Current as of: July 24, 2024 - 00:50

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Self-Guided Holidays
  • Destination: Austria, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Programmes: Cycling
  • Activity Level:

    2 out of 7 - Easy & Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 12+
  • Trip Code: C07VB

Trip Overview

Enjoy 3 capital cities in one week as you journey from Austria to Hungary.

This is a classic ride linking two historic cities. Your journey starts in Vienna, which requires little introduction, with its abundance of famous sites, entertainment and culture. The River Danube serves as the spine of the cycling route as you meander back and forth through woodland, farmland, avenues of walnut trees, wide flat landscapes and shady hills. A night is spent in the pretty city of Bratislava and in the lovely town of Gyor, as we head towards the Danube Bend at Esztergom. The end point for the trip is the city of Budapest with time to soak up the wonderful atmosphere and enjoy the stunning architecture.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights 4-star hotels
  • 6 days cycling with luggage transfers
  • 80% cycle path, 20% road
  • E-bike hire available on request (supplement applies)
  • Mainly quiet roads and cycle paths, but some busier points when entering/leaving the cities
  • Gentle hills on some days
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

Highlights

  • Meander along the Danube
  • Cycle 3 countries in one week
  • Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest

Is This Trip for You?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 54km (34 miles)
No. of days cycling: 6
Terrain and route: surface: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads and designated cycle paths, however, there are some sections on busier roads. Much of the route is gently undulating, but there are some steeper hills.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

On many occasions in the route it is possible to shortern the day’s ride by taking the train or a boat – this will be detailed further in the route notes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Please note that helmets are obligatory for adults cycling outside cities in Slovakia, and at night or if there is bad visibility you are required to have either reflectors or a safety vest.

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. As a guide we have suggested that 12 years is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. Please be aware that some of the cycling on this route is along busier roads so any children must be confident at cycling alongside traffic. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The routes notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number, available daily from 08.00- 20.00. In emergency, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age: 12

Itinerary

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest

Land Only

  • Start City: Vienna
  • End City: Budapest

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Vienna

Make your own way to the hotel. The rest of the day is left free to explore Vienna at your leisure. It is a metropolis with unique charm, vibrancy and flair. It boasts outstanding infrastructure, is clean and safe, and has all of the culture, architecture and inspiration that you could wish for in this wonderful part of Europe. Highlights that you may consider include visits to the grand Schonbrunn Palace, Sigmund Freud Museum and a tour in the Vienna State Opera House. Don’t miss a visit to one of the many wonderful coffee shops to enjoy the typical cake Sachertorte!

Day 2
Vienna - Hainburg

On leaving Vienna the route takes you through the Donau-Auen National Park, an area of extensive flood plains, which have turned into small ponds offering a rich habitat to countless species of birds, animals and insects. From here, pass Orth Castle and the pretty village of Eckertsau before arriving in Hainburg.

Distance covered: 29mi (46km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Hainburg to Bratislava

Follow the Roman bike trail to one of Austria’s most important archaeological sites, the Roman remains at Petronell-Carnuntum. End your day in the Gothic old town of Bratislava, Slovakia’s pretty capital city that exudes old world charm.

Distance covered: 23mi (37km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Bratislava to Mosonmagyarovar

After a short cycle through Slovakia, you cross the Hungarian border into Rajka. Cycle past storybook villages, where you can still find traditional thatched-roofed farm houses. Your route guides you through the Szigetkoz (a small Rye island) towards Mosonmagyarovar; the charming old ‘city of 17 bridges’. The city centre is noteworthy for its impressive collection of Baroque buildings.

Distance covered: 23mi (37km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Mosonmagyarovar to Gyor

Today, you follow a flat cycling route as it takes you through the outstanding natural surroundings of the island between the Danube and the Mosoni Duna (Small Danube). Make a stop to see Hedervar Castle, before arriving in the colourful town of Gyor, to take in its sights and breathtaking historic centre.

Distance covered: 25mi (40km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Gyor/Komarom to Esztergom

Take the train to Komarom then pedal along the riverbanks of the flat Danube Valley, passing quaint villages and lush vineyards. Fitter cyclists can choose a route over Tata, but be aware this is more strenuous and there are no shops and restaurants along the way. Those interested in the history of the area should plan some time for the Roman archaelogical site of Kelemantia, where a military camp stood from the 2nd to the 4th Century. The absolute highlight of the day however, is Esztergom (also known as Hungarian Rome), with the largest basilica in the country.

Distance covered: 34mi (55km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Esztergom to Budapest

Head to the Danube Bend, probably one of the most attractive sections of the Danube bike trail. Here, the river winds its way through the Visegrad Mountains and makes a sharp turn towards the south. Explore the old Baroque town of Szentendre, before taking a leisurely boat ride into the centre of Budapest and appreciate its stunning architecture.

Distance covered: 40mi (65km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
End Budapest

End your trip in Budapest. There is much to see in this iconic city and we are pleased to book additional nights for you if you wish. Hungary’s capital is bisected by the River Danube, and the 19th Century Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with the flat Pest. The city is easy to explore on foot; don’t miss the chance to visit one of the city’s famous thermal baths or walk up to the dome of St Stephan’s Basilica for a fantastic panoramic view!

