The Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square and by the Stephen’s Basilica both opened on November 17th. We were there during the opening weekend to check out what’s happening and what’s new in 2023. Of course, instead of writing about it, we will show you quite a lot of pictures as a picture of tells you more than a thousand words.
If you want to read general information about the Christmas markets in Budapest, click the link for a detailed article with information about the location of the Christmas markets, the dates for the Budapest Christmas markets, what to eat at the Christmas markets, hotel recommendations, and so much more.
Just like in 2022, the popular train for kids has returned to the Vörösmarty square. It is entirely free to ride and kids can enjoy two rounds before they have to go back in line to get back on the train again.
In the middle of Vörösmarty Square, there is a possibility to join some online games in which you compete with other people at the Christmas market. You need to scan the QR code and create a profile in order to take part. If you are lucky, you might even win some prizes.
By Stephen’s Basilica, the popular ice rink has returned.
Besides these additional programs, you will find all the popular stalls serving traditional Hungarian dishes, and of course, lots of stalls where you can buy handicrafts, sweets, and cool souvenirs from Hungary.
What are you waiting for? Come to Budapest and experience the Christmas markets yourself!
Are you looking for the dates for the popular Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square in Budapest in 2023? You are not the only one! We have nearly 1000 people coming daily to our page to find the dates for the Christmas markets in Budapest, and it is quite unfortunate that we don’t have a clue when the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square will open. We don’t even know if it will open at all. That would be a tragedy, knowing that tens of thousands of tourists come to Budapest every year to experience the fantastic Christmas markets.
Let us first cheer you up. The dates for the Christmas market in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica are official, meaning there will be a fantastic Christmas market in Budapest worth visiting, even though there will be no market at the Vörösmarty Square. You can find the dates for the other Christmas markets in Budapest here.
But, we all know that the Vörösmarty Square Christmas market is the most famous and most popular in Budapest. What is causing the delay? Why haven’t the dates for the Christmas market been announced yet?
UPDATE! The dates are now here. The Christmas market at Vörösarty Square will open on November 17th and be open until December 31. More information here.
For a long time, Budapest Brand was the company arranging the Christmas market at the square. This has changed recently, and since the fifth district of Budapest is responsible, things are really slow and maybe even causing nothing to happen at all. We don’t know why, and even though we have sent requests and questions to the local government asking for information, we still haven’t received any replies to our questions.
As a result, we still don’t know if there will be any Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square in Budapest in 2023 or not. That is sad for many reasons.
Think about the following…
The biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in Budapest takes place at Vörösmarty Square. The stalls and the stage at the square give the necessary surroundings for such a celebration to take place. Without the Christmas market (which normally closes at January 1), the square just becomes a large and empty square.
Tens of thousands of people travel to Budapest in November and December using the Christmas markets as an excuse to visit the city. With no dates released, they are much more likely to visit neighboring cities with fantastic Christmas markets such as Prague, Vienna, or Bratislava.
Many local artists prepare and produce for the annual Christmas markets in Budapest. It is a great place to sell their art and handicrafts. Without the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square, many will have to look elsewhere to find places to sell their products.
Tens of thousands of tourists spend lots of money on accommodation and all other services and products in Budapest. Instead of supporting the people of Hungary and the businesses (hotels, restaurants, stores, and more), this will end up in other countries. Quite a pity knowing that the only thing needed for the money to come to Hungary would be a Christmas market at the most popular square in town.
We do hope there will be a Christmas market at the main square of Budapest. They were very late publishing the dates in 2022, so we might just see the same happening over again. Our only fear is that many people have already ordered their plane tickets, and seeing that no dates are published for the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square, they may have decided to go elsewhere where the dates have been published months ago (like in Vienna, Krakow, Prague, and other cities).
We will update our Budapest Guide as soon as we get more information and find out more about what’s going on. Normally, the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square would open on November 10 or November 17 (the second or third Friday of November), but that doesn’t look very likely at the moment.
If you have comments or questions, please write them below. We would love to hear from you!
Bisected by the Danube River, the Hungarian capital is one of Europe’s must-visit destinations. Its storied past is captured through engaging museums and architectural wonders, with much of the city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting Budapest is not just about taking a fascinating step back into the past but discovering the vibrant festivals and events that take place throughout the year.
