All posts in Budapest New Year Attractions

Budapest attractions to be seen at New Year (NYE and NYD)

Most Budapest attractions have special opening hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You can find the list of the most important museums and other tourist attractions of Budapest on Dec 31 and Jan 1 below.

The Danube in New Year’s Budapest

Evening Danube in Budapest

Evening Danube in Budapest

Walking along the river Danube in wintertime is beautiful, when all riverside cafes, floating restaurants and hotels are already decorated and nicely lit in anticipation for the celebration of Christmas and the New Year. Of course, you can best admire all the attractions and sights along the Danube from sightseeing cruise. Enjoy 7-Tier Wine Tasting Cruise or upgrade to a Dinner Cruise by Candlelight.
Should you choose to have a nice walk along the river, there are tours with professional guides. At this time of the year, the Evening Walking Tour & Night Cruise program can be a great choice too.

Thermal Baths in New Year’s Budapest

Szechenyi Bath Budapest New Year

Szechenyi Bath New Year – by James Guppy

The hot thermal pools of the Budapest Baths are extremely popular at wintertime – it is an absolutely must see during your end of the year holiday in Budapest. You might wish to skip the lines at the cashier with an online ticket, so booking in advance is highly recommended.
Most of them are open every day during Christmas and New Year too, although the opening hours might change, so please check the actual hours before your visit.

Szechenyi Baths Winter Opening Hours
Gellert Spa Winter Opening Hours

Apart from the thermal water, most of the baths of Budapest also offer a great range of relaxing massages, but make sure you book your treatment minimum a few days ahead.

Winter Markets around the New Year

Budapest Christmas Market

Budapest Christmas Market – Eszter Hargittai Photography

Both of the greatest Budapest Christmas Markets (the one at Vorosmarty Square and the other one in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica) are open until Jan 1. Visiting them is absolutely recommended during your winter holiday in Budapest (free of charge), but what’s even better: you can book a Budapest Christmas Market Guided Tour too, which includes Chimney Cake and Wine Tasting as well.
Other markets not to be missed: are the Great Market Hall and the Downtown Market Hall – both can be visited by yourself or during an interesting Guided Market Hall Tour.
If you wish to visit a Sunday’s Farmer’s Market, we recommend Szimpla Kert’s market in the city center, which is held every Sunday from 9am to 2pm with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, jams, mushrooms and meat products directly from producers to customers.

Castles in Budapest around New Year’s Time

Buda Castle in Winter - photo by Neil Howard

Buda Castle in Winter – photo by Neil Howard

With its beautiful sights, the Buda Castle offers a great walk both outside the courtyard, and inside the Royal Palace building with exhibitions and concerts. All kinds of Buda Castle Guided Tours for various budget are available in the Castle area during Christmas and New Year too.
Do not miss the Fisherman’s Bastion, and admire the amazing winter panorama of Budapest – visiting is free of charge during the whole month of December.
If you really wish something special, we recommend the Concerts in Matthias Church.

Another castle in Budapest, lesser-known but a fantastic place is the Vajdahunyad Castle in the middle of the city park. This fairy tale castle with a little lake offers a nice walk surrounded by the beautiful winter park of Varosliget (City Park) right next to the great Ice Rink. Vajdahunyad Castle is one of the romantic castles in Budapest, with its mixed architectural style, lots of little towers and fantastic statues – it’s worth a visit in itself, but can also be visited inside, where the Hungarian Agricultural Museum is located.
Most of the Budapest Guided Walking Tours also feature the Vajdahunyad Castle.

Special Vehicles in Winter Budapest

Winter Segway Tours Budapest

Winter Segway Tours Budapest

The Funicular in the Buda Castle (one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Budapest) is a famous attraction, and of course a fun way to travel up and down the Castle Hill. Book a comprehensive Castle Tour with Funicular Ride and Danube Cruise, for a great half-day program in Budapest.

Segways are interesting, fast and great way of discovering the city, and the Budapest Segway Tours are welcoming guests in the winter season too.

