Budapest’s traffic will collapse in the next few days: try not to use your car!
Pope Francisin the Buda Castle with PM Viktor Orbán and President Katalin Novák. Photo: MTI/Prime Minister's Press Office/Benko Vivien Cher
Pope Francis is to spend three days in Hungary on an apostolic visit, but that will cause significant modifications in the car traffic and public transport system of Budapest. Hungarian media outlets recommend all drivers not use their cars downtown this weekend. Here is why.
Pope Francis arrived, Budapest’s traffic changed temporarily
Pope Francis arrived this morning in Hungary, his ITA Airways flight touched down around 10 AM. At the airport, he met with a delegation of politicians, church leaders and even kids, who greeted the pontiff on Hungarian soil for the second time in two years. The pope then was brought to downtown Budapest to meet President Katalin Novák and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the Buda Castle.
The pope’s schedule is busy for the next three days. He will have a lot of meetings and will celebrate a holy mass on Kossuth Square. Therefore, most restrictions concern Budapest’s 1st and 5th districts, but, for example, during the pontiff’s departure on Sunday, traffic around Budapest’s international airport, Ferihegy, will also change considerably. Moreover, there will be programs in the, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th districts.
Here is a map provided by the Hungarian police that includes all public spaces where tourists, residents, and drivers should expect changes in the following three days. However, some restrictions will remain in effect even after the papal visit. That is because, for example, the Kossuth Square, where the main event, the Sunday mass will take place, is now totally changed to receive 20,000 guests. Next week, all the grandstands, scaffolds and other facilities must be removed.
If they remove your car, here is how you can reclaim it
If you click on the map, on the top of the left-hand side of it you may see “Tilos megállni” (Forbidden to stop, blue colour). Of course, that restriction applies to different segments of public spaces, so you should double-check that in each case. But that is quite simple since you only have to click on the needed segment and will be able to read the required information containing the exact time and date of restriction. Even if it is Hungarian, dates and times are comprehensible.
If somebody forgets their vehicle in the blue zone, they may call +36-80-180-780 green line to enquire about where it has been replaced and what you can do to reclaim it. The phone number will be active until 30 April, 11.59 pm, police.hu wrote.
The second category (the red colour) is the public spaces which will be closed to traffic temporarily.
In THIS article, you may find further information about when and where you may meet the pope in Budapest in the next few days.