All posts in Budapest Christmas

Budapest Christmas: places, events, markets, festivals, etc.

Budapest celebrates Christmas Day with several nice concerts. Take a look at the Dec 25 concerts in the city:

Dec 25 Christmas Concerts Budapest

Dec 25 Christmas Concerts Budapest

You can enjoy the festive concerts by the best Budapest has to offer in the Hungarian State Opera House:
11 am – 13:45 pm, Dec 25: Nutcracker Ballet Show in the Budapest Opera House (performed over 20 years at the Opera)

11 am The Magic Flute re-written for Kids (Hu)  in the Budapest Erkel Theatre (tickets available from Opera.hu)

2pm Screening of the Nutcracker Ballet in the Royal Opera House in the fascinating building of the Puskin Film Theatre (also on Dec 24 and Dec 26 at 2pm)

7 pm – 9:55 pm, Dec 25: La Boheme  in the Budapest Opera House(tickets available from Opera.hu)
8 pm Danube Palace Symphony Concert with Chamber Orchestra

For more concert dates see the Dec 24 Budapest activities and the Dec 26 things to do in Budapest pages.

Related Information on Dec 25 Concerts:

Light music concerts are typically scheduled later, in early or mid December.

Instant Club on Dec 25: funky music with disco – one of Budapest’s popular ruin bar

Cafe Lado: Jazz and Swing evening

Spinoza Theatre: Klezmer Music

December 24, the day of Christmas Eve is one of the Christmas holidays in Budapest when most locals are all day preparing for the evening family gathering. The day of December 24 is a split day: although the morning of Dec 24 is like a busy weekday with shops open, people running last minute errands until noon or 2 pm.

Nutcracker Show in Budapest

Nutcracker Show in Budapest

In the afternoon the streets are starting to get visibly lacking in the Christmas crowds, and by around 4pm, when the last metros run their routes (later replaced with temporary buses), the streets of Budapest get quiet and festive.

Officially Dec 24 is not a public holiday, but practically it is from the afternoon. Several attractions (museums, shops, markets) are closed, but there are still many things to do to make Dec 24 a fantastic day. We have collected some ideas and activities for you for Dec 24 to make it a great day:

Baths in Budapest on December 24

Szechenyi Baths at Christmas – open on December 24 until 2 pm (based on previous years’ opening hours).

Szechenyi Baths Budapest Christmas Winter Holiday

Szechenyi Baths Budapest Winter – James Guppy Photography

The open air thermal pools give a special winter bath experience.
Instead of the usual opening hours, the baths are open for shorter hours, from approx. 8 am to 2 pm  on December 24. Weekend prices are charged, queues may build up (check out the skip the line online Szechenyi Bath tickets)

Gellert Spa – open on December 24 until 2 pm (based on previous years’ opening hours).

Instead of the usual opening hours, the baths are open for shorter hours, from approx. 8 am to 2 pm  on December 24. Weekend prices are charged (Gellert Spa Tickets)

Lukacs Baths – open on December 24 until 2 pm (based on previous years’ opening hours).

December Bath Party Szechenyi Spa Baths Budapest

December Bath Party Szechenyi Spa Baths

The open air thermal pools give a special winter bath experience.
Instead of the usual opening hours, the baths are open for shorter hours, from approx. 8 am to 2 pm on December 24.
There is free entrance to Lukacs thermal bath with Budapest Card (day time only, not valid for the Magic Bath Parties)

The Turkish Baths in Budapest, Kiraly Baths and Rudas Baths are also usually open on Dec 25.

 

Christmas Panorama in Budapest

 

Budapest Fisherman's Bastion in Winter

Budapest Fisherman’s Bastion in Winter – Kofahu Photography

Fisherman’s Bastion is a perfect place to take in the beautiful winter views of the UNESCO World Heritage sights in Budapest. The bastion is an open lookout tower with open and roofed terraces and walls. Only the upper towers have coin operated turnstiles, so you can practically see the sights free of charge, even on December 24.

Citadel on the top of Gellert Hill has also open, free spaces, which provide excellent views over the city. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the top of the hill. The uphill walk for an average person in good physical condition should not be a problem (wear comfortable shoes). Note: the bus timetable on Dec 24 shows infrequent buses.

Christmas Tram in Budapest: usually the Christmas tram (Fenyvillamos in Hungarian) does not run on Dec 24 and Dec 31 evening, but you can take a Christmas ride on December 25 or December 26. Schedules of the Christmas Streetcar are usually published in early December.

For winter walks in the city, put on warm clothes, boots and hat.