In this article, discover what you can expect during each of the seasons in Budapest to help figure out the best time to visit. While the official tourist season runs from May through to September, there are plenty of reasons to visit outside of this period, including Christmas festivities, musical celebrations and national holidays.
Once you’ve decided on dates, be sure to book your Budapest accommodation as early as possible. You’ll find a good range of choices online via a mobile-friendly holiday rental platform such as Rentola Budapest. It lists apartments and homes in all corners of the city, from the Castle District to the Jewish Quarter and Belvaros, so you don’t have to waste time searching multiple sites. With Budapest’s efficient network of buses, trams, boats, and trains, you’ll never be far from all the action.
Winter in Budapest
December is a wonderful time to visit Budapest when the city is beautifully illuminated with lights and Christmas markets bring a festive atmosphere to the streets. While exploring the city, you can stop for a warming mulled wine and pick up freshly roasted chestnuts or feast on the sweet local specialty, Kürtőskalács.
After the New Year’s celebrations and gala concert at the Vigadó Concert Hall, things quieten down in January as Budapest’s festival season comes to a close. This is a great time to visit without the crowds and score cheap accommodation deals, although the weather may not be in your favor. Generally speaking, gray, cold, and wet conditions are the norm throughout January and February, with some museums and attractions reducing their hours.
Winter temperatures in Budapest range from an average low in January of -3°C to a November high of 8°C.
Spring in Budapest
March marks the start of spring as Budapest’s almond trees begin to blossom, as well as heralding in the city’s concert and theater season. It’s a great time for art and culture enthusiasts to visit the city, particularly around Easter when religious festivities are in full swing.
In March/April, the Budapest Spring Festival takes place, with more than 200 events igniting all corners of the city. From jazz to world music and contemporary dance, there’s something for everyone. Jewish culture is celebrated across a two-week festival in May while local microbreweries are the focus of Budapest Beer Week.
Spring temperatures in Budapest range from an average low in March of 2°C to an average May high of 22°C.
Summer in Budapest
Despite being the official start of summer, June can be a wet month in Budapest with predictable showers and storms. Many of the city’s museums open their doors throughout the night in honor of the summer solstice and it’s always fun to experience Budapest coming to life after dark. June also hosts the annual Danube Carnival, which features everything from Hungarian folk performances to contemporary dance.
July is one of the busiest months in Budapest, with Hungarian schools breaking for the summer holidays and temperatures at their peak. While many residents head out of the city to relax on the shores of Lake Balaton, international visitors flock in to explore Budapest’s architectural landmarks and museums. The first weekend in July is a riot of color as the annual Pride Parade takes to the streets.
If you’re planning on visiting Budapest in August, it’s essential that you book your accommodation well in advance and be prepared for crowds at many of the city’s biggest attractions. Not only does the Hungarian Grand Prix take place during the month (sometimes it is in the end of July instead) but also one ofEurope’s largest music festivals, Sziget. Fireworks illuminate the skies on August 20 to mark St Stephen’s Day.
Summer temperatures in Budapest range from an average low in June of 14°C to an average July high of 27°C.
Autumn in Budapest
With kids back at school, September is a quieter month in Budapest but the weather is still warm and pleasant for exploring the city. If you’re intowine tasting, coincide your visit with the Budapest Wine Festival, which takes place in the atmospheric Castle District.
October provides a wonderful opportunity to see the changing colors and experience another gastronomic celebration, the Budapest Palinka and Sausage Festival. It’s also a great time for design and art enthusiasts, with cultural events held across the city as part of CAFe Budapest.
November begins with All Saints Day when Hungarians visit their loved ones’ graves before a period of rest in preparation for the Christmas season.
Autumn temperatures in Budapest range from an average low in November of around 1°C to an average September high of 22°C.
There are lots of articles online telling you six reasons to visit Budapest, ten hidden gems in Budapest, seven mistakes not to make in Budapest, and 33 things you must eat while in Budapest. If you eat all those things, you will probably get stomach problems and have difficulty traveling home, but the intention behind it is good! This article, however, wants to give you five reasons to join a running competition in Budapest. Are you ready to be inspired?
