Though some prefer to hibernate over winter and wait for warmer weather, we think it’s the perfect time to explore new cities, or perhaps return to an old favorite. Do you love the Christmas season as much as we do? Here’s a few of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful city of Budapest this winter!
Stay warm by relaxing in one of Budapest’s many thermal baths. The most famous is Széchenyi in City Park, with 21 indoor and outdoor pools (yes, the majority are heated!) and gorgeous architecture. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try Rudas Baths on the Buda side of the city and unwind in the rooftop hot tub with a view of the Danube river. Can’t get enough of the thermal baths? Return to Széchenyi on Saturday night for Sparty, the only thermal bath party in Europe, featuring electronic dance music.
If you can’t get enough of those rooftop vibes, grab some drinks at 360 Bar. In the winter, heated igloos are installed, ensuring you won’t freeze while you enjoy cocktails and nibbles with a spectacular view. Don’t forget to book your igloo in advance, as space fills up fast!
The Budapest Christmas markets are not to be missed, boasting traditional Hungarian food and mulled wine amid handmade crafts and unique gifts sold in sweet wooden huts. The two most famous markets are at Vörösmarty square and St. Stephen’s Basilica, the latter of which was voted “The Most Beautiful Christmas Market In Europe” in 2020 and puts on a surreal 3D light show every evening after sunset.
Ice Skating & Sledding
Feeling sporty? Check out the large ice skating rink at City Park, or take the festively decorated Children’s Railway (Tram 7) and head to the Buda hills of Normafa for some sledding.
Ballet & Concerts
The Nutcracker fairy-tale ballet is a winter classic, and Budapest’s rendition is not only spectacular, but a good deal cheaper than you’ll find in most other popular tourist destinations. If ballet isn’t your thing, you can check out St. Stephen’s Basilica or Matthias Church for Advent concerts. Alternatively, try to snag tickets for the Christmas Oratorio. This six part series from Bach is played only once per year in December at Müpa Budapest.
As you can see, the Christmas season in Budapest is full of activities you’ll never get to experience if you don’t take advantage of cheap winter flights or allow yourself to be seduced by the stunning Christmas markets and delicious mulled wine. Don’t be put off by the weather, come and experience this magical time in Budapest for yourself!
About the Author:
Olivia Fuller is an American expat, currently residing in Budapest and working as the marketing manager for Ultimate Budapest. She loves sharing travel tips and advice from her travels through 50+ countries. Head to the Ultimate Budapest website for more Budapest recommendations and weekly events in the city.
Photo on top: Alisa Anton / Unsplash