Concerts & Shows in Budapest

Nutcracker in Hungarian Opera House at Budapest Christmas

Nutcracker in Hungarian Opera House at Budapest Christmas

There are some nice concerts on Dec 25 in Budapest. The classical concerts have already been scheduled, light music concerts are typically scheduled later, in early or mid December.
11 am – 13:45 pm, Dec 24: Nutcracker Ballet Show in the Budapest Opera House

6 pm – 8 pm Dec 24:  the Budapest Christmas Eve night river cruise with 4 Course Dinner served at your table will feature a live Bar Piano battle concert with songs.

 

6 pm – 8 pm Dec 24: As part of the Christmas Eve night river cruise with Buffet Dinner, you can listen to live concert played by a Hungarian Gypsy Band on the Budapest Christmas Eve Cruise.

6 pm – Dec 24 offers a nice Classical Music concert in the Inner City St Anne’s Church on Szervita Square, District V in Budapest’s city centre. The  Christmas Eve Concert will feature Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Gounod, Albinoni, Schubert pieces. If you want to go on celebrating, you may take the Christmas Eve cruise starting at 9 pm:

9 pm – 11 pm Dec 24: As part of the Christmas Eve night river cruise with Buffet Dinner, you can listen to live concert played by a Hungarian Gypsy Band on the Budapest Christmas Eve Cruise.

Christmas Eve concerts in Budapest – enjoy the elevated music in a church setting to feel the real core of Christmas

The list is continuously updated, so please check back later for further ideas.

Dec 24 Midnight Masses in Budapest

Participate in the Midnight Mass in Budapest in St Stephen’s Basilica or Matthias Church, two of the outstanding churches (there are many beautiful churches in Budapest!). Christmas music and spirit will fill the century old halls of the churches. Join the locals to celebrate the Eve together.

Budapest St Stephen Basilica Mass

Budapest St Stephen Basilica Mass – Philippe Clabots Photography

 

Christmas Cruise in Budapest on December 24

Budapest Chain Bridge in Snow

Budapest Chain Bridge in Snow – Mispahn Photography

The early sunset on Dec 24 is around 4 pm, so you can practically see the night lights from  both Christmas Eve cruises on the Danube. There are much fewer cruises in winter in Budapest, and the seats are absolutely booked up for the Christmas holiday (Dec 24 – Dec 26). Book in advance while you can.

2 pm Sightseeing Cruise with Audio Commentary on Danube Bella panorama boat 2pm Budapest Cruise

6 – 8 pm Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise with live music, served dinner of 4 courses in a festive atmosphere

9 – 11 pm Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise with live music, served dinner of 4 courses in a festive atmosphere

Sorry, the popular Budapest a la carte dinner cruise does not run on Dec 24.

Budapest Winter Cruise on Danube

Budapest Winter Cruise – Marta Troicka Photography

Parks in Budapest in Winter

Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle in Winter

Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle in Winter – Quintanaroo Photography

There are two beautiful parks worth visiting in December in Budapest, if you have a pair of comfortable waterproof shoes. One of them is the City Park with several open air attractions to look at, and the other one is the island in the Danube, between Buda and Pest called Margaret Island. Both are open parks, without fences, open on Dec 24.

The City Park is the home of special sights, like the 19th century Vajdahunyad Castle: the castle itself is closed on Dec 24, but the gates to the courts are not. Take a look around, walk on the grounds, see the hooded statue of the Hungarian chronicler, Anonymous or the bust of Bela Lugosi, Dracula actor. Opposite the Castle, you can see the Ice Rink Palace (the Ice Rink might be open on Dec 24 in the morning hours). These sights are a minute only from the Hungarian Millennium Monument on Heroes’ Square, you may already be familiar with from Budapest guide books.

Margaret Island may not have castles just ruins, but if you love nature in winter, it is a nice and romantic place to feel the fresh air and tranquility.

The entry to Margaret Island is free, the park is open in winter too.

Margaret Island Winter Budapest Viztorony

Margaret Island Winter Budapest – Viztorony Photography (Indaphoto)

 

City Park in Winter Budapest

City Park in Winter – Istvan Csuhai Photography

Closed Attractions in Budapest on Dec 24

Museums, galleries, Christmas markets, shops are often closed on Christmas Eve day (Dec 24). Also, many tours in Budapest are cancelled on this day.

Major attractions that are closed on Dec 24:

The list of closed attractions in Budapest is incomplete, please inquire at the contact emails / phone numbers of each attraction, as planning ahead in winter Budapest is wise to avoid getting cold  / catching cold.