Not many think about exercising and running as they plan their trip to Budapest. Instead, they read about the fantastic attractions such as the Hungarian Parliament, the Gellert Hill, and the Castle district. Then they read about those amazing activities such as a river cruise on the Danube, a relaxing bath in the Szechenyi thermal bath, and a wine tasting in a wine cellar or in a wine bar.
But, let us turn things around and make your trip to Budapest even more interesting, inspiring, healthy, and challenging!
Things get better when you invest your time and energy!
It is a well-known fact that things get better and more interesting if you invest. A football match becomes way more interesting if you bet 1 euro on the outcome compared to just watching without anything at stake. If you spend three hours reading about Hungarian history before your arrival you will understand much more when you see the different buildings and hear about the different kings and historical incidents on guided tours, during your river cruise, or elsewhere. In other words, investing time and energy gives you more in return… that is a general principle!
But, what does that have to do with joining a running competition in Budapest?
1. You have a goal with your trip to Budapest!
If you register for a running competition in Budapest you visit the Hungarian capital with a vision. The goal isn’t just to arrive, have fun, and leave, but it is about more. You want to accomplish something. Maybe your goal is to run a 5km race? Or are you coming to run 10k, or maybe a half-marathon or a marathon? There are many possibilities, but they all mean that you need to pack your clothes differently. You need to make space for running shoes, some running clothes, and maybe your lucky drinking bottle.
If you run in a competition in Budapest you suddenly get a different perspective. Your trip isn’t just about consuming, it is about experiencing, giving, and most of all, living!
2. Your trip starts months before you travel to Budapest.
If you come to run in Budapest, your trip starts months before you fly to Budapest (or travel by car, train, or bus). From the first moment, you will start to think about your future travel and prepare for it. As you run up and down the streets of your hometown, as you visit parks, lakes, and mountains to prepare your body, you will have Budapest on your mind. This will give a special focus on your trip, and you will also spend lots of time meditating on what you can expect during your days in Hungary.
3. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet with locals!
Running competitions are fantastic. They have a special atmosphere, and it is a fantastic way to meet locals. Many running competitions have after-parties in which you can dance, sing, drink, and have fun together with the other runners. Even though there are lots of internationals partaking in the different competitions, most runners come from Hungary. As a result, it is a wonderful chance to have a chat with locals, ask them about politics, get some authentic recommendations, and maybe drink a cold beer together with your new friends.
Maybe your running experience in Budapest will mean the start of some brand-new friendships.
4. It is healthy, and maybe a start of something new in your life!
Moving your body is healthy. It will have a good effect on your body, and there are many other benefits to running. Did you know that running is good for your brain and for improving your memory? Running releases endorphins in your body, by many referred to as the happiness hormone. Your heart will also be happy to pump blood at a higher pace in your body. If you are brand new to running, you might want to consult a doctor or some other professional before you start, just to get some good advice on how to start training and preparing for the running competition in Budapest.
After running in Budapest, you will most likely fall in love with running competitions. As you return home, it will only take a few days before you start looking for more running competitions; maybe in Budapest or maybe in some other city in Europe? There are lots of running competitions all across Europe. If you like Budapest, you will probably enjoy the city of Prague with all its running competitions as well!
Maybe this is the start of a new era in which you travel all around the world to run in all sorts of running competitions.
5. You get to explore the city while running!
As you come to Budapest, you probably plan to see the most important sights and buildings in the city. Did you know that many of the running competitions take place in the center of Budapest? As a result, you will see the beautiful attractions and buildings while running up and down the streets of Budapest. It is also very common to use the lower roads along the Danube, which means you can enjoy the magnificent Danube panorama towards the Buda and the Pest side while running. If you join one of the evening races, you might even see the magnificent buildings of Budapest beautifully illuminated while running. Believe me, it will give you an extra boost that will make it even better and more memorable to run.
Do you feel inspired to register for a running competition in Budapest? You can read more about upcoming events in our Budapest calendar. There you can also get information about concerts, festivals, and other things that will happen in the Hungarian capital in the future.
