Things to Do Around Easter in Budapest
Do you plan to spend Easter in Budapest? The Hungarian capital offers plenty of attractions and things to do for a wonderful Easter weekend in 2014.
Plan your Easter city break to Budapest well, so that you can get the most of your time.
See our tips below and some useful information about public transport, opening hours and the weather around the holiday.
You sure won't be bored during your holiday in Budapest.
Easter in Budapest 2014. - Program Tips, Useful Information
Easter Cruise with Dinner on the Danube
20 - 21. April 2014., at 19.00
A very romantic way to see Budapest's major sights situated on the Danube embankment is to go on a boat cruise.
On the one and half-hour boat tour you can not only admire the captivating city scape but have a four-course warm buffet dinner and enjoy live music by the talented Rajkó Orchestra.
TIP: see more Danube Cruises in Budapest.
By Easter, which is in March or April, Budapest revives from its winter sleep and the parks and gardens are lively green. The colourful flowers arranged in artful shapes add vibrant hue to the city scape.
Spring and especially the Easter weekend is a wonderful time to travel to Budapest and explore its numerous sights and attractions.
historic sights and fine architecture at every corner,
- recreation in Budapest Spas,
- just walking and admiring the beautiful vista from Castle District or Gellért Hill,
- dancing and clubbing until dawn in Budapest Nightclubs,
- shopping in the Great Market Hall or in Budapest Shopping Malls (except for Easter Sunday and Monday when shops are closed).
Sightseeing Tips in Budapest for the Easter Holiday
The Castle District
Budapest has historic sights and fine architecture at every corner. You can easily explore the top attractions during the Easter Weekend.
The Castle District in Buda offers magnificent views from the Fishermen's Bastion:
End your sightseeing in Buda Castle with wine tasting in a romantic stone cellar within the Hilton Hotel.
The vaulted cellar is a part of the underground labyrinth system built by the castle inhabitants during the middle ages.
English-speaking wine experts will introduce you to the wines and wine regions of Hungary.
You can choose from several tasting packages based on wine producing regions. The cellar also offers tasting of pálinka, a traditional Hungarian fruit spirit - there's a choice of 30 types of pálinka.
Choose a wine tasting menu and book it online by paying 10% in advance.
the majestic Danube with the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd)
and the impressive Budapest Parliament.
The Castle District forms the centre of historic Budapest and some of the most important cultural monuments stand in the area, like the Royal Palace and Matthias Church.
The narrow cobbled streets are ideal for romantic walks. The district has some fine restaurants and cafés many of them housed in renovated old mansions that contain medieval architectural elements.
Tips: The Rétesvár Strudel Shop in Balta köz, a narrow passage opening from Szentháromság tér offers traditional strudel with various fillings (sweet cottage cheese, sour cherry, poppy seed).
For a slice of creamy torte with a cup of coffee and old-world coffee house ambience try Ruszwurm Cafe and Confectionery in Szentháromság utca.
Read more details about other attractions in Budapest Castle District.
The Funicular (Budavári sikló) takes you down from the hill to Clark Ádám tér in a few minutes (tickets: one-way: 850 HUF/adult, 520/children between 3-14 years of age, return ticket: 1450/adult, 920/children between 3-14 years of age). If you prefer walking, you can take the steps leading down form Buda Castle to Clark Ádám tér or one of the winding streets at the foot of the hill.
The flowery Clark Adam Square with the Tunnel
Near the Pest end of the Chain Bridge stand two architectural masterpieces on Roosevelt Square
the Hungarian Academy of Sciences,
and the Art-Nouveau Gresham Palace that gives home to the luxury Four Seasons Hotel.
Vörösmarty Square and Váci Street
Walk down along the river on the Danube Promenade and turn onto Deák Street at the Vigadó Hall. The street takes you to Vörösmarty Square, the heart of Budapest.
The white Carrara statue of the famous 19th century poet, Mihály Vörösmarty, dominates the square.
The prominent Gerbeaud Café flanks the side of the plaza. Sit in for a cup of fresh café with a slice of delicious Hungarian cake and absorb the traditional coffee house aura.
The famous pedestrian and shopping street, Váci utca opens from the south end of the square. The street together with Vörösmarty tér is a centre of social and cultural happenings that attract both tourists and locals throughout the year.
Fancy boutiques and chic cafés line the sides of the street that mainly target tourists. You can have better bargains at the Great Market Hall at the south end of Váci utca.
Andrássy Avenue, Liszt Ferenc Square
A walk along this tree-lined hip boulevard connecting downtown Budapest with the City Park abounds in fine architecture, cultural institutions, trendy restaurants and cafes, and high-end shops. Find out more about attractions along Andrássy Avenue.
Splashing in Budapest Spas
The grand Széchenyi Bath belongs to the largest spa complexes in Europe. The water in the outdoor pool is hot enough to enjoy bathing even in cold weather. The baths are open on Easter Sunday according to their Sunday schedule. On Easter Monday all baths are closed.