December 25, Christmas Day is one of the Christmas holidays in Budapest when several attractions (museums, shops, markets) are closed, making it a bit of a challenge to plan a great day. We have collected some ideas and activities for you for Dec 25 to make it a great day:

Budapest Winter Buda Castle Hill

Budapest Winter Buda Castle Hill – Rachel Titiriga Photography

Baths in Budapest on December 25

Szechenyi Baths – open on December 25.

The open air thermal pools give a special winter bath experience.
Instead of the usual opening hours, the baths are open for shorter hours, from approx. 8 am to 8 pm. Weekend prices are charged, queues may build up (Szechenyi Bath tickets)

Budapest Szechenyi Baths in Winter Dec 26

Budapest Szechenyi Baths in Winter – Natalie Wilson Photography

Gellert Spa – open on December 25.

Instead of the usual opening hours, the baths are open for shorter hours, from approx. 8 am to 8 pm. Weekend prices are charged (Gellert Spa Tickets)

Lukacs Baths – open on December 25.

The open air thermal pools give a special winter bath experience.
Instead of the usual opening hours, the baths are open for shorter hours, from approx. 8 am to 8 pm.
There is free entrance to Lukacs thermal bath with Budapest Card.

The Turkish Baths in Budapest, Kiraly Baths and Rudas Baths are also usually open on Dec 25.

 

Winter Views in Budapest

Budapest Fishermans Bastion Winter

Budapest Fisherman’s Bastion Winter – Philippe Clabots Photography

Fisherman’s Bastion is a perfect place to take in the beautiful winter views of the UNESCO World Heritage sights in Budapest. The bastion is an open lookout tower with open and roofed terraces and walls. Only the upper towers have coin operated turnstiles, so you can practically see the sights free of charge. There is a beautiful restaurant inside Fisherman’s Bastion, but it is closed on Dec 25.

Citadel on the top of Gellert Hill has also open, free spaces, which provide excellent views over the city. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the top of the hill. The uphill walk for an average person in good physical condition should not be a problem (wear comfortable shoes). Note: the bus timetable on Dec 25 shows less frequent buses.

Christmas Tram in Budapest: every year there is a nicely decorated Christmas streetcar / tram running along by the riverside in Budapest. Schedules have not been updated for this year yet, but Tram 19 on the Buda side (Batthyany Square) will likely take passengers on an afternoon Christmas ride on December 25.

For winter walks in the city, put on warm clothes, boots and hat.

Winter Buda Castle Hill

Winter Buda Castle Hill – Neil Howard Photography

Concerts & Shows in Budapest

Nutcracker Cave in Budapest Opera House at Christmas

Nutcracker Cave in Budapest Opera House at Christmas

There are some nice concerts on Dec 25 in Budapest. The Christmas Day classical concerts have already been scheduled, light music concerts are typically scheduled later, in early or mid December. In addition you can enjoy the festive shows by the best Budapest has to offer:
11 am – 13:45 pm, Dec 25: Nutcracker Ballet Show in the Budapest Opera House (performed over 20 years at the Opera)

7 pm – 9:55 pm, Dec 25: The Magic Flute  in the Budapest Opera House (tickets available from Opera.hu)
8 pm Danube Palace Symphony Concert with Chamber Orchestra

Budapest Opera House

Budapest Opera House – Miroslav Petrasko Photography

Christmas Cruise in Budapest on December 25

Budapest Winter Danube

Budapest Winter Danube

The early sunset on Dec 25 is around 4 pm, so you can practically see the night lights from a late afternoon cruise on the Danube. There are much fewer cruises in winter in Budapest, and the seats are easily booked up for Dec 25. Reserve in advance while you can. Dinner cruises on the Danube in Budapest are especially popular

2 pm Sightseeing Cruise with Audio Commentary on Danube Bella panorama boat

6:30 pm Sightseeing Cruise with Audio Commentary on Danube Legenda panorama boat

7 pm Dinner Cruise: A La Carte Christmas Dinner Cruise on Legenda Boat (book while you can). 2.5 hour dinner on Danube. One of the best in romantic, elegant and delicious category.

7 pm Dinner Cruise: Buffet Style Dinner Christmas Cruise on Millennium Boat. 1.5 hour dinner boat on Danube

10 pm Dinner Cruise: Buffet Style Dinner Christmas Cruise on Millennium Boat. 1.5 hour dinner boat on Danube

Budapest Winter Cruise on Danube

Budapest Winter Cruise – Marta Troicka Photography

Parks in Budapest in Winter

Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle in Winter

Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle in Winter – Quintanaroo Photography

There are two beautiful parks worth visiting in winter Budapest. One of them is the City Park with several open air attractions to look at, and the other one is the island between Buda and Pest, Margaret Island. Both are open parks, without fences.

