Inexpensive beer, ruined bars, awesome architecture, tantalising food – Budapest seems to always be in vogue. You might start asking, is it worth visiting Budapest in winter?
Budapest might be a charm in summer, but she transforms into a total beauty in winter. There are too many reasons why you should visit Budapest in winter, but here are the 7 best reasons!
7 reasons why you should visit Budapest in winter!
1. Because you will have an ultimate snow experience at Szechenyi Thermal Bath:
Immersing yourself in this traditional Turkish outdoor bath is gonna be a stunning experience for you during winter. Imagine flurrying snowflakes landing on top of your head while you are enjoying the warm medicinal bath. Your body will probably be confused of what’s going on but you gotta admit it’s kinda awesome. For the price of around 21 Euros (as on March 2019), you get to indulge in this satisfying thermal bath for one whole day. With a history of more than 100 years and an elegant architecture, you should not miss this place if you visit Budapest in winter.
To avoid waiting, get your skip-the-line ticket here! It costs the same!
2. Because the world’s third largest parliament building looks more amazing in snow:
This magnificent building stands out as the icon of Budapest with its grandiose Neo-Gothic architecture. It survived 2 world wars, and has been around for more than 100 years!
The Hungarian Parliament building changes its costume every season. In winter, the snow gives it a dazzling finishing touch, like a dash of icing sugar on top of the Hungarian Trdelník. Regardless of where in the city you are viewing the building from, the Parliament building will never fail to impress you. ‘
The best way to see is to go on a Danube river cruise! It is one of the most affordable river cruises in Europe. Prebook your ticket here!
3. Because you get to show off your ice skating skills in front of a castle:
If you have a little Anna or Elsa living inside you, you have to skate here. The Budapest City Park becomes an ice skating rink when winter visits Budapest.
This huge outdoor ice skating rink was rated as one of the top 10 European winter destinations by Lonely Planet. For the price of 1000-1500 forint, you get to skate for a whole day in this humongous rink!
4. Because there is a perfect winter wonderland!
Margaret Island (or Margitsziget if you know how to pronounce it) is an island sandwiched between the two banks of Budapest. No one goes there during winter but if you love the snow, you should visit it.
This island is a park that is easily accessible by the city tram. Unlike the slimy, semi-melted snow that you’d find at the city centre, Margarent Island has perfectly untouched snow. Bring your mates/travel buddies/new-found love to this island and start a snowball war! Or make a snow angel! Or build the best Olaf!
5. Because there are fewer tourists!
And that means things will be cheaper, accommodations will be more available and shops will be less crowded. There will also fewer photobombers in your photos!
While visiting Budapest in winter is not everyone’s cup of tea, I reckon a mug of hearty, Christmas-y mulled wine will make up for that.
6. Because the Fisherman’s Bastion looks better in snow
Budapest Geography 101: Budapest is divided by the Danube river into Buda bank and Pest bank.
Located up high on the Castle hill by the Buda bank of Budapest, this location definitely doesn’t really resonate with the name “Fisherman’s Bastion”. With snow, the walk up to this hill is wonderfully wonderful, though it can get slippery at times. Amaze yourself with a birds-eye view from the top of the hill at the Fisherman’s Bastion, and feast your eyes on the Pest side of Budapest covered in snow!
7. Because you wanna see snow in the city
Obviously, not all the countries in the world have the chance of experiencing a snowy season. Even if you get snow in your country, most of the time, snowfall only occurs at the countryside instead of the city.
Budapest is a city blessed with snow. The cold is not as extreme as what you would get in Russia. Just layer up and fall in love with this enchanting city.
So those are the 7 reasons to visit Budapest in winter. She is an absolute beauty when covered in snow. Hopefully you will still book that ticket to visit Budapest in December!
Travelling in Budapest: The Essentials
- The official website for public transport in Budapest is https://bkk.hu/. It is available in both Hungarian and English. There are many features to it including a journey planner. You can also find out the prices of day passes/ one-way ticket here.
- When I am actually navigating in Budapest, I use Moovit because I find that the official website is complicated to manoeuvre around.
- An alternative is City Mapper, which was named as the best map app in Europe.
- There are a few websites to check out if you are travelling to another city from Budapest:
- Student Agency: This is a Czech bus company that is not only for students despite the name. In fact, they have really cheap tickets as the price is fixed.
- FlixBus: A German bus company that operates in 29 countries in Europe. Now has Flixtrain too!
- Rome2Rio: A website that allows you to see potential routes between cities.
- BlaBlaCar: If you are on a budget, try out this carsharing platform which gets you to many places!
- Railjet: Operates between Budapest and many other European cities
- If you are going to other cities, get the excursion ticket (Kirándulójegyek in Hungarian). It includes a return ticket to another city for just 31 euros. Furthermore, it includes 2 days worth of public transport in that city too. I used this ticket to get to Vienna and it saved me so much money!
From 2017 onwards, the European Union finally came up with an incredible idea.
They abolished roaming charges across its member countries. If you bought in Belgium, you can still use if when you’re in Hungary.
However, the prepaid deals differ a lot across different countries depending on the cost of living.
For example, the data plan that comes with a Polish sim card is often not usable in other countries (written in the fine print). Slovak data plan is expensive and slow. Italian telecommunication companies have different rules and they are not present everywhere. French data plan is hard to terminate.
If you want to save the hassle, just get a sim card before leaving for Europe.
Sim Options would be your best bet as they deliver fast. The telecommunication companies offered are actually based in major European countries.
Get your Sim at Sim Options today! They need some days to deliver it to you!!
I recommend the company “Three” on Sim Options because it is present in many European countries and data plans are great:
- If you are in Europe for less than 30 days – Smart Gold plan by 3
- If you are in Europe for a few months – Smart Platinum plan by 3
Alternatively, you could opt for a pocket wifi which allows you to connect to multiple devices. This is perfect if you travel in a group or if you have a few devices that needs internet connection concurrently.
Get TEP wireless – they are fast and reliable.
If you are not on AirBnB yet, you need to be! AirBnB is a great alternative to conventional accommodation. Often, you get more bangs for your bucks too!
I always found amazing condominiums and apartments on AirBnB. It’s like a cherry on top of my trip most of the time!
Sign up to AirBnB with this link and get $25 instantly!
I swear by travel insurance these days. So many things could go wrong and the trip of your lifetime can end up horribly wrong.
Go with World Nomads. It’s cheap and comprehensive.
Please buy it if you can. Hopefully you don’t have to use it. However, in the unfortunate circumstances that you have to use it, you will thank me for a long time.
You are welcome.
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