|Location Map ( geo)|
|Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine|
Hungary is a small country in central Europe which is part of the EU and of the Schengen area. It lies in the Carpathian basin and borders seven countries: Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the north east, Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south and Slovenia and Austria to the west. The Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918) spanned much territory which now belongs to its neighbouring independent countries but following the empire's collapse at the end of the Great War, Hungary lost two thirds of its former territory and half of its former population. Now the country today is less than half the size of the UK.
Europe's second longest river, the Danube (Duna), flows through Hungary and is a major trade route between the Balkans and Germany. As it leaves Vienna it passes Bratislava (Slovakia) and then forms the border between Hungary and Slovakia for 150 km or so. In this region it flows by the city of Esztergom which was once the capital of Hungary, before the royal seat was moved to Buda castle some 1000 years ago. A little further downstream the river flows by Visegrád where the remains of a castle are perched high on a hill above the town. Historically there existed an alliance between the Hungarians, Poles, Slovaks, and Czechs and Visegrád castle was the place where the monarchs of the four countries would meet.
The Carpathian foothills make up much of the terrain of northern Hungary, where the country's highest mountain, Kékes, reaches a height of 1014 metres. By continental standards this is not very high but it would give the peak Munro status were it in Scotland. There are roads leading all the way to the summit which make it easy to access the ski centre and other mountain resorts and can be fun to drive.
After Visegrád, the Danube turns 90 degrees through what is called the Danube bend and begins to flow southwards through Budapest. Budapest was formerly two separate cities which eventually merged as they continued to expand. They are separated by the Danube which flows north-south through the middle of the city and the contrasting terrain of the very hilly Buda (on the right, or west, bank) and the very flat Pest (which lies at the start of the great Hungarian plain extending eastward from here).
Hungary's highway network consists of a number of motorways, expressways and some fast all purpose roads. Much of the network is still in planning or under construction. The existing network is part of a larger plan to initially connect all of the major towns and cities of Hungary to the motorway network. The long term plan is to create several cross-border motorway connections with the neighbouring countries.
The strategical road network is subjected to tolls however not in the form of toll booths upon entry or exit from the routes. A highway vignette should be purchased before driving onto Hungarian highways.
Hungarian motorways are toll roads most widely built to D2M standards. Typical lane widths on Hungarian motorways are approximately 3.8 metres with 3.5 metre wide hard shoulders and 6 metre long lane divider lines spaced 10 metres apart. The solid line separating running lanes and the hard shoulder tends to be ribbed and cats-eyes are not a common feature on the motorways as in the UK. The national speed limit on motorways is 130 km/h (81 mph) unless signed otherwise. Motorways have blue signs with white writing and are signed with white on blue chopsticks upon entry to the motorway slip roads. End of motorway regulations are signed with white on blue chopsticks with a diagonal red line.
List of Hungarian motorways
|M1||Budapest - Győr - Austria||Budapest||A4 Austrian Border||171 km|
|M3||Budapest - Eger - Nyíregyháza - Ukraine (Planned)||Budapest||Vásárosnamény, Route 41||280 km|
|M5||Budapest - Kecskemét - Szeged - Serbia||Budapest||A1 Serbian Border||173 km|
|M6||M0 - Dunaujváros - Szekszárd - M60 - Croatia (Planned)||Budapest, M0 Exit 11||M60||193 km|
|M7||Budapest - Székesféhervár - Siófok - Nagykanizsa - Croatia||Budapest||A4 Croatian Border||233 km|
|M8||Austria (Planned) - Veszprém (Planned) - M6 - Dunaujváros - Kecskemét (Planned) - Szolnok (Planned)||M6 Exit 75||Route 51||8 km|
|M15||M1 - Slovakia||M1 Exit 166||D2 Slovakian Border||15 km|
|M19||M1 - Győr (East)||M1 Exit 107||Győr||11 km|
|M30||M3 - Miskolc - Slovakia (Planned)||M3 Exit 151||Miskolc||28 km|
|M31||M0 - Gödöllő - M3||M0 Exit 54||M3 Exit 27||13 km|
|M35||M3 - Debrecen - M4||M3 Exit 187||Debrecen||42 km|
|M43||M5 - Szeged - Romania||M5 Exit 159||A1 Romanian Border||58 km|
|M60||M6 - Pécs - Croatia (Planned)||M6 Exit 192||Pécs||30 km|
Expressways in Hungary are high quality roads part of the greater Hungarian highway network plan which will connect all major population centres in Hungary and all 7 of the bordering countries. The existing expressways are motorways built to a lower standard than roads classified as motorways. Lower standards of these roads may include such features as narrower lanes, no hard shoulders, concrete barriers, old concrete surfaces or partly constructed motorways however junctions have to be grade separated. It is presumed that these roads will undergo upgrades in the future which may see motorway regulations applied.
