See the section for Hungary of the Trento Bike Pages

Vienna - Budapest - Lake Balaton - Vienna

Contributed by Franco e Paola Comai ( Amici della Bicicletta) - Via Solteri,35 38100 Trento (Italy). Translated by Andreas Caranti. See the original Versione Italiana.
During transfer across three different operating systems, the Hungarian place names have been horribly corrupted. Sorry. We hope to be able to fix them sooner or later.



  1. Guidebook published by Esterbauer und Weinfurter "Radwanderfaehrer Donauradweg - Teil 3: Wien - Budapest" with maps 1 : 100000, covers Vienna to Budapest. To be bought in Austria at bookstores, Tourist Offices or Bike Shops. Contains maps with marked main path and hints at alternatives, short sightseeing guide, tourist information. It's in German, though. Cost in 1993 was 19.80 DM.
  2. 1 : 500000 Hallwag map for the Hungarian part after Budapest. Place names are given in Hungarian, so you can recognize them once you're there.


Attending cyclists

Franco e Paola Comai - Via Solteri,35 - 38100 Trento A.d.B. TRENTO

How to get there

We drove to Vienna, traveling by train being at the very least inconvenient.

Total mileage

About 1000 km

The path

The Austrian part of the tour runs along a cycling path proper. In the Czech Republic and in Hungary cyclists are clearly less considered and pampered for. The aforementioned guide mentions alternatives to the path from Vienna to Budapest, which is qalwsys very crowded. Be prepared for some rough off-road riding, though!

After Budapest there is often no choice by riding on main roads, along heavy traffic. The path is sometimes hilly, so you'd better have proper gears.

When to travel

Let spring or early autumn. We did in August. No rain, temperatures around 30-35C. We survived, but have plenty of water always at hand!


As to accommodation, we stayed at small Hotels (Gasthaus, Panzio) or at bed and breakfasts (Zimmer), easily available in Austria and Hungary. We payed on average 250 Schillings per person in Austria (including breakfast), and 1300 Fnt in Hungary.

Breakfast being lavish in both countries, we normally had only yogurt, fruit and sweets during the day. Dinner was available for about 130 Schilling or 400 Fnt. Prices in Vienna and Budapest are higher.

We left after breakfast, toward 9:00, and started looking for accommodation at about 16:00.

As to the language, we made do with a bit of German.

Distances shown include diversions and riding around in towns. The only technical problem we had was a puncture.


First stage: from Vienna (160 m a.s.l.) to Hainburg (170 m. a.s.l.): 75 km

We cross Vienna along the danube, through beautiful parks. We pass Orth an der Donau and get to Hainburg. Have a look at the nice spa Bad Deutsch Altenburg, which offers convenient accommodation.

Second stage: from Hainburg (170 m. a.s.l.) to Dunakiliti (125 m a.s.l.) : about 55 km

After a few kms, we enter the Czech republic, and get to Bratislava. we followed what Guide 1 calls "Hauptroute" (there are two possible alternatives). This is a badly kept gravel road; we switched to the nearby paved road. After Cunovo we crossed into Hungary. Border checks are quick and trouble free. Quite a bit of traffic, though. Along secondary roads, we got to Dunakiliti.

Third stage: from Dunakiliti (125 m a.s.l.) to Gyo"r (118 m. a.s.l.) : about 58 km

According to Guidebook 1, we proceed on good roads to Lipo't. After trying unsuccessfully a diversion through a rather dull landscape, we get back to the main itinerary until Gyo"r. Near Mosonmagyarov r we meet the first (cicogna?), in a nested over a power pole.

Fourth stage: from Györ (118 m. a.s.l.) to Tata (121 m a.s.l.) : about 73 km

In B bolna, at mid stage, stop at the Cafe on hign street, with its typical atmosphere. In Tata the "Arnold Pension" is to be recommended. Don't miss a romantic walk anong the lake.

Fifth stage: from Tata (121 m a.s.l.) to Esztergom ( 160 m a.s.l.) : about 61 km

Very varied and interesting stage. More physical effort is needed here, over somewhat steep hills. We cross beautiful vineyards, with a nice view on the Danube. Before Esztergom, we pass near an archeological site, with a middle age cemetery.

Sixth stage: from Esztergom ( 160 m a.s.l.) to Szentendre - Budapest ( 115 m a.s.l.) : about 52 km

This is really challenging, but also very rewarding. In case you don't feel like climbing that much, just follow the course of the Danube.

From Esztergom we follow the itinerary recommended by Guidebook 1 as "Visegrader Berge alternative". The road goes through the wood, and climbs seriously for several kms. We reach Dobog\242-k\224: beautiful view on the underlying woods and on the Danube.

