Budapest in January

In January there is a great opportunity to enjoy Budapest

Budapest in January 2024 – is it worth visiting? Weather, air temperature, what to wear, prices in hotels and on city tours? What to do in Budapest in early January right after the New Year and close to February, where you can go in the Hungary – in the material of good Time for Trip.

Once upon a time, even before the coronavirus pandemic, a considerable number of Europeans immediately after meeting Christmas went on foreign voyages to other EU countries. Because it was easy to do. And, most importantly, such a trip was quite inexpensive.

Today, this trend has become less pronounced due to a serious increase in prices – many citizens are unable to afford a foreign holiday even in the summer. But the most interesting cities of the Old World still attract tourists in winter.

Is it curious to look at the “Gothic fairy tale” in Prague, covered with the thinnest and snow-white blanket sparkling in the sun, isn’t it? Or wander through the streets, limp under the winter rain, but still incredibly atmospheric Paris?

Is Budapest also popular in January? We wouldn’t say so – almost a few foreign tourists went to visit the capital of Hungary in the middle of winter.

Those who planned such a trip, however, usually laid very eventful routes – trips around the neighborhood and even to Vienna were listed in them as almost a mandatory items!

Today, it seems to us that Budapest, even after the New Year should be in demand. After all, anyone who has visited the “City of Baths” once will certainly want to return here. To feel again the atmosphere of relaxation and calm, unhurried existence.

Weather in Budapest in January

You can’t always call it chic. But bad, too. The usual Central European winter, which is characterized by moderate cold, rare frosts and not such a small probability of a sunny day.

The Danube, by the way, almost never freezes. And water cruises on it and in the first month of the year continue almost according to the usual schedule. Moreover, the cost of such a cruise is often less than 15 € per person – would you like to get a unique experience?!

Someone in the reviews calls the January weather in Hungary almost ideally suited for educational, sightseeing tourism. And we will pliably agree – if you dress properly.

Of course, there is a place to warm up here – the water in the open reservoirs of the Budapest thermal baths reaches a temperature of +38 °C even in winter. And to run into an antique store or treat yourself to a mug of Christmas mulled wine on the street is also a way out, no?

  • However, let’s take it in order!

The air temperature in Budapest in early January is usually not inclined to go far from zero. Moreover, in recent years, it has been traveling in one direction during the day – upwards.

Perhaps because of this, precipitation is rare, and there are also completely clear days. Really sunny ones: with a serene blue sky and amazingly transparent, some kind of crystal air – so much clean that you stop doubting.

And understand, January – is a good time to visit Budapest. One of those that are exclusively fit for leisurely city tours and generally a serene existence…

In the evenings – and it gets dark here in the middle of winter early, around 17 o’clock – it quickly gets cold to zero or even a little lower. But usually it doesn’t come to severe frosts here.

In January Budapest looks like a real treasure

Previous Year

For example, in January 2023, the air temperature in Budapest during the first decade of the month, didn’t want to leave the range above +10 °C during the day. At times, the atmosphere warmed up to +12 °C!

Even at night, it was also pretty warm on the streets of Budapest in early January – about +5-8 °C.

Does the picture change in the second half of the month? Usually not too global!

In 2023, in the third decade of January in Budapest the air temperature dropped into the range of +3-5 °C. At night, light frosts of -1-3 °C were recorded.

Naturally, there were quite few foreign tourists on the streets. But those who wandered through them, especially as part of an interesting excursion, must have been in awe.

Note that at this time it is worth not just hanging around without a special purpose, but also to look for something really worthwhile – there are enough art shops in Budapest. And the usual shopping centers, packed with cheaper quality mass market, too…


Snow is sometimes present in the form of bald spots on the morning asphalt and park lawns. But it is usually not necessary to wade even in the middle of winter among the snowdrifts. At least because the average precipitation rate for the whole January in Budapest is pretty small – 30-40 mm as a maximum.

You will see the ice for sure. Especially if you don’t find it difficult to walk to the Vajdahunyad Castle – a huge ice rink is poured in front of it in winter. And it is never empty – the residents of Budapest know a lot about such entertainment.

What to Wear

When walking around Budapest in January be sure to wear winter clothes! The Danube has a decisive influence on the climate of Budapest at any time of the year. And in the middle of winter – even when there is no abundance of rain and snowfall – the humidity in the city is very high.

When it is intensified by a strong wind, it becomes really cold

Those who didn’t wear a really warm jacket, stock up on a scarf, a warm hat, and at least leather gloves, would regret their own short-sightedness. They will walk with their noses buried in the bowels of the coat, and without taking their hands out of their pockets.

