Events, Festivals, Things To Do Around Easter in Budapest 2016.
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!
Program Tips, Useful Information
TIP: Danube Boat Tour with Dinner at Easter – Spring Fair Vörösmarty Square – Easter Festival in Buda Castle – Easter Egg Exhibition – Lamb Festival in Vajdahunyad Castle – Sightseeing Tips – Wine Tasting in Buda Castle – Hotels – Hungarian Easter Customs - Public Transport & Opening Hours – Program for Families with Kids – Day Trip Suggestion – Weather
Date & Time: 25 – 26- 27 – 28. March 2016., at 19.00
Make the spring holiday special by going on a boat tour on the Danube.
It is an ideal way to see the World Heritage-listed sights (Buda castle, the Parliment,Gellért Hill) and city scape lying on the banks of the river.
On the 1.5-hour excursion you can not only admire the captivating view but enjoy a four-course warm buffet dinner and live music by the 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).Buy Your Ticket
TIP: see more Danube Cruises in Budapest.
Folk Dance Performances in Duna PalaceDates in March: 05, 12, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28 2016.
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.Buy 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.
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).
Date: to be announced later
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 27-28. March offers similar programs.
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).
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).
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:TIP: One more reason to visit the Castle is a two-day Easter Festival called Budavári Húsvéti Sokadalom organised each year over the Easter weekend, on 27-28. March in 2016.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Climb 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.
Splashing in the Thermal Baths
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 the Easter weekend.
27. March, 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.
28. March, 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
- Margaret Island is another peaceful gem of Budapest, between Margaret Bridge and Árpád Bridge.
During the Easter weekend there’ll be some great parties in the city so you won’t be bored at night either.TIP #1: The two-day Easter in Buda Castle Festival (Budavári Húsvéti Sokadalom) takes place in the city’s historic castle on 27-28. April 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 in 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:
- 24-hour (non-stop) shops,
- cafés and confectioneries,
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.
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.Related: More March Events, Things To Do – April Programs in Budapest – May Day Programs – June in Budapest – July Events – Special Hungarian Foods