Speaking of special vehicles, we must mention the historical underground (“Metro M1” on maps), also called as Millennial Underground, which is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and connect the city center (Vorosmarty Square) with the City Park – and Szechenyi Baths.

Outdoor Activities in New Year’s Budapest

Parks in Budapest

The City Park (Varosliget) is the biggest park in Budapest (approx. 122 ha). City Park offers a great place for refreshing winter walks to escape the teeming city center, and it is also the home of some great attractions, such as the Budapest Zoo, the Capital Circus of Budapest, Szechenyi Spa Baths and the Vajdahunyad Castle.

Another beautiful park for taking walks if you are longing for some calm re-connection with mother nature is the Margaret Island. The island can be accessed via 2 bridges on each end, but the nicest way to get there is by a boat. There are several Sightseeing Cruises daily that stop on Margaret Island, so you will have plenty of time to discover the sights of the island (the cruise voucher offers some great discounts, but there are also a lot of free attractions to visit).

Ice Rinks in Budapest

Vajdahunyad Castle and Ice Rink Budapest New Year

Vajdahunyad Castle and Ice Rink Budapest – Gabriel Hess Photography

Ice skating can be and ideal afternoon or evening program during your winter holiday in Budapest. Visit with your better half for a romantic event or have a fun family program with kids – the Budapest Ice Rink at the City Park is a perfect choice to spend a few hours on the fresh air.

Walking Tours in Budapest

Budapest offers amazing guided tours in wintertime too. On the Buda side, the popular Buda Castle Tours are worth to mention, but if you wish to book a more comprehensive tour in both the Buda and Pest side, the Budapest Guided Walking Tour is recommended for you. There are some great themed tours as well, for example the Jewish Heritage tour which can be booked as a package with a nice Buffet Dinner Cruise. For those who wish to see the less touristy side of the city, a good choice can be the Alternative & Street Art Walking Tour or a real nice Guided Pub Crawl visiting the best Ruin Bars of Budapest.

Hiking in Budapest

Budapest Citadel Gellert Hill (photo by Patrick Down)

Budapest Citadel Gellert Hill (photo by Patrick Down)

One of the best venues for hiking and winter sports is the Normafa Park, located on Svabhegy (part of the Buda Hills). Easily accessible by public transportation from Szell Kalman Square. There are plenty of hiking routes, various tracks for excursions in the Buda Hills either on foot or by bicycle and if there is enough snow, you can even ski or snowboard! Don’t forget to visit the Chairlift and the Elisabeth Lookout Tower too.

A bit closer to the city center, also on the Buda side you can find the Gellert Hill (right next to the famous Gellert Spa). The hill offers some great walking routes too, but also worth getting on the top to see the iconic Statue of Liberty and the Citadel providing a breathtaking panorama of Budapest.

Shows and Concerts in Budapest New Year

NYE Gala Concert in Danube Palace

NYE Gala Concert in Danube Palace

Looking for cultural programs during your winter holiday in Budapest? You’ll have plenty to choose from. There are several Concerts in Budapest in December in different genres, at various locations (theaters, churches, cruises, etc.). On Dec 29 and Dec 30 the pre-NYE celebrations begin, leading up to of course the big night of New Year’s Eve.

The great list of festive programs does not end with Dec 31, there are some unmissable events and concerts on New Year’s Day too.

Attractions in Budapest Anytime

There are many attractions and sights in Budapest that are worth visiting, regardless of the season. These places are open throughout the year, and must be seen at least once on a Budapest trip.

Opera House Budapest in Winter

Opera House Budapest – Damian Entwistle Photography

Hungarian Parliament – that majestic building by the river Danube is the 3rd largest parliament of the whole world. Luckily, it is available for visiting on Guided Parliament Tours.

Heroes’ Square – absolutely stunning, and absolutely free. Heroe’s Square is one the most iconic venues of the city of Budapest. Located right next to the City Park, Szechenyi Spa Baths and the Vajdahunyad Castle.

Opera House – the Hungarian State Opera is a fascinating building, it is highly recommended to visit on a Guided Opera Tour. If you are lucky enough to attend to a show or concert too – don’t miss the chance. Check the Christmas & New Year Program in the Opera House.