And constantly encourage their fellow travelers to warm up with Christmas mulled wine in street shops. To sit in a cafe or go to shopping centers.

The latter, by the way, are enough here. Although there is a widespread opinion in the reviews that there is no real shopping in Budapest as such.

However, keep in mind that the middle of winter here is a good time for bargain shopping.

Ice rink - you can do a fun things in Budapest in January

Prices 2024

If excluding New Year’s dates, then you can easily find a not too expensive hotel. Especially if you are not inclined to settle in the most central locations like Vaci Street in Pest.

The three-star Budget Hotel Victoria in Buda is always in demand. Which is quite understandable: around € 80 a day for a double room with an area of 18 “squares” and breakfast is a quite interesting offer. Moreover, this hotel is well located: to the Chain Bridge from it 5 minutes on foot, no more.

Relatively inexpensive and solved in an intriguing design apartments Roland Apartments. In any case, for 80 € per night for two, you will find few alternatives here.

Looks like a good deal for a traveling family of 4 people the Budaiapertment apartment with an equipped kitchen and even a washing machine. Buda Castle is a short walk away. And this is for 70 € (if you have Genius 2 level or more) per day!

City Tours

In principle, in Budapest they are cheaper than in most European capitals, the same Prague. And in January, you can also get a substantial discount – after all, there are very few tourists left in the Hungarian capital after New Year’s Day.

In general, for 20-25 € you will be able to go on a walking journey “through time” in Buda. Moreover, in a very small company!

Individualized walks in Budapest are more expensive – from 35 € per people. But this is understandable – piece goods are rarely sold at the price of the mass market.

What to Do in Budapest in January

The Christmas rush in Budapest in early January is almost coming to naught. Fairs in the squares are being dismantled, tourists are leaving, and the city itself is becoming quieter and calmer.

Which naturally affects the mood – you stop rushing somewhere. And suddenly realize that you will have time for everything – even if the weather prepares an unpleasant surprise and throws sleet.

  • You will bypass the entire territory of the Buda Castle. And perhaps more than once!

All the panoramic views of the Danube and the down-to-earth Pest will be appreciated and remembered. You can also take pictures of most of the local monuments – there are a lot of them. And almost everyone has their own legend.

The Fisherman’s bastion and the Matthias Church, the pretty old houses – it will take at least a day for a leisurely inspection of interesting places in Buda.

A couple more are guaranteed to be spent on the treasures of Pest. Parliament and St. Stephen’s Basilica, Varoshliget and Vajdahunyad Castle, Vorosmarty Square, Vaci Street and the Central Market – there are a lot of famous and hidden gems in the capital of Hungary.

Matthias Church is one of the most visited churches in Budapest

Don’t forget about cruises along the Danube, although in windy or excessively cold weather they are sometimes not carried out. Once again we remind you of the famous Budapest baths. Moreover, they work in winter, regardless of weather forecasters’ predictions.

Take the opportunity to taste the traditional Christmas mulled wine. In Hungary, it is called forralt bor and in January it is served literally in every cafe.

Many tourists willingly go to productions at the Hungarian State Opera House. If not listen, then at least see the interiors during the tour.

Where to Go Outside

Usually foreigners arriving in Hungary do not have a shadow of doubt about the need to travel from Budapest to Vienna. After all, what’s easier – get on the train and after 3 hours get off at the main railway station in Austria?!

Is it worth going not to Austria, but further? For example, in a rented car to Italy? We would not advise it – the roads on the passes sometimes get icy in winter.

However, even if you do not get out of Hungary at all during this trip, you will not regret it. For there is also something to see inside the country.


Of the places geographically close to Budapest, we would single out a very nice place, the touching town Szentendre. As well as its museums and antique shops…

You may look also at the ruins of the fortress in Visegrad, where Vlad Dracula was once kept. And get to the baroque city of Gyor. Especially beautiful in January, looking like a decoration for some fairy tale…

Naturally, it is worth paying attention to Lake Balaton. In January, however, it does not look at all like a pond suitable for swimming.

Famous for its healing properties, thermal lake of Hévíz is popular at any time of the year. In the neighborhood you can also visit the town of Keszthely with a huge Festetics palace.

Once near Heviz, it is a sin not to tread a “path” to Sümeg castle, very interesting sight of Hungary.

Is it worth visiting in the middle of winter Bükk National Park? Those who have been there at this time do not advise. “You’ll only waste time in vain,” they say, and “get your feet wet”.


About STen 184 Articles
Traveling is like a life: the further you go, the more understand. I am not a writer or a journalist, but believe that my reach experience gained on trips can be useful. The whole Europe and Turkey are enough for me so far...

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