January in Budapest

What to Do and See in the 1st Month of the Year?

Budapest doesn’t sleep in January even if it’s the coldest month of the year.

The Christmas and New Year festivities have ended and the Hungarian capital is packed with energy and ready for 2024.

We’ve listed some exciting indoor and outdoor programs to help you plan an awesome winter holiday in Budapest.

view of the Liberty Bridge form gellert Hill on a foggy winter morning
View From Gellért Hill In January

Weather In Budapest In January

January is the coldest and drearest month in Hungary with an average temperature of cc. 0.5 Celsius degree in Budapest (minimum: -1.6 C, maximum: 2.9 C).But this shouldn’t keep you from having fun and being active during your visit.

Here are some tips and advice:

  • Make sure you dress in layers – (sweaters, sweatshirts, comfortable coat and boots, winter cap, scarf, gloves)Plan indoor and outdoor programs according to the weather forecast. Do your walking/sightseeing when it’s sunny and there’s no snow or drizzle/rain.If it’s very cold include more indoor programs.
The Royal Palace in Buda & the icy Danube
The Icy Danube & The Royal Palace In Buda

TIP: Budapest is famous for its classic coffee houses, but new wave cafe culture with specialty coffee shops opening almost every other week is also on the rise –  see recommendations below). A nice cup of hot coffe, tea or chocolate will sure warm you up on a cold January day.

River Cruises With Dinner or Drinks at 19.00

View the superb night panorama of Budapest from the warmth of boat while enjoying a buffet dinner or just drinks.

The cruise with Hungarian dinner offers you the chance to taste local dishes like goulash and stuffed cabbage. A spectatcular folk dance performance accompanied by live orchestra music rounds up the evening program.

Check Availability & Book Your Place:

evening dinner cruise budapest 56

Unlimied Buffet Dinner Cruise with Folk Show

Cruise Starts: 19.00

Duration: 120 min.

Price: From €89

Cocktail Cruise

Drinks & Cruise with Folk Show

Cruise Starts: 19.00

Duration: 120 min.

Price: From €29

Hungarian Dinner Cruise

Hungarian Dinner Cruise with Folk Show

Cruise Starts: 19.00

Duration: 120 min.

 Price: From €69

Lumina Park Palatinus Bath/Margitsziget – Light Up Your Day!

A cool light exhibition park that will light up your evening in the wintery city!

Location:

  • Palatinus Bath, Margaret Island

The Palatinus Bath on the island comes alive in the evenings with stunning light displays, hence the name “Lumina.”

It’s like stepping into a fairytale with the trees all lit up – the amazing light exhibtion tells the 150-year history of Budapest.

Tickets:

  • Mon – Thurs: full price: 4 600 HUF, Discounted: 4 100 HUF, Family: 15 900 HUF
  • Fri – Sun & Holidays: Full price: 4 900 HUF, Discounted: 4 500 HUF, Family: 16 900 HUF
display in green LED light in the Lumina Park
Lumina Park, Palatinus Bath/Margaret Island

Opening Hours:

  • Every day from sunset till 21.00/9 pm

Note: Buy your tickets online because the on-site ticket office is at 150 m from the entrance to the Luminapark.

Gozsdu Weekend Market, Saturdays & Sundays

Venue:

  • Gozsdu Court
  • Address: Király utca 13. Dob utca 16., Budapest 1075 , district VII. (close to Deák Square metro hub, see on Google Maps)

Dates in January 2024:

  • every Saturday and Sunday

Opening Hours:

  • 10.00 – 17.00
people browsing the stalls of vendors in the craft market in Gozsdu Court
Weekend Craft Market In Gozsdu Court

A vibrant street market every weekend in the heart of the city’s party district.

  • Saturday the Antique Vintage Market takes place, more a flee market, with all sorts of retro and antique pieces on sale.
  • On Sunday, the GoArt! Gozsdu Art Market is the place where you pick up quality, handcrafted design and vintage art.