Many people come to Budapest with limited time. Maybe you only have 48 hours in the Hungarian capital. What are the most important places to visit? Which are the activities it would be a mistake to skip? Is the Margaret island worth a couple of hours during your trip to Budapest?
We have just updated our guide to Margaret island in our Budapest Guide. We have included what we believe are ten of the most convincing reasons to visit the island as you come to Budapest. If you read the article and think that it isn’t for you, then it probably isn’t worth prioritizing.
But, if you read the article and think this sounds fun, then you should probably add Margaret island to your itinerary. Are you ready to learn more about what the island has to offer?
Do not forget that you can read about many other cool activities, programs, and attractions in Budapest in our Budapest Guide. If you are looking for events taking place in Budapest during your trip to the city, look at our Budapest calendar to find out what’s going on.
Many Hollywood movies show families sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Suddenly they hear someone knocking on the door, and there he is, Santa Claus. He has a bag full of presents and Christmas is here. This normally happens on December 24th but in some places on December 25th. In other places, Santa Claus comes on his sleigh during the night, making sure that all presents are in place by the time everybody wakes up on December 25th. What’s going on in Hungary? It is actually very different!
Hungary has some similarities with the Netherlands because their Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) arrives with presents on December 5/6. In Hungary, all kids wash their shoes on December 5th, knowing that Santa Claus will arrive during the night with sweets and other nice things during the night (if the shoes are nice and clean). In other words, Santa Claus comes on December 6th in Hungary. For many people in the Netherlands, the big Christmas present thing ends on December 6th, but that isn’t so in Hungary.
Jesus brings the presents on December 24.
There are different traditions, but many add to the magic the fact that the angels bring the Christmas tree to the different houses. Then you have the interesting thing. If you visit Budapest on December 24 and walk up and down the streets between 12.00 and 15.00, you will see lots of parents and/or grandparents out walking with kids. Why is that? They need to leave the house around this time in order for Jesus to come to the houses with all the presents.
As the kids return, the tree is decorated, and hopefully, there are lots of presents beneath it.
What does it mean that Jesus brings the presents?
First of all, it isn’t a tradition among kids to tell their parents and family what they want to get from the different persons in their surroundings. They only prepare a list that they tell their parents about, who later tell Jesus about all those wishes. Under the Christmas tree, you will seldom see stickers saying “To Tom”, and “From Mum&Dad.” The reason is simple, Jesus brought the presents, so it would be “wrong” to add such name stickers to the presents.
As the children get older, they understand what is really going on, but most Hungarians love this tradition, and they speak with glimpses in their eyes about the time when they believed Jesus was the one actually bringing the presents.
Google Maps is your friend, at least so we think. But, if you are coming by train to Kelenföldi Pályaudvar or you reside somewhere else on the Buda side, and you plan on approaching the Athletics Stadium on bike or by roller, then you shouldn’t listen to Google Maps (at the moment). Find out how to get to the stadium safely!
What is the problem with this suggestion? The problem comes as you get to the Rákoczi bridge because Google suggests you use your bike and drive across the bridge together with the cars (which is both dangerous and illegal). In other words, you will stand amazed and very insecure if as you get to the bridge based on the suggestions made by Google.
You don’t have to avoid Google entirely, but instead of having Google suggest a bicycle road for you, pretend as if you are walking. You will then be shown the right path to take you safely across the bridge on the road made for those walking, skating, bicycling, or using a roller.
What will happen when during the World Athletics Championship in Budapest? When is your favorite event taking place? Here you can see a full overview of all events taking place during the event. All times are according to the local time in Budapest of the different events.
Budapest is hosting the World Championship in Athletics during the summer of 2023. It is the biggest event ever arranged in Hungary, and a brand new stadium awaits athletes and the audience. But how can you easily get to the stadium? Can I park my car by the stadium?
We have written a thorough article about the World Championship in Athletics in our Budapest Guide, and there you will find lots of information about the event and also answers to frequently asked questions. We have touched on traveling to the stadium, but in this article, we will give you more in-depth answers.
Can I park my car by the Athletics Stadium?
If you come to Budapest by car to look at the World Athletics Championships, then you probably know that finding a parking lot might be a problem. There is no big parking lot next to the stadium. What should you do then?
