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In Budapest, Hungary, you can enjoy picturesque views across the Danube river, thermal baths and a café culture to rival the likes of Paris. Visit historical sites such as Buda Castle, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Chain Bridge to get a taste of the city’s past before stopping off for a filling bowl of Hungarian soup. To see Budapest to its fullest, hiring a car is the perfect option. Uncover the city’s secrets and drive across the border, too, to the cities of Vienna, Austria, and Bratislava, Slovakia, for a break packed with excitement and discovery.

Hire a Car at Budapest Airport (BUD)

There are a range of car hire companies at Budapest Airport, such as Hertz and Europcar, which you can browse using the Expedia search tool. Arrange to pick up your car when you land and you’ll be able to start exploring Budapest straight away. Driving to the centre of Budapest from the airport takes around 40 minutes, depending on the time of day. If you're staying in the Buda side of the city, you'll get to cross one of the bridges that join Buda and Pest over the Danube river and catch your first glimpse of the impressive Buda Castle.

Hire a Car in Budapest

Taking advantage of Europe’s rail system or don’t fancy driving after your journey? You can arrange to pick up your car rental once you arrive in Budapest instead. There are several car rental companies which are based centrally and on both sides of the river. The easiest way to travel from the airport is by arranging an individual transfer, but cheaper options such as public transport and a door to door minibus are available.

Facts on Driving in Budapest

Driving a car in Hungary is a little bit different to driving in the UK. Firstly, there’s a zero-tolerance policy on drinking and driving, which means that getting behind the wheel after even the smallest drop of alcohol could land you in trouble with the law, so stick to soft drinks if you’re the designated driver. Secondly, the tolls on motorways must be paid in advance. You can do this by buying a toll pass at a petrol station when you need it. Some car rental companies will also allow you to purchase one from them when you hire your vehicle.

Day Trips from Budapest

When you get the urge to to explore a little further, take advantage of your car rental and take a trip beyond Budapest's city centre. The Memento Park is approximately 25 minutes by car out of the city centre and a great way to learn about Hungary’s communist past, featuring a collection of Soviet-era statues which were removed from the districts of Budapest after the Fall of Communism. Spend an hour or two at the park, and then head to the capital of Austria, Vienna. The drive takes just under two and a half hours, and when you arrive, you’ll be able to enjoy Austria’s historic architecture, delectable cakes and green spaces before returning to Budapest.

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