Farmers’ Market & Kraft Market & In Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar, Januray

Venue:

  • Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar, Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 (View on Map)

Dates In January 2024:

  • January 06: Craft Jewelry Fair, January 20: Kraft Fair

Opning Hours:

  • 12.00 – 17.30 for both events

The most famous of Budapest’s ruin bars, Szimlakert regularly hosts farmers’ markets and handicraft fairs usually on Saturdays.

szimpla farmers market budapest
Szimpla Háztáji – Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday, Szimpla transforms into this lively marketplace. You’ll find stalls bursting with fresh, organic produce straight from the Hungarian countryside – we’re talking colorful veggies, juicy fruits, and artisanal goodies that’ll make your taste buds dance.

Wander through the eclectic market with the scent of coffee, cakes and street food wafting through the air, live music playing in the background, and local artists showcasing their creations.

It’s like a mini-festival where you can munch on delicious treats, to the tunes of lovely music, and soak in the cool, bohemian atmosphere.

TIP: Explore Kazinczy Street & Other Parts Od Jewish Budapest

Szimpla is located in the wonderfully multifaceted Kazinczy Street in the heart of the historic Jewish Quarter of Budapest.

You can really spend hours to explore the neighbourhood with its assorted cafes, pubs, synagogues, museums, shops and the colourful painings adorning the firewalls of buildings at almost every corner.

street art budapest 400
Firewall Painting
Street view of the Kazinczy Synagogue on a summer day
Kazinczy Synagogue
firewall art in Budapest: depicts a young woman wearing a blue hat
Street Art
synagogue tour

Jewish Heritage Guided Tour with Synagouge visit

Explore Budapest’s rich Jewish history and heritage on a captivating walking tour include the Dohany Street Synagogue

Tour starts: 10:00 / Duration: 120/240 min.

Price From €49

Concerts In Budapest In January 2024

The historic temple in downtown Budapest is a perfect place for a lovely winter concert.

The largest church of the city, St. Stephen’s Basilica gives home to a fantastic organ recital on 04. January 04, Thursday at 20.00 and classical music performances on most Sundays and Tuesdays (see dates below).

Pick from 3 concerts and 4 seating categories based on your preferences and budget. The concert schedule varies by day as you can see here.

The Matthias Church in Buda Castle also hosts concerts on January 02 and 03 featuring classical favorites from Mozart, Bach, Saint-Saens, and more

An orchestra playing in front of the ornate main alatra of Mathhias Church
Concert in Matthias Church

Check Availability Of Church Concerts!

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TIP: Find out where else to enjoy organ music in Budapest!

Tour The Opera House – A Superb Indoor Program!

The Hungarian State Opera House, located on the classy Andrássy Boulevard, is a real gem for music and architecture enthusiasts alike.

It’s a neo-Renaissance masterpiece that opened its doors in 1884, and let me tell you, it’s a feast for the eyes.

From the intricate details on the facade to the opulent interior, every nook and cranny is dripping with history and artistic flair.

Guided tours are the way to go to get the inside scoop on the Opera House’s rich history, the stunning auditorium, and the behind-the-scenes magic that brings performances to life.

guided tour guests sitting on the red carpeted main stair of the Hungarian Opera House
Guided Tour In The Hungarian Opera House

Guided Tour Date & Times

  • The 60-minute tours in English start every day at 13.30, 15.00 and 16.30

Tickets:

  • 9 000 HUF

You can book a tour through the website of the Opera House.

Visit The Zoo!

The Zoo & Botanical Garden is open all year round though with shorter opening hours in winter.

January Opening Hours:

  • every day: 09.00 -16.00 (last entry at 15.00), the animal houses are open: 10.00 – 15.30

TIP: If it’s too cold for strolling around the park view the interactive exhibits in the Magic Hill/Varázshegy. An excellent program with children! The Magic Hill is open: 10.00 – 15.30  in January-February.

Warm Up in a Thermal Bath!

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Budapest is known for its thermal baths fed by healing spring water. The best known spas are the Gellért Bath in the Buda side and the Széchenyi Bath (aka Szecska) in Pest’s City park.

