What to Do & See in the First Month of Spring?
The first month of spring is capricious, windy and the air still carries the chill of winter.
But the days are getting longer and longer and the sun shines more and more so it is a great time to discover the popular as well as the hidden treasures of Budapest.
After the less active winter months march offers a couple of festivals, a national holiday (March 15.), concerts and some fun activities for all ages.Quick Links: Weather – VinCE Festival – Spring Fair Vörösmarty Sqr. – Macaron Day – Sightseeing/Tour TIPS – Concerts – Spring Festival (starts on 31. March) – Exhibitions
As mentioned before weather in March in Hungary is unpredictable.
It is still quite cold during the day (5-10 degr. Celsius) and the sharp wind often makes the air even colder than it is.
So do bring warm clothes, a light coat, sweaters, cap and dress in layers.
In some years it can even snow (there was a huge snow storm on 15. March in 2013, an infamous day when government officials texted everyone to sit in another person’s car if yours is down).
15. March – National Day
15. March is one of the most important national holidays in Hungary when we commemorate the 1848 revolution against the Habsburg oppression.
Commemorations, family programs will take place in the garden of the Hungarian National Museum, on Kossuth Sqr/Parliament and in Buda Castle.
Shops, markets will be closed on 15. March and public transport services operate according to holiday schedule.
Thermal Baths will be open according to Saturday opening hours and pricing.
Learn more about the historical background of 15. March and programs taking place in Budapest.
Address: Palace of Arts/Művészetek Palotája, Komor Marcell u. 1., district IX.
The festival, organised for the 2nd time, is focusing on the music of the French baroque era but pieces by Mozart and Haydn will also be featured in the program.
Some of the programs:
You can find the detailed program list on the Müpa’s website.
Venue: Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 43-47., district VII., tram 4, 6 Király u. stop
Opening hours: every day: 11.00-20.00
Tickets: Daily tickets purchased in advance (until February 15):
- Friday (March 17.) daily ticket: 12 000 HUF
- Friday (March 18.) professional daily ticket: 6 000 HUF
- Saturday (March 19.) daily ticket : 14 000 HUF
VinCE is central Europe’s biggest wine event with master classes, workshops and presentations in English and of course lots of tasting.
This year you can sample the wine and distillate offer of 160 exhibitors from Hungary and the neighbouring countries.
Food will be served in the food court so that you won’t have to leave the venue if you get hungry (but of course with your armband you can leave and come back whenever you want).
The elegant Corinthia Hotel Budapest in the centre is a fitting and easily accessible venue for the event where.
You can stay there if you want to have all the convenience a classy luxury hotel can offer.
Furmint, juhfark, kékfrankos will be in your glass at perfect temperature by a press of a button at any hour of the three days, always fresh, in flawless condition.
See more details on the event’s official website.
Venue: Akvárium Klub-Small Hall, Erzsébet tér, district V.
Opening hours: 12.00 – 18.00
- 2 600 HUF, (1 900 HUF if you buy it in advance on the organiser’s website),
- family (2 adults+2 kids under 12): 4 000 HUF (3 600 if bought in advance)
The idea of organising a day devoted to these cute, colourful desserts was the idea of François Payard (FP Patisserie, François Payard Bakery and Payard Patisserie & Bistro).
The first Macaron Day/Jour du Macaron was organised in Paris in 2010. New York City joined the event next year with La Maison Pierre Hermé Paris and Relais Desserts.
The Day is always held on the first day of spring, March 20.
Budapest didn’t want to lag behind and it first celebrated the extremely popular French confection in 2012.
The city’s best confectioneries and pastry shops will be there and present their macaron offer that visitors can taste and buy.
Some of the regular participants are:
- Chez Dodo (Sas utca 7.), a little cafe near the Basilica on Szent István tér specializes in macarons-it is the place to go in Budapest if you want to treat yourself to these delectable sweets.
- Gerbeaud Cafe – 50% discount on all macarons
- Desszert. Neked (Paulay Ede utca 17., distr. VII.)- free macaron tasting (till availability)
- a table! boulangerie – a French patisserie with four locations in Budapest: Arany J. utca in Pest (Basilica neighbourhood), Wesselényi utca (Jewish Qrtr), Retek utca in Buda,
Since the date falls on a Sunday in 2016 the organisers prepare with even more family and children’s programs than in previous years.