Majestic Churches – the St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Great Synagogue are the biggest and most beautiful churches in Budapest. Both are offering guided tours as well.

Hidden Gems in Budapest

If you want to get more ideas about your New Year holiday in Budapest, Hungary: find some off the beaten track Hidden Gems in Budapest.

Hungarian Parliament - New Year Budapest

New Year’s Eve Dinner in Budapest – December 31

New Year’s Eve Dinner cruises in Budapest are the most sought after events in our calendar, as they provide a one-and-only chance to welcome the New Year in the magic lights of the city over the magnificent river Danube.

Book your place for a special NYE cruise with Dinner and live entertainment, but hurry up, tickets are selling out like hot cakes!

Budapest New Year’s Eve Party Cruise & Folk Show

NYE Danube Cruise in Budapest with Dinner and Live Music

NYE Danube Cruise in Budapest with Dinner and Live Music

4-course Gala Dinner (plus a midnight dinner with a traditional Hungarian dish), unlimited drinks, live gypsy music, folk dance show with fun and party all night long and much more.

This cruise is suitable for groups with shared seating at tables.

You can now reserve your place for the New Year’s Eve dinner & party cruise by paying a deposit of €70 (approx. 1/3 of the full price).

Budapest Cruise on New Year's Eve

Budapest Cruise on New Year’s Eve – Furanda Photography

New Year’s Eve Gala Concert and Party in Budapest

The NYE Gala Concert and Party offers a smart, sophisticated way to enjoy the magic of New Year’s Eve, as you will be served a 5-course Gala Dinner, followed by the two hour New Year’s Eve Gala Concert and Show with classical music, ballet, and even folk music.

Budapest Pesti Vigado Gala Concert Show collage

Budapest Danube Palace Gala Concert Show

The event also includes an after midnight party with an open bar (wines, beers, soft drinks), and 2 traditional Hungarian NYE meals.

The NYE Gala Concert and Party will take place in the biggest hall of the magnificent Danube Palace, right in the city centre.

Tickets are almost sold out, so hurry up and secure your place now.

NYE Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Retro Party

NYE Cruise & Retro Music

NYE Cruise & Retro Music

Celebrate the new year on an unforgettable retro party cruise, including buffet style dinner, unlimited drink package and live DJ.

Budapest Candlelit Dinner Cruise on Legenda

Live Music Candlelit Dinner Cruise Legenda Ship Budapest

Live Music Candlelit Dinner Cruise Legenda Ship Budapest

Enjoy an a la carte dinner cruise in Budapest on the river Danube from 7 pm on 31 December, on the beautiful Legenda ship.

Live music, candle lit dinner and delicious meals will make this cruise even more memorable.

Swing & Jazz New Year’s Eve Party

Swing right into the New Year on a Swing & Jazz NYE Party in the Budapest Balna Panorama Hall.

NYE Swing & Jazz Party Budapest

NYE Swing & Jazz Party Budapest

The so called “Duke of swing”, the Voice Hungary, Balint Gajer, the Catsby Band and Eliza Bliss  one of the most decisive and most versatile personalities of Hungarian club life and swing music will perform on New Year’s Eve, playing the greatest hits from Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and Louis Prima, as well as covering of old-time favourites.

Enjoy the classic hits in a modern place in Budapest and dance till dawn.

Tickets with Dinner: HUF 39,990.

Must see events on 30 December

100 Member Gypsy Orchestra in the Budapest Congress Center

The traditional and renowned Music-Wine Gala Concert of the 100 Member Gypsy Orchestra is one of the best ways to say goodbye to the old year in a fantastic mood. The concert can also be topped up with a delicious dinner.

New Year Day’s Dinner in Budapest – January 1

Why not welcome the New Year of 2018 in exactly the same way as you said your fairwell to the old year? That is on a wonderful Budapest Dinner Cruise on the Danube with either a la carte or buffet style dinner with live music.

Budapest Candlelit Dinner Cruise on Legenda

The leisurely and romantic dinner cruise is 2.5 hours on the Danube, with a served pre-paid 4-course A la Carte dinner for €73 per person.