For a less touristy spot head for the Lukács Bath near Margaret Bridge in Buda. The origins of the bath date back to the early Middle Ages. It has

  • Two swimming pools
  • A relax pool (35 – 37 °C)
  • A medicinal pool (24 -40 °C)
  • Sauna world, and a
  • Wellness department with various services

Ice Skating – Fun Outdoor Execrcise

Besides one of Europe’s largest open-air ice rink in City Park, Budapest has a couple of smaller but no less excellent ice rinks.

Ice Skating Park In Csepel, District 21, Southern Pest

Have fun and get some outdoor excercising in Budapest’s most panoramic ice rink park in Csepel, at a 10-minute train ride form the city centre (Boráros tér, trams 4, 6 stop).

Address & Getting There:

  • II. Rákóczi Ferenc út 89-91, Budapest 1211 (View on Map)
  • Take suburban train H7 from Boráros tér, get off at Szent Imre tér station (3rd stop), 1 min walk from there

Opening Hours:

  • Every day: 08.00 – 21.00

Tickets:

  • 2 000 HUF, free for kids uner 3 years

The fantastic, panoramic rink, spanning over 2000 m², consists of an

  • 800 m² main rink,
  • a smaller 300 m² rink, and a
  • 200 m² learning rink, connected by
  • 250 meters of ice corridor.
bird's eye view of the ice skating park and corridor in Csepel at night
Ice Corridor & Skating Park in Csepel
Ice skaters in the Ice Rink Corridor and Park in Csepel
Ice Skating In Csepel, District 21

If you get hungry or thirsty while gliding around in this fairy tale like winter land you can get

  • Lángos,
  • Chimney cake,
  • Hot tea, mulled wine and other drinks form the handful of vendors outside the park.

Ice Rink In Budapest Park, Till February 04, 2024

Address & Getting There:

  • Soroksári út 60, Bp 1095, district IX (see on Map)

Opening Hours:

  • Every day: 10.00 – 22.00

Tickets:

  • Normal period: Mon- Thurs: adult: 2 499 HUF, student: 1 999 HUF, family (2 adults + 1 child uner 14 yo): 6 499 HUF
  • Weekends Fri – Sun and winter break (till Jan 07): adult: 3 499 HUF, student: 2 499 HUF, family (2 adults + 1 child uner 14 yo): 8 999 HUF
skaters on the ice rink in Budapest Park at night
Ice Rink In Budapest Park

The popular outdoor entertainment venue, Budapest Park, turned into a huge winter park with a 2 000 sq m ice rink. Located in the space of the main dance floor, this year’s rink is even larger than the previous one, welcoming enthusiasts till February 04.

The spacious rink includes an ice corridor similarly to the one in Csepel. Both children and adults can skate in confidence here.

And if you happen to get tired, several huts await you with hot drinks and a winter-inspired menu, so that during your break, you can regain energy for the next round of skating.

Museums To Visit In January

Wandering around a museum is also a great way to spend time in Budapest in winter. Here are some recommendations!

TIP: Both the Fine Art Museum and the House of Music are next to the City Park so why not set aside half a day to explore the park and its attractions.

It’s got some great places to eat: the summer terraces covered in igloo to protect against the cold but still offering the feeling o eating outdoor. Check out Buja Disznók for giant sized breaded pork chops.

Renoir Exhibiton In The Museum of Fine Arts – Till January 07, 2024

Venue, Address:

  • Museum of Fine Arts: Dózsa György út 41., Budapest 1146 (next to Heroes’ Sqr., View On Map)

Opening Hours:

  • Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00

Tickets:

  • Between Tuesday – Friday: 6 200 HUF
  • Other days – full price: 6 800 HUF
  • 50 % discount for students (aged 6 – 24, seniors above the age of 62

It is the first time in Hungary that a comprehensive exhibition is showcasing Renoir’s entire body of work.

The highlight of the exhibit is no doubt the Reclining Nude masterpiece painted in 1904.

the colonnaded entrance of the Museum Of Fine Arts in Budapest on a sunny autumn day
Museum Of Fine Arts
a woman with long auburn hair looking at two of the exhibited paintings of the Renoir Exhibition in the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts,
Renoir Exhibition Till January 07

Two pieces of the Reclining Nude are kept at the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, and it is from here that the idea for the Fine Arts exhibition originated: to present the three paintings together in one space for the first time.

