It will be REALLY, REALLY cold ! But in my experience, it will snow like crazy for a while then it’s just frozen by the edge of the road for a month and its clear and beautiful. Budapest is the most beautiful city in the world (but then I am biased because used to live there!) The most fun things to do are mostly wandering around and enjoying the fun, lively spirit of the Hungarian people! Vorosmarty Ter is a great city square to get to by subway, tram or bus and lots of food, shopping, people watching ! The Vaci Utca is the pedestrian ‘mall’ but unless you can afford Rodeo Drive prices, just enjoy the window shopping! Definately the art museum down by Heroes Square, and also the Zoo is very old fashioned and quaint – and the monkeys are not caged!
There should be ice skating that time of year also at the City Park. There is an 1,100 year-old castle there where you feed the ducks! The Citadel may have changed hands, it used to be a restraunt/club, worth going up there just for the view !!!! Also the Castle Hill, Fishermans Bastion, and St. Mattias church – the crown jewels of Hungary are upstairs in a tiny museum there. Also on the weekends there are bands and performance artists around (not sure about winter tho!) Definately go to the Opera House even if its just for a tour! The dinner cruises on the Danube River boats are nice and they take you to a folkloric dance show after, personally I have seen them a bunch of times and I LOVE them – lots of stomping boots and swirling skirts and shouting and spinning! LOVELOVELOVE the food – the hot red cabbage, crispy duck leg and fried garlic potatoes probably the best food I have ever eaten. The Forum Hotel is famous for its pastries and the world seems to stop every day at about 10:30 am for a coffee break – (ask for the “dream of the chef” – it wont be in the pastry case but in the back and they will get it for you gladly! whatever it is will be wonderful! Plan to gain some weight hahahah) The Hungarians love their food! Even the subway sells pastries. Vienna (Wien) is beautiful, but sort of stuffy and snobby (only my opinion) Lots of history there and definately see the Cathedral. Its a nice 2 hr (?) drive on the autobahn from Budapest. Prague could be more beautiful than Budapest, love it for the same reasons, architecture is awesome. Have fun!!!!!!! Wish I were going back!!!!!
i just love your idea. whenever you go these cities are beautiful in every season.
I’ve been to all three places in summer and winter and I prefer winter because they are MUCH less crowded. Just dress warmly and enjoy!
I was hoping to avoid the larger crowds — obviously NYE will be a different story… but Europe in the summer is SO crowded. :)
In order I love Prague best, then Vienna, then Budapest. But a fantastic idea to do all 3. Vienna at New Year would be good, there is of course the famous New Year Concert every year from there.
You’ll love it
Thank you! Where is the concert held? Do you happen to know?
I’ve been to all 3 places, and they were all equally good (and unique).
It’s a tough call for New Year’s. Prague sounds like it would be great, but I’m afraid it will be too crowded. The public square in the castle district is not so large compared to how big the crowd might be. I was in Budapest for a big national holiday with fireworks and everything, and it all took place along the river, so there was room. Budapest was also much hotter during the summer than those other places, so it might not be as cold.
I wouldn’t let the weather keep you from going. I’ve travelled in Europe for New Year’s before. Just bring lots of layers of clothing (like thermal underwear, hooded sweatshirt, jacket, thick socks) and maybe keep a thermos of hot coffee with you and you’ll be fine.
Thanks for the weather and clothing hints. I’ve been in Europe before Christmas, and I remember being SO cold in Salzburg and Paris. I blame the rain, lol. I will definitely bring more appropriate footwear.
Well, we were in Budapest for New Year’s Eve a few years ago, and to be honest, we weren’t terribly impressed. The city itself is beautiful, and I definitely recommend going there, for sure, but in terms of New Year’s, we found that almost all of the celebration was going on in bars and private parties, rather than out in the city. Also, everything was closed by like 1 in the afternoon, so we had trouble even finding food for dinner, without going into a bar (which usually had cover charges for their new year’s parties). I would probably try to plan on another city for New Year’s. And it wasn’t terribly cold in Hungary when we were there. Probably in the mid to high 40’s most of the time. So you’ll want warm clothes, but it might not be extremely frigid. Anyway, that was our experience. Definitely see Budapest, probably not on New Year’s.
Thanks for the heads up on Budapest. I’m thinking about flying into there and flying out of another city. Also, thanks for the heads up on the weather. I want to be prepared and enjoy my trip.
Be very careful in terms of your valuables in Budapest, the crime situation is quite out of control…
In regards to Budapest…it is a beautiful city…but i find it boring in terms of nightlife, and such compared to Prague…and it is not as cheap either…two things to consider hitting in Budapest (which is also a “spa town”), are the nice spa/baths, and possibly go on a “caving” trip…there are organized ones everyday, and everyone physically able…seems to have fun on them. If the weather is nice when in Budapest…enjoy a stroll across the Chain Bridge, trek around Margit Island, and if possible…the best views of Budapest come from up on the “Citadella”…if you go up there, daytime is nice but try going about 10 PM…the city lights mostly go off about 11 or 12 PM and you can see Budapest beautifully lit at about 10.
Answer this question