One of the most exciting program elements is the macaron competition, and this year it will be held with an interesting twist: competitors must turn traditional cakes into a macaron form.
Venue address: Vörösmarty tér, city centre, district V. M1 underground stop, M2, M3 lines at Deák tér, tram 2., Vigadó or Széchenyi tér (a short walk from there)
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 21.00
The biggest event of the spring takes place in the very heart of Budapest on Vörösmarty tér, a spacious, historic plaza sprawling in front of the Gerbeaud cafe, and easily accessible from lots of points in the city.
The square also hosts one of Europe’s most popular Christmas fairs each year (usually from mid-November till 06. January).
The 4-week spring fair is similar to the Xmas fair regarding program, product and food offer -just the weather is more pleasant this time of the year.
Learn more details about the Budapest Spring Fair!
The early spring weather is ideal for exploring the city’s many sights on foot, bus, boat or bike.
Address: Liszt Ferenc tér 8., district VI.
Getting there: tram 4-6, Király utca stop
Visit one of Budapest’s Art Nouveau gems on a guided tour.
The renewed Music Academy founded by Franz Liszt in 1875 (the only music academy in the world founded by the composer) is a must-see building in Budapest.
It boasts a stunning interior decorated with lots of mythological elements (the meanings of which are explained on the tour).
You can learn a great deal about the history and architectural details of the academy. Highly recommended, not just for music and architecture fans!
Tours in English (for individuals) start every day at 13.30. The tour is approx. 50 min – 1 hour long. Tickets: full price: 3 500 HUF/person, students (with ID card) and for people over 65: 1 750 HUF/person.
No need to register, just be there on time (5-10 minutes before the start, meeting is usually inside at the main entrance at the stairs).TIP: The Music Academy has a varied concert repertoire each month from classical to jazz and folk music featuring Hungarian and interanational orchestras and artists. A concert is a great opportunity to admire the architecture and enjoy the excellent acoustics of either the Grand Hall or the smaller Solti Hall.
Visit the official website of the Academy for the up-to-date programs and ticket purchase.
Bike Tours In and Outside Budapest
Budapest bike tours let you experience the city in a fun way, on two wheels. They’ll show you the major landmarks as well as the hidden spots known only by locals.
- If you choose to do the Tour with Goulash tour you’ll be also treated to a bowl of delicious goulash soup at the end of the program. A really enjoyable program if you want to do something more exciting than a boring bus tour.
- On the Szentendre tour (a 25-km trip on bike and boat) you’ll have the chance to discover a magical little town in the picturesque Danube Bend famous for its art life.
Lead by seasoned bikers as well as friendly, English-speaking guides!
We’ve already recommended the Music Academy as a superb concert venue and you’ll certainly find a concert in their March program that you’ll like.
Organ Concerts in St. Stephen’s Basilica
Dates in March: 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
Tickets: 19 EUR, 26 EUR, 36 EUR
The largest and best-known church of the city, the Basilica on Szt. István Square is a fitting venue for organ recitals.
The 70-minute program is orchestrated by Miklós Teleki, one of the most talented organ artists of Hungary.
Soloist and flute piece complements the concert.Buy Ticket!
Budapest boasts many lovely churches that regularly host concerts that are usually free to attend. Here is our selection of spiritual musical performances for March.
St. Michael’s Church
This charming little church in the bustling shopping street, Váci utca regularly gives home to concerts (Baroque concert series in each September, Organ Concerts on Wednesdays/Saturdays).
A great place to enjoy some serenity, away from the hectic city centre.
Matthias Church – Hungarian Virtusosi Chamber Orchestra, March 18. 2017
Date & Time:
Tickets: Bronze – 3 900 HUF, Silver – 4 900 HUF, Gold – 7 900 HUF, Platinum – 9 900 HUF, VIP – 14 900 HUF, Premium – 23 900 HUF
The renovated Church of Our Lady or better known as Matthias Church in Buda Castle has wonderful acoustics that can be enjoyed on concerts organized on a regular basis.
The Hungarian Virtuosi Orchestra usually gives 2 concerts each month (4 in the Christmas season).
These are not free but tickets are affordable and available in various price categories.
The VIP and Premium tickets are for comfortable benches placed near the the altar, right next to the band.
The Gold sector is next to the altar, the Silver sector in the front row of seats, while the bronze sector is in the back pews.
You can see numerous exhibitions in Budapest’s 100+ museums all the year round.