All posts in Budapest Winter Attrations

Looking for things to do once Christmas is out of the way? Not sure what is open between 26 December and New Year? Or just want to get out of the house? Here are some useful tips on where to go and what to visit on 27 December in Budapest.

Thermal Baths in Budapest on 27 December

Budapest Szechenyi Baths in Winter Dec 26

Budapest Szechenyi Baths in Winter – Natalie Wilson Photography

Burn off those excess calories by visiting one of the main thermal baths of Budapest (Szechenyi Baths, Gellert Spa, Lukacs Baths, Rudas Baths) as they are open from 6 am to 9 pm, with small alterations are in the different thermal baths (the outdoor pools in Szechenyi and Rudas Baths are open until 10 pm, while Gellert Spa closes at 8 pm). Check-in for online reservations: 9 am – 6 pm.

Everyone wants to have a relaxed day at Szechenyi and Gellert Spa enjoying a nice massage or trying Gellert Spa’s private bath, therefore early booking is highly suggested.

River Danube Cruises in Budapest on 27 Dec

Enjoy the wonderful Budapest in winter on either a day cruise or admire the night lit river side attractions on a night river cruise.

River Danube Cruise Budapest in Winter

River Danube Cruise Budapest in Winter

The dinner cruises are either a la carte, served, or buffet style dinners with live music (from Bar Piano to gypsy music): Budapest Dinner Cruises

As many people are on holiday and not working between Christmas and the New Year, tickets to these cruises sell out in advance, so book early to avoid any disappointment.

Budapest Gala Concert in the Danube Palace Budapest on 27 December

With a very wide range of repertoire from gipsy music and operetta to classical music featuring a special Hungarian instrument, the cimbalom (hammered ducimel), this Budapest Gala Concert is for everyone. Performing the Danube Symphony Orchestra, the soloists of the world-famous Budapest Operetta Theatre and other great talents from the national “Virtuosos” talent show.

Budapest Gala Concerts

Budapest Gala Concerts

You can even enjoy an unforgettable cruise with dinner, drinks and great views of the city right after the concert.

Buda Castle Tours on Dec 27

Buda Castle and its District is one of the top attractions of Budapest. With different winter Castle tours in the Buda Castle District, you can choose the perfect one for you and the loved ones. Please, dress well for these outdoor tours, as the weather in Budapest can be really freezing on the last days of December.

Segway Tours on 27 December in Budapest

While walking tours are mainly for families or the elderly, a Segway Tour in Budapest is for the brave and open minded souls!

Book your Segway Tour in advance as its popularity is rising, even in the cold winter months.

Christmas Markets on 27 December

Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest

Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest

The Christmas Fairs are still open. Head there for food stalls (like you need any more food after Christmas), mulled wines, unique products and more. Free entry.

1, Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market on Dec 27

Address: Vorosmarty Ter, District V

Opening hours on Dec 27: 10 am – 8 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 9 pm (food stalls)

2, St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market on Dec 27

Address: Szent Istvan Ter, in front of the Budapest Basilica building, District V

Opening hours on Dec 27: 10 am – 9 pm (food and handicraft stalls) with laser show every half an hour between 4.30 pm and 8 pm on the Basilica’s facade.


December Bath Party Szechenyi Spa Baths Budapest

Winter in Budapest cannot go without thermal baths, and parties! Cheer up, darkness is switched on earlier so parties can start earlier.

December Bath Party Szechenyi Spa Baths Budapest

Pre-NYE Bath Party in Szechenyi Baths

On December 30, 2017, you can be part of one of the biggest Cinetrip bath parties in Budapest. Cinetrip is the most awesomest party brand in Central Eastern Europe, be part of  its Cinetrip Winter Pool Party in Szechenyi Bath on pre New Year’s Eve in 2017. Let the warm waters, and the beats keep you warm. A party for a 2000 party folk, with mega sensations.

The annual pre New Year’s Eve Party in Budapest attracts young folks from all over the world, whose sole reason to visit Hungary and re-visit Budapest is to be part of the Cinetrip Winter Party edition. Great party. Period. Don’t forget your slippers, a thick towel big enough to cover you well (there are a few meters between the pool and the building to run). If you do forget, you can buy towels and robes on the spot.

DJs: the leading DJs of Hungary and the region

Early Bird Tickets (get lucky!): €50

Single Ticket: €60

Booking online in advance: Cinetrip Bath Party Booking

Hours: from 10:30 pm to 3 am

Have fun in Budapest!

