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Easter in Budapest

April 5 - April 6

Events, Festivals, Things To Do Around Easter in Budapest 2015.

Do you plan to spend Easter in Budapest? The Hungarian capital offers plenty of attractions and activities for a wonderful Easter weekend in 2015.

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. See some of the attractions and things to do the Hungarian capital offers!

 

 

 

Note: Most shops, and markets are closed on Easter Sunday and Monday. Public transportation operates according to holiday schedule. Thermal baths will be open though some services will not be available.

Program Tips, Useful Information

Danube Boat Tour with DinnerSpring Fair Vörösmarty SquareEaster Festival in Buda CastleEaster Egg ExhibitionLamb Festival in Vajdahunyad Castle –   Sightseeing TipsWine Tasting in Buda CastleHotelsHungarian Easter Customs - Public Transport & Opening HoursProgram for Families with KidsDay Trip SuggestionWeather

Easter Cruise with Dinner on the Danube

Date & Time: 03 – 04- 05 – 06. April 2015., at 19.00

a boat on the Danube at duskA boat cruise is a very romantic way to see Budapest’s major sights located on the Danube embankment.

On the one and half-hour excursion you can not only admire the captivating city scape but have a four-course warm buffet dinner and enjoy live music by the talented Hungaria Orchestra.

You’ll also be treated to a small Easter surprise that you can take home to remind you of the wonderful vacation in Hungary’s capital city.

Ticket Price: 40 EUR (full price), 36 EUR (students).

 

TIP: see more Danube Cruises in Budapest.

 

Folk Dance Performances in Duna Palace 03-04-05-06. April

Enjoy the lively dance shows in the neo-Baroque Duna Palota in the city center.

The authentic dances to the tunes of folk music presented by award-winner Hungarian folk dance groups dressed in traditional costumes ensure a unique cultural entertainment over the holiday weekend.

Reserve your Ticket.

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.

The Parliament and Kossuth Square in April

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 the any of the Thermal Baths and 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 one of the numerous Shopping Centres (except for Easter Sunday and Monday when shops are closed).

Spring Fair at Vörösmarty Square 27. March – 26. April 2015.

TIP: Check out the Spring Fair in the city centre at Vörösmarty tér. The event is no doubt trying to mimic the success of the Christmas Market held also on the Square each December.

Craft fair, traditional Hungarian Easter foods, drinks, programs, activities for children, folk dance, concerts on the main stage offer a great time for everyone.

TIP: The Festival in Buda Castle on 05-06. April offers similar programs.

Easter Lamb Festival in Vajdahunyad Castle, 04-06. April

Admission: free

The Vajdahunyad Castle in the city’s largest park, Városliget, hosts an Easter Lamb Festival for the 2nd time. This is the place to taste lamb and other dishes popular on the spring holiday prepared in traditional and modern ways.

The best lamb dish will be decided on a cooking contest on Sunday and the winner will receive the “Golden Lamb Award” by the Hungarian National Gastronomy Society.

Street food options (Kolbice – Hungarian version of hot dog, Mexican food by MexKitchen) so you can conveniently eat and explore the festival

Many programs for children (craft workshops, chocolate making, animals to pet, concerts).

Hungarian Easter eggs dyed red and blue, Exhibition in Duna Palace

Easter Egg Exhibtion in the Danube Palace

Date: 03. March to 05. April, every day between 9.00 – 18.00.

Entry: free

View hand-painted Easter eggs decorated in various styles by Ildikó Fekete, awardee of “Excellence of Handicarfts”.

Around 1000 traditional, dyed eggs are on display on the first floor in Duna Palota (Zrínyi utca 5., near the Basilica).

You can see more photos about the exhibition in our Facebook album

Sightseeing Tips in Budapest for the Easter Holiday

TIP: Discover the  best-known landmarks and get insight into the less obvious side of our city on a unique guided tour. The Lucky 13 walk tour on Saturdays at 10.00 is a small-group, friendly, interactive program lead by locals in English.

Fishermen's Bastion as seen from Holy Trinity Sqr.

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:

TIP: One more reason to visit the Castle is a three-day Easter Festival called Budavári Húsvéti Sokadalom organised each year over the Easter weekend, on 05-06. April 2015.

 

 

 

 

the rustic interior of the Faust wine cellarEnd 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 menus 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.

See wine tasting menus and book it online by paying 10% in advance: Fully booked on 03-04-05-06 April.

TIP: Take a Wine Tour in Etyek (with lunch/dinner and transfer to and back) to experience real countryside hospitality, delightful wines, 2-course Hungarian meal, guided around the cellars and vineyards by a local, English-speaking guide.

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.

 

TIP: 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: 1 200 HUF/adult, 700/children between 3-14 years of age, return ticket: 1 800 HUF/adult, 1 100 HUF/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 Széchenyi 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.

Street musicians on Vörösmarty Square

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 shops, 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.

The tree-lined Andrássy avenue

TIP:Tower Tours in Vajdahunyad Castle: You can visit the two previously closed towers of the mock castle that houses the Hungarian Agricultural Museum (Magyar Mezőgazdasági Múzeum) and some unique exhibitions in City Park as of spring 2015.

vajdahunyad castle and city park lakeClimb up to the Gate Tower (Kaputorony) opened on 15. March and enjoy a spectacular vista of City Park Lake, Széchenyi Island and the surrounding buildings.

The Gate Tower can be visited without guiding and is open every day: 9.00-20.00, Tickets: 300 HUF (free for children under 3 who can attend the tower under the supervision of an adult), cashier is closed: 12.00-12.30, and 18.00-18.15.

