After January comes February and with February comes another month not listed as a favorite month among those working with tourists. And that is why February can be such a great month to visit Budapest – you will be a treasured guest in this period of the year!
First of all Budapest welcomes you with great hotel prices in February. I just checked some prices writing this article and if I would look for a five star hotel in Budapest in February I could get 4 nights in Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal Budapest (often said to be the most luxurious five star hotel in Budapest) for only 280 Euro. This is a special price, because normally other five star hotels cost about 110 Euro per night in this period, but still; you can get some amazing prices on Budapest hotels if you come in February.
Programs in Budapest in February
As you arrive to Budapest in February you should not expect loads of programs to wait for you. The traditional folklore performances have still not really started, so if you want to see some traditional Hungarian folklore you better visit a restaurant with folklore shows. An example of such a restaurant is Matyas Pince as they have folklore shows every Wednesday and Thursday. The restaurant is not at all my favorite restaurant, but if you want traditional food combined with gipsy music and folklore, it works.
There are river cruises on the Danube every day in February. If you stroll along the Danube you will find different offers. If you are going on such a cruise, make sure to do it in the evening, that is when you get the ultimate Budapest by night experience.
SPA and shopping
February is a cold month with an average temperature of 0 Celsius, so if you are freezing and want some hours with 100% relaxation, then a SPA treatment could do you well. If you book a cheap five star hotel know that you can find much cheaper treatments around than inside your hotel. You could for example consider a visit to Szechenyi Furdo to enjoy hot springs and a massage there, or you can visit one of the private SPAs around in Budapest. The city has thai massage, traditional massage and lots of beauty saloons around, so there are plenty to choose from.
February is a great month to visit one of the many shopping malls in Budapest. Inside these you can spend hour upon hour just looking around, especially if you are a girl/lady. The biggest center is Arena Plaza and here you can also grab some nice food, drink a coffee in Starbucks, buy groceries in Tesco and why not see a new film in the VIP cinema where you can eat as much popcorn and drink as much as you want, it’s included in the price. That is a perfect February activity!
Mangalitsa, mangalitza, mangalica or curly-hair hog, call it and write it whatever way you feel like, but if you want to get to know a part of Hungarian gastronomy that is important, the mangalica festival is a great place to go in February. At the festival you can of course eat a lot of mangalica sausage, salami and ham, drink a lot of Palinka and other Hungarians goodies and get to meet with other locals and tourists. The festival is arranged at the Szabadsag square (not far from the Hungarian Parliament) from February 8th – 10th in 2013. The entrance is free, so you should absolutely check it out, because this is the only large festival and event like this arranged in Budapest in February.
A good advice in general is to use the opportunity as you visit Budapest in February to eat in a lot of restaurants and to taste a whole lot of Hungarian specialties. Why not go to a wine tasting or Palinka tasting? Another trendy activity are cooking schools. There are quite a lot of them around in Budapest as of know and in these you get to prepare Hungarian food together with an experienced cook. As the food is prepared you can of course eat it together with your friends.
Maybe you have a secret wish to know more about how the Hungarians live and what they eat? If so I just noticed a great program named family visit.” The family invite you to their home where they prepare traditional food for you, chat with you (as best as they can) and you can see what a normal Hungarian home looks like.
Thoughts on the weather in February
It can be very cold, but if you are lucky you can catch days with 5-10 Celsius. Check out the weather forecast before your arrival, and a good advice is to have a warm jacket in your suitcase. If it gets cold, it can get really cold!