Parking in Budapest – advice and strategies to avoid fines in the city centre!


Parking in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, can be challenging for locals and even more so for tourists. If you’ve just landed at the airport, plan to hire a car, and seek secure places, this article is tailored for you! Here, we will outline the options and provide tips to help you avoid fines.

In the capital of Hungary, you can park in four main types of locations: on the street, in a fee-based underground garage or car park, in a private garage or in a special facility (Park and Ride (P+R) facility)

parking with car fines

Parking on the street

Parking on the roadside in Budapest is convenient but can be tricky due to limited spaces and strict regulations. You need to pay close attention to the special signs to avoid fines. It’s a good option for short stays if you find an available spot.

Fee-based underground garages

Fee-based underground garages or car parks provide secure and sheltered parking options in the city. They are usually located near popular areas, making them ideal for longer visits. However, they can be quite costly, especially in the city centre.

And the private ones

Private garages, often available with apartment rentals, offer the highest level of security and convenience. These garages are usually included in the accommodation cost, providing peace of mind for visitors staying for extended periods. They are perfect for those who prefer to have their car close by at all times.

Special facilities

Park and Ride (P+R) facilities are designed to encourage the use of public transport by providing affordable parking on the outskirts. You can park your car there and easily access public transport to reach the city centre. This is a cost-effective and convenient choice, particularly for daily commuters.

Budapest is divided into four parking zones, each with distinct regulations and fees.

  • Zone 1 covers the city centre and has the highest fees due to its central location and high demand. Stopping in this zone is often limited to short durations, and spaces fill up quickly.
  • Zone 2 surrounds the city centre and offers slightly lower parking fees than Zone 1. It provides a balance between accessibility and cost, making it a popular choice for those who need to be near the central areas without paying the premium prices.
  • Zone 3 includes the outer districts of Budapest, where fees are significantly lower. This zone is ideal for longer-term parking and is less crowded, making it easier to find available spaces.
  • Zone 4 encompasses the outskirts of the city and offers the most affordable options. It’s a suitable choice for those who don’t mind a longer commute into the city centre, often utilising public transport for the final leg of their journey.

market hall

Market Hall – a must see place

And while we’re walking the streets of Budapest, let’s visit one of its most popular attractions, the Central Market Hall, a closed marketplace and a favourite with tourists and locals alike.

The Central Market Hall in Budapest is located in Zone 1. This zone covers the central part of the city, where parking is more expensive and limited due to high demand.

The Central Market Hall, also known as the Great Market Hall, is one of Budapest’s most iconic landmarks. Located at the end of Váci Street, it is the largest and oldest indoor market in the city. The market is renowned for its stunning architecture, featuring a beautiful neo-Gothic facade and a colourful Zsolnay tiled roof.

central market hall budapest

What kind of things are waiting for us inside the Market Hall?

Inside, the market is bustling with vendors selling a wide array of goods. On the ground floor, you will find fresh produce, meats, and seafood, offering an authentic taste of Hungarian cuisine. The stalls are filled with vibrant fruits, vegetables, and local specialities like paprika, sausages, and salamis.

The first floor is dedicated to Hungarian crafts and souvenirs, where you can purchase traditional embroidery, pottery, and handmade jewellery. This floor also houses various food stalls and eateries, where you can savour local delicacies such as lángos, goulash, and strudel.

The basement level features fishmongers and pickled goods, including a selection of pickles and fermented vegetables. The market is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, providing a unique shopping experience in a historic setting. Visiting the Central Market Hall offers a glimpse into Hungarian culture and culinary traditions.