The chill in the air that starts to envelop Budapest during the winter begins to creep in during the month of November. Although temperatures typically stay above freezing, the hot days of summer seem like a distant memory. Precipitation returns during this month, which means there is a chance for snow at night – especially during the last week.
If you can embrace the cold, then you’ll discover that there is a lot to see and do in Budapest in November during your stay. The Christmas markets are starting, museums are creating new exhibits, and there are several stage productions you can see. You’ll want to dress in plenty of =layers, but this month will also keep you warm with all of the celebrations that occur.
You will notice a change in many of the menus if you visit Budapest in November at your favorite restaurants. Many will serve traditional goose or duck with a Hungarian wine.
Planning for Your November Trip to Budapest
Fewer hours of sunshine mean that there is less time for you to fit in all of the sightseeing you want to do. It helps to bring several different options to dress warmly since the weather can be a little unpredictable. The skies usually stay clear during the day, but you might want to get an earlier start to fit everything in that you want to do.
If you plan to visit the thermal baths in Budapest, then it helps to bring your swimsuit for your stay. It helps to bring a water bottle while touring the city or sitting in the warmth of a spa. Since the outdoor cafés close this time of year, the streets aren’t as busy. You won’t have much trouble navigating to each landmark.
Since your options might include more indoor activities or events in November, it may be helpful to expand your budget for the trip a little. There are fewer free options to enjoy as the cold settles into the city, but you can still pack an itinerary full of low-cost ideas.
Best Events to Experience in Budapest in November
November starts quickly in Budapest with All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day happening during the first two days of the month. People go to cemeteries in the city with yellow chrysanthemums, then light red votive candles to celebrate family and friends who are no longer here. Some people leave food as a gift. Vendors provide colorful flowers around the surrounding streets if you want to take part in this tradition.
If you play the guitar, then come to Budapest in November to participate in the International Guitar Competition. It is open to instrumentalists of any level.
St. Martin’s Day is November 11th in Hungary. It is the traditional feast day where families celebrate by having a goose and trying the new wine. Most restaurants in Budapest will offer special dishes or menus to accommodate this tradition. You can also find some winemakers providing samples of their latest creations on this day.
The Hungarian Open Air Museum offers a special event on St. Martin’s Day, where you can see what life was like in past generations. Folk dances, crafts, and several rural rituals are on display or performed for you. Several goose-based dishes and more wine is available here. Then you can go to Vajdahunyad Castle to have even more fun on this feast day.
Budapest celebrates the New Wine and Cheese Festival near the end of November each year. This event requires an entrance fee, but you’ll receive a tasting glass and admission to the Museum of Hungarian Heritage in return.
Tips for Enjoying Budapest in November
The Advent and Christmas Fair that Budapest hosts each year in Vörösmarty Square is consistently ranked as one of the ten best markets in Europe. It won’t begin until the last week of November, so it may be desirable to plan your stay in the city around this shopping opportunity.
November means the open-air parties at the thermal baths and spas move indoors, so you’ll want to plan for that circumstance. The limited space at many facilities means you will need to arrive early to ensure that you can enjoy the festivities.
Budapest continues to encourage visitors to take a stroll through the city in the colder months. You will discover museum openings, art exhibitions, and several forms of entertainment. Watch the websites of each location to see what special events are available to experience.
Night comes quickly in November, so any evening shopping will require a jacket for most people. If you are bringing items back to your hotel, use common sense when navigating the streets of the city. If you are by yourself, then avoid any poorly lit areas.
What Will You Find in Budapest in November?
The Varosliget ice rink in Budapest is the largest outdoor rink in Europe. It tends to open in the middle of the month, giving you the chance to rent some skates and have some fun. There’s a restaurant located next to the main building that serves hot chocolate, coffee, and other beverages so that you can stay warm.
The city gets busy on St. Martin’s Day, but it is also a time to spend with family and friends. Most of the menu changes that happen at Budapest’s restaurants are week- or month-long events, so you can always get a taste of the local culture.
If you want to explore the thermal baths, you’ll discover that the warmth they provide makes them a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Many facilities offer a variety of treatments or spa-related care options so that you can relax in whatever way you prefer.
Budapest might not be as busy in November as it is in the summer, but a strategic visit during this colder month could provide several dividends. You can experience the start of the Christmas market, see all of the best sights, and experience minimal lines while doing so. Bring your camera to document all of your adventures!