When is the Best Time to Visit?
Budapest is the capital of Hungary, divided by the Danube into Buda (right bank) and Pest (left bank) used to be, along with Vienna, the joint imperial capital of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire. Visitors book flights to Budapest because the city caters for a variety of travellers, from architecture of historical significance, to over 100 hot springs, lakes, tournaments and a major music festival.
July and August are the peak season for visitors booking flights to Budapest. The city is hot and crowded and the lake region is mobbed.
For those looking for a party-filled week, Sziget Festival is the perfect event. Combining well-known international artists, with the best Hungarian bands and rising stars, it’s no wonder the festival attracts around 400,000 visitors from all over the world. The festival takes place in August on Óbuda Island in Budapest.
The Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix is held at the Hungaroring Grand Prix Circuit every year, during the month of July. Crowds of people flock to the area to spot famous F1 faces and catch a glimpse of the action. Ensure that you book your flight to Budapest well in advance to get the best deal as demand and prices for flights and hotels rise during this period.
Mid-December is when it starts to get cold and many museums and tourist attractions close for the season. December through February temperatures are usually between -6 and 0. It snows frequently, but the snowfall is light. The off seasons offers great opportunities to find cheap flights due to a general decrease in demand.
Budapest World Heritage sites include the banks of the Danube, Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue and Millennium Underground railway. Budapest (and Hungary), is known for thermal springs, many of them in baths and spas. The Szechenyi baths are the most famous, a glorious yellow confection with arches, columns and mosaics.
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge, which links Buda and Pest, resembles the Hammersmith Bridge in London (it was built by the same man, Adam Clark) and the Hungarian Parliament Building, all Gothic Revival with spiky spires, is modelled on the Houses of Parliament. Not only is it Hungary's largest building, it is where St Stephen’s Crown, symbol of Hungarian statehood for more than 1,000 years, is kept. Another part of Hungary's first Christian king, his right hand, is in St. Stephen's Basilica.
Café culture has always been popular, particularly in Pest where influential artists like Gulácsy would have sipped Turkish coffee. In the north east of Pest, you’ll find a remnant of Hungary’s soviet occupation called Sculpture Park, a place where soviet sculptures from all over Hungary were dragged and displayed to serve as a reminder of a dark period of history and its idiosyncratic aesthetics.