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Budapest in the Winter

Hi all,

My husband and I are thinking about travelling to Budapest this December 2016*. We are contemplating whether we ought to have Christmas there.
Any experiences in this city or area of Europe around Christmas? We both like snow and as we live in Austin, TX we probably won't get any of that. We tend to be loners anyway - just quiet-ish festive times with other family but not hoards of rellies and friends. So the lack of friends is fine. But on the other hand I've read warnings that some tourists may find too many restaurants and cafes etc closed around that time. I don't fancy sitting in our hotel room watching Scrooge or whatever...

What do you think? I have very little idea apart from what I can guage on the internet (and it tends to be lists of 10 Best Places to BLAH BLAH BLAH). Don't know what to imagine.

*explanation as to why we must go this year:
My husband and I were about to travel to Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Vienna in May/June this year but my mother fell ill (she is now recovering nicely). We rushed down to NZ (we're I'm from) instead. As we managed to obtain a refund from various airlines and hotels (all non-refundable so my faith in humanity is very high at the moment), we have decided to travel in the winter especially because we need to use up a credit with a hotel in Budapest before Dec 31st this year and we could go in Oct or Nov - but we fancy the snow.

many thanks if anyone can help.

Posted by
85 posts

I did a Kraków, Prague, Vienna, Budapest trip a few years ago right after Christmas. Plenty of sites and restaurants were open. We had cold weather but no snow. As long as you dress appropriately for the cold, you will be fine. I will always remember the fireworks in Prague New Years Eve. We used New Year's Day as a travel day between cities. An added bonus was Christmas markets still open in some of the cities. Christmas lights were still up in all the cities. You will love Budapest, I was very pleasantly surprised with the city and wished I had more time to spend there.

Posted by
18562 posts

My wife and I have spent Christmas or the period between Christmas and NYE in Budapest on three occasions and it looks like we will return this Christmas. We always have a good time. If you go to the Hungary forum you will see that I am somewhat biased so take that into consideration. Some of the distractions in town are:

Dang good eating.
Bars/food that are actually better than anything you will find on 6th Street
Ice Skating on a lake in front of stunning architecture
Simply stunning views across the river
Christmas markets (stays open till New Years day or maybe a day or two longer)
Cheap prices
Great people
Snow (most years, but not every year)
Strolls along 19th century streets
More great food
Bath Houses (imagine you are outside, its 30F, snow if falling and you are up to your neck in 100F water)

let me know if I can help