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Are Budapest and Krakow 'shut down' over Christmas and New Year?

I am planning an itinerary from Berlin, to Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest and Krakow from Dec. 5 to Jan 2. At the moment my itinerary has us being in Budapest and Krokow over the Christmas/New Year break. This is mainly because Prague and Vienna seem so expensive at this time of the year. Can anyone tell me if Budapest and Krakow are basically closed down over Christmas and New Year. It is not much fun being in cities when they are 'boarded up' and families are in their houses having fun while you are roaming empty streets. Any other suggestions for Christmas and New Year in this part of the world would be welcome. Maybe I could 'go about it' another way.

Posted by
54 posts

Yes, and no.

I was in Budapest on Dec 27-30 of this year and it no problem. On Christmas Day (the 25) and possibly the 26th many stores will be closed as well as the museums,etc. New Years has a lot of public celebrations and shows so you won't be "wandering the streets" but again stores and museums might be closed on the 31 and 1...

In Budapest, there are a lot of things to see while walking the city (Gellert Hill for example). While you will be very cold in December, you could plan your cold walking tour for the 25th/26th. Public transportation will still be running although on a modified schedule.

Hope this helps,

Posted by
59 posts

Thanks for that Kent - Yes I did realise it would be extremely cold and have experienced this 'coldness' - probably not the best phrase for me to use!!! Just my way of saying that it's not much fun when there's no one around. To me people make the places we visit - I like to be among the locals, even if they are bussling by all wrapped up and unrecognisable. The other thing is that as long as it is not raining/snowing we do wrap up, get out, and walk. However if you know Budapest at Christmas do you have any suggestions as to how we can spend the time over the festive period. We would like to make the best of it and celebrate too, even though there will be just the 2 of us - probably feeling a bit sad that we are not with our 4 children and 7 grandchildren.