The City Park is the home of special sights, like the Vajdahunyad Castle: the castle is closed on Dec 25, but the gates are not. Take a look around, walk on the grounds, see the beautiful hooded statue of the Hungarian chronicler called Anonymous. Opposite the Vajdahunyad Castle, you can see the Ice Rink Palace (the Ice Rink might be open on Dec 25). These sights are a minute only from the Hungarian Millennium Monument on Heroes’ Square, you may already be familiar with from

Margaret Island may not have castles just ruins, but if you love nature in winter, it is a nice and romantic place to feel the fresh air and tranquility.

The entry to Margaret Island is free, the park is open in winter too.

City Park Winter Budapest

City Park Winter Budapest – Istvan Csuhai Photography

City Park in Winter Budapest

City Park in Winter – Istvan Csuhai Photography

Closed Attractions in Budapest on Dec 25

Museums, galleries, Christmas markets, shops are closed on Christmas Day (Dec 25). Many tours in Budapest are cancelled on this day.

Major attractions that are closed on Dec 25:

 

In 2014 there will be several bath parties in Budapest in two of the outstanding thermal baths of the city. The must go NYE party is definitely the NYE Sparty in Szechenyi Baths

Szechenyi Baths Party Budapest NYE Sparty

Szechenyi Baths Party Budapest NYE Sparty

December 30, is the day of the much awaited pre New Year’s Eve party, now you can be part of one of the biggest Cinetrip bath party in Budapest winter season.

Big smile Budapest Sparty Cinetrip Szechenyi Bath

Big Smile at Budapest Sparty Cinetrip Szechenyi Bath

The pre New Year Party in Szechenyi Baths will rock the nightlife of Budapest with people party under the steam clouds and in the hot spring waters. Laser rays will zigzag and paint the walls with astonishing colours. Having doubts about the cold in winter time? The water is warm! :)

Other December bath party venues are not in Szechenyi Baths. Instead the venue is the smaller and more cozy Lukacs Baths.

Booking Tickets for the Winter Bath Party in Budapest: learn about the details, prices, location, FAQ

You could get easily warmed up for Budapest New Year’s Eve with a great party / sparty. Don’t forget your pair of flip flops, a nice and warm beach towel (you can also buy a Sparty towel on the spot though).

Szechenyi Bath Party Budapest

Szechenyi Bath Party Budapest

Booking online in advance is recommended. Every online ticket includes a locker with a lock. Bonus tickets come with a tiny little changing room called cabin, which you can use for your privacy and lock / unlock with your high tech electronic wrist band.

Party Hours: from 10:30 pm to 3:30 am

Cinetrip was 15 years old and its Cinetrip birthday party is at Szechenyi Baths in 2012.

Have fun in Budapest!

On December 30, 2013, you can be part of one of the biggest Cinetrip bath parties in Budapest, the pre New Year’s Eve pool sparty in Szechenyi Baths.

Cinetrip Future Disco Budapest Szechenyi Baths

Cinetrip Future Disco Budapest Szechenyi Baths

You could get easily warmed up for Budapest New Year’s Eve with a great party / sparty. Don’t forget your flip flops, and a thick towel big enough to cover you well (there are a few meters between the pool and the building to run). :)

Buying tickets for the New Year Party
Bonus tickets include Sparty towels, and some drinks too (4 Cocktails).

NYE Sparty Ticket Prices

  • 40 Euro – standard sparty ticket: party entry + locker for storage (no extra lock needed, your hand and your wrist band locks and unlocks the door)
  • 150 Euro – double sparty ticket with extras: 4 cocktails, 2 towels to keep, 1 lockable cabin in the baths (storage, changing, etc.), 2 gift bags with Sparty logo
Buying Bath Party Tickets Online

Booking online in advance: party tickets are limited.

DJs at Cinetrip Sparties

Cinetrip sparty DJs feature the best Hungarian DJs, and often foreign DJs show their talents at the parties. The most well known DJs in Hungary are: Palotai, Titusz, Superman, Waxman, Marvin, Crimson, Kevin, Naga, Kaszi

Brief Cinetrip Party History

Cinetrip is over 15 years old and its parties are absolutely stunning. More and more young people take a party weekend break in Budapest just to be part of this special experience.

Cinetrip parties have been in many Budapest baths and in other venues too.

Summer parties are in Szechenyi Baths, autumn, winter and spring parties in Lukacs Baths.

There are two Cinetrip parties in Budapest every year, one in summer (August) and one in winter (December).

The founding father is Laszlo Laki

Winter time? The water is warm! :)

Hours: from 10:30 pm to 3:30 am

Have fun in Budapest!