After reading others' posts, it seems I can't legally exit Budapest Terminal 2 entirely on the road (part is motorway I believe). And the highway is likely to be very busy and there ain't much room for bikes! So I've spent ages on Google Maps trying to find a solution to get on the way to the city.
Please see attached map. I'm hoping someone can confirm this plan will work or whether there are any fishhooks I can't see from Maps/Streetview. The bit getting to the zebra crossing is a bit messy but hopefully will work!
Any thoughts most appreciated. Other ideas most welcome!
The stretch of motorway near Budapest airport that you would have to negotiate is only 500 m or so. You can cycle over the motorway overpass leaving the airport, and then as the overpass becomes an onramp going down to the motorway, you just get off and walk your bike along the ample shoulder for those 500 m of motorway until you reach a Shell petrol station. Yes, it’s technically illegal but no one is going to care. From that petrol station, you are on normal city roads and in fact there is a bike path going towards the city centre.
(I wrote a blog post explaining how to get to the airport, maybe it’ll help you feel more at ease.)
There is another way out, across the airport grounds, but it seemed to me rather convoluted. An airport employee who is a keen cyclist once tried to explain it to me when he saw me fly in with a bike box, but that time I wasn’t unboxing my bike, just putting it onto a bus, so I didn’t take his advice. Who knows, maybe the same fellow will be working there when you arrive.
UPDATE to below!
I just looked at bikemap.net and switched on the Heat Map (which I'd never heard of before, but is great!). Seems at least a few cyclists have egressed the airport just like I intend, and others have done your motorway trick. I think my solution will be fine. Thanks again, Graeme
Ha - that's the scenario I've been trying to avoid! (I'd read your blog elsewhere) - illegally ride 500 m then walk 700 m against the traffic.
Well my plan doesn't work, we (my wife and I) might just have to do as you suggest. We've gotta do something - or else take shuttle (with packed bikes) to town and reassemble there. We'll figure something out.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I’m not sure if that side road by which one cyclist seems to have avoided the motorway is a dependable option. Last time I flew into Budapest airport and tried to walk out of the airport grounds that way (so I could start hitchhiking not far away), I came up against a locked gate there that forced me to get onto the motorway and continue walking along its shoulder. Maybe it was open on the day he cycled out, but it might not be so for you.
What time of the day are you flying in? If it is in the evening, there is actually little traffic on that stretch of road even though its classification as motorway might make it seem daunting.
Gosh they make it hard for cyclists! Of course I don't know when the Google Streetmaps guy drove the side road (or when any cyclists did the same), but he got to the concrete barrier on my drawing. From that point I can see no obstructions, but maybe the map data is old.
OK, well thanks again. I think at the moment we'll stick to assembly at airport and try our luck. Worst case scenario: do it your way!
We get in about 12:30 pm so traffic could be heavy.
That might work? I'm flying from Budapest tomorrow, so doing it in reverse, but plan to try the Shell option first. If that doesn't work, then I'll do the bikemap route I posted.
Please, please post your solution (On Streetview, there looked like some security barrier on your intended route, but I hope I'm wrong!).
I'd love to have the definite answer before we leave (in a few weeks).
Hi, I tried the route I found but as soon as you try to leave the main road you get to a checkpoint and it's followed by a gate so definitely could not enter that way.
Instead of that, I just took the main road. I didn't go through the Shell petrol station and just was on the 4. I rode on the shoulder, which is a bit gravelly but fine otherwise. I could have walked, but it's only 500m and why not just ride. When I got to the airport, there was a police guy just standing around but he didn't care in the slightest that I'd obviously ridden on a motorway.
Well it looks like the motorway will just have to work if the route that I planned doesn't work out. Good to see you too had no problems on the motorway. We'll work something out!
As to September 2018 I can confirm this way is still useful and easy. We rode from the city to the airport safely in no time!
Thank you to confirm that the road is safe.
I will use it next summer.
I am curious as to how long a time is meant by the "In no time." I am looking at flying out on a very early flight. ALso, does anyone know if the airport is open 24 hours a day - ie: can I cycle out the previous evening and sty there overnight? Many thanks for any information. :-)
The Budapest airport is open 24 hours a day. I myself have spent many nights there waiting for early flights. Sometimes the police do rounds once or twice during the night to check that people really do have a flight out, so you should print out your itinerary or have it on your phone to show.
BP airport is pretty quiet and peaceful during the night. The only downside is that all the shops close in the evening. The best value food in the airport is the Spar supermarket, so if you want to buy something to eat before your long overnight wait, arrive early enough so that you can get it from the supermarket.
If you are curious about whether an airport is open all night or not, there is a site for that.
I think it took us around an hour and a half. It was 21 Km.