Few are lucky enough to experience the wonders of a road trip through Hungary, given that it isn’t the most obvious choice for a European road trip. But the easy roads, stunning culture and exciting things to do in Hungary make it the ideal choice for your next motorhome holiday. Here you’ll find an itinerary for your road trip in Hungary, as well as what to do and what to visit in Budapest and other cities in Hungary. Get your engines ready and let’s go!
Budapest is the ideal starting location for your road trip, as you can either fly in to Budapest International Airport or drive over. If you’re coming from the UK, be sure to check regulations for taking your motorhome abroad. Once you’ve reached Budapest, we think at least two nights are required to really enjoy this city, a delightful gem in the heart of Eastern Europe. This magical city is known for style, elegance and delicious cuisine. Here is your Budapest tour guide, to help you choose what to visit in Budapest.
Things to do in Budapest:
- Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building, a gothic revival-style series of buildings that will drop your jaw. Stunningly set on the banks of the Danube, you can follow it with a delightful stroll along the river. It is also located in Kossuth Square, which is often used for celebrations, parades and many free events. Be sure to check out if anything will be happening while you are there!
- Witness the amazing architecture of the Fisherman’s Bastion, a terrace set in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style on the Buda bank. It was built between 1895 and 1902 with vibrant colours that will cheer up the darkest days. There is a lovely cafe on the terrace, so be sure to grab a cup of coffee and traditional pastry.
- A trip to Budapest is not complete without a dip in a thermal bath! The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath is the largest of its kind in Europe. I wonder if you can purchase a glass of bubbly to enjoy during your soak…
- Visit Heroes’ Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is renowned for the Iconic statue complex and Memorial Stone of Heroes, the ideal place to learn more about the troubled past of this beautiful city.
- Cross the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, a suspension bridge spanning the River Danube and connecting the western and eastern sides of Budapest.
Whilst parked in Budapest, you can also enjoy one of the many Budapest day trips options. Keep the campervan parked and head out on one of these day trips departing from Budapest:
- Esztergom. While in the current capital of Hungary, why not visit the original capital? You can reach it by a 2 hour train ride or an hour drive. In winter it is a great place for skiing, in summer it is ideal for hiking! Visit the Basilica of Esztergom and Lake Palatinus.
- Velence Lake. If you’re a nature lover, be sure to escape the bustle of Budapest for a day trip to Velence Lake. It is a mere hour and a half train ride or 45 minute drive. You can cycle the 10km around the lake, go kayaking on the clear waters or simply park yourself firmly on the beach with a good crime novel.
- Szentendre. The final of out top Budapest excursions. This cozy little town is known as the ultimate “artist village” and has been attracting creative wonders since the 1930s. The calm and colourful streets combined with the serene riverside location not only make it the perfect source of inspiration, but the perfect Budapest day trip and place to buy your unique Hungarian souvenirs!
Here you can find more day trips from Budapest!
Staying at: Camping Arena Budapest. This campsite is so peaceful that you’ll be shocked to realise you’re in the heart of this bustling city. This green and leafy site is the perfect calm down after busy days of exploring, is open all year long and features a grocery, bakery, ATM and more at a walking distance.
Price: £21 (includes electric hook up)
Location: 47.504161, 19.158404
Day 4-5, Győr
Next morning you can pack up early and head to Győr, following the M1 and then M19 for one hour and 20 minutes. Positioned halfway between Budapest and Vienna, Győr is an economic and religious centre of eastern Europe. You’ll find it to be less hectic than Budapest tourism and to have a more cultural vibe.
Things to do:
- Stroll around the stunning Town Hall, which was built in 1900 and encompasses Hungarian architecture perfectly.
- Visit the award winning Baroque Old Town, which has been preserved astonishingly well. This is a great place to enjoy dinner, with live music and shows frequently being held. Be sure to enjoy some traditional Goulash, or if you’re vegetarian go for a deliciously unhealthy portion of Lángos. Similar to Turkish bread, it is usually eaten with garlic sauce, cheese, sour cream and sometimes sausages.
