Formula 1 is always pushing boundaries and in the 1980s the series ventured across the iron curtain into communist Hungary to host a Grand Prix. Hungary has changed significantly since the fall of communism and the eastern block and has become an amicable country to travel to.
The Hungarian GP is held every year at the Hungaroring in the small town of Mogyorod which is about thirty kilometers away from the capital of the country Budapest. Traveling to watch F1 and visiting Budapest is a fantastic idea that is sure to produce memories to last a lifetime.
PACKING YOUR BAGS
The Hungarian GP usually takes place in August, which means it will get hot with temperatures averaging well above twenty degrees. Rain isn’t uncommon and flash thunderstorms can also occur so be sure to pack some rain gear to compliment the lighter wear in your luggage.
If you are traveling by plane, you land at the Ferihegy Airport which is about twenty kilometers south of Budapest. You can get to the city easily by taxi service, Uber, minibusses, subways, and trams, the choice is yours.
GETTING TO THE TRACK
Traveling from your hotel to the Hungaroring is a little easier than most other GP destinations because race organizers and public officials wisely reserve a lane on the highway specifically for those traveling to track.
This means you can easily reach the track by taxi or driving yourself in a rented car and not have to worry about too much traffic. Trains are also available to get you to the GP but expect to walk some distance from the train station to the track.
Shuttle buses also grab hordes of fans at the Kerepes HEV train Station and as long as you have your GP ticket access will be granted. All these options are easy, accessible, and offer a range of costs that can suit anyone’s budget.
WHERE TO STAY
At first glance, you might be thinking why not stay in Mogyorod so I can be really close to the track? Well, for one thing, Mogyorod is a tiny town and with Budapest, right around the corner, it would be foolish to not stay in the city referred to as the “Paris of Central Europe”.
We strongly recommend staying in Budapest which will offer two distinct areas to stay in known as the Pest or Buda sides. Both of these sides are split by the Danube River and both offer different sides of Budapest’s culture during your Grand Prix experience.
Don’t let the name fool you, the Pest Side of Budapest is an extremely trendy part of the city that offers plenty of shopping, luxury hotels, restaurants, and bars. If this is your first time in Budapest, this is the area you must find a hotel in or let us do the legwork for you by clicking here.
Many of the hotels offered in this district are unlike most hotels around the world because of the sheer beauty of the buildings that house them. Hotels like the Gresham Palace or the Corinthia will make you feel you are royalty while being centered in the heart of the city.
There is a wide range of hotels available for any budget, but it doesn’t hurt to spend a little more to get some better views and easier access to landmarks in the city. If renting a hotel isn’t your thing you can find a multitude of listings for apartments, condos, and hostels on Airbnb.
The Buda side of Budapest is a much calmer area compared to the bustling activity that occurs across the river in the Pest side. The Buda side can feel like you are traveling back in time because of the many buildings and landmarks that date back to medieval days.
Some hotels in this district may be smaller in size but make up for it with amazing quality and incredible views. Booking the Hilton Budapest or the Hotel Clark is practically guaranteed to be a hit for anyone staying there.
Camping near the Hungaroring is available for those who love the great outdoors and don’t mind being away from the wild nights of Budapest. You can find campsites around the track and if you are traveling with your family and want a quieter night check out the Zengo camping site.
WHERE TO EAT
Budapest has come a long way from being the communist-insulated city it was in the days of old and this is reflected by the amazing culinary range available today. Hungarian-inspired food is naturally easily available so don’t forget to try some goulash, Hungarian ratatouille, and the stews and soups they have mastered over time.
Check out Café Kor if you want some of the classic Hungarian dishes mentioned earlier. Budapest is also home to the wide range of cuisines you can find in any modern metropolis which also includes quite a few Michelin star caliber restaurants to choose from.
So, if you are craving Italian or middle eastern, Budapest has a spot always readily available to satisfy your hunger. Listed below are some of the best restaurants you can find in Budapest.
During Formula 1’s Grand Prix you can expect the already wild nightlife of Budapest to step up its game even higher which will leave you hungover and asking for more. Budapest knows how to party and on the Pest Side of the city is where you will be heading to find the right bar or club for you.
In some respects, the entire city of Budapest has been called a red-light district just to give you an idea of what you can expect to see during your nights. Your plans for the night can range from partying on a rooftop bar overlooking the city, chilling in the many “Ruin” bars, throwing back some great beer in some pubs, and dancing like mad in a dance club. Here is a list of some of the best bars and clubs you need to experience first-hand.
BUDAPEST NIGHTCLUBS AND BARS
|RUIN BARS BUDAPEST
The moment you step into Budapest your sightseeing experience begins with a flourish of gothic and medieval buildings surrounding you. There is no shortage of stunning architectural creations around the city. You will love how the city lights up at night and how the gothic buildings take on a new persona under the stars.
CASTLES AND CHURCHES
There is no shortage of castles to visit in Budapest and each of them is unique and stunning in its own way. Visit the Vajdahunyad Castle if you want to feel like you’re in a Harry Potter movie or visit the vast Buda Castle which also houses museums.
Churches are also easily found everywhere in the city, but you won’t help to notice Matthias Church found in the Fisherman’s Bastion on the Buda side of Budapest. On the Pest side, the church to see is St. Stephen’s Basilica, which rises high above the city not only offering a holy experience but a great view of the city.
A HISTORY LESSON
Budapest is unafraid of its sordid past and visiting the House of Terror is a great way to learn about the communist era of the country. The House of Terror is a museum very similar to the Gestapo Headquarters Museum in Berlin.
On foot, you can head out to Heroes Square or climb the steep hills of Gellert Hill for an incredible view of both sides of the river. Fisherman’s Bastions is also a pedestrian-friendly area that features multiple landmarks and an impressive view of Hungary’s massive parliament building.
GIVE YOURSELF SOME TLC
Hitting up a thermal bath at Szechenyi Baths is a great way to unwind after an amazing day at the track which stays open until 10 pm. Another relaxing way to experience Budapest is taking one of the many Danube River Cruises where you can also dine during your short trip.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Bring an outlet power adaptor that functions with Type F sockets
- Hungary uses Forint(HUF) as currency, the Euro is also accepted in most places. Always keep some cash on you just in case credit isn’t available in some of the older establishments.
- English is spoken mostly in the tourist areas, otherwise, brush up on your Hungarian
- No travel Visas are needed if you are traveling from Europe, North America, and Australia. If you doubt your country’s status, please visit https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/hungary-visa/
- Be wary of pickpockets and tourist scams! Men beware of the random beautiful woman who is out of your league luring you into a bar. You will spend plenty of cash and she’ll be long gone.
- Tip is not included in your bills
- Book your taxi or rent your cars as soon as possible, especially during the Grand Prix weekend.