Things to Do in Budapest in December 2016

Budapest Event Guide December 2016

Things to do in Budapest in December 2016 brings you a wide list of events and cool things to do in winter, at Christmas and at New Year’s eve in Budapest. December days in Budapest are usually very cold but with all sort of things on offer, you won’t even bother.

Christmas markets, snow, street lights, mulled wine, ice skating, concerts and opera are just a sample of all kind of fun things you can do in Budapest in December.

Check out our Budapest Events Calendar for December to find also indoor activities, concerts, theater, opera and exhibitions.

If you are thinking about coming to Budapest in Winter, consider bringing gloves, a scarf, a warm jacket, a winter hat, warm and comfortable shoes, especially for sightseeing and shopping, and a bathing suit of course, as you shouldn’t miss the thermal baths!!

Have a nice time in Budapest in December and enjoy all Hungarian Christmas traditions.

Are you spending Christmas Eve in Budapest? Then this article is for you.

Christmas Cruise and Dinner

When: Tuesday, December 24, 2016. 6:00 pm

Where: Meeting point: the Danube Palace. Zrinyi utca 5.

Celebrate Christmas 2016 with a wonderful dinner cruise on the Danube river. Enjoy a traditional Hungarian Christmas dinner with melodies of classical and traditional Hungarian music performed by 3 members of the awarded Hungaria Orchestra, including the world-famous violinist Zsigmond Vidak. 

Have an unforgettable night of beautiful Budapest’s night scenes, great music and a fabulous traditional Hungarian dinner.

If you are looking for how to spend Christmas Day in Budapest, a dinner cruise on the Danube is a great way to have a memorable Christmas.

More information: Check the Concert, Dinner and Danube Cruise website for detailed program for the evening, prices, menu and further details.

Budapest Christmas Market

When: November 11 – January 01, 2017

Where: Vörösmarty Square.

From mid November until the end of December, Vörösmarty square houses Budapest’s main Christmas Market. A charming place where you can enjoy mulled wine, grilled chestnuts and delicious Hungarian specialties (from pastries to meats).

Beautiful handmade traditional gifts are on display, as well as cozy and cute crafts to fall in love with made from wood and organic materials and following the standards of the Hungarian Society of Folk Arts.

Vörösmarty square is the perfect place to hang around in winter, either to look for a unique Christmas gift or to enjoy a charming atmosphere accompanied by live music and cultural programs.

The traditional and popular Gerbeaud Confectionary, located at Vörösmarty Square, displays on its windows an Advent calendar that opens a new window everyday at 5:00 pm until Christmas.

Are you coming to Budapest in December? then stop by Vörösmarty’s Square Christmas market, you won’t regret it!

How to get there: The best way to get to Vörösmarty Square is is taking the Yellow metro line 1 and getting off at Vörösmarty square. Alternatively, you can take M2 or M3 and get off at Deák Tér Station, then walk some meters towards the river side.

Nutcracker Festival

When: December 01 – 30, 2016

Where: in front of the Hungarian State Opera House. Andrassy út 22

The Nutcracker Festival is in front of the Opera House, where a great Christmas tree and wooden huts selling mulled wine await crowds.

nutcracker festivalLeading artists from the Opera will be serving and selling the products in the huts, while anyone will be able to have their photo taken with the enormous Nutcracker doll, the Sphinx dressed up in seasonal clothing, and the huge sleigh evoking the fairy-tale world of The Nutcracker on the Dalszínház Street Sphinx Terrace.

Advent Feast at the Basilica

When: November 25 – January  02, 2017

Where: Saint Stephen’s Square, in front of the Basilica

Budapest is getting dressed in festive garments, the Basilica displays a monumental light painting, and there is a cheerful buzz all around Saint Stephen’s Square. In our fairy-tale fair we recreate the ambience, the lights, the scents and the community-forming power of Christmas. The Advent Feast at the Basilica is the main meeting point in Budapest downtown from 25th November to 2nd January. Let’s meet up there!Nutcracker doll, the Sphinx dressed up in seasonal clothing, and the huge

More information: Check the  Advent Feast at the Basilica website

Night Spa at Rudas Baths

When: Every Friday and Saturday Night of December, 2016. From 10:00 pm to 4:00 am.

Where: Rudas Baths – Budapest 1013, Döbrentei tér 9.

Price:  4,600 ft.

Rudas Baths is one of the remaining Turkish baths in Budapest. It was built during the 16th century and still preserves the unique architecture, its Ottoman interior and Turkish character.

It opens its doors every Friday and Saturday night to enjoy a quiet spa experience. Visiting Rudas baths at night can be a unique thing to do in Budapest in December. keep in mind that Rudas bath keeps a strict entrance tradition on women-only day on Tuesdays, the rest of week days are men-only days and on weekends both males and females can use the facilities.

How to get there: The best way to get to Rudas Baths is taking trams 18 or 19 (from Bathyanyi tér Red Metro Line) as well as buses 5, 7, 8 and 86 to Dobrentei tér. (at the foot of Elizabeth Bridge on the Buda side).

New Year’s Eve Party Cruise

Welcome the New Year 2017 with an unforgettable experience on a cruise on the Danube Budapest.

Live music performed by the Hungária Orchestra, gala dinner, stunning views of Budapest’s best attractions and lots of dance and fun make of this night a memorable time.

If you haven’t decided yet how you are going to celebrate new year’s eve, a party on a Danube cruise is a great idea. This is one of locals favorite ways to party in Budapest.

More information: Check the New Year’s Eve Party Cruise website for detailed program for the evening, prices, dinner and further details.

Buda Hills by Budapest Chairlift

When: December, 2016.

