Easter in Budapest
April 14 - April 17
Events, Festivals, Things To Do Around Easter in Budapest
Do you plan to spend Easter in Budapest? The Hungarian capital offers plenty of attractions and activities for a wonderful Easter weekend.
Plan your Easter city break to Budapest well, so that you can get the most of your time.
See our things to do tips below and some useful information about public transport, opening hours and the weather around the holiday.TIP: Danube Cruise with Dinner at Easter – Spring Fair Vörösmarty Square – Lamb Festival in Vajdahunyad Castle – Sightseeing Tips – Wine Tasting in Buda Castle – Hotels – Hungarian Easter Customs – Public Transport & Opening Hours – Programs for Families with Kids – Day Trip Suggestion – Weather
Program Tips, Useful Information
Date & Time: 15. 16., 17. April, 2017., 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: 49 EUR (full price), 46 EUR (students).Buy Cruise Ticket
Folk Dance Performances in Duna PalaceDates in April 2017: 01, 08, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 28, 29
Enjoy the lively dance shows in the neo-Baroque Duna Palota in the city center. The show will be on over the Easter weekend.
- Good Friday/ 14. Apr,
- Saturday/15. Apr,
- Easter Sunday: 16. Apr,
- Easter Monday: 17. Apr
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.
Book Online to Secure Your Seat!
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: 31. March – 30. April 2017. (Date is subject to change)
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.
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).
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.
Climb up to the Gate Tower (Kaputorony) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Wine Tasting Menus You Can Book Online:
Restaurant & Cafes in Buda Castle
Castle District has plenty of restaurants ranging from traditional Hungarian like
- the 21 Restaurant, or
- the Pest Buda Bistro, both in Fortuna utca
or Italian like the fairly new Jamie’s Italian in Szentháromság utca close to Matthias Church.
Dine with a View – Halászbástya Étterem
The Halászbástya Restaurant is located inside Fishermen’s bastion. It’s the place where you can enjoy the best panoramic views while eating.
The terrace is open from spring to autumn with a gypsy band playing in the afternoons.
- 4 set menus (Hungarian Gourmet – 65 EUR, Halászbástya – 85 EUR, Deluxe – 235 EUR and Vegetarian – 50 EUR),
- a la carte dishes as well as
- chef’s offer from seasonal ingredients.
Some splendid wines and cocktails to go with the fine meals no to mention the exceptional view. A great place for a lunch and dinner while visiting the castle.
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.
After Buda Castle Head for Pest
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, where the 0 km stone of Hungary stands, 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 coffee (prepared now from freshly roasted, farm-selected beans) with a slice of delicious Hungarian cake (the Dobos torte or Gerbaud cake are both delicious) 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.
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 the Easter weekend.
16. 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.
17. 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
- 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.
Easter Bunny Hunt in the Hungarian Railway Museum
Address: Tatai utca 95., district XIV.
- Budapest-Esztergom train service from Nyugati Train Station,
- buses 30 and 30A from Keleti Train Station (M2, red metro line), and Újpest Központ (M3, blue metro line)
- get off at Rokolya utca stop, the museum is a two-block walk towards east, or
- bus 120 form Árpád Bridge Pest end (get off at the end Reitter Ferenc utca)
Tickets: free for kids ages 0-4, children ages 4-18: 700 HUF, adults: 1 600 HUF, family: 3 200 HUF, retirees: 900 HUF.
The large railway park in Budapest’s district XIV. opens the season with fun family programs.
Kids can look for painted, carved wooden bunnies hidden at various spots in the park.
A small craft workshop with Egg painting, and an animal petting area will also welcome the little ones on both days.
Other activties that you can try: rinding on a horse tram, in a Tchaika car, garden railway, hand-operated cart.
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.
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: March Events, Things To Do – Spring Fair at Vörösmarty Square – April Programs in Budapest – May Day Programs – June in Budapest – July Events – Special Hungarian Foods