Best time to visit Budapest-

Hungary

When Is The BEST Time to Visit Budapest? (Pick The Month You Want To Visit)

Budapest is a popular European destination. But when should you book your trip? Apparently, the best times to visit Budapest are between March to May and September to November. But what might be the best time for someone else might not be the best for you.

I’ve asked 11 travel bloggers when they decided to visit Budapest and what the pros and cons of travelling to the city during that month of the year. Don’t worry I’ve not missed a month out but I visited in January last year so I’ve included why I think January is the best time to visit!

Do you want good weather for your trip? Maybe you’d like to experience some of Budapest’s many festivals (or maybe you’d like to avoid the busy crowds)? Scroll down to find the best month for your perfect Budapest break.

To keep it simple, it’s in order from January to December, so pick the month you want to visit or take a read of them all to decide when to book those flights!

Pick your month to decide which is the best time to visit for your trip

Visiting Budapest in January

By Becky from Becky the Traveller

Budapest Hungary - best time to visit Budapest in January
Views of a snowy Budapest from St Stephen’s Basilica

Weather in January – Minus 4 to 2 degrees

January was a great time to visit Budapest. It’s not very popular with the majority of tourists due to it being winter but I found it the perfect time to visit. For starters, I managed to get a cheap flight from my local airport with a budget airline. It’s perfect to give you that little boost after Christmas when some people struggle with post-holiday blues.

Yes, it’s cold but with a lovely thick jacket and hat, you’ll be lovely and warm doing all that site-seeing. I was lucky enough for it to snow during my January trip which turned the city into a mini winter wonderland, great for those Instagram shots!

You can also go ice-skating on the frozen lake near the Castle, which is a wonderful experience and of course, will keep you warm too!

The city still has a lovely buzz although it’s quieter than the busy months there are still plenty of people about. I was lucky enough to book on the Budapest Caving Tour, last minute but during peak season these tours fill up very quickly. You might think the caves would be really cold in January but they are actually warmer than outside and stay the same temperature the whole year round.

Visiting Budapest in February

By Adelina at Pack Me To

Best time to visit Budapest in February
The Chain Bridge on a cold winter morning

Weather in February – Minus 3 to 4 degrees

One of the best times to visit Budapest is in February especially if you’re okay with a bit of chilliness in the air. The city is quieter with fewer tourists during the winter and you can find yourself exploring the city in relative solitude.

It’s a great way to experience the city the way a local would see it. On a bright winter day, the city is equally as stunning as it would be in the summer. After spending all day wandering around the city, you can warm up with a hot bowl of goulash or enjoy a soul-warming plate of lecsó (vegetable stew) or pörkölt (meat stew).

February is also an amazing time to visit the famous baths of the city. There’s nothing like soaking in the warm thermal waters with the cooler air around you. Or if you’re looking for a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, Budapest offers the perfect backdrop. Take a romantic cruise down the Danube river or go skating under the lights at the Budapest City Park Ice Rink.

Further reading on Budapest

Visiting Budapest in March

By Emma at Travel Face Blog

Best time to visit Budapest - March
Budapest’s thermal baths are popular all year

Weather in March – 1 to 10 degrees

We were initially swayed by the cheaper flights, but visiting Budapest in March offers many other benefits. As a transitional season between winter festivities ending and Easter on the horizon, crowds were minimal. Do not be fooled by this though, as you still get the benefits of spring beginning to rear its head. With temperatures increasing (but remaining unpredictable), March strikes a pleasant balance between cosy cafes still being enticing and the ability to explore the city by foot.

Unpredictability is March’s middle name, as you may catch the cultural Spring Festival at its end, or the winter festivities such as ice-skating at its beginning. One event is for sure: the National day on 15th March. Expect plenty of celebrations, and free entry to some attractions, such as a free tour of parliament. However also be aware of potential demonstrations on this day.

For us, a highlight was the Szechenyi Baths. Plus the famous Budapest bath parties move back here this month if you are into this. I also recommend buying a transportation ticket to take a public boat down the river. Try Gelato Rosa for flower-shaped ice cream, and the cosy ‘For Sale’ pub for a Hungarian dinner; whatever the weather.

Visiting Budapest in April

By Gemma at Two Scots Abroad

Visiting Budapest in April - Great Market Hall (1)
Great Market Hall in Budapest

Weather in April – 5 to 16 degrees

Budapest is a vibrant city with the Pest area becoming increasingly popular with tourists, stag and hen parties. One of the best ways to avoid the big crowds and scorching summer heat is to plan a trip in April. Although there is more chance of rain in April, there are also lots of dry spells too.

