Programs in the Last Month of Autumn
You can choose from many things to do in Budapest in November: one of the most important days of November is 11th, St. Martin’s Day when we celebrate the new wine and everything goose.
A couple of festivals, gastronomy programs take place on this day.
Most restaurants prepare with special goose menu for St. Martin’s Day and often for the week preceding it.Quick Links: Events, Festivals – St. Martin’s Day Goose Feast – Wine Festival in Hotel Gellért – Hungarian Dinner and Folk Evening – Christmas/Advent Fairs – WAMP Design Fair – Concerts in November – Sightseeing TIPs – Thermal Baths – Museum TIPs – TIP: Hungarian Cooking Class
The main Christmas Fair of the city on Vörösmarty Square usually kicks of early this year on 11. November, Friday.
Other Christmas Markets and Advent Festivals (at the Basilica, in Városháza Park, in the Palace Quarter, Erzsébet Square, Óbuda/distr. III.) begin around the last weekend of November.
If the weather allows you can admire autumn colours in the parks, and gardens.
For rainy days we recommend a visit to one of the thermal baths, going on sightseeing tours on the Danube, and a classical music concert for the evening.
- Weather in Autumn– to decide what sort of clothes to pack.
- Public Transport – metro, tram, bus lines and other means of transportation.
- Costs and Prices – how much basic items and services cost.
- Safety in Budapest – information and tips on how to ensure your and your belonging’s safety.
New Wine & Cheese Festival, 26 – 27. November, Vajdahunyad Castle
- Venue: Vajdahunyadvár, Városliget (Vajdahunyad Castle)
- Getting there: M1 underground (yellow line), Széchenyi fürdő stop,trolley buses: No. 72, 73, 75, 79
- Opening Hours: Sat – Sun: 10.00 – 18.00
- Admission: 2 500 HUF/prs, includes tasting of all the wines and cheeses presented on the festival, a glass with the logo of the event, admission to the exhibition of the Musuem of Hungarian Agriculture
The end of the month is still about wines: this time paired with cheese.
The new wine of 2016 by Hungary’s prestigious wine makers will be in the limelight in the halls of Vajdahunyad Castle that also houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture over the last weekend of November.
If you have an iterest in all things agriculture you can visit the Hungarian Agriculture Museum’s exhibition with your festival ticket.
The current permanent exhibits include:
- The History of Hungarian Agriculture in the Carpathian Basin – from the beginning till 1945.
- The Horse – National Horse Exhibition – learn about Hungarian horse breeds and see the skeleton of the famous Hungarian race horse, Kincsem. Recommended for children!
- Domestication of animals – the domestictaion of wild animals in the Neolithic era was an important milestone in the establishment of farming and agricultural practices.
- From the Kingdom of Plants – an introduction to the Forestry and Natural Resources exhibit.
To Opera House’s most awaited performance is the Nutcracker/Diótörő by Tchaikovsky each year. There will be 26 performances of the ballet between 01 – 30. December.
The Opera House celebrates the series of the prominent performance with a special Nutcracker Festival in front of the building.
- A 10 m tall Christmas tree had already been erected and decorated on 17. November. Characteristic elements of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, musical programs and a craft fair will bring alive an enchanted atmosphere in the neighbourhood.
- The Opera Cafe welcomes guests with hot drinks and traditional Christmas cakes and pastries.
- The OperaFleur’s cottage prepares with unique gingerbreads, Advent ornaments, and craft products. The aroma of roast chestnuts and Sekler cake will waft around the Opera building.
- The festival starts on 27. November, Sunday with the concert of the Hungarian State Opera’s Children Choir.
- Then László Lehel, the president-director of the Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) and Szilveszter Ókovács the general director of the Opera house will start to serve mulled wine for the visitor.
- Till 23. December 30 minute before the Nutcracker performances school, university and other amateur choirs will perform on the terrace of the Sphinx statue overlooking Dalszínház utca.