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the few Budapest attractions that are open all year round, even on public holidays like the days of Christmas. In fact, the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya) is open all day and all night, from Monday to Sunday, which makes it one of the most easy attractions to fit in any Budapest itinerary, especially among your Budapest Christmas things to do list.

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas – Ben G Hancock Photography

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best lookout towers in Budapest where you can take panoramic photos from to capture the winter sights of the Pest side, like the Hungarian Parliament, the Gresham Palace, the domes of the St Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge over the river Danube, etc.

At Christmas, the Fisherman’s Bastion can seem quite deserted, which is ideal for those who do not like crowds of tourists flocking around a sight. However, around 11pm on Christmas Eve, people who wish to attend the Midnight Mass will start to slowly gather around the Matthias Church to get a good seat for the Holy Mass in time.

Opening hours:

24 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

25 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

26 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

31 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

1 January 2017: 0-24 (free to enter)


Christmas Cruise Budapest December

A nice winter boat ride on the river Danube in Budapest, the Mulled Wine Boat Tour will make your Christmas holiday in Hungary even more festive. As the sun sets early in December, you will see the sights lit up along the river Danube in this 90 minute boat tour in a heated ship.

Mulled Wine Boat Tour Budapest

Mulled Wine Boat Tour Budapest

Booking Boat Tour

The tour also gives an option to sip on Grogs, or for those who do not enjoy hot alcoholic drinks, the price includes cocktails or beers.

Ideal way to rest your legs for a while. You can watch the sights from the heated ship, or climb atop the deck and take in the views with your hot mulled wine to keep you warm.

Budapest Boat Tour on Danube River

Budapest Boat Tour on Danube – Global Ranger


Budapest Christmas Mug

Budapest Christmas Mug

Needless to say enjoying a mug of mulled wine at the Budapest Christmas markets is an excellent program, especially while the music is on, and the bands play on the stage of the Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, or when the light painting goes live on the facade of St Stephen’s Basilica where the other major Christmas Market attracts thousands of visitors in winter. You can even take away the red mug of the Budapest Christmas Fair as a nice memory.

The Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is one of the hotels of the Kempinski chain, and almost all of them are close to some Christmas market. The Kempinski Hotel in Budapest is literally a few steps away from one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe, the Xmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest.

You can also visit the Kempinski Christmas Terrace on Fashion Street from December to January. The Kempinski Christmas Terrace is usually open from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 8 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundasy from noon to 8 pm. You can enjoy signature drinks, like hot mojito and Glühwein Rosé (mulled rosé wine) and try the savoury and sweet crêpes made by the kitchen of Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest.

In the promotional video you can also see the Budapest Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square (square is ‘tér’ in Hungarian, so the square goes in Hungarian: virr-ersh-morty tay-r). The Christmas fair on Vorosmary ter is usually open from mid November to early January, & there will be an Advent Market on St. Stephen’s Square by the Basilica from December 1 to December 31, every day from 10 am to 8 pm.

The two markets are very close to each other, and besides shopping some gifts, eating and drinking, and listening to concerts, you can also peek into the workrooms of craftsmen and cooks, see how the Hungarian sausages are sizzling, how the cinnamon pastry, the Chimney cake (Kurtoskalacs) is baked over open fire, how ironwork is made by old fashioned smiths, etc. This is the time to taste a wide range of spicy winter drinks, eat and buy traditional Hungarian Christmas foods. In front of St.Stephen’s Basilica, you or your children can enjoy ice-skating on the make shift artifical rink in the snow in a beautiful environment. Last but not least, you can admire the ray light painting – on the Cafe Gerbeaud on Vorosmarty Square and on the Basilica on St Stephen’s Square.

There are more than a hundred little Christmas stalls on the market, little traditional wooden stalls contrasted with the beautiful Cafe Gerbeaud in the background, the Hard Rock Cafe on the side, etc. It is a bit of time travel, away from the commercialised Christmas markets and streets. Something traditional, somewhere to feel the warmth of the Christmas festivities despite all hardships and uncertainties. Come to Budapest and enjoy the Christmas with all its warm lights, home made foods, nice smells and sights.

You can see the Advent Calendar in the windows of Cafe Gerbeaud, which these days are painted with lights, but sometimes you can see the Advent windows revealing a nice painting on the facade of Cafe Gerbeaud, one of the oldest confectioneries in Budapest, dating back to the 19th century.

Boldog karácsonyt! Merry Christmas