Lose yourself in Budapest...
Budapest is the stunning Hungarian capital city which was voted between the most beautiful cities in the world and not by accident. In Europe it definitely must take to the podium.
At the summer and the spring it provides an enjoyable recreation: the urban bustle, the restaurants with the lovely summery terrace, the open-air bars and the famous ruinpubs. We cannot forget the summer festivals (especially the world-famous Sziget Festival) or the extraordinary historical buildings and city centre.
If we are not coming during these seasons we don’t have to worry because Budapest is entertaining and classy during the whole year regardless of the weather. There is a list about what we can do and visit during the cold time.
Visit a Bath in Budapest
Budapest is world famous for its bathing culture and facilities which all offer an inside and an outside part. As the water sources in the Budapest baths are natural many have a temperature of 23 degrees and above. That makes swimming a pleasure even though it is freezing cold and snowing outside. Actually the outside swimming pools are by far the best to visit during winter it is really a wicked feeling to swim when it is below 0 degrees outside.
Below are some of the best baths in Budapest:
With over 220 museums Budapest offers a rich choice of for travellers and tourists with a fable for history, art and paintings. A museum visit is a great possibility to escape rain, snow and the cold weather while educating yourself and see things that you do not see every day. It is up to you what you would like to see but here are some suggestions you might like.
Hungarian National Museum
Museum of Fine Arts
House of Terror
Christmas Market on Vörösmarty square
If you are in Budapest during Christmas time I recommend you to have a look at the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square. There are many Christmas markets in Budapest but most of them are just a collection of the usual food, gift and drink booths offering sausage with bread, beer and useless little things to give away. This you can have around the year at any festival in Budapest except for the mulled wine. The Christmas market at Vörösmarty square is the most popular in the city and also this is the nicest from my view. So have a go and enjoy your mulled wine in the city centre.
Sledging or Skiing at Normafa
Yes you can go skiing in Budapest even though there are no lifts or any ski resort like facilities around the city. However at Normafa, a beautiful recreation area in the West of Budapest, you have the possibility to put on your skies or sit on your sledge and have a go in case there is snow. It is not a spectacular ride but it is fairly popular to practice skiing here and on weekends it is quite crowded. There are little shops where you can warm up yourself with a hot tea or a mulled wine when having a break.
Visit famous sights from inside
Next to the many museums and galleries in Budapest of course there are a lot of historical buildings and churches you might want to visit. These places are beautiful from outside but well worth to have a look inside. Many of them are free of charge and most others are accessible for a small fee. There are many of them but here are some suggestions:
St. Stephen Basilika
Hungarian State Opera
See Andrássy street during Christmas time at night
It is magical! The trees along the Andrássy avenue are decorated with lights and when the sun is going down the Christmas lights light up the street. This is without a doubt one of the most romantic views you can have in Budapest. Especially if there is snow on the streets and not too many cars are passing by it is amazingly beautiful to just have a walk in the cold winter landscape of the most famous road in Budapest.
Enjoy a historical Coffee houses
The coffee house culture in Budapest, which came from Austria during the Hungarian-Austrian Empire, is well developed and you can find a lot of small coffee houses that are full of history. In many coffee houses you can hear stories about writers and other artists who came by, spend their day in the Cáfe and wrote a book, a poem or a song. Coffee still has a large tradition in Hungary and will exist longer than quick coffee-to-go chains such as Starbucks or Nero.
A good coffee paired with one of the cakes Hungary is famous for a special moment at any time but especially during winter. It will raise your mood immediately. Check out some coffee house suggestions:
Ruszwurm – the Oldest Cafe in Budapest
Angelika Cafe & Restaurant
Ice Skating on the Városligeti Lake
The Városligeti Tó (city park lake) is located right behind the famous Heroe's Square at Budapest and belongs to the city park, one of the largest recreation areas in the capital of Hungary. During summer the little lake is home of ducks and fishes and is very popular for having a walk or just going out with your kids. However in the winter time when the water is frozen the lake turns into a large ice rink where hundreds of people go ice skating every day until late evening. Even ice hockey matches and speed skating competitions are going on here during winter.