• ~ mins read

Hungary’s cold winter weather deters most travelers from visiting the country in December. But the upside of planning a trip during this month is that you’ll get easy access to the top sights and save on hotels. Soak in the holiday vibes in the Vörösmarty Square market and take a joy ride on the Fényvillamos, or Christmas ‘light tram’ in Budapest. You can also go skiing in Kékes, Hungary’s highest mountain, and check out the panoramic views of the winter landscape from Normafa, a vantage point in the Buda hills. Read on to find out what your tour to Hungary in December will look like.

EBC Group Hiking
  • From Uganda
5 - Excellent
“Exceptionally well organized with the owner a fair and reasonable individual. Also, a...” Read More
View Incredible Tours in Hungary

Hungary Weather in December

See the House of parliament blanketed in snow in Hungary in December.
The winter setting turns Hungary into something out of a fairytale during your holiday.

December is one of the coldest months of the year in Hungary. The weather gets even colder if the northeasterly winds called Bora sweep through the country. Snowfall is expected in December, but it is usually light and does not accumulate. There are chances of winter storms and rain, too. The days are short, and nights are frozen. The average temperature in Budapest in December varies between a minimum of -1°C to a maximum of 3°C. In Debrecen, the average December temperatures range from a high of 4°C to a low of -1°C. Pécs sees average high temperatures of 3°C and lows of -2°C.

For a detailed seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Hungary.

Weather in Hungary in December - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)731
Avg Nightly (°C)2-1-3
Avg Daily (°F)453834
Avg Nightly (°F)363127
Avg Rainfall (mm)604040

Why Visit Hungary in December

A light show in Budapest during Christmas in Hungary in December.
Tourists can enjoy the Christmas spirit in Hungary by heading to markets in Budapest.
People ice skating in a ski park in Budapest.
You can get the opportunity to try winter sports in both city ski parks and the snow-covered hills in December.

Despite the short, dark days, trips in Hungary in December can be memorable — here’s why:

  • Warm baths: Hungary is known for its thermal spas fed with natural spring water throughout the year. But in the chilly weather, these warm water baths are especially soothing. Top picks include spas in Budapest, Makó, and Egerszálok.
  • Winter sports: Hungary is not among Europe’s top skiing destinations, but there are plenty of opportunities to hurtle down a snow-covered hill in places like Mátraszentistván Ski Park and Nagyvillám Ski Slope in Visegrád.
  • Christmas markets: Discover the magic of the festive season by visiting Christmas markets in Budapest (the Advent Feast at the Basilica frequently tops the list of Europe’s best Christmas markets). Outside the capital, Esztergom, Vác, Szeged, Pécs and Eger have lovely Christmas markets.
  • Few tourists: December falls in the middle of the low tourist season, and you won’t find much competition while visiting monuments or museums. The last week of December might see a small surge in tourists in Budapest, but it’s still quite manageable.
  • Lower tariffs: If you visit Hungary in December, you will likely get attractive discounts no matter what hotel you book. In the regular season, the daily tariff at a mid-range Budapest hotel is in the USD 80 range. Book early and you’ll end up paying less in December.

Where to go and what to do

River cruises in Danube in front of the Parliament Building.
You can see the wonderful city of Budapest on a cruise on the Danube River.

It’s hard to conceive of a holiday in Hungary in December without a trip to Budapest. Get a unique view of the capital on a winter cruise tour of the River Danube. December is also an excellent time to visit ‘ruin bars,’ dilapidated buildings, and out-of-use spaces transformed into drinking and dining establishments. Check out paintings by Paul Cezanne, Tivadar Csontvary Kosztka, and Claude Monet at the Hungarian National Gallery.

Skate over the ice rink lit up during the festive season in Debrecen, with the Reformed Great Church forming an impressive backdrop. See the iconic Christ paintings by Mihaly Munkacsy at the city’s Deri Museum. Visit the historic Debrecen Reformed College, which has been at the heart of Hungarian intellectual life since its establishment in 1538, and see its library, beautiful murals and museum.

Pecs is cold in winter but don’t let that stop you from strolling in the delightful Zsolnay Cultural Quarter and exploring its Gyugyi Collection of Zsolnay pieces and artisans’ shops. Also, check out the city’s Victor Vasarely Museum, which showcases works by the Hungarian French painter, a pioneering figure of the Op art movement. Pecs’ most interesting building is the Inner Town Parish Church, which was a mosque during Ottoman rule; it retains its distinctive Islamic elements like the ogee arches, geometric frescoes and a mihrab.

Take advantage of the low tourist season and visit remarkable monuments, churches, and museums that are must-sees in Hungary in December. With the help of our local travel experts, you can plan a customized trip to Hungary in winter.

Published by Tim Green, updated on January 10, 2024

Related Articles

Plan a trip to HungaryWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Hungary.
Our travel experts are recommended by:
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Lonely Planet
0 COMMENTSWe welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.