Floods in Budapest

The water level along the River Danube has risen, and peaked in the evening of Sunday 9th June. Though there is some disruption to roads and public transport near the waterfront and caution is advised, there is no danger to the public and almost all of the main tourist sights are unaffected. It is is still completely possible and worthwhile to visit our beautiful capital!

Budapest is divided by the Danube, so there will definitely be some effects. The Prime Minister announced an alert on Tuesday because flooding has been severe and long-lasting further upriver in Austria. A contingency plan has been implemented, involving thousands of volunteers, soldiers and the emergency services. Here below we attempt to summarise the most important information relevant to tourists, concerning transportation:

We can also guide our many German-speaking guests towards some relevant information:
Für aktuelle Informationen zur Hochwasserlage in Ungarn klicken Sie bitte auf folgenden Link: http://www.pesterlloyd.net/html/1323hochwasserhu06.html

Exisiting Disruptions

  • Margaret island (a popular park), is being closed - from 18:00 on Tuesday, 4 June 2013 the whole area of Margaret Island was closed to road traffic and the car park will be emptied. Motorists were requested to remove their cars from the BKK car park on the island during the day.
  • The 2 Large Hotels on Margaret Island (Danubius Health Spa Resort and Danubius Grand Margaret Island ) have been evacuted as a precaution. All present guests and arriving guests are being reallocated rooms in other Danubius Hotels in Budapest. (This is expected to remain in force until around the June 17th)
  • The roadways on the lower Danube embankments were also subject to closure:
  • the Buda-side at 20:00 on Tuesday 4th June, the full length of the Pest-side at 22:00 Tuesday 4th June.
  • Bus 26 (Margaret Island) is also out of service from 18:00.
  • All public transport boat lines are out of service from 4 June 2013, until further notice due to the high water level.

Further Disruption

As at 10th June, the water level was dropping, but still sufficiently high to necessitate other restrictions:

Tram line 2  Has been running a modified service, as the route is bisected by a flooded underpass at the chain bridge, from Thursday morning (6/6/2013) The Budapest Transport Authority has a separate information page detailing in full the rather-complicated schedule changes. (In short, parts of this Pest riverside tram line will be replaced by buses which will run further from the river)

Tram Lines 19 and 41, Buda running but with modifications (inland diversion for part of their route) due to the water level in underpass.

Suburban railway (HÉV) line H5; This may start from Margaret bridge stop (eliminating Batthany square from the route to Szedntendre.) This was in effect as ast 8th June.

Bridges are NOT closed at the moment.

Metro line 2 under the river  is closed. As at 8th June the water level was sufficiently high to warant the closure of Batthany square metro station and  the section of metro line 2, between Batthany square and Kossuth Lajos Square..

Open Air shows on Margaret Island:
the Margaret Island Open Air Theatre is monitoring the situation, but it is still fluid. They advise guests to monitor their website on http://eng.szabadter.hu/ ( It seems that concerts will be cancelled until about the 19th June.

The floodwaters in Budapest peaked in the late evening of Sunday 10th June. It was higher than recorded levels, so it seems probable that it may last "a long time."

According to present information, there is no reason to change travel plans to Hungary. There is also no reason to worry about relatives on holiday in Hungary. We do recommend that tourists monitor the news, our Facebook site and the websites below, and make responsible decisions.

Obviously, visitors already here should obey all instructions and not go close to the water for sightseeing purposes!

English language links to more information:

The Hungarian Meteorological Office weather warnings

The Budapest transport Authority BKK - effects of flooding on Budapest transportation and BKK Facebook page for the full version of transport service updates in connection with the flood.

Office of the Hungarian Prime Minister,  and the National Directorate General for Disaster Management for official news

Finally, English Language Local news from the Budapest Sun is regularly updated.

Image courtesy of Illés Tibor, M.T.I.