This high-end dinner cruise is one of the most loved ones by the guests, so this is a perfect choice to start the new year with.

New Year’s Day Dinner Cruise & Piano

Bar Piano Dinner Cruise Budapest

Bar Piano Dinner Cruise Budapest

2 hour cruise on the river Danube with live bar Piano music, 4 course dinner from 6 pm and from 9 pm.

Have a happy and relaxed start for a cheerful New Year, especially if you upgrade your ticket with the unlimited drink package option.

With city central boarding & arrival, this option is ideal for thos who partied until dawn.

Tickets with Dinner are starting from only €55.

 

Budapest Evening Cruise with Gypsy Music

This 2 hour cruise on the river Danube includes Buffet Dinner, music by an award winning Hungarian Gypsy trio and 2 drinks.

This dinner cruise is reported to be the highlight of many tourists’ Budapest visit, therefore book your tickets in advance as this program often run full house.

Tickets with Dinner are starting from only €54.

New Year’s Day Gala Concert with optional Dinner Cruise

This Gala Concert with an optional Dinner Cruise is an elegant way to enjoy all the magic of New Year’s Day with a wide repertoire of musical styles such as gypsy music, operetta, classical music and ballet featuring a special Hungarian folk instrument (hammer dulcimel).

Budapest Fishermans Bastion Night 2018 2019

The Fisherman’s Bastion in the Buda Castle Quarter is one of the few Budapest attractions that are open all year round, even on public holidays like New Year. You can also take night photos of the city celebrations from the Bastion. The even greater news is that it is free to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion from Oct 15 to March 15, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day too.

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas

Fisherman’s Bastion at Xmas – Ben G Hancock Photography

There will be a smaller Fireworks show in Budapest on the Pest side, which you can enjoy from the bastion terraces. You may also consider a beautiful winter dinner on the Budapest dinner cruise on the Danube, enjoying the same city sights from a boat. Or even better, book a whole night program on the Budapest New Year Cruise boats.

Both on Dec 31 and on Jan 1, the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya) viewing terraces are open all day and all night, from Monday to Sunday, which makes it one of the easiest attractions to fit in any Budapest itinerary, especially among your New Year Budapest break or among your Budapest Christmas things to do list. From the Bastion you can see the ship of the Budapest New Year’s Cruises passing by under the many historical bridges, past beautiful attractions.

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best lookout towers in Budapest. No doubt, this is the place to take a sweeping look at the UNESCO World Heritage site and the modest New Year’s Eve fireworks. Indeed, the NYE Fireworks are humbled by the big summer fireworks on August 20 (best seen from the Budapest Fireworks Cruise), which is sort of the birthday party of Hungary.

Budapest Fishermans Bastion Snow in Winter

Budapest Fisherman’s Bastion Snow – Philippe Clabots Photography

On Fisherman’s Bastion you can take fantastic panoramic photos to capture the December sights of the Pest side, the city with its Christmassy and New Year decorations and her “regular” beauties like the Hungarian Parliament, the Gresham Palace, the domes of the St Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge over the river Danube, the Great Market Hall of Budapest, etc.

On New Year’s Day, or even at Christmas, the Fisherman’s Bastion can seem slightly deserted, which is ideal for those who do not like crowds of tourists flocking around a beautiful sight.

Generally speaking, the Buda Castle hill is not a party place on NYE, but there are some restaurants in the Castle District (including a restaurant in the Fisherman’s Bastion), which will serve NYE dinner menus. Most parties are, however, taking place on the more eventful and exciting Pest side of BudaPest, there are also some clubs on the Obuda Island, etc. but typically the Buda Castle Quarter, including the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya), is a calm place, and an excellent venue to take great Budapest riverfront photos from (just like the cruising boats on the river where going up to the upper decks or side balconies offers a captain feeling and viewpoint).

Budapest Winter

Budapest Winter – Marta Troicka Photography

If you look at the photo, you can imagine easily what the Fisherman’s Bastion look like: 7 turrets, several romantic arcades and ramparts. Not a real fortification, not a “boring” museum. It is an open air attraction, with some closed spaces and roofed balconies.

