Hungary, Budapest, that surely speaks to you … and clearly we really like this capital. But not only that, the country deserves a closer look… Here is our 18 days itinerary of road trip in Hungary with a van.
Hungary with a van
Our 18 days itinerary to prepare a trip in Hungary with a van.
1/ 2 weeks itinerary in Hungary with a van
Find on the map above our different spots in Hungary: where to park your van, turkish bath, hikes, restaurants…!
1.1/ Miskolc bath, 1st magical place
Hungary is famous for its thermal baths: Turkish baths, thermal spas, aqua park… So we decided to start with that to get in the mood! We arrive from Slovakia, and go to the baths of Miskolc. We park in a free car park, 400 meters from the entrance and cross a pretty little park to get there.
2600 HUF (Forint, Hungarian currency) for a day or 1900 for 4h (about 5,5€). There are many swimming pools up to 38°C in stone and salt cellars with lovely lighting effects (also outside)… we really enjoy it (Miskolc/Barlangfurdo baths website).
Place to sleep in Hungary with a van
By the way we saw a nice place to land. So we go back there after the baths. Down a busy road during the day but fairly quiet at night. The road crosses a lake… superb sunset, but no service.
1.2/ Eger, hungarian wine’s town
Clearly, when we read that Eger was one of the cities where part of Hungarian wine was produced, we decided to stop there for a few days, 4 exactly. And what a good idea! Exceptionally in Air Bnb (in autumn / winter, we offer ourself the luxury of 1 Airbnb per month for laundry and hot shower!).
We visit the town, very pretty, with its pretty alleys and small shops. Hopefully, we were there on October 17, Romain’s birthday, yes … but also the 500th anniversary of Eger castle. We could therefore visit it for free with, in addition, processions and animations.
Don’t miss, we also tested our 2nd Turkish bath… Eger’s Torok Furdo. We are almost alone and the place is really beautiful. Definitely, we know that it won’t be our last thermal baths of this road trip in Hungary with a van! Around 6 € the entrance for 2h30 (Torok Furdo d’Eger website).
Loose track of time in the beautiful women valley
Finally, we discovered … again and again the valley of beautiful women! A small oval square with approx twenty small bars / restaurants around. They belong to the surrounding winegrowers, and you can taste their wine there for 250> 450 HUF a glass (between 0.70 ct and 2 €)…
You can also have your bottles or cans filled there cheaply, many Hungarians do not hesitate! In the center of the square, we see groups of friends or families crushing grapes (old-fashioned way, with their feet) … and others, preparing goulash in the pot, as we prepare our carry (creole food) every Sunday at beach in La Reunion. Just by writing it, I want to go back!
Place to sleep with a van in Eger, Hungary
For the Airbnb, it was a great apartment with garden and BBQ 10 mins walk from the cityt center… with SUPER nice owners. And in a van, we slept 1 night in the free parking lot of the beautiful women valley… yes, considering the price of the wine glass, we preferred to stay sleeping there. There are free toilets open during the day right next door!
1.3/ Budapest, a capital hard to leave
Yet parked in town … so not a must of the vanlife mode … we still had trouble leaving Budapest (we stayed 6 days). Between the atmosphere, the city architecture, the baths, the good restaurants and bars… we highly recommend.
Personally, we loved:
- Szecheny baths: biggest of Europe… beautiful fro outside, but also inside. Take a bath in warm water at early evening, when it’s barely 14 ° C outside and the lights come on … superb. 5600 HUF or around 15 € in weekday afternoon (szecheny baths’ website).
- Varosliget park: around Szecheny baths. It’s really nice to have a walk, furthermore when you travel with a dog! Lake, castle, Beaux-arts museum, Heroes’place, memorial… we can spend there a few hours!
- Stroll through the Jewish quarter … with its large synagogue (much more impressive from inside), its architectural melting pot (art-deco, baroque, art nouveau …), its street art frescoes, and its “pub ruins” … Did you know that the rubicube was invented in Hungary and that the paprika is also a symbol of the country?
- Cross the Danube between the Buda and Pest hills on the Chain Bridge (with lions’ statues) and admire the parliament, day and night. We could visit it with 1 Hungarian friend it was great!
- Go for a drink in sorozo (beer bars) and / or borozo (wine bar). And discover the good and rich Hungarian food … Like langos, a kind of high-calorie flatbread accompanied with cheese and cream most often!
But also new traditional cuisine. We tested: the Pesti Diszno, the Most Bistro and the Rosenstein (rather refined), the Kispiac Bistro and the Fananal Etterem in the central market (rather traditional) and some other very nice (but not necessarily local cuisine).
- Do not hesitate to visit the large central market on the Danube on the Pest side. Whether to take a look at this large building made of metal, bricks and glass, to have a snack or to do shopping (food or souvenir gifts…). We did a little of everything!