Walking in Parks
Margaret Island is another peaceful gem of Budapest, between Margaret Bridge and Árpád Bridge.
The following pages provide you further help in planning your sightseeing during your Budapest Easter vacation:
During the Easter weekend there'll be some great parties in Budapest so you won’t be bored at night either.
Where to Stay at Easter in Budapest
Most Budapest Hotels offer special Easter packages.
Use the search box on the right to find the best hotel rates and special deals.
Note that you should book your accommodation well in advance, because a lot of tourists visit Budapest at Easter every year.
TIP: Stay at a 5 or 4 star downtown hotel and everything important will be within easy reach. Price of Easter packages in 5 or 4 star hotels is around 300 €/double room/2 nights.
Some Hungarian Easter Customs
Easter Programs for Families with Kids
TIP #1: The Easter in Buda Castle (Budavári Húsvéti Sokadalom) Fetsival takes place in the city's historic castle.
TIP #2: the Hungarian Agricultural Museum (Magyar Mezőgazdasági Múzeum) in Vajdahunyad Castle, City Park has a wonderful exhibition about Easter and Easter traditions in Hungary starting on the week preceding Easter. Opening hours of the museum: Tue-Sun: 10.00-17.00. Closed on Mondays but it's open on Easter Monday.
The giant painted Easter eggs are one of the highlights of the exhibit.
Tickets: 1 350 HUF/adult, 1 150 HUF/children and pensioners, family ticket (two adults + 2 kids)t: 4 500HUF.
A 40-day lent precedes Easter when people rarely eat meat. Some have meatless meals only on Fridays. Women clean the whole house, wash the windows and a few days before Easter they start baking cakes and pastries and prepare kocsonya, a rich jellied soup cooked with pork meat, smoked meat and spices.
Egg painting is practiced mainly in the villages. On Good Friday afternoon religious people go to the church to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The church bells will remain in silence until Sunday, the day of resurrection. On Holy Saturday the religious commemoration continues with a procession.
Traditional Easter Dishes
Saturday evening marks the end of the Lent and people have traditional dishes: smoked ham with pickled horseradish, hardboiled eggs and fresh white bread or milk-loaf.
On Easter Sunday morning the Easter bunny brings presents for the little ones.
The master or the mistress of the house takes a basket packed with ham, eggs, horseradish, milk loaf and a bottle of wine to the church where the priest blesses the food. The content of the basket varies slightly from region to region.
The family eats all the blessed meat for breakfast, not a crumb should be wasted because the blessed food considered to possess magical powers. For example the crumbs of the milk loaf are given to the hens so that they lay more eggs.
Mainly meat dishes (poultry, pork, lamb, and rabbit) dominate the traditional Easter Sunday lunch with various garnishing. Many housewives bake beigli (pastry rolls with walnut or poppy seed stuffing) not just for Christmas but for Easter too. See our Hungarian Easter Recipes.
On Easter Monday morning boys and men sprinkle women with perfume or with cold water, for which women give chocolate eggs or some change in return.
Men of course gather strength with a shot of pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) and they spent the rest of the day with more boozing.
Public Transport and Opening Hours at Easter in Budapest
On Holy Saturday public transport vehicles run according to Saturday schedule.
Easter Sunday and Monday are public holidays so public transport operates according to holiday schedule. You'll find exact information on public transport schedules around Easter on this page.
On Good Friday and on Holy Saturday shops are open according to Friday and Saturday schedule. See opening hours of shops on this page.
On Easter Sunday and Monday supermarkets and large stores are closed, however some shops and services that are usually open on holidays will be open on Easter Sunday and Monday:
- 24-hour (non-stop) shops,
- cafés and confectioneries,
Day trip - Easter Festival in Hollókő
The picturesque Hollókő village lies in Nograd county in the North East corner of Hungary. You can get there in two hours by car. The village people will wear folk costumes and revive the Easter traditions.
You can taste traditional Easter meals and enjoy various folk programs.
Getting there: take the M3 motorway as far as Hatvan and then drive on route 21 towards Salgótarján, before Pásztó the road branches off, take the road to Szécsény-Hollókő direction. The village is about 100 km far from Budapest.
The Weather Around Easter in Budapest
By Easter the city awakens from its winter sleep. The first buds on the trees appear and spring flowers adorn the parks and squares.
The sun shines warmer and warmer, though the weather is rather unpredictable in spring.
Daily temperatures can vary from 5 to 15°C/41-59°F. At some nights temperature can go below 0°C/32°F Usually there are some rainy and windy periods in March and April, so don't forget to pack in your umbrella and warm sweaters. See more on weather in Budapest in spring.
Related Pages You Might Want to Read
Special Hungarian Foods list of Hungarian delicacies and tips on where to buy them.