- If the sun is shining, why not rent a boat and explore the River Raba?
- Didn’t manage to visit a thermal pool in Budapest? Or simply loved it so much you’re craving another soak? Have no fear, there are plenty of thermal baths to visit in Győr!
Staying at: Tópart Camping. You are your dogs will be warmly welcomed at this grassy campsite. On-site you’ll find both a snack bar and restaurant, as well as a lake and outdoor pool you can swim in!
Price: £13 (includes electric hook up)
Location: 47.678427, 17.603873
Day 6, Sopron
Welcome to one of the most beautiful cities in Western Hungary. Leave Győr early, you’ve only got one full day in Sopron. The hour and a half drive will take you right to the edge of Hungary, and will consist of the M85, M86 and B5 motorways.
Things to do:
- Climb the 200 steps up the Fire Tower, a 13th century tower with views of the entire town.
- Spend a good two hours walking around the city, particularly the cobblestoned streets of the old town. You’ll appreciate the medieval and Baroque architecture, as well as the delicious wine at a cafe! Be sure to sample wine from the grapes of the vineyards surrounding the city for the full experience.
- If you’re interested, be sure to visit the Central Mining Museum, an interactive museum with real historical equipment, covering centuries of Hungarian mining.
Staying at: Parking Sopron. Another lakeside stopover, this tranquil area is the perfect nights rest after a long day. These spacious pitches allow you to set yourself up properly and give you ideal privacy.
Price: £20 (electric hook up included)
Location: 47.72012, 16.69041
Day 7-8, Keszthely
This two hour drive will be the furthest you’ve driven for now, but once you reach Keszthely you’ll feel it was worth it! Located on the western shore of Lake Balaton, it is a vital cultural, educational and economic hub of the region. It is a preferred holiday destination, and evidence of this town dates back to 1247.
Things to do:
- You’ll certainly need to enjoy the stunning Lake Balaton whilst here. This freshwater lake is surrounded by lovely beaches, where you can go for a swim and cold drink. You can also rent a kayak, paddle boat or surfboard!
- Soak up some culture as Keszthely is renowned for their museums. You could visit the Cadillac Museum, the Balaton Museum or the Helikon Castle Museum. Looking for a more unique experience? Head to the Doll Museum, Medieval Erotic Wax Museum or Nostalgia Museum!
Staying at: Castrum Camping. Open since 1982, this campsite features a swimming pool, playground, tennis courts and more! The proximity to the lake provides more than good views, as you can also rent boats nearby.
Price: Approximately £14, depending on pitch size, electric hook up and more.
Location: 46.784040, 17.195730
Day 8-9, Pécs
Drive two hours south to this university city to experience the mix of cultures that is unique to Hungary. Situated by the Croatian border, you can really see this blend of histories and influences throughout the city through their architecture, cuisine and art.
Things to do:
- For your first day in Pécs, why not park the van and set out into nature? Head to Mecsek, a phenomenal mountain range north of the city. Go hiking on one of the 59 possible trails, and enjoy the peace and quiet only nature can provide.
- Then your second day can be focused on exploring the city! You could start by a trip to Pécs Cathedral, a Neo-Romanesque Catholic cathedral with origins dating back to the 10th century. Aside from the stunning interior of the active cathedral, you can also stroll around the manicured gardens and view the art display.
- Get your culture fix in the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter. Originally a 19th century ceramic factory, it now houses the renowned cultural quarter with art galleries, music venues and cafes
- Head up the Pécs TV Tower, standing on the Misine peak of Mecsek and towering197 metres above the city. There is an observation deck at a height of 75 metres, with a restaurant at 72 metres. Enjoy a delicious meal with an unbeatable view on your final night in Pécs.