Shoulder season means that the ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter will have fewer partygoers drinking there, the hike to The Liberty Statue on Gellert Hill will be less crowded and you can get served quicker at the Central Market Hall. Try the langos or any of these other Hungarian dishes.

During April you can catch the Spring Fair at Vörösmarty Square which is similar to the Christmas Market which serves up food, drink, craft stalls and activities for children.

Visiting Budapest in May

By Cris at Looknwalk

Best time to visit Budapest in May
Springtime views of Budapest city in May

Weather in May – 10 to 21 degrees

The average high temperature in Budapest in May is a balmy 21 C. What does it mean for you? That you need to pack layers. It may be hot enough to wear t-shirts, but you may also get caught in a downpour. And while I never suggest packing an umbrella, I had to buy one from Budapest (n.a. this year!). I’ve been to Budapest in May more than one time and there was always this pattern of great weather mixed with early summer storms.

In terms of crowds, May is starting to be quite busy in the past years. And although the prices don’t rival the ones in July and August, expect to pay at least 30 euros per night in a basic double en-suite in a guest house. If you are looking at hotels, you’d easily part with 65 euros a night for a double.

The great thing about visiting Budapest in May is that summer activities are already in full swing. The fountain on Margaret Island is dancing, there are the lights show and the music; Aquincum is open; and there are plenty of ruined bars, milongas, and other things to check out.

May is a special month for me and I travel every year for our wedding anniversary. Budapest has often been a hub for checking out places la Esztergom, Szentendre, Eger, or Bratislava; or a layover on the way back from Athens.

Further reading on Budapest

Visiting Budapest in June

By David at Travel with the little one

Budapest in June - best time to visit
Views of the Budapest Houses of Parliament

Weather in June – 13 to 24 degrees

Budapest can be very hot during the daytime in June, so it’s not somewhere to walk around much in the middle of the day. However, there is the chance of cooling off at two different beer festivals in the city. The first, focusing on Hungarian beer, is held in early June at Szabadsag ter, near the Parliament building. The Czech Beer Festival then takes place in late June – this year it was on the rooftop of the WestEnd shopping mall.

The Budapest Summer Festival also begins in June, running until the end of August. It takes place on Margit Sziget (Margaret Island), with a programme of concerts, musicals, dance shows and theatre performances to choose from.

Visiting Budapest in July

By Sue at Travel For Life Now

Best time to visit Budapest - July - Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest

Weather in July – 15 to 27 degrees

March to May and September through November are considered the best times to visit Budapest. But what about July, is that a good time to visit? I think July should definitely be added to this list.

The summer, and July, in particular, is a fantastic time to see the capital of Hungary. The days are long, the sun does not set until almost 9 pm. We were able to take photos without a flash until 8:30 pm.

The weather in July is hot, in the mid-80s (or 30 degrees Celsius). It can also rain in July, but we did not have any. If it rains or gets too hot, there are plenty of indoor activities in Budapest to keep you busy.

July can also be quite crowded as there are many Festivals in the month of July. Gay Pride is early in the month (last year it was July 7th). The Vajdahunyad Castle Summer Music Festival takes places all month. For only 12 Euros, you can see a variety of performances from classical to chamber to klezmer and music in an amazing setting in City Park. The month ends with the Liberty Bridge Festival (Szabihid).

For three weekends in July, the chain bridge is closed to vehicles and becomes a pedestrian walkway with performances. You can also catch the Budapest Summer Festival that starts in June and runs through August. This festival has over 100 performance for children and adults, including comedy shows, concerts, dance and theatrical performances on Margaret Island and in Buda.

Visiting Budapest in August

By Melinda at Meet Mel at the gate

Best time to visit Budapest - August-2
Credit: Rockstar Photographers – @rockstarphotographers

Weather in August – 14 to 26 degrees

Do you like heat, delicious food, beautiful but slightly crowded sights, people, and party? Then August is the right time for you to visit Budapest.

Sziget Festival, meaning island festival, takes place on Óbudai Island in the Danube river – just a stone throw away from the city centre. The annual multicultural music and arts festival attract both party people and artists from around the world.

Sziget Festival has been named one of Europe’s best music festivals and artists like Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons, Shawn Mendes, Dua Lipa, Kendrick Lamar, Pink, Rihanna, David Guetta and Sia have all graced the stage on the island. Ed Sheeran is scheduled for Sziget Festival 2019!

So, are you up for partying and making new friends with happy festivalgoers? Head to Budapest in August! If you prefer less people and more space, opt for a visit in April, May or September.

