Cycling in Budapest: The Best Ways to Bike the City
Like any major world capital, Budapest offers residents and visitors alike a plethora of ways to get around and explore the city, ranging from buses to subway trains to even boats. But while cars, taxis, or trams are certainly extremely useful, as the weather warms, and spring bursts into full bloom, there is nothing quite like cycling in Budapest.
While it might feel intimidating or confusing to find a bicycle as a tourist, or as a visitor more generally, in reality, the Hungarian capital offers a number of great ways to get you cycling in the city. Here, then is a bit of information on all you’ll need in order to get rolling in Budapest!
Everything You Need to Know about Cycling in Budapest
Bike Rental in Budapest
Understandably, visitors might not want to buy a bicycle outright for their stay in the Hungarian capital (although if they do, there are plenty of great shops in the city center where you can buy trusty, reliable bikes). For that reason, renting is obviously the best way to get your Budapest cycling tour started.
Here, there are a couple of good options available. The most widespread, and perhaps the most easily accessible option, is the Bubi, Budapest’s network of city bikes. These iconic green vehicles are located at docking stations throughout the city, and provide an easy, convenient way for you to make your way around and explore, without having to worry about where, exactly, you left your bike. And as Bubi has a variety of pass options, including 24-hour, 72-hour, and weekly (as well as longer, year-long passes), it’s a very flexible, affordable way to get around the city.
In addition to Bubi, several hostels and hotels in the city offer bicycle rentals of their own. Likewise, companies such as BudapestBike and Donkey Republic offer daily rentals, which include additional amenities such as helmets and bike locks, as well as children’s seats upon request.
Cycling in Budapest: Rules of the Road and Helpful Tips
If you’re going to go cycling in the city, there are a few basic things that you should know. And while most of these are common sense, it doesn’t hurt to keep them in mind in order to ensure a safe, pleasant experience on your Budapest cycling tour.
First and foremost, be sure to wear a helmet! While it may seem cumbersome, in a city with heavy pedestrian, automobile and tram traffic, a helmet’s important to help you avoid serious injury: after all, that’s the last thing you’d want on any trip.
Second, keep in mind that bicycles count as vehicles! For those of you who are unfamiliar with European transportation signage, a great summary of the various symbols and what they mean can be found here. Use bike lanes when they’re available, as they’re far less crowded than main roads.
Finally, just use common sense. In general, be aware of your surroundings: look around you for pedestrians, cars, buses, trams and make sure that the rest of your party are paying attention as well. And, of course, don’t forget to have fun and take in the sights!
How to Take Your Very Own Budapest Cycling Tour
Once you have your bike, you’re all set to go a cycling tour of the city. In general, Budapest is an extremely bicycle-friendly city, meaning you have a number of great options at your disposal. If you’re looking for a quiet ride surrounded by greenery, with a great view of the Danube, take your bicycle down to Margaret Island, and ride the path that loops all the way around the Island’s outer edge.
If you want to make use of your bike in order to check out some of Budapest’s many incredible sights, make your way down Andrássy Avenue, the Champs Elysees of the Hungarian capital. Starting with St. Stephen’s Basilica, you will pass the Opera House, Oktogon Square, the House of Terror, and dozens of grand, aristocratic palaces and embassies, before arriving at Heroes’ Square. From here, you can take a cycling tour of the City Park, home to such lovely attractions as the Budapest Zoo, the Vajdahunyad Castle, and the Széchenyi Thermal Baths.
Naturally, these are just a few suggestions, as Budapest is home to a huge number of potential cycling options, ranging from rides through the Buda Hills, to day-trips out to nearby towns such as Szentendre, to nearly anything in-between.
Interested in learning more about Budapest? Have a look at some of our earlier blog posts below: (H4)