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Budapest at Christmas

We are considering Budapest for Cristmas but have been told it's all closed down and not a lot going on and could be on the boring side. I'm just wondering if any travellers can make a recommendation on this. Is it interesting and fun?

Posted by
18854 posts

I spend about every other Christmas in Budapest and haven’t gotten bored yet. “Christmas” is a big season and you didn’t give any exact dates so here are some ideas that you can pick and choose from; dates where applicable.

Christmas Market at Vorosmarty ter or in front of the Basilica or near Liszt Ferenc ter[1].jpg

Bath Houses: Yes, they are open 365 days a year: Its pretty amazing when the outside temps are hovering near or below freezing. We’ve spend Christmas day doing this;

Ice Skating in a royal setting

Great Market Hall:

It’s that time of year for Theater.

Opera House: The Nutcracker or La Bohème playing every evening except December 24th only an 11am performance. December 31: Johann Strauss die Fledermaus (The Bat). January 1st: New Year’s Concert.

Operett Theater: December program not published yet. Last year it was The Christmas Carol every night but the 24th and The Gypsy Princess on New Year’s Eve.

Opus Jazz Club: Not published yet and I cant check backwards. But my guess every Tuesday through Saturday except for the 24th. I have heard some amazing performances here.

Liszt Academy: Again, not published yet, but I would imagine several performances over the holidays. One of the most spectacular recital halls in Europe:;jsessionid=78CFE73E89706E17FB5ADB7F5F7DF580

Food: Many of Budapest’s best restaurants are open on the 24th, 25th, 26th and we have done some of our best dinging during the holidays.

And there is the shear beauty of the place:

We are returning to Budapest again this holiday season.

Posted by
462 posts

We also very much enjoyed Budapest for Christmas. We arrived on Christmas Eve and had a reservation for a nice dinner. Since our luggage didn't arrive, our plans for the baths on Christmas day got moved to the day after Christmas. Instead we enjoyed the Christmas markets and took a river cruise. On the day after Christmas we saw a matinee of the Nutcracker (it was also available on Christmas Day - book well ahead if you are a party of 5), walked castle hill and toured the church etc... and finished up with an evening at the baths. We found plenty of restaurants open and I would have spent even more time at the Christmas markets if my husband hadn't been so cold without his coat - we had checked bags and he checked his coat! We stayed at the K&K hotel opera on a Christmas package and we thought it was great.

Posted by
61 posts

Thank you so much for these really helpful replies. It has helped to decide that this is a very good destination for Christmas.

Posted by
3073 posts

To go to the Opera House, which I highly recommend, do not wait until you arrive to book tickets. The house is not large, and prices are reasonable. Book as soon as you know which night you will attend. We were in Budapest in Oct 2014, and found only 1 night of the 3 we were there to have even a single pair of tickets. So, don't be slow to book.