Szechenyi Bath New Year Opening Hours 2018 2019

Szechenyi Baths in Budapest will be open during New Year in Budapest. The opening hours of Szechenyi Baths are a bit shorter than the usual generous opening hours, finishing around 6 – 8 pm.

Szechenyi Bath Budapest New Year

Szechenyi Bath Budapest New Year – James Guppy Photography

Both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are quite popular in the thermal bath: book a fast track Szechenyi bath ticket online. If you want a massage in Szechenyi Baths too, reserve it weeks before the NYE holiday, otherwise you will not get a free appointment. You can book a 20 minute aroma massage from approx. 18.3 Euros, or buy your ticket online in advance with a private cabin and fast track entry.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day opening hours

  • Dec 31: opening hours from 6am to 6pm (all the facilities in Szechenyi Baths, Budapest)
  • Jan 01: opening hours from 10am to 6pm (all the facilities in Szechenyi Baths, Budapest)

For young tourists under about 40 years of age, the New Year Bath Party in Szechenyi Baths is a must do experience, so if you have nothing to do on December 30, book your NYE Sparty ticket (Dec 30 is not a typo, it is a party before the party)

Szechenyi Bath Spa Party at New Year

Szechenyi Bath Spa Party at New Year

Gellert Spa Hotel by Gellert Hill Budapest

Are you planning to visit the Gellert Spa in New Year Budapest break? Yes, you can. Even the outside pools are open at Gellert Baths (if the weather stays above the freezing point).

Gellert Bath at Christmas

Gellert Bath Budapest – You Flavio Photography

Many Budapest travel guides say that Budapest is quiet or dead on New Year’s Day or at Christmas Budapest is silent, but this is not true any more. Budapest Baths are actually open, and are a lot of fun and relaxation for any Budapest tourists in Hungary. Do not miss the Gellert baths in December or January either!

Gellert Bath is open throughout the New Year holiday, you can buy Gellert Spa tickets online in advance or even book a massage in Gellert Spa. See the current NYE and NYD opening hours:

New Year’s Opening Hours

Please check the actual opening hours before making a visit.

  • Dec 31: on New Year’s Eve the opening hours of Gellert Baths are as follows: Gellert Bath is open from 6 am to 6 pm. Great way to get some strength for the New Year’s Eve parties in Budapest! Dec 30 Budapest Bath Party will be held in Szechenyi Baths, not in Gellert Spa.
  • Jan 1: on New Year’s Day, the opening hours of Gellert Bath are as follows: the baths are open from 10 am to 6 pm. What a perfect way to cure any hangover and welcome the new year with healthy resolutions! You can even listen to a concert on New Year’s Day to make January 1 in Budapest really beautiful.

Massage from 21 Euros at Gellert Bath

Luxury Manager Massage Gellert Bath Budapest

Luxury Manager Massage Gellert Bath Budapest

Did you know that you can book a massage at Gellert Bath from approx. 21 Euros (20 minutes aroma massage at one of the best thermal spas of Hungary! With a bath ticket from 43 Euros! Budapest can be cheap, but this is a really a superb Christmas Deal, we think!) Do not miss out on this fabulous opportunity. Book now in advance, or others will instead of you (Christmas and New Years can get really booked in Budapest, this applies to many New Year’s Eve Parties in Budapest, or Budapest New Year cruises, or massages at Gellert Bath too).

Romantic VIP Bathing at Gellert Baths Budapest

Are you in a mood to splurge with your love of life? You can even book a private bath at the beautiful Art Nouveau complex. The champagne and fruit bowl is included in the price (which is more in the luxury category). See the details of the private bath hire at Gellert Spa here.

Cinetrip New Year Party Budapest Szechenyi Baths

Cinetrip New Year Party Budapest Szechenyi Baths

In general Gellert Bath is also open during the Christmas holidays, i.e. Dec 24, 25 and Dec 26 too, but the opening times are modified.