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances: All ascents, descents and distances listed in the daily itinerary have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. However, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these Trips Notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotels

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest

On this trip we use well selected charming 4-star hotels, generally family owned.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Single supplement from £ 342

Food & Drink

All breakfasts are included.
Breakfast: Continental style buffet breakfast.
Lunch and Dinner: there are numerous restaurants along the route with a selection of menus of two or more courses and the route notes will provide more details to help you decide. Self-guided cycling also lends itself really well to picnics. You can stop wherever you please, in a spot that suits you and eat your lunch taking in your chosen view.

Transport

Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by taxi or minibus. The hotels are often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it, but may wish to charge you for this service. You will be pedalling under your own steam but the emergency number for our local operator is in the trip notes if you need assistance.

Weather & Seasonality

The weather here is comparatively stable, particularly during mid-summer. Temperatures are similar to those experienced in the UK and rainfall, although relatively low, is possible throughout the year.

Weather Charts

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest

Joining Instructions

Travelling land only: 8 days starting in Vienna and ending in Budapest

Your trip normally starts at your hotel in Vienna on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. A hotel list will be sent to you prior to departure.

Full joining instructions including route notes, hotel list, map and local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Flights from the UK

Flights from London are available with British Airways. Low cost airlines Ryanair and Easyjet are also available which may be a convenient and good value option for some clients.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Vienna
Location end: Budapest

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Transfer Details

Airport transfers are not included in this trip.

The start hotel is an easy journey from Vienna airport by taxi (approx. €345) or train/underground. Detailed instructions will be sent to you with your final joining instructions.

 

What To Take

Essential Equipment

Local Self-Guided Bikes

All bikes are supplied with:
– 1 front bar bag with a plastic folder for your route notes and maps – 1 per 2 people (if you are travelling together)
– 1 set of rear panniers
– 1 bike lock per 2 people
– 1 repair kit per 2 people, which includes 1 spare inner tube and a pump, plus a lock
– Front and rear lights

Seat and handlebar heights will have been set up in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust. Electronic bikes are available for this trip, please request one as early as possible as they are subject to availability. Helmets can be requested if you wish, but please be aware we can never guarantee the quality of these so we do recommend bringing your own.

We recommend you bring the following items:
Normal daily clothes
Padded cycling shorts
Cycling gloves
Water bottles
Breathable cycling top
Cycling helmet (compulsory on this trip)
A couple of warm layers
Sunglasses, sun cream and sunhat
Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling
Waterproofs and long cycling trousers
For earlier departures you may need some warmer layers
Mobile phone with roaming capabilities

 

Bike Repairs
As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair or change an inner tube before setting off on your bike!  Please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QSjw0iDs98&t=3s for a comprehensive guide on fixing a puncture.

The bikes are serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems – however, there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.

N.B. Helmets are obligatory for adults cycling out of cities in Slovakia. Aditionally, in Slovakia and Hungary, at night and in poor visibility it is mandatory to wear a safety/high visibilty vest. Please ensure that you bring one with you.

Optional Equipment

– warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures
– swimming costume
– windproof and waterproof layer
– comfortable shoes and clothes for the days off the bike to explore the towns

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to your sales representative for individual airline fees. Please note, this does not apply to trips within the UK, for which local bike hire is not included.

You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. It is also your responsibility to ensure your bike is roadworthy and suitable for the type of cycling undertaken. If in doubt, the model of local bike hire available should act as a guide and details of terrain, ascent and descent are available both in the itinerary and in the ‘Is this trip for you?’ sections. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft, you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra bike accessories

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose ‘over-shorts’ where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum bag (fanny pack) or small close-fitting daysack.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries, wearing a helmet is a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

E-Bikes Available

Electric bikes offer all the thrills and healthy exercise of a regular bike, but with one crucial difference – power! A tiny electric motor (capped at 20-25mph/32-40kph) assists your pedalling, allowing you to make molehills out of mountains. Cycle further, see more, have more fun. They are perfect if you want a trip with companions of differing fitness level – or a trip at a slightly harder grade – and want to know there’s a bit of motor power available if you need it.

Reading List

The Rough Guide to Budapest, Charles Hebbert and Dan Richardson – Typical Rough Guide publication.
Vienna (Lonely Planet), Neal Bedford – Typical Lonely Planet guide.

Practical Information

Visa

Austria

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Austria. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through. Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

 

Hungary

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Hungary. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.
Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

 

Slovakia

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Slovakia. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through. Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Vaccinations and Health

Austria

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Hungary

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Slovakia

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Austria's time zone: Europe/Vienna (UTC +02:00)

Hungary's time zone: Europe/Budapest (UTC +02:00)

Slovakia's time zone: Europe/Bratislava (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Austria's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Hungary's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Slovakia's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest

Money

Austria's currency: Euros (EUR)

Hungary's currency: Hungarian forint (HUF)

Slovakia's currency: Euro (EUR)

ATM Availability

In every town you can withdraw the local currency from a Cash Machine (ATM) but we do recommend you obtain some of your spending money in cash before you leave the UK. Credit cards are also accepted in most places you visit but cash is easier

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Visits to all the places mentioned in the itinerary are optional. Entrance fees are not included and are usually around €4 to €8 each. Lunches and dinners are not included – allow about €20-25 per day; costs will depend on the standard of restaurant chosen. You may need extra to buy wine each evening.

All transportation to and from the airport is not included. A taxi from the airport to the hotel in Vienna will cost approx. €45 or a regular train operates between the airport and the city centre, costing approx. €15, with onward travel by underground to reach the start hotel.

In Budapest a taxi from the hotel to the airport is approx. 7500 HUF. Public transport is not really recommended.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.