There are several options.
1:) Park your car elsewhere and use public transportation.
This is a great option, and it might be the easiest solution. In other words, travel to the city center of Budapest, with tram line number 2 to the end station, and walk to the stadium from there. You can read more about public transportation options later on in this article.
2:) Go shopping in OBI.
There is a OBI store (do it yourself retailer) close to the stadium. This parking lot might get packed during the event, but it might be a solution (OBI will probably not endorse this option, so don’t tell them that we came up with the suggestion). Buy a hammer and some other necessary accessories, leave your car in the parking lot, and walk to the stadium.
3:) Park your car in TESCO
A TESCO store at Soroksari út is very close to the venue. Here you pay for your parking based on the length of your stay. It is very cheap, so it will not cost a fortune, and it might be the best solution for those arriving to Budapest by car for an evening or a daytime event.ű
I want to get to the stadium by taxi!
Things are very easy if you want to use a taxi to get to the stadium. Find a taxi, book a taxi via your hotel or restaurant, and let them drive you to the stadium. There will for sure be many pirate taxies around the stadium, so only use taxies you have ordered yourself, or taxies belonging to an acknowledged company such as Radio Taxi, or you can use the service BOLT.
I want to use public transportation.
Several buses, trams, and trains (HEV) are traveling near the Athletics stadium. The best options for getting to the stadium is by using tram line number 1 or 2 and then leaving the tram at the stop Közvágóhíd. Tram number two travels along the Danube, making it Budapest’s most beautiful tram ride. This is the ideal tram if you live in the city center of Budapest.
Tram number one travels along the big ring in Budapest, making it a great solution if you live nearby this popular ring in Budapest. It starts on the Buda side near the Árpad bridge, and ends up on the Buda side again by the Kelenfoldi railway station (along the way, it travels on the Pest side and stops next to the Athletics stadium).
You can travel with the green train number 7 (HEV) to the stop Müpa – Nemzeti Színház. A public transportation boat will also travel to the Athletics stadium during the World Championship in Athletics.
Can I travel by bike to the stadium?
It is possible to travel by bike to the new Athletics Stadium in Budapest. There are many places for parking your bicycle near the stadium, and there are fairly good bicycle roads leading to the stadium. Of course, the bicycle roads in Budapest cannot be compared to those in cities such as Amsterdam, but they are improving little by little, and it is possible to use a bicycle to get to the stadium.
That’s it. You are now ready to travel to the stadium during the Worl Athletics Championships in Budapest. Do not forget to be early to the stadium, and be prepared for delays during entrance to the stadium and with public transportation (something that might happen when thousands of people travel to the stadium with public transportation simultaneously).
If you have any comments or questions, write them below! If you want to read more about other events, concerts, festivals, and markets in Budapest, take a look at this page.
Budapest is a fantastic city, and it isn’t a coincidence that you found this article. You are looking for information and inspiration because you want to visit Budapest in the future. The enchanting capital of Hungary awaits, but there are a few things you should think through before you arrive. This article will give you tips on six mistakes you should avoid making in Budapest!
There are different ways to define a mistake. Not all the mistakes you make in Budapest are bad, and if you look at an error from the proper perspective, it might make you more prosperous and come home with even more memories. Read on, and you will soon understand what we mean!
Six mistakes to avoid in Budapest.
Are you ready? Here we go!
Don’t be too proud to ask for help and advice.
There are things locals know that you don’t know. What is evident to them may be unclear to you. It is a joy to discover a city on your own, and many find it charming to spend hours trying to find a location only to discover that they could have reached it in 5-10 minutes had they asked the receptionist at the hotel or some other local.
Many tourists love to travel by public transportation from the airport. It is much easier to travel with a taxi, but it feels more authentic to travel the way the locals do. As a result, only some people want the easiest solutions and the fastest ways between A and B.
However, sometimes pride can be too big, and you spend way too much energy and time on something that would have been much easier with some tips and advice from a local. Maybe you plan on using a bus to reach an attraction that you could have reached much easier using a tram or a metro line. Or what if you spend all day trying to reach a shopping mall where you can find a Zara store, only to realize that one was located a few hundred meters from your hotel?