The basis of the collaboration between Paris and Budapest is, therefore, the meeting of the “Three Graces”.

These paintings represent the pinnacle of Renoir’s work, with their understated sensuality and the marvelous interplay of forms and colors.

With these nudes, Renoir manages to be both modern and classical, evoking the works of old masters while also setting an example for the young artists of his time,” praised the French expert.

However, Claire Bernardi also pointed out that beyond this “sensuous trio”, the Budapest exhibition provides a splendid overview of Renoir’s work.

With the 70 artworks gathered here, we can witness every stage of Renoir’s long career,” she emphasized.

House Of Music Hungary

Venue, Address:

  • Olof Palme stny. 3, Bp 1146, City park/Városliget (View on map)

Opening Hours:

  • Tue – Sun: 10.00 – 18.00
  • Sound Dome opening hours: Tue, Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun: 10.00 – 18.00, Fri: 10.00 – 20.00. The Dome is closed on Mondays and the first Tuesday and Wednesday of each month.

Tickets:

  • Permanent exhibit: 3 400 HUF
  • Sound Dome: 2 000 HUF

Housed in a stunning, award-winner building at the edge of City park the House of Music is an excellent program for the whole family.

Devote a couple of hours to the permanent exhibition masterfully illustrates the evolution of music, making it a highly recommended adventure for all.

Multimedia presentations help you absorb the information in ahighly entertaining way.

the entry of House of Music museum
House Of Music Hungary Entrance
terrace of the cafe in the House of Music Hungary
Cafe in the House of Music

Even if you don’t have time to view the exhibits just stroll around to admire the unique architecture.

Make sure you drop by the Sound Dome: according to the museum’s website:

The Sound Dome emits sounds. But it is more than just that. Our sound dome is also a projection screen with a sound system behind it.

Anyone sitting in the middle will hear sounds coming from all directions. The world of sounds is evoked here starting with those of nature to composed music but the experience visitors have here expands beyond this dimension.

There is a cafe where you can take a break with a cup of hot or cold drink and snacks.

Ice Age & Ice Rink – Natural History Museum

Address:

Opening Hours:

  • Mon – Sun: 09.00 – 17.00

Admission:

  • Adult full price: 3 000 HUF
  • Students (ages 6 – 26): 1 500 HUF
  • Family ticket (2 adults + 1 kid /older than 6/): 6 000 HUF
  • Children under the age of 6: free
a stuffed saber toothed tiger on the Ice Age exhibition, ice skating children in the background
Ice Age Exhibition & Ice Rink

Ice Age Exhibition, Till February 18, 2024

The exhibition showcases the most spectacular extinct or endangered animal species of the last ice age, the Arctic, and the tundra.

It offers an experience and entertainment for every family member. The 160 sqm ice rink – made of plastic sheets on a special plastic surface- right next to the display area is a great fun for kids.

Note: Skaters can on onto the rink every hour at the half-hour mark, and they have the opportunity to use it for 50 minutes.

You can rent ice skates for free with a deposit, ranging from size 25 to size 47.

Past January Events

Christmas Market By The Basilica, till 01. January 2024.

The festive fair on Szent István Square right in front of the Basilica is on till 1st January.

On new Year’s Day you can enjoy the 3D light mapping show projected on the facade of the Basilica between 16.30 till 22.00.

You can also have a delicious meal at one of the handful of food vendors and warm your hands with a glass of mulled wine or hot tea.

Christmas & Winter Fair In Vörösmarty Square, till 01. January, 2024

The city’s famous  holiday fair at Vorösmarty Square is also open on January 01, 2024, Although the craft vendors closed in December, the food and beverage stalls offer real Hungarian treats like stuffed cabbage, roast meats, lángos and chimney cake.

A huge selection of hot and cold drinks are also available.

Travel On A Festively Lit Tram!

TIP: You can hop on one of the the Christmas Light Trams till 07. January.

Tram 2 is the best if you want to see the most famous sights of the city dotting the riverbank in Pest.

The festively decorated tram 2 runs on 01. & 02. January after 17.00.

the yellow tram 2 in festive lighting at night
Tram 2 Decorated with LED lights