Archive for December, 2012

Buda Castle is one of the most visited attractions in Budapest. The question is if you can visit it during the New Year holidays, how are the opening hours in December, especially around Dec 31, and Jan 1, when several attractions are closed due to the Jan 1, New Year’s Day public holidays (please note that Dec 31 is not a public holiday in Hungary).

Buda Castle in winter snow

Buda Castle in winter – Neil Howard Photography

The good news is that the courtyards of the Buda Castle are always open. Regardless of what season, what time of the hour, or what holidays we are in. The courtyards are not closed off with a fence, so you can take a stroll along the building, visit its courtyards.

You can visit the Buda Castle courtyards free of charge, as only the entrance into the buildings is fee paying, namely the museums residing in the castle buildings:

Each of these museums in the Buda Castle on the Castle Hill has its own independent opening times.

What to do in the Buda Castle?

You can take lots of beautiful photos from the Buda Castle (Budapest panorama photos), and within the walls of the Buda Palace too, e.g. great pictures of the beautiful 19th century romantic statues (our favorite is the Matthias Well, Matyas kutja, a fantastic statue composition with King Matthias chasing a beautiful girl called Ilonka), or the Castle lions on the Lions’ Courtyard, the statue of Eugene Savoya on the Savoya Terrace, the Hunyadi Courtyard with its characteristic Hungarian wrangler statue, etc.

Fireworks in the Buda Castle Budapest?

Buda Castle Opening Hours at Night Budapest

Buda Castle – Rachel Patterson Photography

Unfortunately there are no official New Year city fireworks on Dec 31 / Jan 1 in Budapest, Hungary. Of course, there are several smaller fireworks, typically along the river Danube, which may be observed from the Buda Castle, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. But these fireworks are not so spectacular. The best Hungarian Fireworks show is in summer time in Budapest, on August 20, when we locals celebrate the birth of the Hungarian state, the first Hungarian king (St Stephen, aka Istvan I) and the new bread.

That said, there are lots of nice sights in the city to make it really festive any time in the year: the Buda Castle and the river Danube sights around it are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and are breathtakingly beautiful in their night illuminations.

You can find the New Year opening times of the major Buda Castle institutes here:

National Gallery New Year Budapest (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria) – closed on Mondays and bank holidays

Budapest History Museum (Budapesti Torteneti Muzeum) – closed on Mondays and bank holidays

Szechenyi National Library New Year Budapest  (Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar) – closed on bank holidays

To get an idea of how the inner courts and buildings are arranged in the Buda Castle take a look at this simplified map of the Buda Royal Palace (green lawns, rectangular buildings and sand colored courts):

Buda Castle Courtyards

Buda Castle Courtyards

 

Studio Club Budapest

Classic House club party in Studio the Ultimate Club of Budapest: DJ Sterbinszky, Tommyboy, Newl, Slide, etc.

Studio Club Budapest

Studio Club Budapest

How to book advance tickets for the Budapest New Year Party at Club Studio?

Similarly to the White Angel Club, booking online is not available yet, but once you are in Budapest (hopefully before Dec 31), head to one of these places to buy your regular NYE or VIP tickets:

  • Nyugati Nonstop Ticket Office at Nyugati Train Station by Eiffel Square, Budapest. This place is about 10 – 15 min from the city center of Budapest, take M3 blue metro line, and get off at Nyugati Railway Station.
  • Westend Karma Restaurant, i.e. Karma Cafe and Restaurant in WestEnd Shopping Mall – top floor with panorama over the city, during the opening hours of the cafe. (note: there are two Karma Cafes, one on Liszt Ferenc square. But the one you need to buy NYE tickets in advance is in the Westend Mall. This shopping mall is right next to the Nyugati Train Station, about 10 – 15 min from downtown Budapest, take M3 blue metro line, and get off at Nyugati Railway Station.
  • Club Studio, reception all day on Obuda Island
Symbol Club Budapest

Symbol Club is one of the best house disco and fun party clubs for the pretty and chic in Budapest nightlife. NYE party tickets come from cheap walking tickets to expensive Diamond tickets.

Symbol Club Budapest

Symbol Club Budapest

Symbol Budapest New Year 2012

Garden of Symbol
19:00 – 21:00 Weszely Ernő
21:00 – 23:00 Rakonczai Imre
23:00 – 05.00 Toto Jr.

Club of Symbol
22:00 – 01:00 DJ Gomes
01:00 – 01:45 Garami Funky Staff
02:15 – 03:00 Garami Funky Staff
02:15 Special Guest: Emilio
03:00 – 05:00 DJ Gomes

Hungary’s most demanded djane JULIA CARPENTER performing at her own night, Julia Carpenter&Friends at Budapest’s trendiest club Symbol Budapest.

Playboy Playmate Afterparty SYMBOL Club BUDAPEST in 2010

Dokk Club Budapest

Dokk Club Budapest New Year’s Eve Party is long awaited by many local youths, so if you are in your twenties / thirties and love pure techno, classic house, funky music, etc., take a look at their New Year party.

Dokk Club Budapest

Dokk Club Budapest

Dokk Club is on Obuda Island (as the Sziget Festival in summers), also known as the Hajogyari Sziget, close to the northern bridge called Arpad bridge.

Dokk Club Budapest New Year Party 202

Budnight New Year’s Eve Party on Dec 31, 2012 starting at 8 pm, DJ Miller, DJ Effendi, followed by the Dokk Breakfast on January 1 2013 with Canard, Aydan, Slide, Nigel Stately, MightyB, Tigran, Stick b2b 3l3ktro Groove

Dokk often has two kinds of parties in the club, one with modern techno, and another one with funky, RnB, etc.

