City guide

Zoom through Budapest with these new electric scooters

Photo : Sándor Csudai / WLB

Getting around Budapest has just become easier – and loads more fun. The international Lime brand has launched its electric scooter-sharing system in the Hungarian capital, and we just had to give it a try!

After Prague, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and London, US-based transport-rental company Lime has brought its electric scooters to Budapest. The test phase will run until 30 July, with 200 scooters scattered around town. To set off, just download the app onto your phone.

Photo: Sándor Csudai

Looking for a scooter in the morning, your best bet will be the waterfront on both sides – the green area on the app’s map. On the Buda side, this means the section between the Gellért tér and Batthyány tér, and Bartók Béla út to Móricz Zsigmond körtér. On the Pest side, it’s a smaller area between Boráros tér and Fővám tér, plus Kálvin tér. Fortunately, the area where you can leave the scooters is much bigger, its borders indicated in red. Note that if you do this outside the red zone, you can be fined or blocked from the app.

Photo: Sándor Csudai
Photo: Sándor Csudai

The scooters work with a chargeable battery. A team collects them at night and charges them, so by the morning, they’re back in action. The price varies – you have to pay an initial 250 forints, followed by 50 forints per minute. However, it seems wherever you go, you end up paying a minimum of 1.000 forints.

Photo: Sándor Csudai

Using them is easy and fast – download a QR reader and the app. You’ll need a valid phone number and an e-mail address for the confirmation code. Find the scooter closest to you on the map – you can also see how charged it is – then read its QR code and off you scoot. A helmet is recommended, but not provided.

Photo: Sándor Csudai

The scooters are pretty fast, going about 25 km/h, so using them on the pavement can be annoying for pedestrians. The wheels are a bit too small for Budapest’s streets, the scooters get very shaky and you have to be careful not to fall. It is best to use them on cycle lanes. The brakes work perfectly.

Photo: Sándor Csudai / WLB

The scooters are practical for short legs and a huge advantage is that you don’t have to leave them at any special dock.