Venue: Vörösmarty tér, district V., M1, M2, M3 metro lines, tram 2 Vigadó tér stop (a couple of minutes walk form there)
The official Christmas Fair of Budapest launches in mid-November. The holiday fair offers a wide range of cultural programs (around 200 concerts in various genres from folk to jazz, children activities, craft workshops) on the central stage and a taste of Hungary’s culinary delights (goulash, stuffed cabbage, roasted and grilled meats, cheeses, Sekler cake, strudels, artisan chocolates, gingerbread, beigli).
You can browse among hand-crafted products offered in around 120 stalls, a great opportunity to get unique, quality Christmas presents for your loved ones.
You can also learn about Hungarian folk traditions and craft from wood carving, blue dyeing, to pottery and leather crafting.
A special playground welcomes children in the center of the square named Sledge Caravan Pulled by Piglets (Malacok húzta szánkókaraván): a locomotive with three train cars with a wide array of interactive plays and games (eco-TV, eco-telephone, treasure hunting, 3D periscope) inside.
Craft workshops will also be organized where they can learn to make Christmas tree decorations from natural materials.
Santa Claus will arrive and greet children on 6th December (St. Nicholas’s Day in Hungary).
Learn more about the Christmas Market at Vörösmarty Square.
Organ Concerts in St. Stephen’s Basilica
Venue: St. Stephen’s Basilica, M3 metro Arany János utca stop
Dates in 2016: 10. 17. 24., December: 01. 15. 22. 29.
Enjoy an enchanting organ concert in the Basilica of Budapest.
The neoclassical church has outstanding acoustics providing an ideal venue for classical music concerts.
A flute performance is included in the program ensuring a memorable evening in Budapest.
Learn more about the organ concerts in the Basilica.
Concerts in Downtown St. Anne Church
Address: Belvárosi Szt. Anna Templom, Szervita tér 6. district V.
Dates in November 2016: 01. 04.
Tickets: 28 EUR, 33 EUR, 37 EUR
The charming baroque-style church in Szervita Square in the city centre hosts concerts by the Duna String Orchestra on a weekly basis.
Originally the Church of St. John stood here in the 13. century then it functioned as a mosque during the Turkish invasion in the 16. century.
The temple gained its current look from the redesigns done in the 17. and 19. centuries.
It’s a small but pretty church perfect for classical music performances.
Works of Mozart, Vivaldi, Schubert and other composers will be played by the orchestra during the 70-minute concert starting at 19.00.
Folk Dance ProgramsDates in November: 07. 14. 21. 28.
Dates in December: 05. 26. 28. 29.
Hungary has a rich folk traditions and folk dancing is still actively practiced today at various dance houses.
Folk songs, music, dances and traditional folk costumes look back to long history and numerous musicians and other artists had travelled the countryside to collect and preserve them.
Here’s the chance to watch three of the country’s most talented folk ensembles (the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, the Danube Folk Ensemble and the Hungaria Folk Ensemble & Orchestra) in a live show.
Date & Time: Fridays at 19.00
The last chance to attend this wonderful program this year in an elegant restaurant in the city centre.
You can enjoy a classic Hungarian dinner of 4 courses, accompanied by 3 glasses of local wines matching the dishes.
A live folk music and dance show starts at 20.00 showcasing authentic Hungarian folk dances to the tune of a string orchestra and dulcimer (cimbalom).
Find out more about the Hungarian Folk Night with Dinner program.
TIP: Boat Excursions on the Danube
The best and most convenient way to admire the World Heritage-listed vista of the two riversides is a boat trip on the Danube.
The Danube sigthseeing programs are available during the day – November is ideal for an early afternoon tour starting at 14.00 or you can go in the evening (at 19.00) the night tour (at 22.00).Buy Your Ticket
You can plan ahead and choose one that best suits your schedule and most importantly the weather in Budapest (some days are really nice with plenty of sunshine, but November weather tends to be cold, rainy, foggy and windy not too mention the shorter days.)
You can have good quality four-course buffet meal at the Lunch, Evening and Night Cruises.
The air-conditioned boat will take you on a 1.5-hour tour during which you’ll the most famous landmarks, monuments of our city (the Parliament, Buda Castle with the Royal Palace, the Gellért Hill with the Citadel perched on its top, the Chain Bridge (Széchennyi Lánchíd) and other bridges (Margaret, Elizabeth, Liberty, Petőfi Rákóczi).