Visiting Budapest in September

By Jennifer at World on a Whim

Budapest in September - best time to visit Budapest
Magic fountains on Margaret Island

Weather in September – 10 to 23 degrees

September is such a fantastic time to visit Budapest. The tourists crowds have dissipated and the weather is still in the 20s (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Annual September events include the Budapest Wine Festival, Jewish Summer Festival and the National Gallop.

The National Gallop is a horse riding race and large-scale cultural festival which is essentially a summer Christmas market. Local vendors serving traditional food like goulash and langos and homemade palinka line the famous Andrassy street from Heroes Square all the way to the Budapest Eye. Sure, you won’t be sipping mulled wine just yet, but there are plenty of fun milkshakes and lemonades to try instead!

Looking for another reason to visit Budapest in September? You can still participate in all of the activities that are open specifically for summer. For example, you can watch the magic fountain come to life hourly on Margaret Island or go down the water slides at the Palatinus Strand amusement park.

All of the restaurants still have outdoor plazas where you can relax outside from a long day of sightseeing with a glass of affordable Hungarian wine or a litre of beer. Plus, there are so many bodies of water in Budapest. You won’t be doing any pedal boating or open-air cruising until spring of the following year, so make sure you get your boating in during the month of September!

Further reading on Budapest

Visiting Budapest in October

By Lavinia at Continent Hop

Budapest in October - best time to visit

Weather in October – 5 to 16 degrees

If you’re looking to experience autumn, there’s no better place to do it than Budapest in October.
Sunrises and Sunsets continue to be amazing, and while it starts getting colder it’s just about right so that you’re not freezing!
Since it’s shoulder season and the summer crowds have left, prices are a little lower and the streets emptier.
Another reason to visit during October is the newly launched chimney cake festival week in October.
The chimney cake is synonymous with Budapest, and any visitor who has been will have seen spiral shaped cakes being baked over coals by slowly rotating them continuously.  This event is aimed to promote these cakes and be both fun and delicious!
Travellers visiting during this time can get to know more about the sweet, spiral-shaped ‘kürtőskalács’, a pastry traditional and quite popular in Hungary. The festival also offers a wide variety of chimney cakes for visitors to try, prepared over charcoal or fried in oil, plain or rolled into various toppings.
The event is aimed at all age groups hence baking contests, drawing contests, magic shows are also some of the other events that will be held.

Visiting Budapest in November

By Sonja at Migrating Miss

Budapest Hungary - Houses of Parliament

Weather in November – 1 to 8 degrees

November is a great time to visit Budapest. The temperature does drop down to highs of 8 degrees and lows of 1, but it’s not quite as cold yet as the other winter months in Eastern Europe. When I visited Budapest in November the days were sunny but crisp, and I was able to wrap up and still enjoy seeing the sights of the city. You can always warm up at one of the many thermal baths too!

November is also part of the shoulder season in Budapest, between the busier summer months and the Christmas season. Prices of flights and accommodation can be lower and there are less other tourists around, which is great for visiting popular places like the thermal baths and Fisherman’s Bastion.

However, the Christmas markets in Budapest do start from the second week in November, which means you can enjoy them early without as many people! Head to Vörösmarty Square for the main market, where you’ll find a central stage with lots of shows and activities happening, as well as stalls with hand-crafted products and delicious Hungarian food. Warm up with a goulash and be sure to try a “Kürtőskalács”, or chimney cake, one of my favourite things about November in Budapest!

Visiting Budapest in December

By Eniko at Travel Hacker Girl

Best time to visit Budapest - December
Weather in December – Minus 2 to 4 degrees

Visiting Budapest in December is a great choice as the whole city is in the Christmas spirit at this point. You can visit Christmas markets, go ice skating at a pop-up ice rink or enjoy the beautifully decorated shops and streets.

The evenings are the most magical when the Christmas lights are switched on throughout the city. Andrássy street is the most beautiful in my opinion.

Although one of the most popular Christmas markets is at Vörösmarty Square. You can try traditional Hungarian food here. Don’t miss the famous lángos and chimney cake! Of course, you will need to drink as well. Hot chocolate and mulled wine are my favourite options in the winter months! You can also wander around the stalls and buy some presents for your loved ones. All the products sold there are handmade, making them very special and unique.

The downside of visiting Budapest in the winter is how chilly it is. The temperature can often drop below zero. To warm yourself up I suggest going ice skating in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica or visiting the 360 rooftop bar. They install heated see-through igloos for the winter, so you can enjoy the gorgeous views.

Still trying to plan your Budapest trip and wondering when the best time to visit is? Ask me any questions in the comments below

Best time to visit Budapest
Best time to visit Budapest
Best time to visit Budapest

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