A picture of Children learning to bike in Budapest's KRESZ (Unified Road Regulation Provisions) Park in Varosliget.

VarosligetiKRESZPark1-by Illustratedjc-Wikimedia Comons

How safe is riding a bike in Budapest?


 

When asked to name a European city that is bike-friendly, the majority of cyclists will likely recommend Copenhagen or Amsterdam. But Budapest, the charming and eccentric capital of Hungary, is frequently mentioned as a summer “must-visit” destination in Europe, and its cycling scene is also noteworthy. There’s no wonder Budapest attracts bike fans from all over Eastern Europe and beyond with its vibrant commuter culture supported by a thriving bike share system, plenty of mountainous routes for mountain biking, and a gorgeous trail along the Danube, the second-longest river in Europe. Budapest should be included on your cycling bucket list because it is a secure place to ride.

Best Places to Ride your Bike in Budapest

How secure are the Budapest bike lanes?

A picture of a Bike lane and bike lane crossing in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest May2009 007-by Marion Schneider & Christoph Aistleitner-Wikimedia Commons

In Budapest, there are many different kinds of cycling roads. There are cycle routes that are independent of the main road and either run alongside it on both sides or just one side, depending on the situation. When vehicles and bikers share the same main road, we can discover bike lanes as well. There are instances where pedestrians and drivers both use the pavement. It might or might not be divided, but it is always indicated with signs and a yellow marker. When the bike lane is the same as the bus lane, it differs slightly from the other situations. There are roughly 190 kilometers of bicycle lanes in Budapest. 50 kilometers of shared and separated bicycle roads with pedestrians, 45 kilometers of bike roads on less-traveled main highways, 10 kilometers of bike lanes on major roads, 65 kilometers of separated bike roads, and 25 kilometers of shared but not separated bicycle roads with pedestrians.

Biking rules in Budapest

Whether or whether we are riding on a bike road, there are a lot of regulations we must abide by when we are on our two-wheelers.

-White and red lights are required on the front and back of bicycles, respectively. They must be able to work concurrently. The height of these lights from the ground must be between 35 and 90 centimeters.

-The front wheel of every bicycle must have at least one lime-colored reflector, and the bicycle must have two functional brakes.

-It is unexpected that having a bell is not just advised it is required.

-It is advised to wear reflective clothing (which is required outside of cities and at night) and a helmet (out of the cities).

-Riders are required to use bicycle lanes whenever possible when they are provided.

-Bicyclists can use the non-separated routes on the pavement if there are no available lanes, but they must be cautious near pedestrians and are not permitted to go faster than 10 kph.

-Contrary to several urban tales, riders are not permitted to enter pedestrian zones. Only if specific indicators indicate that they can.

Budapest exploration: The best cycling routes

A picture of A bike Route at Vérmező, Cycling resting point, 2016 Budapest

 Bike Route at Vérmező, Cycling resting point, 2016 Budapest-by Globetrotter19-Wikimedia Commons

We cannot guarantee that cyclists can travel across the entire city on a bicycle, but recent years have seen some infrastructure improvement. In a perfect world, getting from point A to point B would be hassle-free, but that may take some time. Recent changes made life easier for bikers while also assisting automobile drivers in adjusting to the presence of riders on the road. For instance, building bicycle roads in the 17th, 3rd, around Kbánya, and 21st districts was a key and significant step in the right direction. On Andrássy Street, a 1-kilometer bicycle lane was constructed in 2012. This is one of Budapest’s most technologically advanced bike routes because they adopted the widely utilized European standard. When approaching from the bike path in Parliament Kossuth Square, you can join this, travel through Heroes’ Square, and ultimately arrive in the City Park, which is a cyclist’s paradise.

Similar bicycle lanes have existed on Small Avenue since 2011, and they were significant because they showed that, under the correct circumstances, drivers and cyclists can coexist peacefully even on congested roads. In Denmark, two-way bike lanes with traffic lights are relatively frequent, but they are quite unusual in Budapest. This has a connection to both Andrássy Street and the bicycle lane on Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street. This lane continues in the opposite direction to Kalvin Square, and once you are there, it is very simple to reach the Buda side, making this the ideal path for a city bike tour. In addition, the Thököly Street bicycle lane is significant since it set a precedent in 2009. Fortunately, there is a bicycle road that is a part of the lovely Duna shoreline and the EuroVelo network of cycling lanes. 

Best Places to Ride your Bike in Budapest

Why cycling is great in Budapest

A picture of Elisabeth Bridge, Budapest, Hungarian bridge longexposure2

Elisabeth Bridge, Budapest, Hungarian bridge longexposure2-by Kalakaar-Wikimedia Commons

Select your setting from Buda’s mountain trails or Pest’s downtown streets- The Danube divides the city between the lively, young Pest side with its generally level topography and the more affluent and suburban Buda side with its twisting hills. Climb Buda’s 526-meter Janos Hill for a gratifying challenge that leads to one of the best cityscape views, or travel further into the verdant hills. Pest is littered with outdoor cafes, restaurants, and the perennially famous “ruin cafés” hangouts converted from abandoned and decrepit buildings for visitors more interested in hitting as many tourist sights and hotspots as can on flat city streets.

MOL Bubi Bikes allow you to commute in style- Take a lime-green bike from MOL Bubi, the city’s first bike share, and commute like a native through Budapest’s roughly 200 kilometers of bike lanes and paths. Using a Bubi bike for 24 hours costs 500 HUF (approximately $1.81), while longer-term visitors can rent one for three days for $3.63 or for a week for $7.27. The dependable 55-pound bikes offer three speeds, adjustable seatposts, front and rear automated lights, and frame-mounted storage for holding maps and other small goods. The docking stations in the area are ideally situated close to key hubs and tourist attractions and are often no more than a third of a mile apart. The MOL Bubi program has gained popularity since it began in September 2014; fourteen months later, the Hungarian Tourist Board reported that its 1,150 bikes had already been used more than 1 million times.

Entice you into ditching your chains– Try the chainless bike made by Budapest-based Stringbike if you want to be at the forefront of low-maintenance riding technology. For a smoother ride, the Stringbike claims to replace conventional metal bike chains with the same sturdy rope used by rock climbers. Visitors can test out the “clean and graceful” bikes for themselves at local races and events where the company displays their rides and also offers private excursions via Stringbike.

Explore Central and Eastern Europe along the Danube River– The EuroVelo6, often known as the Rivers Route, is a popular route for both visitors and locals and covers more than 2,000 miles through ten different countries. Riders can head west through Bratislava and Vienna to Germany on the Danube Bike Path or continue east through Serbia to the border between Romania and Bulgaria. Estimates of usage vary, but at least 40,000 cyclists are thought to use the Austrian portion of the route annually, primarily in the summer. Riders have the option of staying on the Slovakian side of the river or crossing over to the Hungarian side and traveling through Györ.

Bicycle tours in Budapest

A picture of a bike rental in Budapest

Rent a bike – Deák tér, Budapest-by Derzsi Elekes Andor-Wikimedia Commons

For about 25 euros per participant, services like the Budapest Bike Tour or BudaBike Tours allow you to utilize their bicycles and provide an English-speaking guide. Some deals include a complimentary drink and dessert for daytime trips or a delicious goulash lunch at the conclusion. But since many of the attractions are quite close to one another, you could just rent a bike and explore on your own. You also have more choices on where to rent a bike. 

Top Five Bike Tours to Take in Budapest

Here are some of Budapest’s top bike excursions for you to pick from.