What do we mean? It is often wise to ask locals for advice and help. It is fun to discover a city on your own and make mistakes in the process. You often see much more due to your mistakes, which is one of the most charming experiences during a holiday in Budapest. But be humble enough to realize when enough is enough, and it is time to ask someone for help!
Don’t change money in the shopping street or at the airport!
The local currency in Budapest is HUF, Hungarian Forint. As Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, it was expected that the Euro would be introduced within a few years. We were wrong! We are far into the 2020s, and the Euro is nowhere, at least not as an official currency.
It is possible to pay with Euro in most stores, but you will often pay more than you would using the Hungarian Forint. The exchange rates used by stores are poor, which means that you, as a tourist pay a higher price for the same product if you decide to pay in Euro.
Consequently, it is wise to pay with the HUF whenever possible. How can you get some HUF in your wallet? The easiest is to use an ATM or an exchange office. But if you decide to use an exchange office, do not use those at the airport or in the shopping street Váci utca. The exchange rates there are unfavorable, making you pay much more than elsewhere. A good piece of advice is to compare the prices at 2-3 exchange offices and select the one with the best rates based on what you see. Otherwise, using an ATM is often easy and quick, and you get a good exchange rate.
We should mention that the Hungarian Forint is quite strong at the time of writing. The price of 1 Euro is about 370 Forint. Not all restaurants and cafés have remade their menus to reflect these changes. As a result, you will find a few places in Budapest where they wrote banners and menus during a weak Forint period in which 1 euro equalled 430 Forint. This is interesting because they created a banner that said that a Chimney Cake’s price is 800 HUF or 2 Euro. Back then, you would have paid more for the product if you paid in euros. The banner still says the same, but today 2 euros is only 740 HUF. In other words, you get the product cheaper if you pay in euros.
In other words, look at the exchange rate before you arrive because knowing it will give you an advantage whenever you decide whether to pay with Euro or with Forint.
Only use a taxi whenever needed, and choose your taxi wisely.
Ten years ago, the taxis in Budapest had a terrible reputation. Things have improved, but there are still things you should watch out for whenever you use a taxi in Budapest. But let us also tell you one thing first… you don’t need to use cabs in Budapest frequently. Why is that?
Budapest’s most important sights and attractions are located in the fifth district of Budapest or very close to the district. It is easy to reach this district and area using any of the four metro lines in Budapest and getting off at stops such as Astoria, Kalvin tér, Fövarm ter, Deak Ferenc tér, or Kossuth tér.
Once you are in this area, all other attractions in the area are available within less than 2 kilometers of walking (most are much closer). Here you will find fantastic restaurants, cafés, bars, and of course, popular attractions such as the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, the Danube, the most famous bridges, and by walking across the street into the seventh district of Budapest you can see the Great Synagogue and the Hungarian National Museum.
What are we trying to say? The inner city of Budapest is fantastic and if you have some energy in your body, you can easily walk around on foot without using public transportation or taxis.
Two popular areas fall outside this category: the City Park and the Castle area. If you want to visit them, consider using a taxi. But if you visit Budapest, you should travel with the second-oldest subway in Europe! This metro dates back in 1896 and it connects Vörösmarty tér (the end of the shopping street) with the City Park. As a result, you can experience the fantastic metro and see the City Park simultaneously. Isn’t that cool? Not only is it a nicer way to travel to the City Park, it is also cheaper! Do not forget to validate your ticket beforehand; if not, you might make another mistake that the controllers love to punish!
A nice way to go to the castle area is by walking across the Chain Bridge (the oldest bridge between Buda and Pest) and then walk up the hill yourself. It is possible to use the funicular, but it is unnecessarily expensive and you spend more time standing in line than the time of the ride itself.
Once you have reached the castle area, feel free to travel by taxi back to the Pest side. Another option is to walk, or you can use one of the castle buses connecting the castle area with Deak Ferenc tér on the Pest side.
If you decide to use a taxi in Budapest.
You don’t need to use taxies a lot in Budapest. But if you need one, is there anything you need to watch out for?
Generally, it is wise to order a taxi from the hotel you live in or via the restaurant you are in. They have partners who guarantee normal fees on your taxi ride.
