Holidays are always exciting. It’s such a breath of fresh air to break free of the normal routine and immerse yourself in a new place and culture. When combining your holiday with a race, things get even more exhilarating. What could be better than coupling the indescribable feeling of race day with an awesome weekend getaway?
While exciting, there are also many factors to consider when booking your holiday and marathon combination in Hungary. As expert runners and Hungarian natives, we walk you through some of the basic things you need to consider when booking your race in Hungary.
Consider your transportation.
Hiring a Car - Hiring a car at the airport is rather simple, however, in order to access any of the five main motorways in the city you must first purchase a permit - so it is important to know where you plan on driving. Driving without these passes will result in a hefty ticket. In Hungary, we drive on the right-hand side of the road and signs can be difficult to follow. Plan on getting lost as being part of the adventure! Parking is also difficult in the city. Budapest is sectioned into multiple parking zones that each have their own hourly fees (https://www.budapest.com/travel/getting_around/parking_in_budapest.en.html).
Taxis - Rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber are not currently available in Budapest. Instead, visitors must use traditional taxis. It is a better idea to call one of the major taxi services rather than hail a cab on the street - as this quite a bit cheaper. Most will have an English speaking operator and visitors can typically request a driver that speaks basic English. A list of reputable companies can be found here: https://www.budapest.com/travel/getting_around/parking_in_budapest.en.html. Traffic can get a little crazy in Hungary - so be prepared to pay about 70HUF (about 19 pence) for each minute you sit in traffic.
Public Transport - The public transportation system in Budapest is pretty developed and includes busses, trolly busses, trams, tubes, trains, and a night bus system. Employees at train, bus and metro stations should be able to speak enough English to help you purchase the correct ticket. Regular transportation runs from 4:30 am to 11:00 pm.
2. Know your hotel’s location, and the location of your race.
As stated above, getting around in Budapest can become difficult at times. This is why it is so important to know where your hotel is in relation to your race start line! Once you choose a hotel, it is good practice to make a plan on how you will get to the start to avoid any drama on race day. (Remember to look in to race day street closures as well!)
3. Know where to stock up on basics.
Whenever we travel, we’re bound to forget a thing or two. Usually, this is just fine, and we make do. When running a race abroad, however, it is really important we don’t forget any of our basic necessities. Once you know where your hotel and race location are, you can search for chemists nearby. Although some chemists in Hungary carry only medications, most carry the basics you would expect from a chemist in the UK such as plasters, toothbrushes, and socks. If your nearby chemist does not offer what you need, there are plenty of Tescos around Budapest that will carry necessities. If you forgot more specialty items such as your knee brace or compression shorts, the best athletic shop in Budapest is called Decathalon. Find Decathalon locations here: (https://www.decathlon.hu/hu/aruhaz).
4. Research how to fuel up, and where to celebrate.
Proper nutrition is imperative the night before and the morning of race day, and we all have our own traditions and preferences. Remember to research places to eat the night before and morning of a race to ensure there are no surprises. It is important not to try new foods the morning before a race, so this might not be the best time to order your first traditional Hungarian meal. Instead, research restaurants or bakeries that serve basics like bagels, toast or cereal. After the race, there are plenty of fun and eclectic places to eat and drink. Try a traditional Hungarian Lángos at the locals only spot Lángos in Hűvösvölgy (Hűvösvölgy Street – Szipka Street corner (near the Hűvösvölgy terminus) or sip a craft Hungarian brew at Élesztő (http://www.elesztohaz.hu/index-en.php).
5. Alternatively, let us take care of it all.
If you would rather not deal with the hassle of these considerations, we get it. That is why we have created all-inclusive race packages to take the guesswork out of your marathon or half-marathon in Hungary. When you travel with Run in Hungary, all you have to do is book your flight and train your heart out. Leave the hassle of the hotel, restaurant recommendations, and transport up to us.