Video of a previous NYE Party in Dokk Club Budapest

BudNight – Playboy Energy – New Years Eve 2011 – Dokk Club

White Angel Club Budapest

White Angel Club, the club of elegance: although only open biweekly in the winter season, White Angel is a hot night club in Budapest with two end of December parties related to the New Year’s Eve: party on Dec 29 and party on Dec 31, 2012, dancing into the Budapest dawn of Jan 1 2013.
White Angel New Year Party Budapest 2012

How to book / buy in advance (worth it as it is the top house club in Budapest): booking online is not available yet, but once you are in Budapest (hopefully before Dec 31), head to one of these places to buy your regular NYE or VIP tickets:

Nyugati Nonstop Ticket Office at Nyugati Train Station by Eiffel Square, Budapest. This place is about 10 – 15 min from the city center of Budapest, take M3 blue metro line, and get off at Nyugati Railway Station.
Westend Karma Restaurant, i.e. Karma Cafe and Restaurant in WestEnd Shopping Mall – top floor with panorama over the city, during the opening hours of the cafe. (note: there are two Karma Cafes, one on Liszt Ferenc square. But the one you need to buy NYE tickets in advance is in the Westend Mall. This shopping mall is right next to the Nyugati Train Station, about 10 – 15 min from downtown Budapest, take M3 blue metro line, and get off at Nyugati Railway Station.
Club Studio, reception all day on Obuda Island

WHITE ANGEL Club, the queen of Budapest House Parties and Clubbing: New Year’s Eve Party Video shot in 2012 -New Year Dj Goldhand

Budapest Winter

Budapest New Year’s Eve events are quite varied, and even though the weather at New Year can be freezing cold, there are many folks outside the streets of Budapest to enjoy the free New Year’s Eve parties, concerts, and to cheer with others. Here are some videos showing the life and street atmosphere in Budapest on New Year’s Eve.

Break Video – Budapest New Year

Budapest New Year’s Eve Street Party Video

Budapest New Year’s Eve Party at White Angel Club

Hungarian Parliament Budapest New Year

While the Hungarian Parliament is open on most days in a year (except for parliamentary sessions, or on the day of special delegations), the days of Christmas are some of the exceptional public holidays in Hungary when the Parliament in Budapest are not open for visits. Book a Parliament tour online to make sure you get in for a guided tour inside the 3rd biggest parliamentary building in the world.

Parliament in winter Budapest

Parliament in winter Budapest – Neil Howard Photography

New Year Opening Hours

Dec 31: Open until noon (12pm)

The general opening hours of the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest in the winter months are as follows:

Opening hours of the Orszaghaz between October 1 and April 30, including November, December, January, February

Monday–Friday: 8 am – 4 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 4 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 2 pm

You can also enjoy the views of the beautiful Parliament building from the Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion or from a Budapest river cruise (cruises go in winter months, including December and January too).

Hungarian Parliament - New Year Budapest

Hungarian Parliament – New Year Budapest

National Gallery Budapest

The Hungarian National Gallery, which takes up most of the space of the Buda Castle in Budapest is a very nice place to visit to see some of the best Hungarian fine art pieces, especially the 19th century Hungarian paintings.

Hungarian National Gallery

Hungarian National Gallery – redteam Photography

If you wonder what the Buda Castle might be from the inside, or what the views are from its windows, it is also worth visiting the National Gallery, even if you are not a museum fan or gallery goer. The entrance fee to the National Gallery in the Castle is very cheap, it has a nice cafe, and the exhibitions will not bore your for an hour. More about the National Gallery in Budapest here: Hungarian National Gallery

New Year Opening Hours 2012 – 2013

Dec 31 Closed (most museums in Budapest are closed on New Year’s Eve)
January 1 as on regular days depending on which calendar day comes (e.g. in 2013 open from 10am – 6pm)

In general, the National Gallery (Nemzeti Galéria) opening hours during December (except for Xmas and NYE, see below) are as follows:

the general opening times of the National Gallery are as follows (almost all days in December)

Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

National Gallery Budapest

National Gallery Budapest – Jaime Silva Photography

Budapest House of Terror Winter

Is the House of Terror open at New Year? See the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day holiday opening hours of the popular museum below. The House of Terror Museum in Budapest is really special museum, one of the very few places in the world where you can get a spine chilling feel for what it may have been living under a totalitarian dictatorship behind the Iron Curtain in the Cold War era, and what it was like to endure the cold-blooded cruelty of the Communist secret police, and the Nazi regime.

House of Terror, Budapest

House of Terror, Budapest – Anthony Citrano Photography

New Year Opening Times

December 31: Closed
January 1: Closed
January 2: Open as usual, i.e. the regular opening hours apply, from 10am to 6pm (except for Mondays).

Anyway, here you can find the House of Terror Christmas Holidays opening times. Once you are in Budapest do not miss the Terror Háza. It is a one of a kind history museum with lots of thought provoking sights.

Museum of Ethnography Budapest

If you plan to visit the Hungarian National Museum, one of the most visited Budapest museums, during the New Year holidays, please take into account that many museums in Budapest have modified opening times at this time of the year.

Hungarian National Museum

Hungarian National Museum – Kotomicreations Photography

New Year Opening Hours

December 31: only the temporary exhibitions are open from 10 am to 2 pm in the Hungarian National Museum of History
January 1: Closed.
On other dates, the regular opening hours apply (from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm, closed on Mondays)

In 2012, the temporary exhibitions in the Hungarian National Museum are as follows:

  • Hungarian sports people at the Olympics
  • Archeology for All