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Driving from Budapest to Vienna -any tips?

Driving from Budapest to Vienna -any tips?

Mar 6th, 2010, 11:28 PM
  #1  
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Driving from Budapest to Vienna -any tips?

We have planned our European driving trip in May and the itinerary is coming together nicely - however, we have become stuck at one point - we are having a few days in Budapest and then will drive to Vienna. Although I know we can do it in a day with ease, I was wondering if there is somewhere exceptional to stay along the way. The guide book talks about Gyor but it doesn't sound too exciting. Does anyone have any advice or help they can give - please!
Tropical_gal is offline  
Mar 7th, 2010, 03:50 AM
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You could go via Szentendre (but also easily done by train from Budapest) and Esztergom (i.e. follow the Danube on Road 11). And, eventually, overnight in Gyor as well.
Or take the motorway towards Vienna, but veer off NW before you get to the border to Bratislava (check your rental car agreement on which countries are included or excluded).
Either way, be prepared to have the proper motorway stickers for driving in Austria (and when going via Bratislava, Slovakia).
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Thank you, Cowboy, for your advice. I think we will visit Esztergom and then go straight through as we plan to have a day trip to Szentendre from Budapest.

I was interested about the motorway stickers - had no idea about that so will have to check with the rental company. Or do you get them in Austria before going on the motorways?
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Mar 7th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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We've been thru there a couple times. Thought Bratislava as a city compared well to Detroit. Signage into the downtown area left a LOT (that's in a 32 point font) to be desired (unless you knew Slovak for "city-center", for example). Lots of expressway signage, but all in Slovak. Strange, for a border city, and a capital at that.

You might consider Eisenstadt, in Austria, southeast of Vienna. Tour the Esterhazy palace and, down the street, visit the home of Haydn. View his piano, his 8-person music stand(s), originals of music he wrote.
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Mar 7th, 2010, 10:38 PM
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For Austria, you get the motorway stickers at the former border facilities which usually also have some small shops, tourist info etc.
You may also find them at gas stations in the vicinity of the border in Hungary.
They cost €7.90 for 10 days (or more for longer periods).
You must not drive one kilometer without that sticker (which is called Vignette in Austria) on Austrian motorways. Some tourists are under the misconception that it should be a free ride until the first exit in Austria, which is not the case.

But: If Vienna is your final destination, and you don't plan to do any more driving in Austria, then it is easy to avoid it by taking regular highways for the last few kms from the HU/AT border.

P.S. I completely forgot about Visegrad, half way between Budapest and Esztergom when you follow the Danube upstream.
http://www.visegrad.hu/en
The region between Visegrad and Esztergom is called the Danube Bend and is very scenic.


by the way.. you also need a toll sticker for Hungarian motorways. But if you rent the car in Hungary, chances are good that the car already got it from the rental company.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 04:00 AM
  #6  
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Thank you, Tomboy - I will look at Eisenstadt and the Esterhazy Palace - the home of Haydn certainly interests us.

Cowboy - you are a godsend! Thank you for your advice on the motorway and toll stickers. We will certainly look into that now we know. We are getting the car in Marseille and it is a new lease car - which means that we have the use of a brand new car for a minimum of 17 days and can take it wherever we want, all insurances paid etc. and deliver it back to the port of choice, in our case to Paris. We are driving first to Verona, then Graz to Pecs and on to Budapest, into Vienna and on to Prague, then to Germany and finally into eastern France to Eguisheim and on to Paris. Quite a journey and there is lots we need to know so I am very grateful for your advice. I don't know if the car company would have told us that. Certainly when we did the same car arrangement in Italy a couple of years ago they just gave us the keys, made sure we knew how to drive it and waved goodbye!
Thank you again.
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Mar 8th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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For Hungary, motorway tolls (vignette) is paid electronically, without a physical ticket to be attached to windschield. You can go online and pay for your electronic vignette (registering your car's number plates), or you can pay at most service stations and motorway offices. You need to do it before you take your car on Hungarian motorway system, or you will be heavily fined (they have automatic cameras to catch offenders, with fine in the post, and yes, they will find out about you through the rental/leasing companies). When driving in from a neighbouring country, you can get your e-vignette at the border.
Alec is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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Website about e-vignette: http://www.motorway.hu/engine.aspx?page=vignetten_en
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Mar 8th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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Also remember there is zero tolerance of drink-driving in Hungary, where allowed blood-alcohol level is nil.
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Mar 8th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Thanks to Alec for clearing it up. I completely forgot that the Hungarians switched to e-toll.

Following your routing, Tropical_gal, you will probably be set with a 10-day vignette for Austria, which you will purchase on your way from Italy to Austria (assuming that 10 consecutive days is enough to cover the Austrian part of your Verona to Pecs drive, and later the Budapest-Vienna-Prague part -- with those days in between counting towards the 10 day limitation)
Don't tell me that you think about a detour via Lake Bled in Slovenia, because Slovenia is also one of those countries with motorway tolls
Oh, and another sticker for the Czech republic's motorway system.

France has that system of "pay as you go" you will know from Italy. Some folks from the US have reported problems paying the French toll with their US credit cards, but you may be able to dig out an old thread on that topic if it is still relevant.

No motorway tolls in Germany for cars.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 11:39 PM
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Thank you, Cowboy and Alec for your invaluable help. I have noted and printed it all out and hope we stay the right side of the law! - We wont be going to Lake Bled this time - we did that several years ago and loved the whole area. I dont recall any problems with motorway tolls then but perhaps the car company sorted that out.
Thanks again - on with the research now....
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Mar 9th, 2010, 12:28 AM
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As you will be driving a French-registered lease car, it's highly unlikely it is registered for e-vignette for Hungary, so you need to deal with that yourself. This toll/vignette business is becoming a pain for travelling in Central and Eastern Europe, as almost every state has it and rules differ from country to country, with heavy penalty for offenders, even unintended. E-vignette for Hungary only came in a year or so ago.
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Mar 9th, 2010, 01:02 AM
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I had no idea about all of this, Alec - thank you and we are now well aware and prepared - have looked at the web link you sent and it is very comprehensive. We will organise all this before we depart mid April. Thanks for all your help.
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