Temperatures rising, sunshine becoming again an everyday experience, outdoor terraces being inhabited again: spring has definitely arrived to the Hungarian capital! Check out our tips which help you to make the most out of your visit to the city in the spring season.
Enjoy terraces & outdoor cafés!
Budapest is famous for it's cafés and confectioneries, and besides the classics like Gerbeaud, Ruszwurm, Auguszt or New York Café, there is a growing number of new ones open their doors every year. Budapest locals enjoy sitting in the sunshine in open-air places and sipping their coffee in the fresh air. Check out cafés and enjoy Budapest panorama of the Danube Bank at the same time, and also find café-spots in Lónyay Street, Váci Street, the 7th and 8th district or the City Park. Read more about café culture of Budapest here. Famous Budapest ruin pubs also frequently have outdoor sections - check out a list of some of the best ruin pubs here.
Corso along the Danube
Stroll in parks
City Park of Budapest was named as one of the most beautiful urban parks of Europe. It is no wonder, as besides the wonderful old trees and the City Park Lake, you can find the replica of a Transylvanian Castle (Vajdahunyad Castle), Széchenyi Baths, Gundel Restaurant and the Budapest Zoo here - the latter also offering a pleasant open-air program, both with cute animals and great architecture. There are many other wonderful green areas, however, like Margaret Island with it's spectacular water tower, lake with goldfish and the Music Fountain.
Not far away from the island is Szent István Park, surrounded with wonderful Bauhaus houses and lovely cafés and small shops of Pozsonyi Street. Take a pleasant walk on green Gellért Hill, up to the Citadella, and enjoy the gorgeous panorama of the Hungarian capital. Or, if you are ready for a nice excursion to the Buda Hills, visit Normafa ('Norma Tree') on Svábhegy, taking lovely red coloured cog-wheel railway (Fogaskerekű) or the really unique Children's Railway (Gyermekvasút), on which (except the train driver) all other person operating the line are children between 10-14 (of course they work under the supervision of adults.)
Downtown Budapest and Basilica
Take a walk in the city!
Budapest is absolutely human scale, it's downtown having many iconic spots within walking distance. From the Castle Hill you can get within a relative short time to Vörösmarty Square and Váci Street, crossing the Danube on the beautiful Chain Bridge. It's worth walking along Andrássy Boulevard (Andrássy út) from Erzsébet Square to Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) and the City Park, or walk along the Danube banks – both the Buda and Pest side is flanked by nice cafés and many other places to see. Or just stroll in the reviving 7th District, or between historic palaces and refurbished squares of Palotanegyed of 8th District, exploring the small cafés and designer shops.
Explore the market halls
Although the Great Market Hall is the most renowned, Budapest has more traditional markets even in downtown: Klauzál Market in 7th district, Belvárosi Piac in 5th district and Hunyadi Square market in 6th district offer a great possibility to buy and get acquainted with fresh fruit, vegetables and other farm products of Hungary, having a great selection of them at springtime.
Children's Railway (Gyermekvasút) in Budapest
One-day excursions: Visegrád, Vác, Szentendre
Budapest is sorrunded with lovely small towns, easily reachable both by car and public transport. Szentendre, the Town of Painters is about an hour's distance from Budapest. The small houses, the narrow streets and cobble paved small piazzas have a unique mediterranean atmosphere. The town is also famous for it's open-air village museum, the 'Skanzen'.
The Danube Bend, North from Budapest offers wonderful natural landscape, with the castle of Visegrád on top of the hills. Vác, a baroque treasure box and Esztergom, seat of the Roman Catholic Primate of Hungary with the Basilica of Esztergom, the largest church in the country are also great choices for one-day trips. The towns of the Danube Bend can also be reached by ship cruises.
The Danube Bend
Having the Danube as it's main river, Budapest is worth exploring from this unique perspective. Take a boat trip with one of the boat lines – these are also part of public transport, or you can select one offered specificially for tourists. You can also reach towns of Szentendre and the Danube Bend by ship.
Danube River cruise by night
Find webpage of MAHART Passnave Ltd., operator of Danube ship lines HERE.
Enjoy art: Budapest Spring Festival and the great museums of Budapest
Budapest Spring Festival is one of the richest cultural programmes of the year with an endless number of performances, with international and Hungarian stars of the utmost kinds of genres. Music, theater and dance performances can also be enjoyed throughout the year in the famous Opera House and many other theaters and cultural institutions, like Nemzeti Színház (National Theater), Művészetek Palotája (MÜPA, Palace of Arts), Erkel Theater, Vígszínház or Madách Theater. Zeneakadémia, a historic building, beautifully renovated recently is the shrine of music in Budapest.
Great museums also offer several exhibitons worh visiting: Műcsarnok, Nemzeti Múzeum (National Museum), Iparművészeti Múzeum (Museum of Applied Arts) and Nemzeti Galéria (National Gallery) are the most renowned ones. Thematic museums, like Museum of Etnography, Ferenc Hopp Museum of Asiatic Arts, Museum of Agriculture at Vajdahunyad Castle are also worth visiting. Exhibitions of such unique museums as the Museum of the Rock Hospital at Gellért Hill, the Jewish Museum, Budapest History Museum at the Castle tell us a lot about the history of the country.