Be careful when coasting to Szentendre, to take the road to Pilisreservat at a rather unnoticeable junction, near a military encampment.

As we said, your physical efforts will be rewarded here by the great views.

We chose Szentendre as our home base to visit Budapest, to avoid the high prices and the chaos of the big city. A convenient underground service makes traveling to Budapest very easy. Of course, Budapest well deserves at least a couple of days.


From now on we used Map 2, which does not have height information, so we cannot provide exact data.

Seventh stage: from Szentendre - Budapest ( 115 m a.s.l.) to E'rd : about 82 km.

We followed the cycling path from Szentendre to the city centre, crossing Margit Island, nearly completely car-free. Getting out of Budapest on Bela Barto'k utca and Budao"rsi utca is rather painful, because of the intense traffic, the miserable road-bed and the thick web of rails on the road.

We now find signs toward Lake Balaton for cyclists. This is surprising, as the road is as trafficked as it could be, but perhaps there are no alternatives. Crossing peach orchards, we pass T\224r\224kb\240lint and got to E'rd.

We tried a diversion to S\242sk\243t and Pusztaz\240mor on what the map pretended to be a secondary road, between glorious fields, but we ended up nowhere. We got back to E'rd, where we lodged at E'rd Panzio.

Eighth stage: from E'rd to Veszprem: about 99 km

No signs for cyclists, so we get on the National Road 70. This is interdicted to bicycles, but the Police appears to be accommodating. There's a lot of traffic, as we cross the northern shore of lake Velence. Too late do we discover the existence of a cycling path (not shown on the map) on the southern shore! Some brief parts of a proper cycling path take us away from the main road. We cross P\240kozd and Sz\202kesfeh\202rv\240r, and continue on National Road 8 to V\202szprem. Still a lot of traffic.

After V\240rpalota, we recommend to take a diversion to \231skae and Hajm\240sk\202r,, nice country villages with hardly any traffic.

Ninth stage: from Veszprem to Ko"vesk l: about 71 km

From V\202szprem there are several options to get to lake Balaton. Better take the less trafficked ones. Follow briefly Road 73, then the signs to Fels\224\224rs. A pleasant descent leads to the shores of the lake near Als\242\224rs. Now take Road 71 (still a lot of traffic) until the Tihany peninsula. Ascend to the old village with its straw roofs. Resume riding on Road 71 to zanka, where you may take a peaceful diversion in the interior until K\224vesk\240l, on top of a hill.

Tenth stage: from Ko"vesk l to Ko"rmend: about 114 km

Still in a hilly landscappe until Tapolca. To get to Saemeg, avoid the main road, and go through the woods to Zalahal\240p. Once in Saemeg, one gets to Vasvar on not-so-easy-to-find roads through Ukk, Gog nfa, Taerje, Batyk, Zalaber, Berbaltav r, Csehj, Oszko'. There is some effort to be spent on the hills, especially toward the end. There is no accommodation in Vasvar, so that we have to go till K\224rmend, where we eat well and sleep better at Hala Cs\240rda.

Eleventh stage: from Ko"rmend to Ko"szeg: about57 km

From K\224rmend we ride through the countryside until J\240k (visit the Romanic Basilica). We proceed through hills to N\240raj, and reach Szombatheli. We follow Road 87, flat and with reasonably low traffic, and reach K\224szeg.

Twelfth night, I mean, stage: from Ko"szeg to Sopron: about 63 km

From K\224szeg we proceed through the countryside to L\224v\344, and then to Sopron along Road 84. Accommodation has been difficult to find, until we found a bed and breakfast. The town well deserves a visit.

Thirteenth stage: from Sopron to Go"tzendorf an der Leitha: about 55 km

From Sopron we start in the direction of Neusiedlersee, on a secondary road to Fert\344r\240kos; here we take the cycling path to M\224rbisch am See, after a pedestrian-and-cyclists only border checkpoint. We're back in Austria, and to proper, well signposted cycling paths. Through vineyards and hills with views on the lake, we get to the nice village of Rust. We proceed to Donnerskirchen, and then work up a 200m height difference on 5km to Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge (no accommodation to be found), and then to Go"tzendorf an der Leitha, where we only find accommodation at Paus Gasthof.

Fourteenth stage: from Go"tzendorf an der Leitha to Vienna: about 57 km

This is the last stage, that leads us back to Vienna, passing through Reisenberg, Fischamend and Schwechat. In Vienna we spent some days sightseeing. We chose accommodation outside town, in a Hut (Windischhaette) at 500m a.s.l. in the Wienerwald, not far away from Klosterneuburg. Riding through the woods here is really great. Accommodation is very basic, but the surroundings are beautiful.