budapest, vajdahunyad castle

Going on excursions and visiting lookout towers are activities typically associated with the warmer months. Most people like getting cosy inside, with blankets and a hot beverage in front of the TV during winter. However, getting some exercise and fresh air is still important. Visiting the following places will definitely make your visit outside worthwhile.

In the time leading up to Christmas, we are tempted to spend our free time at Christmas markets and getting warm with some mulled wine. Sometimes, however, it is nice to get away from the crowds and enjoy some quiet time outside. Budapest offers a number of free or very cheap activities that can bring you joy this time of year, and the view will make you forget about the cold – reports Femina.

Vajdahunyad Castle, tower tour

The beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle is an excellent place to visit all year round. However, it is especially spectacular in the winter, when trees do not obstruct the view from or to it. Located in City Park, it is a good idea to visit before, after or instead of going to the ice rink that is next to it in the winter months.

Ice Rink in Budapest’s City Park with the Vajdahunyad Castle in the background
Wikicommons by user: Themightyquill

Although the castle is beautiful even from the outside, it is a lesser-known fact that, for just 400 HUF (1.24 EUR), visitors can go up to the 37-meter high gate tower. A visit to the Apostles’ tower is slightly more expensive but definitely worth it. For 600 HUF (1.86 EUR), you get to climb 150 steps and get a view of the Budapest scenery that is only available for a selected few. Some of the intricate details of this marvellous castle can only be inspected from above. Not to mention how much fun it is to observe people on the ice rink 😉

Gellért Hill, side path

True, the view from the Citadel is marvellous. However, it is a popular tourist destination both in the summer and in winter, so the number of tourists might not make gazing over the Budapest panorama such a calming experience. No need to worry, though, we have a solution for you.

rizsavi3 budapest danube liberty bridge fog photography

Starting at Saint Gellért Square, go towards the statue of Gellért. On your way up, you will see a number of lookout points most likely deserted as everybody is headed for the top. The winding path of the hill does not have many people on it even in warm weather. Just take a thermos full of warm tea or mulled wine and enjoy the beautiful scenery, undisturbed by excited tourist groups or anyone else, really.

Saint Stephen’s Basilica, Panorama lookout tower

Last but not least, you can find good spots in the heart of the city, too. The Basilica is worth a visit anyway. From the top, you can get a great view of the entire city, with every one of its hidden nooks and crannies. The Christmas market in the front is considered to be among the most beautiful in the world, and looking at it from the top is a truly unique experience.

bazilika, christmas
Photo: MTI, Balázs Mohai

You can take the elevator or climb the 197 steps to the top, for just 600 HUF (1.86 EUR). No need to be afraid of the height, either. The path is wide and the view is spectacular, making you get lost in the scenery and forget about your fears. Unfortunately, the building is only open for visitors until 4:30, however, in the winter, that gives you just enough time to witness a beautiful sunset.

For something fun to do in the city, you can have fun by travelling on the light tram that operates for a little over a month in the Christmas period. There is now also a Santa Claus trolley bus to lighten up your travels in the evening.

Featured image:,  Márk Mervai


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