TIP: Jewish Walk Tours – History & Culture
Explore Budapest’s rich Jewish Heritage on a guided tour. Discover the main synagogues and other monuments, sights in the historic Jewish Quarter
Dates in November 2016: English-language tours: every day except Sunday at 10.00
Essential Tour – (2.5 hour)
Grand Tour (3.5-4 hours)
The district has a range of good restaurants, and cafes and should you want to discover the world of Hungarian wines you can go for a wine tasting in a historic cellar.
A Walk on Margaret Island
Despite late autumn, you can catch great sunny days in Budapest in November that are ideal for a walk in the green parts of the city.
Margaret Island (Margitsziget) is the local’s number one spot for long walks and jogging.
The Water Tower hosts exhibitions, and other cultural events and the cupola offers a fine panoramic view.
The island boasts some historical sights as well – remains of medieval monastery.
Excursion to the Gellért Hill or the Buda Hills
For some light hiking Gellért Hill (Gellért-hegy) is the best and closest destination to the city center.
For more greenery, and cleaner air head for the Buda Hills. Normafa is a highly favored place among locals (can be reached by bus No. 21 or 21A from Széll Kálmán tér (M2 metro or tram 4).
János Hill (János-hegy), the highest point of Budapest, is also close by offering a wonderful view from the top of the Erzsébet lookout tower. For a unique experience descend from János Hegy by the Chairlift (Libegő).
The Chairlift operates from 9.30 till 15.30 throughout November (tickets: adults: 750 HUF, children – between ages 3 and 14-: 500 HUF, return ticket: adults: 1 300 HUF, children: 800 HUF).
See detailed timetable of the Chairlift (Libegő) here.
A journey on the Children’s Railway (Gyermekvasút) is an ideal way to discover the Hills of Buda. Each of the seven stops of the rail track are favored recreational areas: Széchenyi Hill (Széchenyi-hegy), Normafa, Csillebérc, János Hill, Vadaspark, Hűvösvölgy.
The Fogaskerekű (Cogwheel tram, it is in fact tram No. 60) (see timetable here) is another peculiar means of transportation to get you to and back from hilly Buda.
Some stops have buffets offering some simple, quick meals, snacks and drinks. (Buffet at Szépjuhászné station: open from Tue-Fri: 10.00-22.00, Sat: 8.00-22.00, Sun: 8.00-20.00 all the year round, there is a buffet at Széchenyi Hill called Kőbüfé offering meals a la carte, it is open from 9.00 to 21.00 every day).TIP: Children’s program at Szépjuhászné Station every Saturday in November: pony riding, and bouncy castle (it will be available from 10.00 to 17.00 on weekends if the weather is nice and dry) welcome kids.
See more activities for children in Budapest.
Visiting at least one of the world-famous thermal baths of Budapest is a must, especially in a cold month like November.
The Turkish Baths (Király, Rudas and the recently opened Veli Bej Baths) date from the Ottoman era in the 16th-17th centuries, the Gellért, Széchenyi, and the Lukács Baths were built more recently, at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.
Buy Tickets Online and Skip Queuing at the Bath Entrance
Exhibitions in the Várkert Bazár
The Castle Bazaar and Royal Gardens at the southern foot of Buda Castle regularly gives home to unique exhibitions.
Toys Anno Museum & Shop
Address: Teréz krt.54., district VI., M3 metro, Trams 4, 6 Nyugati pályaudvar station
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10.00-18.00, Sat: 10.00-14.00, between 01-23. December the shop is also open on Sundays: 10.00-16.00
Toys Anno is a cute shop and exhibition room not just for kids. Stepping through the door you’ll also step back in time, to your childhood and favorite toys.
It is located on Teréz körút part of the Grand Boulevard, easily accessible by trams 4 and six or the blue (M3) metro line. Within the Toy of the Month program each month a different toy is exhibited.
The owner, Mária Majercsik, is a toy designer by profession but today she devotes all her time to collecting items for the hop from all over the world. She also regularly organizes thematic exhibitions.
A great program for a rainy November afternoon to browse among the classic Hungarian toys, tin toys, cars and matchboxes, board games, puzzles, dolls and puppets, wooden, glass, paper, optical, musical and a range of other knickknacks.
