Things to do in Budapest in February

Things to do in Budapest in February

There are lots of reasons not to travel to Europe in February. The main one, and this cannot be overstated, is that it’s cold, cold, cold. But hey, we’re glass half full kind of people, So what are the pros to visiting Budapest in winter? Experiencing the city without hordes of tourists is the main attraction. But getting the top sights to yourself and seeing a place from a different perspective – from under a blanket of snow perhaps, are not far behind. And how about those cheap flights and low rate accommodation offers? A trip to Budapest in February is starting to sound like a very good idea indeed!

Still on the fence? Check out these awesome things to do in Budapest in February and try and stop yourself from booking those flights! Trust us, it will be your Best. Trip. Ever.

Ice Rink Budapest

City Park Ice Rink in Budapest

Ice skate amongst Budapest’s stunning architecture
Head towards the City Park and experience Europe’s biggest open air ice skating rink. As you gracefully make your way around the circle, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of some of Budapest’s most magnificent sights, such as Vajdahunyad Castle and the statues in Heroes’ Square.The rink is open every day (it closes for a few hours at lunchtime though). The prices of daily tickets are very reasonable: HUF 1,500 on weekdays and HUF 2,000 on weekends. The City Park Ice Rink offers skates for rent as well, the rental fee is HUF 2,000 per pair per visit (+ HUF 2000 deposit).

For more information, opening hours and to purchase tickets in advance, visit their website! There are several smaller artificial rinks in the city too.

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate with a view across colourful tiled roofs, then the Intermezzo Restaurant & Roof Terrace on the top of Hotel President should be your choice. Or if you prefer to be dazzled by the lights reflecting off the surface of the Danube, then we recommend the free rink of Bálna.

Watch an old movie at Art Mozi
Art Mozi cinemas are small arthouse cinemas in Budapest and they’re a wonderful rainy day activity (actually they’re a fabulous any day activity, in our humble opinion). They are all decked out in different styles but what they all have in common is a cozy, unique and often retro vibe. Movies are shown in English every day, browsing their showtimes you will find the latest Hollywood movies alongside old, award-winning classics too. These hip picture palaces also function as meeting spots for in-the-know locals, as most of them have a café or a bar attached. Művész Mozi offers a very artistic and abstract experience with its interior design, while Puskin has a more classic, elegant atmosphere. For anyone that is interested in an industrial, modern style, we recommend Toldi as the cinema you should visit.

February also happens to be the most exciting month of the year for movie lovers, it’s Oscars month didn’t you know? (Well, usually, sometimes it’s in early March too). These arthouse cinemas in Budapest like to get in on the act by screening the latest Oscar hopefuls for that year.

Ticket prices differ in each movie theatre but you should expect to pay something between HUF 1,500 and 2,000.

Budapest Spa Baths

Budapest Spa Baths

Warm up at the world famous thermal spas
Budapest has been known the world over as the ’City of Spas’ since 1934 but the tradition actually goes all the way back to the 2nd century when thermal waters were enjoyed by the Romans. Pools with various temperatures and beneficial effects, saunas, healthcare and wellness services are all on hand to help you forget the troubles and stresses of daily life and relax.

You can play chess with the locals in Széchenyi, or admire the colourful details of the Gellért Bath’s Art Nouveau building.The entrance fee is between HUF 5,500 and 6,200 at Széchenyi Bath and HUF 5,900 to HUF 6,500 at the Gellért Baths (depending on the day and your locker/cabin preference). Rental of towels, swimming suits for men and women or bathrobes is also possible. If you’re in town on a weekend and don’t fancy the crowds, then you can get a more quiet experience at one of the city’s Turkish spas; Rudas or Király. In Király Bath the prices are significantly cheaper as well: HUF 2,600 for a ticket with locker usage or HUF 2,900 with cabin usage.

It’s worth noting that Budapest Card holders can also enjoy 20% discount on daily tickets in most of our gorgeous thermal spas.

Celebrate Farsang
In Hungary, Farsang (the carnival season) starts on Epiphany (January) and ends on Ash Wednesday (usually sometime in March). Attending one of the many fun festivities, masquerades balls and noisy parades is a wonderful way to experience the city the way that the locals do. The aim of the festival is to scare off winter and welcome spring! It’s worth joining in for the speciality donuts alone, known as szalagos fánk, the doughnut dough is lightly seasoned with rum and lemon zest. They are best when tasted fresh, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with jam. Yum!

Visit a trendy bookshop & café
What better activity can you imagine on a rainy day than sipping a cup of fresh coffee while reading your favourite book in a warm and peaceful café? Our top recommendations include Massolit Books & Café, located in the city centre, which offers a charming selection of short novels, poems and even an English-speaking book club. Kelet has a similar atmosphere, packed with bookshelves and the smells of coffee, tea and delicious cakes in the air. It’s located in the lively university area of the Buda side. At Könyvbár you can enjoy a nice and peaceful lunch and exchange the books you came with. Nem Adom Fel! (’Never Give Up’) Café & Bar is the first café in Budapest, founded and run by people with special needs. This also happens to be a comic book lovers dream; they started to collect comic books in December of 2018 and the collection grew faster than Bruce Banner’s temper, holding everything from Batman to Watchmen books, you can even find African comic anthology on their amply stocked shelves.

Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton in the stunning Hungarian countryside

Day trip to Lake Balaton

If you fancy getting out of the city for the day and experiencing some Hungarian co

untryside action, look no further than Lake Balaton –  the biggest lake of Central and Eastern Europe. There are plenty of things to explore around here including ancient fortresses, vineyards and underwater caves. If you fancy a glass of Hungarian wine, then there are no less than four wine regions nearby, offering a thirst-quenching selection of white wines. Olaszrizling (better known as Welschriesling) is the most popular grape variety in the area, but if you would like to taste something more traditional, go for the wines made from Kéknyelű or Juhfark grapes.

If you’re looking to relax amongst the stunning landscape, look no further than Lake Hévíz the world’s second largest thermal lake which is located only 8 kilometres away from the western corner of Lake Balaton. Even on the coldest winter days the temperature of the water doesn’t drop below 24 °C (75 °F). Besides the healing effects of the lake, medical treatments such as mud-packs and the famous weight bath are all available, plus different types of medical massage and drinking cures are on offer too.

 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your warmest jacket and come join us for some wintry fun in beautiful Budapest.

About author

Claire Butler

Travel writer based in UK. Liz Taylor wannabe and aspiring food critic with a penchant for sweet sherry, Romanian street dogs and fancy fridge magnets. Visited 35+ countries so far and counting.

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