budapest christmas tram parliament
Photo: MTI

In the past years, Budapest has become one of Europe’s leading destinations, and there are so many good reasons for this. Hungary’s capital is a beautiful and vibrant city that has many things and experiences to offer, so it should go on top of your list if want to plan a weekend getaway this winter. 

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If you are into motorcycles, you will have to leave your vehicle and the gear from Garmin at home, given that riding during winter is not that much fun, but it’s definitely worth it. 

With the cozy atmosphere with romantic architecture and rich culture, Budapest can be the place where you get to feel like in a classic Christmas movie. The city also looks like a fairy tale and there are a lot of things that you can do, from visiting Christmas markets to ice skating, that one weekend will surely not be enough. 

Christmas markets

If you are dreaming about a destination that comes with Christmas strudel, mulled wine, traditional food, as well as arts and crafts, then Budapest’s Christmas markets are the ones that can deliver everything on this list and more. The holiday events take place from November until the beginning of January, and the most popular market is the Vörösmarty Square one. 

Budapest, Vörösmarty, fair, Christmas
Read alsoChristmas markets of Budapest in detail: Vörösmarty Square – PHOTOS

This is also the oldest one in Hungary so there’s a lot of tradition and pride involved in organizing this great location and will not disappoint in terms of goodies you can try. There’s also St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas market which is located in front of the famous Basilica building. 

This one has over 160 stalls and you’ll be able to enjoy cakes, sweets, mulled wine, arts and crafts, as well as the beautiful traditional Christmas gifts. The best part is that admission to these markets is free, which means you can spend more on the tasty food there. 

City Park Ice Rink

If you are into skating, then the City Park Ice Rink is not one you should miss out on. This is actually the most famous skating destination around Budapest, and it’s a highly popular one in Europe. It runs from November until mid-February, so there’s more time to get there, in case the Christmas plans are already made. 

The ice rink is actually a lake during the summer months, and tourists use it to pedal around. During winter is becomes this marvelous and dreamy ice rink that can be enjoyed by the entire family. 

Basilica light show

The St. Stephen’s Basilica is a beautiful and iconic piece of architecture. However, besides the spectacular construction, what makes it even more appealing to tourists is the beautiful light show there. This takes place throughout the year, and the winter season can definitely offer a great light show experience that includes accompanying sounds and 3D animations beamed onto the building. 

Those who have not seen the show will be surprised, as there are instances where the building seems to be either falling down or moving, so there will be some breathtaking instances. Make sure you check the local details upon arrival so that you know when is the best time to see the show.

Spa experience 

You might not be aware of this, but Budapest has earned the nickname “City of Spas” and there’s a good reason behind this. The city has 118 natural thermal springs, so having therapeutic water delivered to spas is not something difficult to obtain. There’s a wide range of spas and baths out of which you can choose, and the Turkish ones are quite astonishing. 

You can definitely plan a little relaxation time during your trip to Budapest, so make sure you mark the baths on the schedule as well. The experience will be memorable since you can even jump from indoor pools to outdoor bathing areas. 

There are also health-related treatments available upon request, so you can find out more about these by checking out what each spa offers. 

Hungarian State Opera House

Last but certainly not least, the Hungarian State Opera House is something that you should add to the schedule as well. The building might be closed for renovations, so do check out the official website in order to see if you can plan a visit there. 

However, even if there are renovation works done, you can still see parts of it, so that’s something to keep in mind. The building is exactly the same as it was built in 1884, and it’s an iconic national treasure.

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