To be honest, I never traveled in November! October, December – yes, but November is just dark and cold. But that is exactly the reason to travel. (better the end of November because Christmas markets will already be open in Budapest). Offseason is good time to travel to Budapest as everything is like half price – flights, hotels and even some activities. This Disney inspired view point is free during the winter season.
What did I do in Budapest?
Having only 2 days you have to plan your time well. But also, you can plan whatever you want – sometimes you can’t skip some unexpected things.
We booked an amazing apartment on airbnb in the heart of the old town, got instructions how to get in but still faced some problems! We managed to lock ourselves inside without having a key! After some time we realised we are not locked, as there was a button to open the electric door.. Doh.. Then the keys did not fit any door.. later we found out that the lock was broken and you needed ‘’special technique’’ to open it. It is impossible to predict these kind of things so the best things is just to be mentally prepared that whatever you are planning – it might not always go as you thought. Good if it ends well just like it was with us.
During our stay we went to the standard ‘’ Free walking tour’’ with Discover Budapest company and it was great! As I am a guide myself I always judge from professional side and this time they did everything just how it is supposed to be.
We also visited Christmas market that as always was overpriced but very cosy with nice atmosphere.
This time I did not go to Thermal bath, but you should if it is your first time in Budapest – great experience. You can find about it in my previous post.
Hungary was part of the eastern block during the cold war. So you can see many soviet style buildings there. As I am interested in Soviet times, I visited a ‘’Memento park’’ that shows some statues from Communist times, also a documentary movie about KGB agents and pictures about revolution in Budapest. It is totally worth a visit as it is inside the city and you can easily reach it with the public transportation.
Next morning we took a Communist walk with the same company – it was more based on the personal stories but we also saw many buildings, monuments and got the idea how life was in the satellite country during the Communist era.
Important things to know traveling to Budapest in the cold season
Budapest is in central Europe and even though it is not nordics it does have cold weather. So if you are planning to be outside, explore, go on a tour – bring proper winter jacket and good shoes.
Don’t eat on the main streets if you do no want to overpay. For example Vaci street restaurants offer Goulyash soup for 5-7 euro and 1 block away it is 2-4 eur. Trip advisor helps me a lot when choosing where to eat.
Christmas markets are definitely worth a visit – check online when do they open.
You can go to Thermal bath to warm up and experience thermal water in the region where it is not easy to find thermal baths.
Days are very short – it is already dark at 4 pm so plan your time wisely. Of course, there are things to do at night too. Like resting before next day and enjoying your time chilling at restaurants. You can meeting locals with the help of Couch Surfing or Parisrio or other websites and apps.
Every place has it is charm even during the offseason. I could not even think of walking there with +35 degrees heat..
Safe and interesting travels!