You can explore the Great Market Hall on a guided tour, followed by a cooking class when you learn to make typical Hungarian dishes in a modern cooking school.
You’ll be preparing a 3-course meal with the expert aid of n English speaking chef. At the end you’ll eat what you cooked. Fun, exciting program for all ages!
Venue: Hotel Gellért and Gellért Bath, Szent Gellért tér 1., district I.
- 11. Nov/Friday: 5 990 HUF/person
- 12. Nov/Saturday: 6 990 HUF/person
- 2-day Pass: 8 990 HUF/person.
Included are: wine and pálinka tasting between 17.00 – 22.00, After Party: 22.00 – 02.00, 1 tasting glass
Tickets can be purchased at the reception of the Hotel Gellért (0 – 24.00) or online.
The festival will be showcasing the cream of the crop of Hungarian wineries and award winner wine makers.
Unlimited tasting, conversation with the wine makers, a wine tasting course and other programs in the various suites of the historic hotel and the halls of the bath.
Even the finest wines taste better accompanied by great food and there will be no shortage of it on the two-day festival: premium hams, mangalica pork sausage, goose, Hungarian grey cattle, and venison dishes, oven-baked flat bread, gourmet cheeses, cakes and pastries.
After Party starting at 22.00 in the hall of the thermal bath closes the programs on both days. More information…
Downtown Mulled Wine & Bacon Grilling Festival, 10- 13. November 2016
Venue: Rombusz Terasz in Ráday Street, address: Ráday utca 10-12., distr. IX.
Opening Hours: Thurs-Sun: 12.00-23.00
Tickets: you buy any of the skewers listed below, ncluded are 2 hour use of open fire + 2 dl mulled wine or hot tea
Skewers you can choose to grill:
- Children: marshmallow or cocktail frankfurter with ketchup/mustard/mayo: 1 000 HUF
- Vegetarian: zucchini, onion, bell pepper, eggplant: 1 500 HUF
- Classic: bacon, onion, bread: 1 500 HUF
- Meat lover: bacon, sausage, frankfurter, onion, bread: 2 000 HUF
- Hot: hot sausage, hot bacon, onion, bread.
This cheery urban garden near the Kálivin tér end of Ráday utca hosts a grilling and mulled wine event in mid-November.
Gather around the campfires provided by Rombusz Terasz, roast your skewer and sip some mulled wine or hot tea to keep you warm.
Venue: Museum of Agriculture, Vajdahunyad Castle City Park
Opening Hours: 18-19-20. November 2016.,
A 3-day festival that centers around typical St. Martin’s Day traditions (craft workshop, making lampions, writing with quill, plucking of goose feathers) and gastronomy.
Besides roasted goose thigh and other goose dishes, popular “Hungaricums” can also be tasted (mangalica and grey cattle delicacies, cheeses, honey, jams).
You can also buy and sample the new wine of the year, craft beer, or drink pálinka if you crave something stronger than wine or beer.
Free play house, a “goose yard”, craft workshops and concerts will entertain the children.
WAMP Design & Gastro Fair, 22. November, Millenáris
Date & Time: 22. November/Sunday, 10.00-18.00
Entry: 900 HUF (500 HUF can be used to buy products on WAMP fairs till 31. March 2016.)
Location: Millenáris, “B” Hall, Kis Rókus utca 16-20, district II., Buda, behind the Mammut Shopping Centre
The popular market showcasing the work of Hungarian designers as well as artisan gastro products (150 exhbititors on this Sunday) kicks off the Advent season in Millenáris located in Buda (take tram 6 or M2 metro to Széna tér).
A great place to get some one-of-a-kind presents, handcrafted ornaments, accessories or toys for the kids. A varied program makes the event even more worthwhile:
- cake and cookie workshops organized by famous food bloggers, 14.00-18.00
- stamp making with Arti Stamp between 10.00 and 14.00
- necklace making
- crafting candle holders and wooden ornaments.
If you bring your kids they can play in the Story Box/Mesedoboz play area throughout the day.Related: September Programs – October in Budapest – Halloween in Budapes – Holiday Season Program Tips – December Things To Do