Another option is to use the Bolt application. Here you order the taxi yourself and you get an estimated price making it an easy-to-use application with few surprises. The prices are good, making it one of the cheapest taxi options in Budapest.
You should be careful catching cabs on the street just waiting for passengers to come. If you still do, look for one with a big phone number and a brand name on the side of the taxi. If all you can see is a yellow cab with a taxi sign on the roof and nothing else, you should look for another taxi instead.
Take some risks whenever you eat!
It isn’t dangerous to eat and drink in Budapest. Some people believe that the tap water is dangerous in Budapest, but it isn’t. You can drink and enjoy life without worrying. What do we mean then?
It is easy to choose the safe road as you visit a restaurant or buy food at a market in Budapest. The Wiener Schnitzel is fantastic, and so is a good Italian pizza, but we have seen it before and tasted it before. Still, many people end up ordering the safe and well-known instead of taking some risks. It is understandable, especially if you travel with kids, but leave your comfort zone and try something new!
When you return to work after your trip to Budapest, people will immediately ask you: “What was it like? Did you enjoy the city? What did you eat and drink?”
What sounds cooler, if you tell them that you ate a Big Mac in McDonald’s, a pizza in Vapiano, and drank some Coca-Cola next to your meals, or if you tell them that you ate a “hen testicle stew with homemade noodles”, or that you tasted the special Hungarian sausages, some fried goose liver, or maybe a real authentic Hungarian Goulash soup? Then you can tell them about the Hungarian Fruit spirits (Pálinka), followed by a Hungarian liquor named Opium (which contains poppy seeds), or that you have tasted the world-famous sweet white wine from the Tokaj region. There are endless opportunities, but you will only discover them if you leave your comfort zone and dare to order some risky food at restaurants and markets you visit.
Don’t think Budapest goes to bed at 24:00.
It is amazing to accompany people to the airport after some days in Budapest. Some have barely been sleeping, while others say all lights were turned off, and bars and restaurants were closed at 24:00. As a result, they went to bed like everyone else.
What is the difference between the two stories and the two impressions? Haven’t they been to the same city? The answer is that they have all been to Budapest, but if you don’t know where to look, it may feel as if Budapest goes to bed at midnight.
If your goal is to discover Budapest by day and sleep at night, just skip the next part of this article. If you, however, want to experience Budapest by night, the following information is crucial.
While the fifth district of Budapest is the most popular during the daytime, it gets quite quiet and dead after midnight. Would you like the party to go on? Leave the fifth district and enter the seventh district (close to the Great Synagogue). Here you can find some of the best bars in the world, including Budapest’s super-famous ruin bars. The most famous of them all is Szimpla Kert which is located in Kazinczy utca. Walk up and down this neighborhood and you will meet crowds of people walking between bars and nightclubs in an excellent mood.
Now you know where to find the parties after midnight! But remember to get some sleep because Budapest has a lot to offer during the daytime as well!
Plan ahead! Do you have any special desires for your days in Budapest?
During our guided tours, we often share information about exciting programs and activities in Budapest, and we also talk about popular restaurants, cafés, bars, and other places worth visiting in Budapest. Many guests start to discuss which programs they want to try themselves, but often we have to tell them that this restaurant is fully booked for the following days, or that the given program must be booked days ahead.
You can visit the famous thermal baths of Budapest every day without any preliminary booking. The same is true about the New York Confectionary. You might need to stay in line to get your ticket or entrance, but if you are patient, you will get in!
The same is only sometimes true regarding popular restaurants in Budapest. These are often fully booked days ahead, especially during holidays and big events. Suppose you come in the middle of the summer, or during the Formula 1 weekend, or during the Easter holiday, or during the Christmas market season. In that case, restaurants are frequently fully booked days ahead.
Finding a restaurant with a free table in Budapest isn’t hard. Still, suppose you have a burning desire to eat a medieval meal accompanied by belly dancing in Sir Lancelot. In that case, you might find it disappointing to eat a Goulash Soup accompanied by Gypsy music in a traditional Hungarian restaurant instead, as there were no free tables in Sir Lancelot.