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Hungarian Parliament building reflecting in the Danube

Best Time to Visit Hungary

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When to Go?

While spring and fall are generally the best seasons to visit Hungary, given the pleasant and mild weather with occasional rain, the months from April to May and September to October are most ideal. These shoulder seasons offer an enticing blend of warm weather, reasonable prices and fewer crowds in main landmarks, museums, and historic sites. 
Spring sees wildflowers blooming across the country, while the grape harvest in autumn makes it a great choice for wine lovers. Keep in mind that late spring showers are possible, so pack an umbrella if you’re traveling in May.
The country has a temperate climate, typical of the location in Central Europe. As summer’s warm and dry weather from June to August is extremely appealing, it makes for a high travel season and popular attractions may be packed, especially in Budapest. Tours and hotels are also typically more expensive over the summer. 

Although winter comes with cold and dreary weather, it’s a good time for budget travelers to experience the country while getting the best deals.

At a Glance

Best Time to Visit Budapest: June-August
Best Time for a Danube Cruise: April-October
Best Time for Cycling: April-May, September-October
Best Time for Birdwatching: January and February

Budapest Cityscape
Budapest Cityscape (Istock)

Spring (March to May)

Best For: Cycling tours, food festivals, cherry blossoms, crowd-free attractions in Budapest
Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Hungary, with the cold winter melting into more comfortable temperatures. While April and May are fantastic for travelers, March is a good option if you want to celebrate Independence Day with the locals.
Balmy temperatures in April and May set the stage for festivals, especially in the capital Budapest, where locals celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival on Margaret Island and the Spring Festival. Hungarians showcase their love for food and wine with events like the Rosalia and Gourmet Food Festival.
Cherry blossoms flourish in Castle Hill and Gellért Hill, while the wildflowers bloom in vibrant colors along the countryside. Spring offers wonderful opportunities for outdoor exploration, whether on foot or by a bike along the Danube Bend. Some visitors take the time to see beloved spots like Tihany and Sopron before the summer crowds.  
Spring can get pretty wet in Hungary, especially May, which sees about eight days of rain on average. Few travelers are on the road at this time, so there’s plenty of elbow room at the main spots. 
Golden sunset lights the famous Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest
Golden sunset lights the famous Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest (Zoltan Gabor)

Summer (June to August)

Best For: Music festivals, city tours, sailing, kayaking

Peak season starts in June, as spring makes way for the hotter and drier summer months. Summers are generally mild in Hungary, even in Budapest, where there’s more humidity compared to the rest of the country. Temperatures generally stay below 27°C (80°F), even in the middle of the season.
With the country bathed in sunshine, this is a fantastic season for warm-weather activities in scenic Lake Balaton and Tihany’s picturesque lavender fields. 

While some may find it too warm for cycling and hiking, it’s a pleasure to spend hot summer days under the sun or sailing on the beaches of Balaton, or kayaking along the Danube Bend. The UNESCO-listed Hortobágy National Park is also an unforgettable stop.
Explore the folk traditions and wilderness of northern Hungary, a hilly expanse featuring hiking trails, Bükk National Park, and the traditional village of Hollókő. A river tour in the north comes with viewing sunflower fields and birdwatching.
Summer is the best time to visit Budapest, whether you’re cruising the Danube River or flying straight to the city. Take a Hungary tour to marvel at the gorgeous architecture and visit the capital’s hotspots such as  Buda Castle, City Park, and the Hungarian Parliament Building. 

Among the many festivals showcasing Budapest’s thriving art and music scene is the Sziget Festival, one of the biggest in Europe. The August celebration of St. Stephen’s Day is also worth experiencing with its vibrant fireworks, music, and dancing.
Expect high prices and plenty of tourists in popular spots during the summer, though late August may be a good bet for avoiding the worst of the crowds.

Discover the gorgeous architecture of Budapest
Discover the gorgeous architecture of Budapest (Tomas Sereda)

Fall (September to November)

Best For: Hiking, wine tasting, cycling tours
Autumn weather is comfortable enough for visiting Hungary’s main attractions. Smaller crowds at Budapest makes the season ideal for sightseeing in spots packed during the summertime, like St. Stephen’s Basilica and Heroes’ Square.
Fall transforms the landscape into vibrant shades of red and gold, making it one of the best times for trekking. Hiking trails, alpine forests, and nature parks across the country are at their most beautiful in the months of September and October. Whether you’re cycling the National Blue Trail or trekking hills in Bükk, autumnal Hungary is perfect for outdoor recreation.
The season also marks grape harvest season, with towns like Villány, Tokaj, and Eger hosting opportunities for tasting the fine wines of Hungary. Budapest International Wine Festival at the Buda Castle is a popular event this season.
While September and October feature summer-like weather with slightly cooler temperatures, November can be rainy and misty with winter on the horizon. 

If outdoor activities are a priority, it may be better to book a vacation in early autumn. Prices tend to drop after summer, making it easier to score reasonable deals on hotels and flights.

Explore Budapest from the serene Danube
Explore Budapest from the serene Danube (Zoltan Gabor)

Winter (December to February)

Best For: Thermal baths, ice skating, sledding, bird watching
Budapest is a chilly wonderland in winter, with the city free from tourists. Christmas markets are a big appeal as well as ice skating in Europe’s largest outdoor skating rink at City Park. Outside the city, Lake Velence offers a beautiful natural rink. Skiing and sledding are also possible in areas like Normafa.
Another excellent activity during the season is indulging in the historical thermal baths, as Budapest has over a hundred of them! At the top of these is Széchenyi, one of the biggest and most popular natural baths in Europe. 
Winter is also a good time to visit the Castle District in Buda and other cultural attractions in the city.
Birders on the lookout for owls and eagles will discover that these are easier to spot when trees are bare during January and February.
Wintertime is the low season in Hungary, which means dramatically lower costs. However, it’s best to stick to bigger cities as smaller accommodations in more remote areas tend to close in these months.

Holidays Month-to-Month

Busójárás in Mohacs 

Independence Day 
Orchid Festival 

Cherry Blossom Festival 
Budapest Spring Festival 

Rosalia Festival 
Gourmet Food Festival 
Budapest Folk Festival 

Főzdefeszt Festival 
Danube Carnival 

Balaton Festival 
Budapest Summer Festival (July-August)

St. Stephen’s Day 
Sziget Festival 

Jewish Summer Festival 
Budapest International Wine Festival 


For more information about the best time to visit Hungary and the Danube river cruises passing by Budapest, contact one of our Adventure Life travel experts.

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An autumn view across the Vltava river to old town Prague


Parliament Building at night, Budapest



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