Winter in Budapest is a magical time! From bright, festive Christmas markets to warm, filling Hungarian cuisine, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself. Those looking for something to do in the Budapest winter won’t be disappointed! Explore Budapest this winter for an unforgettable experience!
Budapest is famous for its Christmas markets, and after years of cancellations, they’re open again! However, you will need proof of vaccination with a valid ID in order to enter them. The two most famous Budapest Christmas markets are just a short walk from each other in the city center.
Denae McGaha/Ultimate Budapest
The Basilica Market was voted the “Most Beautiful Christmas Market in Europe” for 2020, so you know it’s doing something right! Along with the classic Christmas market foods and sights, the market is nestled at the foot of the impressive St. Stephen’s Basilica. Every hour, an energetic light show is played on the face of the Basilica for your Christmas cheer! After you’ve caught the light show, head to the center of the market where you can ice skate around the tree! It’s the perfect Christmas scene!
Vörösmarty Square Market is conveniently located right outside the final station of the historic Metro 1 (did you know that it’s the oldest subway station in continental Europe?). The square is surround on all sides by beautiful old buildings and leads into the high end shopping street, Váci Utca. Take a picture under the beautifully decorated and giant tree, warm up with some mulled wine, and enjoy the market!
Keep your eyes open as you’ll also see smaller stands and markets pop up around the city (such as in Erzsebet Square and in front of Allée Mall).
Can you think of anything more awe-inspiring than ice skating in the shadow of a castle? Well you can do exactly that during winter in Budapest! Városliget, or City Park, holds famous attractions all year round (Széchenyi Baths, anyone?). But in the winter, the lake is frozen over and the city’s largest ice rink comes to life!
Adult low/high time: 1500/2000 HUF
Student low/high time: 1000/1500 HUF
Skate rental: 2500 HUF
Budapest is famous for its thermal baths, and we can’t think of a better way to warm up during the winter time. Split your time between steaming in the sauna and splashing around in the heated outdoor pools. The baths combine old and new, some of them with architecture dating back to the 16th Century! You can buy tickets for half or full days, and even book a massage or other wellness activities! For visually impressive baths, try checking out Széchenyi Baths, Gellért Baths, or Rudas Baths.
You can channel your inner lumberjack at axe throwing. Yes--you can throw axes. For fun! And afterwards, head upstairs to the craft beer bar to toast to a job well done! Or, if you’d like to make some memories, head to the Sweets and Selfies Museum for hours of perfectly posed fun. Their whimsical exhibits will send your creative brain into overdrive!
Of course, the winter season isn’t complete without a New Years Eve party in Budapest! Here are two that we’re excited about:
Budapest Boat Party
Budapest Boat Party: NYE 2021
Sail down the river and get unforgettable views of the city all lit up for NYE! This 5 hour river cruise will treat you to unlimited drinks, live DJs, and professional photographers as you sail past some of Budapest’s most iconic sights. There are no better views!
NYE Party Hop: 2021
Budapest has so many amazing bars--how can you choose? Well with this Party Hop, you won’t have to! Guides will take you to three of Budapest’s best bars, ending with an afterparty at one of the most iconic Budapest clubs! And trust us, on New Years Eve, you’ll be glad to skip the lines and entry fees.
Winter in Budapest is a wonderful time to experience what the city has to offer! Whether you’re staying cozy inside or exploring the lights and decorations around the city, you’re sure to have a wonderful time!