Off the beatten track:
- More north, go for a walk.. on Marguerite island, and on Buda, play with statues before you go make graffiti!
- After strolling on the Buda side: Budapest Castle, St. Matthias church, descending to the citadel on Gellert hill ... we descend to the baths of the same name. And before crossing the Liberty Bridge (which leads back to the central market) we walk along the quays… We spot not far a small basin into which water pours… we approach… it is from a hose coming from the Gellert baths… and the water is… hot. So, in the middle of October, at 14 ° C, in front of passers-by, we put on our swimsuits and take the opportunity to have a little outdoor bath with a view of the Danube! Great time. We are not sure if the water is clean or not … it will remain our surprise mini pool!
Place to sleep in Budapest with a van
We tested 3 spots. In the city, in a busy and noisy street without any service. Certainly not the most glamorous of our van spots, but with the advantage of being free and well placed. We stayed there during the day and moved at night to go to sleep in the Varosliget park’s parking (free at night). Much nicer but difficult to find a place easily the next morning so after we decided to stay in the street. We also spent 2 nights on the other side of the Danube. The place is also noisy, but in the shade and convenient for visiting the western part of Budapest.
1.4/ Balaton lake, Hungarians 1st destination in summer
… But we are end of October! Balaton lake is the biggest of central Europe and the Hungarians’ favorite destination in summer. So it was very quiet.
First, we spend 2 days in Siofok. We walk in town the 1st day, the water tower, the evangelic church, the waterfront and its lighthouse (with an angel statue). Second day, we go for a footing along the lake and the afternoon, we go to Siofok baths. Really nice, the entrance fees are 3000 HUF for 3h (8.5€) for a swimming pools and sauna access. We were able to join a group to try the sauna wrapped in honey and salt, yes really! (Siofok baths’ website).
Then direction Balatonfenyves, not really a thousand things to discover, but we wanted to land. And again, jogging along the quays. With the richness of Central European cuisine, it’s good to run around a bit. There are toilet blocks + showers (see on the map).
And finally, we head towards Keszthely and the Festetics castle. In what looks as pretty inside as it is outside, but we only visit the outside part of the castle, including its pretty park. With our doggie we can’t always visit everything (website of the castle).
Our last thermal baths in Hungary…
… and as much to say that it is completely different from all that we had done so far in Hungary. There is a spa, indoor pools and baths, but we choose to explore only Lake Heviz.
This is our 5th bath of the trip in Hungary with a van so we choose the special offer: 2500 HUF (7 €) for 2 hours (end of day only). The lake is naturally heated by hot springs. It varies between 24 ° C to 38 ° C depending on the season. If I remember correctly, we were rather around 26/27 ° C for an exterior at 13/14 ° C. 2h was perfect … because even if the water is hotter than the air … it’s still a little chilly. The landscape is very beautiful, and we swim with water lilies … (Lake Heviz’s website).
1.5/ Sopron, our last stop in Hungary
Our Hungarian friend with who we visited Budapest cames from Sopron. So on our way to Vienna we decide to stop there for a couple of day to end our road trip in Hungary with a van.
We visit Fo place (there is almost everything you need to see in Sopron here). With the lantern tower, the Goat church, the Storno and Fabricius houses, the pharmacy museum… close too, the old and new synagogue and the Orsyola place. Have a walk around the city’s walls is nice, but quick.
Place to sleep in Sopron with a van
In a quiet parking with big trees’shadow, 5 mins walking from the city center. No service.
2/ Useful information
Here are some useful info to prepare a trip in Hungary with a van.
2.1/ Where to park your van
We used Park4night app and found easily. Furthermore, in end October there was very few camping-cars and vans. We didn’t feel like disturbing locals.
2.2/ Where to shower and refill water
We found water points quite easily to recharge (park, cemetery, public toilet). For showers, we took advantage of our stops in Turkish baths to take real showers. The rest of the time, either very quickly with our camping shower or we were lucky enough to find toilets with showers (like around Lake Balaton).
2.3/ Roads’ condition in Hungary
Roads in Hungary are good. But as in many countries of central Europe, you need a vignette to drive on many of them. Price in 2019: 10€/ 10 days, 16€/ month. You can buy in when you enter the country (in gas station) or directly on internet (nothing to stick on the windscreen).
2.4/ Which budget to have in Hungary?
In Hungary, the local currency is the Forint (HUF or Ft). In March 2020 1€ = 350 HUF. Life is cheaper than in France. For ex: a traditional restaurant is about 20 € (for 2 people with a bottle of wine), access to turkish baths for 2 = 15€…
Nice for small budgets.
We hope you like our article about a trip in Hungary with a van. Do not hesitate to write us if yes, or if you have a question.