Staying at: Familia Privat Camping. Located in deep foliage, this campsite will provide you with shade to help escape the heat. Dogs are welcome, and there is internet access throughout the site.
Price: approximately £14-20 per night.
Location: 46.084958, 18.262570
Day 10-11, Szeged
The two and a half drive east takes you to the borders of Serbia and Romania, to the lively university town of Szeged. It is known for green parks, decorated town squares and of course, thermal baths! All with the Tisza River flowing through it.
Things to do:
- I’m usually not a fan of zoos, but Szeged Zoo is an exception. It sprawls across open space, providing plenty of room for the animals, with their welfare being the primary focus instead of customers enjoyment. They have a wide range of species, separated into continents. So if you want to visit a zoo whilst in Hungary, this would be the one.
- Stroll around the Móra Ferenc Museum, which has numerous exhibitions dedicated to archaeology, ethnography, history and natural science.
- Find your peace in the Szeged Botanic Garden, a sprawling botanical garden with a variety of plants and foliage. The perfect place for a Hungarian themed picnic!
Staying at: Partfürdő Beach & Camping. Situated by a river, this campsite is walking distance to a sandy beach and is pet friendly. Not only does it feature a playground and restaurant, it also has a swimming pool and spa!
Price: approximately £20 per night
Location: 46.252629, 20.159328
Day 12, Kecskemét
Drive one hour to the charming Hungarian city of Kecskemét. It is known for colorful Art Nouveau architecture, delightful museums and delicious fruit and wine!
Things to do:
- Not bored of art galleries yet? Visit Cifra Palace, a branch of the Kecskemét Gallery housed in a striking Art Nouveau building.
- For the afternoon, make a half day trip to Kiskunság National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. It consists of 9 ‘islands’ spreading over 50,000 hectares. Visit Bugac to see the famous horse herds and hike the dunes that are permitted to visitors.
- In the evening, be sure to sample some local barackpálinka, a delicious apricot brandy that will flow a little too easily!
Staying at: Camping Fantázia Tanya. Drive a little out of the city to these idyllic campsite. After a sweaty hiking session, you’ll be thankful for the clear outdoor pool. Pick up supplies at their grocery store and enjoy a nice BBQ to round off the day - maybe with another round of barackpálinka!
Price: Approximately £16 per night
Location: 46.942570, 19.929948
Day 13, Eger
The next drive is a slightly longer one, as you’re actually driving three hours back in time! Well, the Ottoman era architecture, with preserved Baroque building, and hilltop castle will certainly make you feel like you are. This historic little town is the perfect cherry on top of your trip.
Things to do:
- Head into the Valley of the Beautiful Women, Hungary’s most famous wine region. It is walking distance from the town center. Here you can sample delicious local wines, a favourite of mine would have to be Eger Bull’s Blood. The perfect way to toast your Hungary road trip!
- Need one more soak before heading home? Luckily Eger has countless thermal baths.
- Visit the Archbishop’s Garden, the biggest park in Eger and considered to be “the lungs of the town”, according to locals. You can rent a bike to enjoy it fully, be sure to look out for the Grove of Muses!
Staying at: Tulipán Camping. Walking distance from the centre, with clean and spacious facilities. Enjoy a campfire to roast marshmallows in the evening, and fresh bread to start your morning right!
Price: approximately £15.
Location: 47.893889, 20.358866
Day 14, The Return
And just like that, your road trip through Hungary in a motorhome is finished! You can now drive back to Budapest, fit in another Budapest city tour or day trip before your flight, or simply head home in your campervan. In two weeks you managed to explore the stunning country of Hungary, travel around this majestic country and fill yourself with the rich culture.
This road trip is the best way to enjoy a trip to Hungary, and to explore the country best. Part of the unique nature of Hungary is the numerous countries surrounding it, and the manner in which the cultures from these mix with its own. Thus, it is ideal that your Hungary trip involves several bordering cities. Now you know what to do in Hungary, but do you already have a motorhome for your trip?