Traveling from Budapest to Szentendre might just be the best day trip to get out of the city and see more of Hungary. While you can easily go via train, bus, or car, why not go by bike? Autumn is back with a guide on how to do just that and what to expect when you go!
When my partner, Alex, and I decided to visit his home country of Hungary, we knew we didn’t want to spend all of our time in its capital, Budapest. We both like visiting smaller towns and seeing the countryside, so we began to research other places to visit.
Originally, Alex suggested taking the train to some of the eastern towns he’d visited as a kid, but I highly suspected we’d be jet-lagged and tired, so I didn’t want to do any overnight trips. We began looking up day trips from Budapest, and Szentendre was at the top of every list.
When it came to getting from Budapest to Szentendre, two main routes came up: we could take the train or a boat from Budapest. We began to make vague plans to take the boat, but one morning when I was making breakfast in my apartment and had YouTube playing in the background, autoplay kicked in and showed two men doing a bike route from Budapest to Szentendre.
Alex and I are both very active people (you’ve probably seen us before in some hiking guides on this blog), so we immediately knew biking from Budapest to Szentendre was something that we wanted to do and began planning.
Note: If you want to just book yourself a self-guided bike tour instead of DIYing it, check this option out.
Szentendre is known for being very beautiful and very charming. It’s also famous for its galleries and museums, a few of which are located outdoors which everyone can visit for free. Szentendre is only about an hour north of Budapest by cycling (though it took us far longer, for reasons I’ll get to later in the post) and thus makes for the perfect day trip from Budapest.
Tips for Biking to Szentendre
Where to rent to your bike
Budapest is not a biking city (yet) and it still largely car-friendly. However, a lot more bike infrastructure has been built in recent years, and there are plenty of places to rent bikes around town. Alex and I rented ours from a shop called BikeBase Budapest. The man working at the shop was incredibly kind and spoke fluent English. (As a small disclaimer, I only heard him speaking it to other customers though, as he and Alex were talking in Hungarian). Alex and I rented the bikes for 24 hours at the costs of ten euros each, which we paid when we returned the bikes the next day.
Signs to follow
For most of the ride, the bike route is clearly marked with the EuroVelo 6 icon, which is a six surrounded by the stars of the European Union. It looks like the above.
How to Get from Budapest to Szentendre by Bike
The bike trip from Budapest to Szentendre is about 25 kilometers, and follows the EuroVelo 6 route, which goes all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea. The route is very flat and a large section of it was redone and repaved only in 2020, which means that the cycling path quality is top notch.
1. Start at the Hungarian Parliament
For an easy-to-find landmark, start at the Hungarian Parliament, which is by far the most iconic landmark in Hungary. There’s a cycle path headed north right next to the Danube.
2. Turn left onto Margrit Hid
You’ll want to turn left onto the first bridge (Margit hid) after Parliment and head towards Margaret Island. There’s a cycle path to the left of the bridge, with pedestrians on the right. It’s separated from the cars by a thick metal fence, so make sure that you don’t accidentally try cycling in the car lane!
3. Turn left into Margaret Island
Midway through the bridge (Margit hid), you can turn left into Margaret Island. The whole island is actually a park and well developed for cyclists. If you want to do a shorter bike ride, there are rental places on the island itself, and we saw plenty of people of all ages taking short rides around the park.
4. Turn left onto Arpad Hid
At the end of the island, you can turn left onto another bridge (called Arpad hid). Again, you want to be careful that you don’t accidentally take the car path! Also, make sure that you get onto the right side of the bridge; it’s a pain to cross later if you don’t.
5. The tricky bit to Romai-part
Eurovelo6 not clearly marked.
However, it wasn’t clearly marked once we got past the second bridge, so we got pretty lost.
Like, we were on our phones sitting on a bench for well over thirty minutes lost.
However, the town we were lost in was beautiful, so it wasn’t all bad.
I’ve decided to save you the pain of frantically figuring out directions by creating a rough map on Google that you can follow to get you past this tricky part, if like us you can’t find the signs.
If absolutely nothing else, the landmark to look for is Romai-part, which is clearly marked on Google Maps and right along the Danube. From here, the bike path is very, very clear and easy to follow.
This section of the ride was absolutely wonderful; there were tons of restaurants and beaches along the Danube. We stopped at one for a coffee and some fries before heading on to Szentendre. (Slight heads up: none of the menus at the restaurants seemed to be in English. Since I was traveling with a Hungarian, I didn’t bother to try and find one, but if you don’t speak or don’t have any Hungarians with you, Google Lens and Google Translate are your friends).
6. Follow the path to Szentendre
After Romai-part was easily my favorite section of the ride. The route was flat, well-kept, and, best of all, it was impossible to get lost.
7. Finish at Szentendre
Finally, after what ended up being a few hours (after getting lost and stopping for coffee, that is, we made it to Szentendre, which is maybe the most adorable town to ever have existed. I mean, just look at it:
If it looks vaguely familiar to you, Szentendre was briefly featured in one of the early episodes of Marvel’s Moon Knight, though they replaced all the Hungarian signs with German ones for the show!
Once we got to Szentendre, we treated ourselves to a beloved Hungarian treat, a langos. This is some yeasted deep fried dough topped with garlic, sour cream, and cheese. Although the cheese on top looks unmelted here, it quickly becomes so from the heat of the fried base.
One could easily spend a few hours just walking around Szentendre and taking in the sites. Although it is touristic, it’s not unbearably so, and plenty of native Hungarians visit it as well. You could also do some tours if you get the timing right:
After eating our langos, Alex and I walked around the town for a good while before getting back on our bikes and heading back to Budapest before it got dark. There are plenty of places to stay around town though, if you want more time or if you’re too tired to bike back. I would opt for the Dunakavics XIII Apartman Hotel, Mathias Rex, or this one-bedroom apartment if you do stay over.
Other Ways to Get from Budapest to Szentendre
I’m not going to lie here: doing a 50 kilometer round-trip bike ride is not for everyone, especially if you’re not an experienced cyclist. I myself bike around the town where I live and hit the gym pretty often, but I was still feeling my thighs the next day!
If you’re uncomfortable with cycling, or don’t think you can go the distance, then there are plenty of other ways to get from Budapest to Szentendre.
- By Train– the easiest and most popular way is to simply take the train (which you can take your bicycle on if you just want to do the bike trip one way).
- By Boat- If you’re looking for something a bit more romantic, a boat trip is also possible
There are also some great day tours:
- Szentendre Tour with Wine Tasting & Lunch
- Danube Bend & Szentendre with Lunch
- Private Arts and Cafés Tour of Szentendre
- Half-Day Tour to Szentendre
And there you have it! All you need to know for biking from Budapest to Szentendre.
For more of Autumn’s Guides, read these next
- The Ultimate Tenerife Itinerary for 7 Days
- A Hiking Guide to Odaesan National Park in Korea
- A Guide to Hiking Gyeryongsan in Korea
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