The best time of the year to visit Budapest
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a very popular tourist destination. The city in the heart of Europe attracts more and more tourists every year regardless of the season.
The climate of the city is continental with cold winters and warm summers so everybody can choose his favourite season to visit Budapest. The city has a big difference between the highest and lowest recorded temperatures as the record high is 40°C (104°F) and the record low is -25°C (-14°F).
Winter in Budapest
The coldest months are from November to March with January being the coldest one with the average low and high being between -4°C (25°F) and 1°C (33°F). Winters are also cloudy with an average of only 50-70 monthly sunshine hours. Temperatures at around -15°C (5°F) aren’t uncommon during this part of the year. In wintertime, snowfalls can usually occur with 5-10 cm of precipitation, but sometimes it can reach 20-40 cm in a single day. In contrast, the average number of sunshine hours in the summer months is between 250 and 270.
If you are interested what to do during the winter time in Hungary, read our tips about theTop 5 things to do in Budapest in December…
Summer in Budapest
The summer in Budapest is pretty warm; this period is between June and September. Temperatures above 30°C (86°F) are common and they can occasionally reach 35°C (95°F) during heat waves. The sunniest month is July. The hottest month is August with the temperature reaching 30-40 °C. Early summer is also the rainiest part of the year. In June, rainfall could reach 70 mm. Exhausting heat waves interchange with short cooler and rainy periods brought by cold fronts. Summer is generally a dry period of the weather in Budapest. Thunderstorms, strong winds, and torrential rainfall are the main weather extremes during summer in Budapest.
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It is good to know what are the rainy periods of the year, because rain can spoil our outdoor activities. Besides the early summer months, May and June late autumn months, October and November are the rainiest. The least precipitation falls in February and March. It is not surprising that the hot and dry summer season is the peak time for tourists to visit Budapest.
By the way, the end of January and February are the least crowded months. If we take all these into consideration, the best times to come is between March and May, and between September to November. These mild seasons are when the weather is idyllic and the city isn’t overcrowded with tourists. However, the climate is always relatively mild, with temperatures rarely exceeding bearable levels. So you can enjoy the stunning buildings of the Hungarian capital and the eternal panorama of the Buda side regardless of weather conditions and also participate in many festivals throughout the year.
If you insist on shipping on the beautiful Danube, you must visit between May and October. If you love walking in the awakening nature, you should come in spring, when trees and flowers are blooming everywhere. If you like busy, sparkling life your favourite season will be summer in Budapest.
So how to prepare with the clothes in different seasons?
If you are coming in winter, you will need warm clothes for sure, so don’t forget the scarf, gloves, boots etc.; especially if you like outdoor activities like ice skating or walking in the famous Christmas market.
In summer the most important thing is to use sun milk, you can get sunburnt even during a sightseeing tour. This time shorts, sandals, sunglasses and something to cover your head is necessary. But the most important thing in all season is the swimsuit.
As Budapest is the ´City of Baths’ you can take a wonderful bath at all seasons of the year. But if you don’t like thermal water, the city offers other waterfront activities. For example, 20 minutes from the city center you will find the recently formed Lupa Beach, which is originally a lake but looks exactly like seashore. There you can get cool in the crystal clear water and lay under the palm trees in hot summer days, but is you are an active sporty type, do not hesitate to try the wakeboard cables even you are a beginner or rather a pro.
It is worth visiting the Hungarian capital at any time of the year, as there is always something new. Be prepared with an umbrella and even with sunglasses in every season though, because the weather can be tricky.