Big Winter Bucket List in Hungary
It can be hard to leave the warmth of your home in winter, but if you wrap up well you can have some wonderful experiences. You can go to a spa, play sports, go ice-skating or visit the Advent fairs.
Ice dance – at a magical location
You can skate in almost every big Hungarian city in winter, but the most atmospheric place in Budapest is undoubtedly the ice rink in City Park, which has been operating since 1870. The boating lake near Heroes’ Square is turned into an ice rink in winter. It is a traditional date spot and also a meeting place for friends and families.
It’s an amazing fact that it first opened on 29 January 1870, and what’s more, Crown Prince Rudolf conducted the opening ceremony in front of a crowd of skaters. If you don't have skates, you can rent them.
Photo: Skating rink in Budapest
Visit Lake Balaton in winter
Balaton, Hungary’s largest lake, is an incredible sight on cold winter days, although it rarely freezes over now, unfortunately. You can see the beautiful shades of blue while walking along the shore, and you can even admire frozen waves. On the southern shore, you can look down on the water and the surrounding, snowy landscape from a height of 165 meters on the Gömb Lookout in Balatonboglár. You can also take a serene walk in Tihany on the northern shore. There will be no sign of the summer crowds at this time of year, but the misty atmosphere is quite other-worldly.
On the slopes in the sparkling sunshine
It is also possible to do winter sports at more and more locations in Hungary. Although Hungary doesn’t have any really high mountains, skiers, snowboarders, cross-country skiers and sledgers can indulge their passions on many a cold day thanks to new snow cannon systems. Thanks to the snow cannons the Hungarian ski slopes in Eplény, Mátraszentistván, Sátoraljaújhely and Visegrád are usually open until early April. Normafa Park in Budapest also has a cross-country ski track with snow cannons.
Drinking mulled wine at an Advent fair
Advent fairs are held in many cities across the country. Immerse yourself in the bustle, taste the food, drink a spicy punch or hot tea with honey, look around and listen to the Christmas tunes. You might find a nice gift to put under the Christmas tree. It is a great experience to hop on the festive trams decorated with strings of lights and admire the city’s most beautiful buildings and bridges.
Photo: Mulled wine
Splashing into steaming water
If you want to warm up after long winter walks, try one of the thermal and adventure baths in Budapest or other cities in Hungary. In addition to the soothing power of natural springs, several places offer saunas, salt rooms and various wellness experiences so you can relax to the max. The swimming pools with slides, which are open all year round, are sure to keep you and your kids entertained.