Related: Budapest Bath Parties

Budapest New Year Bath Party in Szechenyi Baths

Turkish Dome Rudas Bath Budapest

Is Rudas Bath, one of the most popular Turkish baths in Budapest, and the only gender separated Budapest bath open during the New Year holidays? Can you visit the thermal pools and enjoy the medicinal pool facilities? Yes, Rudas Baths is open on New Year too, though the opening hours are somewhat shortened on the holidays.

Rudas Bath in winter

Rudas Bath in winter – Guillaume Baviere Photography

Rudas Baths, just like Szechenyi Baths and Gellert Spa, is open throughout the New Year holidays in Budapest, with the following opening hours:

New Year Opening Times

  • Dec 31: open from 6 am to 6 pm. Enjoy some amazing days in Budapest in a stunning historical building (the old Turkish baths have been expanded with more modern pools and facilities of course)
  • Jan 1: Rudas bath is open from 10 am to 6 pm. Visiting ‘the Rudas’ is a popular way to get over the New Year’s Eve party symptoms (hangover, stress of the new year, etc.), so the earlier you go there, the better the chance to enjoy a less crowded thermal bath

The opening times above have been basically the same at Budapest Baths for the last ten years or so. If you are planning your Budapest New Year trip, you can count on the thermal baths being open on the public holiday dates in December and January in Hungary.

Rudas Bath was one of the party scenes of the awesome Cinetrip parties.

Kiraly Bath Budapest Winter Thermal

Is Kiraly Bath, one of the most popular Budapest baths and the oldest Turkish bath in Budapest, open during the your Budapest New Year holidays? Can you visit the thermal pools and enjoy the thermal and pool facilities in late December and early January? Kiraly Bath is definitely a different experience than Szechenyi Bath or Gellert Spa.

Kiraly Bath Budapest

Kiraly Bath Budapest

Yes, Kiraly Bath is open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day too, though the opening hours are somewhat changed on the public holidays in winter.

Many Budapest travel guides say that Budapest is happy and open on New Year’s Eve, but too calm and closed on New Year’s Day, but this is not true any more.

Kirlay Baths, similarly to the two big baths in Budapest, Szechenyi Baths and Gellert Bath, is open throughout the New Year times, with the following opening hours:

New Year Opening Hours

  • Dec 31: the Kiraly Bath is open from 9 am to 6 pm. Enjoy some amazing days in Budapest in a stunning historical building (the old Turkish baths have been expanded with more modern pools and facilities of course)
  • Jan 1: Kiral bath is open from 10 am to 6 pm. Visiting ‘the Kiray’ is a nice way to get over the New Year’s Eve party symptoms (hangover, stress of the new year, etc.). As Kiraly has not been restored yet (unlike Rudas, Gellert or Szechenyi Baths) it is the most authentically ruinous and historical baths currently in the city of Budapest

Kiraly means King in Hungarian, say kee-raay

The opening times above have been basically the same at Budapest Baths for the last ten years or so. If you are planning your Budapest New Year break, you can count on the baths staying open on the public holiday dates in December and January in Hungary.

Budapest Christmas Market Advent Days TopBudapestOrg 2018 2019

Budapest has several fantastic Christmas markets. One of them, which stands out as the top, is the Budapest Christmas Market by the Basilica (aka St Stephen’s Cathedral), see the photo below.

Basilica Christmas Market Budapest

Basilica Christmas Market Budapest – Ildiko Kardos Photography

In 2018 / 2019, the Budapest Christmas market is open on Dec 31 and Jan 1 too. There are two nice markets next to each other and despite the Christmas holidays, the markets reopen on Dec 27 to keep open until Jan 1.

Budapest Christmas Market Vorosmarty Square

Budapest Advent Market St Stephen’s Basilica
On Dec 31 besides the usual nice programs, there is usually a charity event.

If you are enjoying your New Year break in Budapest, Hungary, visit the last days of the festive Budapest Christmas Market in the city center of Budapest on St Istvan Square. You can see the domes of the Basilica from far away on the flat Pest side of Budapest.

St Stephen’s Basilica is one of the top Budapest attractions.