Where: Zugligeti út 97.

János-hegy is a wonderful place located in one of the most beautiful areas of Buda Hills from where you can admire the entire city of Budapest.

You can reach János Hill by chairlift (libegő).

The ride takes about 15 minutes through a leafy green forest with fantastic views of surrounding neighborhoods and Budapest.

János-hegy is the highest point in the Buda Hills where you can walk up to Elizabeth lookout and enjoy 350°breathtaking views of the city and surroundings, have a relaxed walk or even take a ride back to the city on the children railway.

The chairlift to János hegy (John’s hill) works daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Sundays and Public Holidays.

The chairlift runs depending on weather conditions (It doesn’t operate on windy, stormy, foggy or rainy weather)

Opening hours in December: Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

December 9: closed due to maintenance.

December 24: Open from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Cost: 800 ft per adult per ride. And 500 ft per child per ride.

Return Ticket: 1,400 ft for adults and 850 ft for children. Children under 3 years old can travel free of charge.

How to get there: The easiest way to get to Zugligeti Libegő station is to take bus number 291 at Nyugati Station, get off at the last stop and walk up about 200 mt. On the right side you will find the Zugligeti Libegő station (Next to Zugligeti campsite where there is a yellow tram car that works as a campsite shop).

Ice Skating in Budapest

When: December-January

Where: City Park. Budapest 1146. Olof Palme Sétany 5. (Behind Square of Heroes)

There are several ice skating rinks in Budapest but certainly the recently fully renovated City Park Ice Rink is the best of all.

Ice Skating in the Budapest City Park Ice Rink is a traditional winter experience for Hungarians and tourists alike.

This Ice rink was open for all in December 1876 and since then it has been for generations a favorite winter activity to do in Budapest in December.

The City Park Ice Rink is considered Europe’s largest and one of the oldest outdoor ice skating rinks. In summer it becomes the City Park Lake.

At night, the lights, the music and the beautiful views of the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque Vajda Hunyadi Castle make ice skating in the City Park a magical experience.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9:00 am-1:00 pm and 4:00 pm-8:00 pm

Weekends: 10:00 am-2:00 pm and 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.

Skates for renting are available.

Budapest Winter Sale

When: December, 2016

Where: All Budapest’s Shopping Malls, Department Stores, Boutiques.

In December, Budapest’s shopping malls, department stores, boutiques and all kind of shops launch the winter shopping sale offering great bargains that go up to 70% off.

Winter shopping sale is the perfect time to find great bargains in Budapest and update your wardrobe for the New Year.

Winter Sale in Budapest usually begins on December 27th and lasts for the entire month of January, although some stores start before that and keep the sale until the middle of February or until stocks last.

This is the perfect opportunity to go shopping in Budapest and find something unique at a great price.

More information on shopping malls and shopping centers in Budapest.

More information:on shopping malls and shopping centers in Budapest check our page on Shopping in Budapest

WAMP Arts and Crafts Festival

When: December 4, 11, 18, 2016.

Where: 1020 Budapest Milenaris Park, Hall B. Lövöhaz utca.


WAMP is a local design festival that takes place at least once a month, usually on Sundays where young Hungarian designers and craftsmen exhibit their creations. This is the perfect place to get to know Hungarian Fashion, emerging Hungarian designers and to buy unique colorful and authentic gifts.

If you happen to be in Budapest at this time, don’t miss this festival! Take advantage of this time to look for special and unique Christmas presents.

How to get there: The best way to get to WAMP in Millenaris Park is taking Red Metro Line (M2) and getting off at Moszkva Tér station. Alternatively, you can take trams 4 and 6 and get off at Mammut shopping centre’s stop.

Palace of Arts Budapest

When: December, 2015

Where: Komor Marcell u. 1, Budapest IX District

The Budapest Palace of Arts offers an amazing variety of cultural events all year round.

All genres musical concerts, opera, dance performances, art exhibitions and art workshops among many other kind of events take place in the Palace of Arts.

If you are interested in any type of art, visit Budapest’s Palace of Arts and enjoy Hungarian’s rich cultural life.

How to get there: The best way to get the Palace of Arts is taking tram number 2 and getting off at Közvágohíd (Millenium Kulturalís Központ)

More information: Check this Palace of Arts concert’s site for detailed information on concerts, tickets and current events.

Classical Music Concerts at Budapest Basilica

When: Every Tuesday and Sunday of December, 2016. 7:00 pm.

Where: St. Stephen Basilica

Cost: 30 Euro

Saint Stephen Basilica is one of the most stunning Neo-classical buildings of Budapest.

Its great acoustics makes it the perfect place to enjoy a series of beautiful classical music concerts where the organ and the flute are the main players together with outstanding performers.

The ensemble performs works by famous composers including Vivaldi, Bach, and Händel.

If you are a classical musical lover don’t miss the opportunity to attend to one of these great concerts in one of the most beautiful buildings of Budapest.

More information: Check the Budapest’s Basilica concerts website for detailed programs and ticket prices.

How to get there: The best way to get the Basilica of Budapest is taking Blue Metro Line 3 and getting off at Arány János station.

Cultural Night at the Budapest Opera House

Where: Hungarian State Opera House. Andrassy út 22

When: December, 2016a0901-xOperaHouseInterior.jpg.pagespeed.ic.JImn6dMaq9


More information: Check the Hungarian Opera House website for detailed information and prices.

Quick Links:

Budapest Events Calendar:

January l February l March l April l May l June l July l August l September l October l November l December

Related Articles

New Year’s Eve In Budapest  l  Christmas in Budapest  l  Hungarian Christmas Traditions   l

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