mall Campona on your left). From the bus stop, turn back and walk in the direction the bus just came from. Cross the street at the first crossing to your right (Növény ut.). 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.
Option 1: Junction & Petrol station on M3 bevezető
Take trolleybus 74 from Károly körút (Astoria M) near Astoria metro station. Get off at Sárrét park. Turn back in the direction from where the trolleybus came from and walk ≈50m along Ungvár ut. Turn right and walk 200m along Rákosszeg park to the end. Turn right on Kacsóh Pongrác út. and walk 100m to the entrance slip road, or turn left on Kacsóh Pongrác út. and walk 50m to the OMV petrol station.
Option 2: M3 Junction
Take bus 7, 7E, 8E, 108E, or 133E from Blaha Lujza tér and get off at the last stop Újpalota, Nyírpalota út. Walk northwest 1km along Szentmihályi út. to the sliproad at the beginning of the M3 proper. It's not the best hitchhiking spot, but it works after a while. If you get stuck here, walk 2km along the motorway to the service station.
Option 3: M3 Junction Mogyoród
Take metro 2 to the last stop Örs Vezér tér. From the HÉV (regional train station), take train 8 in the direction 'Gödöllő' and get off at Mogyoród. From the station, walk left 20m on Vasút ut. Turn right and walk ≈400m along Gödöllői ut. Then turn right and walk ≈500m along Szadai út. until you reach the entrance sliproad to the M3 motorway on the right. Alternatively, two kilometres further on, there is also a petrol station on the motorway.
Option 4: Motorway service station M3
Take bus 5 from Blaha Lujza tér in the direction of Rákospalota, Kossuth utca and get off at Juhos utca. Walk ≈450m northeast along Régi Fóti út. You will see a Lidl supermarket on the right. Turn right on the small road and walk southeast for 1km crossing over the motorway bridge. (You can see the service station on the left from the bridge). Take the first road left after the bridge and walk ≈700m until you see the big Praktiker store. Turn left and walk through the car park to the end and jump over the small-ish fence and once past the road, you will be on the petrol station. There is a McDonalds and KFC here too.
'Option 5:' Kacsóh Pongrác út bus station'
Take M1 to Mexikói út metro station and cross the railways in the underpass to the Róbert Károly körút where you will find Kacsóh Pongrác út bus station. It's a very safe place to stop and it is directly before the entrance to the M3 highway. (Waiting time as a woman 10-15 min, hichhiked many times here)
Option 1: Agip petrol station on national road 4
Take metro 3 to the end of the line at Kőbánya-Kispest. Walk to the bus station on the other side of the #4 road. Take the airport bus 200E and get off at the second to last stop before the airport: Vecsés-nyugat. Walk back along the road ≈600m and you will reach the Agip petrol station & McDonalds.
Option 2: Üllő roundabout & MOL petrol station
Take a regional train from train station Nyugati Pályaudvar to Üllő (550 HUF and 30 min ride). Walk ≈700m southwest on Deák Ferenc ut. till you reach the main road through the town Pesti út. Turn left (southeast) here and walk 2km along Pesti út to the large roundabout and MOL petrol station at the end of town. You can also hitch 100m past the roundabout on national road 4; although there's no shoulder, there is some space for cars to pull over and stop. 20/09/17 Tried option 1 for 3 hours and then went to option 2, waited maybe 30min.
Option 3: M3 Highway for Debrecen
Take a subway till station Mexicói út after walk 4 km ( it's pretty far and I saw a bus 25, but didn't check from where is it going ) till you cross Ozman utca( or around it) it will be a gas station OMV, the road is going among M3 highway, and here some cars are going to a gas station from Highway to this road and back to the highway, and also there is a bus stop after a gas station, where is very convenient to stop the car.
Option 1: Motorway Junction Sződliget
Take a train from Nyugati Pályaudvar in the direction of Vac and and get off at Sződliget (HUF 550/EUR 2 and 30 min ride). Walk south along the platform to the road (Dunai fasor). Turn left (east) and walk ≈400m to the entrance sliiproad over the motorway bridge. Stand on the motorway hitchhiking instead of the sliproad as there's a lot of space to pull over and people don't really drive too fast at that stretch of the road.
Option 2: Motorway service station (Shell)
Take a train from Nyugati Pályaudvar 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 straightforward - 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 to 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 off 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 2 (very frequent), 4 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. You can usually also get off the carriage when you see inspectors getting on as usually at least some of them will wear uniforms.
Be careful: the system has changed, and the controllers are often escorted with a public area inspector who has the right to stop you and demand for your ID cards.'
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. Oftentimes you can also just walk past these inspectors at the entrance or flash them a used ticket without stopping. Be careful changing lines at Deák Ferenc tér, usually there are controllers on stations of Line 2 and 3.
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. 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 or your ticket 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.
At around 20:30 or later, the ticket inspectors that stand at the entrance to the metro 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 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.
For finding connections between two points in the city, there's a very good route planner available also in English: http://www.bkk.hu/en
There is a very good Hungarian movie about the controllers on Budapest's public transportation. Finding English subtitles is easy, too.
If you want to sleep outside in summer, you can do so anywhere in Buda hills. These places are abandoned after dark, far from people, and sometimes used by homeless people.
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 I 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.
At Örs vezér tere, there's an IKEA with a great food court. Just take a left after you come up the stairs to avoid all the showrooms unless you enjoy playing there to raise your appetite :-)
On the top floor of the central market at Fovam ter, there are many food stalls, popular among tourists, most of whom are ignorant fuckers who order what they want but not what they need, i.e. A LOT of leftovers on the table. There are public tables where these fuckers eat and they are not frequently cleaned by workers, thus easy opportunity for table diving. Please do this, even just once or twice. I have seen big sandwiches and baked potatoes and such being left after a single bite. We should make wasting food a crime.