Maybe the month of the year with the least tourists in Budapest January is a challenging time for everyone working and living of tourism. For some times is the time to gain strength and inspiration while relaxing, but for others this is the time fighting to get bread on the table. Still, there are some great advices waiting for you as you read this article dealing with Budapest in January. Read on, and find out more about the weather in January, about cool activities, things worth doing and other useful info.
Weather in January in Budapest
January is a quite cold month, maybe the coldest of all months in Budapest. The month has an average temperature around -1 Celsius, but the most extreme temperature measured in Budapest in this month was -25,6 Celsius. The warmest temperature was more than 15 Celsius, so there is a quite large diversity in the temperatures. But, in general the temperature should be somewhere beneath 0. This temperature is quite nice, but in case of heavy wind you should be prepared with a nice scarf, warm jacket, good shoes and something to cover your ears.
Is there any snow in Budapest in January? In general the answer is no, but snow can fall from time to time. In those cases it general goes away within a day or two. It is not a coincidence that Hungary is not known for the winter sport skills… they have nowhere to practice!
What to do in January in Budapest?
After an amazing December month with Christmas markets and lots of activities in all of Budapest January feels quite empty. But there are certain activities waiting for you in this month as well, and here are some of the things we would recommend to do if we were to visit Budapest as tourists in January.
A guided tour in Budapest is a great investment and it is something that will give you lots of knowledge about the city that you did not know before. But, due to the large distances in Budapest and also the climate, all guided tours in Budapest in January should be arranged using a private car or a bus. A private tour is probably better because then you are controlling it yourself, which means that you do not need to wait outside for 30 minutes for the next hop on-hop off bus dropping by and so on.
Hot springs and relaxing massage
- Hot springs in Budapest in January
When it is cold outside it is so nice to enjoy a hot thermal bath and of course a luxury massage. You can combine a visit to the Szechenyi Furdo or the Gellert Furdo with some kind of treatment, or you could find a private SPA somewhere specializing on relaxing treatments. Many hotels offer such services, but do not forget that the nicer hotels take much higher prices for these services than if you decide to visit a private SPA somewhere else in Budapest. If you want a nice treatment combined with hot springs in either Gellert or the Szechenzi bath, you can book such activities here.
Listen to Opera
January is a perfect month for music lovers to visit the Hungarian State Opera. This beautiful building from 1884 offer daily programs in this month of the year (almost) and if you do not like Opera you can still enjoy the delicious wine served in the bar while gazing around inside the beautiful building. You can even imagine what it felt like as several scenes to the famous film Evita was recorded here with Madonna as the main actress!
Go ice skating
The wonderful ice skating rink in the City Park of Budapest is one of the top activities available in January. You do not need to bring ice skates, so get on the second oldest metro in Europe (the yellow), travel to Heroes Square and walk to the entrance of the ice skating rink from there. As you pay the entrance fee you can also rent a pair of skates, and in not long time you will be able to go ice skating with nice background music in the surroundings of the Vajdahunyad castle. Tickets to the ice skating rink cost between 1200-1400 HUF per person (cheaper on Mondays and Tuesdays). Renting of skates come in addition to the entrance fee. The place is normally closed between 14.00 and 16.00 every day. Our recommendation is to go in the evening, because it is so nice and romantic in the evening!
Other pieces of advice
All across the world January is a month of shopping. Many stores have great sales after Christmas, and so it is in Budapest. Mostly wherever you go you will find signs telling of great discounts, or „akció” as we would say in Hungary. While walking around shopping you can mingle with the locals in any pub along the street. On a cold day the Hungarians love to taste and drink some Palinka (fruit spirit), it will for sure bring some warmth to your inner man.
If you want to enjoy some fresh air and maybe to play in the snow (on one of those few snowy days), then you should travel to Zugliget from Szell Kalman square (former Moszkva tér) with bus 158 or from Nyugati Pályaudvar with bus 291. As you reach your destination you can take a very enjoyable chair lift lasting 12 minutes with very nice view. On the top you can walk to the Elizabeth lookout tower and enjoy the view and take some nice photos. The return ticket with the chair lift cost about 1300 HUF per person.
If you plan on visiting Szentendre in January it is worth knowing that some shops there are closed in January. Still, most of the time is awake and well, so this should not make you cancel the tour, but it is nice to be prepared!
Where to live in Budapest in January?
When coming in January you might spend some time inside your hotel, so why not go for a classy and cheap five star hotel in Budapest in January? Since January is a poor month for tourism most hotels offer great rooms at very love prices, so you will seldom fine cheaper hotels in Budapest than in January. In the following article you can find good advices on great five star hotels with good location, ideal for Budapest in January.
Have you been to Budapest in January? What did you do? Do you have anything to recommend our readers coming to the Hungarian capital in the coldest month of the year?