Opening hours of the museum: Tue-Sun: 10.00-17.00. Closed on Mondays but it’s open on Easter Monday. Tickets to the museum: full price: 1 100 HUF, children retirees: 550 HUF, combined tickets (museum + tower tours) are available.

More Budapest Sightseeing Tips.

Splashing in the Thermal Baths

After long hours of walking, refresh yourself in Budapest Spas. In the famous Gellert Bath you can admire the fine interior while relaxing in the hot water.

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 & Monday according to their Sunday schedule (see opening hours below).

Note: The Veli Bej Turkish Spa is closed on 04., 05., and 06. April.

Opening Hours in the Baths on 05-06. April, 2015:

05. April, Sunday:

  • The thermal baths and the swimming pools, the thermal departments of Gellért, Rudas, Király and Dandár Thermal Baths are operating according to Sunday opening hours.
  • Csillaghegyi Baths, the day hospitals and the thermal departments of the other baths remain closed.
  • The tub bath, the mud treatment and the underwater traction at Lukács Thermal Baths are not available.
  • Drinking fountains are open accoding to Sunday opening hours.

6 April, Monday

  • Széchenyi, Gellért, Király, Rudas and Dagály Thermal Baths are operating according to Sunday opening hours.
  • Lukács Thermal Baths is open from 11.00 to 21.00.
  • Dandár Thermal Baths is open from 6.00 to 18.00.
  • The thermal department of Rudas Bath is open for visitors of both sexes.
  • Csillaghegyi Baths, the day hospitals, the thermal departments of the other baths and the drinking fountains remain closed.

Walking in Parks

If you have time and long for lots of green, trees, fresh air take a walk in one of Budapest’s parks, the largest is the City Park with Zoo and other amenities.

TIPS:

  • 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 Easter vacation:

During the Easter weekend there’ll be some great parties in the city so you won’t be bored at night either.

Easter Programs for Families with Kids

Easter in Buda Castle – 05-06. April

TIP #1: The two-day Easter in Buda Castle Festival (Budavári Húsvéti Sokadalom) takes place in the city’s historic castle on 05-06. April 2015. with plenty of programs and activities for children and grown ups alike.

Folk ensembles will be performing a special spring welcoming dance show, the guest nation, Székely Land (Székelyföld) will introduce their rich Easter folk dance and music heritage, you can sample traditional Hungarian food and wine at the terraces of the Royal Castle or buy gifts and delicacies at the gastronomy and folk art fair.

Kids can paint eggs at the craft workshops, pet symbolic animals of Easter and spring (bunnies, lambs, chicks, and ducklings), help the Easter bunny to find the eggs who will reward them with small surprises.

Interactive plays and performances at the Kikeleti Mesekert (Spring Tale Garden) and the Komédiás Mező (Fun Meadow), traditional skill games (egg rolling and throwing) will provide further entertainment for the little ones.

Concerts in various genres (world music, folk music and dance, classical, children music) will be on stage in the Hunyadi Court.

Daily tickets:

  • full price 2 800 HUF,
  • children (aged 3-14): 1 000 HUF,
  • students, retirees: 1 500 HUF,
  • family ticket 2 adults+ max. 4 kids): 5 000 HUF

Where to Stay at Easter?

Most hotels offer special Easter packages. Note that you should book your accommodation well in advance, because a lot of tourists visit the Hungarian capital 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 EUR/double room/2 nights.

Some Hungarian Easter Customs

painted Easter eggs

Lent, Holy Week

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, skin, smoked meat and spices.

The traditional forms of easter egg painting (egg shoeing and other techniques)  are practiced mainly in the villages, though today you can learn them at Easter festivals and craft workshops.

TIP: You can view around 1000 beautifully decorated traditional Hungarian Easter eggs by Ildikó Fekete folk artist in an exhibition on the first floor of the Danube Palace (Zrínyi utca 5., city centre near the Basilica. Admission is free.

On Good Friday afternoon religious people go to the church to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and participate on the symbolic procession that follows Christ’s final route.

It’s a day of mourning and fasting, many people also avoid doing household chores. Churches remain unadorned – no flowers are placed and candles are not lighted, statues and icons are covered.

The church bells will remain in silence until Sunday, the day of resurrection. On Holy Saturday the religious commemoration continues with  the consecration of fire, the holy water and lighting the Paschal candle. People make a solemn procession into the church where the first mass since Maundy Thursday begins after dusk.

Traditional Easter Dishes

Hungarian Easter ham plate: ham slices, boiled egg, radish, lettuceSaturday 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.

In our family kids make a nest from grass for the bunny to place the gifts and sweets.

The little ones rush out of the house early morning to see what surprises had the  bunny placed in the nest or hidden at other places in the garden.

Our son hunting for Easter eggs in the garden.They usually have their fill of chocolate eggs, bunnies, chicks, and other sweets over the weekend.

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 also our Hungarian Easter Recipes.

Easter Monday

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 distilate) and they usually spend 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 shops, markets, supermarkets and large stores are closed, however some shops and services may be open (very few though because of the new regulation that came into effect on 15. March 2015.: shops larger than 200 sqm cannot be open on Sunday and bank holidays.:

Some of the types of places that are open during the holiday:

  • florists,
  • sweet-shops,
  • 24-hour (non-stop) shops,
  • restaurants,
  • cafés and confectioneries,
  • cinemas.

Day Trip – Easter Festival in Hollókő

The picturesque Hollókő village lies in Nógrád 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, Hungary

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: April Programs in BudapestMay Day ProgramsJune in BudapestJuly Events  – Special Hungarian Foods

Details

Start:
April 5
End:
April 6

Venue

Several Places in the City
Budapest,