Expressways have a national speed limit of 110 km/h and the beginning of expressway regulations are signed with a white on blue car sign. End of expressway regulations are signed with a similar sign with a red strike through it.
List of Hungarian expressways
|M0||Budapest Ring Road||M1 Exit||Budapest, Route 11||77 km|
|M2||Budapest - Vác - Slovakia (Planned)||M0 Budapest||Vác (north)||32 km|
|M4||Budapest - Cegléd - Szolnok - M35 - Romania||Budapest||A3||x km|
|M9||Szekszárd - Danube Crossing - Route 51||Szekszárd (Route 63)||Route 51||21 km|
|M25||M3 - Eger||M3||Eger||4 km (2019)|
|M44||Kecskemét - Békéscsaba - Gyula||Kecskemét||Gyula||62 km (2019)|
|M51||Dunaharaszti/M0 - M5||M0 Exit 24, Route 51||M5 Exit 17||5 km|
|M70||M7 - Slovenia||M7 Exit 232||A5||21 km|
|M85||Győr - Csorna - Sopron||Győr, M1 Exit 129||Csorna, M86||x km|
|M86||Csorna - Szombathely||M6 Exit 75||Route 51||x km|
Several other highways are currently in planning with a good number of sections under construction. For many, information is yet to be found on the planned status these routes will take when constructed.
List of projected Hungarian highways
|M10||Budapest - Esztergom||Budapest||Esztergom||0 km||Planned|
|M34||M3 - Ukraine||38 km||Planned|
|M76||M7 - Keszthely||M7 Exit 175||8 km||Under Construction|
Fast roads in Hungary are a secondary classification of expressway due to them being built to lower standards. These roads are likely to be D2 without hard shoulders and they will have some at-grade junctions. The national speed limit will be 110 km/h unless signed otherwise.
List of Projected Hungarian highways
|R21||M3 - Slovakia (Planned)||M3 Exit 70||x km||Under Construction|
|R67||M7 - Kaposvár||M7 Exit 135||Kaposvár||x km||Under Construction|
Roads are numbered into 8 zones in a similar way to the UK where Budapest is the general centre point and the zone boundaries radiate outwards. Routes 1-7 radiate from Budapest, much of these have been bypassed with motorways and the zone taking their number is found in the area clockwise between it and the next higher number. For example, route 6 stems southwards from Budapest and route 7 runs south west towards Slovenia, the area between them is classed as zone 6 where every road number begins with a 6.
Route 8 is a slight exception to the rule as it does not stem from Budapest but instead meets route 7 at Székesfehérvár and runs west to the Austrian border. The area south of route 8, between route 7, is classed as zone 7 and the area north is zone 8 until it meets the boundary set by route 1 which radiates from Budapest.
Motorways are numbered in a similar way to Scotland, where the motorway takes the number of the route it replaces with an M prefix. Two exceptions to these numbering rules are the M9 and M0 as no route 9 or 0 exists for these to replace.
All major roads in Hungary have little white on green distance marker posts every kilometre at the side of the road. For routes beginning in Budapest, the zero point is marked on the Buda side of the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) by the zero kilometer stone: a white statue of a number 0 and with major places named radiating around its base. From here, the kilometer distance marker numbers increase outwards from this statue on all radial routes from Budapest.
On motorways every kilometre which is a multiple of 5 is marked with a large orange sign with black numbers in the central reservation. Motorway junctions are numbered based on the distance marker posts, with the junction generally taking the number of the next highest kilometre.
The remainder of the strategical Hungarian road network consists of the older all purpose road system. These are divided into primary class IIa roads which take single or double digit numbers and class IIb roads which tend to take double or triple digit numbers. Local roads are the remaining three and four digit numbers. These roads tend to have white on green signs and most have distance marker posts along the route.
National speed limits
|Road Type||Standards||Speed Limit (km/h)||Speed Limit (mph)|
|Motorway||S2, D2M, D3M||130||80|
|Expressway||S2, D2, D2M, D3M||110||70|
|Rural single-carriageway roads||S2, S2+1, S4||90||55|
|Urban single-carriageway roads||S2, S4, S6||50||30|