Conventions

Spring in Hungary



Everything is renewing and turning green. The season is starting: spring in Hungary is characterised by art festivals, pleasant city walks, terraces bathed in sunlight and colourful Central European traditions.

Exciting and uplifting

Visiting Hungary in spring means taking part in exciting and diverse programmes. Budapest, the capital city, holds a festival for its most prestigious art events at this time of the year. It is a series of multi-art programmes: the high-quality series of programmes praises classical and contemporary art in multiple locations – museums, concert halls, independent galleries, concert ship, clubs, churches, market halls, but even in the streets and squares – every day during the festival. All age groups can find something special for them: besides the leading Hungarian artists, the line-up also includes foreign stars. Those interested should purchase their tickets well in advance, because they sell out fast for the special performances.

The best time for sightseeing

In spring, you can familiarise yourself with the sights and attractions of the city without the crowds of the high season, in pleasant circumstances. Take part in a thematic tour or just walk around the city with a guide book: besides the traditional sights you can expect to find hidden treasures and pleasant surprises. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge and the Heroes' Square bathed in light, the pleasant City Park, the small parks and the green hills of Buda are particularly enjoyable at this time of the year. It’s worth walking with your head up, as the facades of the houses in this city—which has an especially rich history—are so sumptuous as if each of the buildings was hiding legends (and it’s not even far from the truth, because they are!). Get to know the stories of the city, roam the smallest streets too! In Budapest, you can choose from among numerous organised programmes and thematic walks, which cover the main highlights or focus on a specific quarter or street. The guides working in the city include architects, urban historians, artists, art historians and writers, who make you see the values of Budapest and point out connections from their own perspectives. Budapest is an exciting city, find out about it as much as possible!

Green sights

The green Budapest provides a pleasant addition to your sightseeing programme. Go for a hike to Normafa or the Margaret Island, admire the panorama of one of the most beautifully situated capitals from the Elizabeth Viewpoint’s round terrace, which can be accessed by an easy walk on a touristic route. Try the unique Children’s Railway or the Zugliget Chairlift! Füvészkert (botanical garden) is a little oasis in the centre of the city—embedded in one of the most buzzing quarters of Budapest—with special trees, plants and birds. In the Buda Castle district—which is exciting in itself—Tóth Áprád promenade dresses up in pink petals when the cherry trees are blossoming.

The Elizabeth Lookout Tower on John's Hill

Is it raining? No problem!

A rainy day is a perfect time for visiting the famous historical baths of Budapest. Széchenyi Bath – which is located in a building which could be a palace – is the best-known and Gellért is the most spectacular and the most lavishly decorated one. The past of Rudas Bath dates back the Turkish era. The origin of the baths is to be found in the Ottoman era: we owe this tradition – which is now also Hungarian – to the Turkish occupying Buda.

Experience daily market life

Throw yourself into the bustle of the market! The city is full of ‘experience markets’, where you can not only shop and taste, but also chat, have lunch and listen to music in a relaxed atmosphere. Here the producers offer their goods directly; many of them are young people who quit their urban life to produce cheese or sausage. You should definitely taste the smoked sausage prepared with Hungarian paprika according to a traditional recipe, which is a typical Hungarikum.

 

Are you interested in design? You will bump into unique pop-up stores, vintage stores, occasional and permanent design markets, all full of fresh ideas. Budapest is famous for its fresh, creative vibes.

Socialise

The ruin pubs and craft beer taprooms fill up with people in the evenings. Ruin pubs represent a special genre: the yards and the former courtyard flats of old typical Budapest-style residential buildings were converted into atmospheric, one of a kind community spaces. Over the last years a real beer revolution has been taking place in Budapest: micro breweries have been opening one after the other. You can taste their products in characteristic and imaginative places, which follow the latest beer trends and are full of youthful momentum.

 

This season is also the period of diverse high-quality culinary, wine and beer festivals. During the Gourmet Festival you can taste the festive offer of the best chefs, restaurants of Hungary in the same spot. Get to know Hungary’s excellent wines in one of the numerous wine bars!

Countryside adventures

Plan your stay in a way that will also allow you time to look around outside Budapest. Take a walk in Szentendre, a picturesque small town! Travel farther from the capital city northward, where the Danube draws a spectacular bend and the area is full of cultural and natural sights. You will find in Visegrád a medieval fortress – capable of resisting any siege – which is situation on the mountain top; in Vác an atmospheric Baroque small town, in Esztergom a religious-cultural centre, in Zebegény and Nagymaros the best hiking trails and viewpoints of the area. Visiting is refreshing and a wonderful sight to see.

 

Hungary is easy travel around: the distances do not challenge the tourists. Take advantage of the time available and get to know the diversity of the country! The neighbourhood of the Lake Tisza is a protected natural value and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Its bird reserve gives home to many special species, which can be visited with an expert guide in their natural habitat.

Spring traditions

Easter is one of the most colourful and traditional Hungarian holidays. There is a small charming village, one hour away from Budapest, where life is like when it used to be in our grandparents’ time. The oldest part of the village was preserved in its full integrity: its charming houses are reminiscent of the world one hundred years ago. It is inhabited by the Palóc, a special ethnic group. They have a unique dialect, dishes and customs. They have typical garments, which they wear on feast-days. They do so for example at Easter, when the boys visit the girls from house to house and water them with water or cologne. The girls give them eggs decorated with colourful patterns. It’s a community event, when the entire village goes out. You can also become a Palóc in Hollókő: you can try on their colourful traditional garments, taste their dishes and sleep in their whitewashed farm houses, which allows you to get to know how their ancestors lived. Hollókő is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Eastern folk custom in Hollokő

The weather in spring

What is an average spring day like in Hungary? The mean temperature of the three spring months – March, April and May – is 10.9 °C (51F) degrees on average. This hardly suggests that spring in Hungary is a capricious season: it can snow in March, but the outdoor pools open in May already. The maximum daytime temperature ranges between 6 and 14 °C (42-57F), degrees in March, then it is around 14-16 °C (57-60F) degrees in April, by May it reaches 20 °C (68F) degrees, and by the end of the month 25 °C (77F) degrees.

Recommended clothing

It is layered, appropriately for the variable weather conditions in spring. You might need an umbrella too: most of the rain falls in Hungary at this time of the year.

Our tip

In spring, the forests of the country are full of bear leek. This healthy, wild, organic seasonal plant—which has a characteristic taste—is the herald of spring. Its medicinal property is known and it has been used by folk herbalists for a long time. Many types of foods are made of it: soup, pesto, herb butter and oil, and pogácsa (salty scone). It’s worth tasting; the best served fresh.