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Hungary sits in the middle of the European continent, juggling the influences of both western Europe and Russia. In a way, it’s this confluence that has led to the formation of a unique Hungarian identity – one that is mixed with ancient Hapsburgian grandeur, and pure Russian grit. The country is exotic to look at – a marvelous mixture of the modern and the ancient, and the people are exceptionally friendly.
You must definitely visit the country in order to experience the unique culture, one that has been molded by Western Europe and the Central Asian Steppe. There are dozens of cities for you to explore, and countless palaces to see. The only thing you have to do is find out what is the best time to visit Hungary, and you’re good to go.
- Best Time to Visit Hungary: April – May, September – October
- High Tourist Season: June – August
- Low Season: November – March
- All Seasons: April – May (spring), June – August (summer), September – October (fall), November – March (winter)
- The best time to visit Hungary is in spring and autumn, when the weather is fine, and you won’t have to compete with thousands of other tourists.
- The high season is during the summer months between June – August, when all of Europe is on holiday. There will be an increase in prices around this period, so expect your holiday to get more expensive if you’re traveling during these months.
- The low season is during the winter, when there is a lot of rain and snow, and a lot of attractions shut down. However, this is the cheapest season to visit the country.
April to May – Spring / Good Season
The daytime temperature will be absolutely splendid, especially following the long winter. A lot of holidaymakers are yet to begin their travels for the season, so there will be few crowds. The prices will also be lower, compared to the summer, and you can get great deals as well. Make sure you carry rain–proof clothing and an umbrella if you’re traveling in May, as there is a chance that the weather in Hungary will get wet during this period.
- Avg. Temperature: 67 – 72° F / 19 – 22° C (in Budapest)
- Rainfall: 21 – 87 mm
- Season: Spring
- Highlights: This would be a splendid time for you to explore the Hungarian countryside, as the wildflowers will be blooming everywhere. This is one of the best periods for you to visit Budapest, as the tourists would not be occupying the city yet, so you will get to explore the monuments at leisure. April is a great time to explore the country on bike – there are a number of cycling vacation trails you can follow across the Hungarian countryside from Budapest (follow the Danube Bend near Visegrad).
June to August – Summer / High Season
The summer months are usually pleasant, and do not get swelteringly hot. The late spring showers ensure that June is rather pleasant, as well. This is the peak season, as it is holiday season all across Europe. Expect prices to go up – they might even double in Budapest. Since the crowds would be high, you should book your tickets and accommodation in advance, so as to ensure that you don’t end up stranded!
- Avg. Temperature: 83 – 86° F / 28 – 30° C (in Budapest)
- Rainfall: 55 – 76 mm
- Season: Summer
- Highlights: The summer months are ideal for those who want to relax and soak in the culture of the city, without trying to fall in with the crowd. Buy yourself a drink, and soak in the neo–gothic architecture of the city, while sipping on your beer. In fact, if you’re a fan of the drink, make sure you’re there for the Főzdefeszt, a festival celebrating Hungarian street food and beers, held in June. Head to the shores of Lake Balaton, and the town of Tihany to see huge fields of stunning lavender blowing in the wind – it’s a sight that will change your life.
September to October – Fall / Good Season
Fall is a splendid season for those visiting Hungary. The fall colors take over the entire country, and the crowds from summer begin to leave, making this the best time to visit Hungary for a number of reasons. Usually, Hungarian fall is more pleasant than the spring, and there is lesser chance of rain during this season as well. There will be a slight drop in prices during these months, so it is the ideal season for those traveling on a budget, especially if you don’t want to sacrifice on enjoyment!
- Avg. Temperatures: 58 – 81° F / 14 – 27° C (in Budapest)
- Rainfall: 31 – 62 mm
- Season: Fall
- Highlights: September – October is the best season for trekking the Országos Kéktúra, or the National Blue Trail, Europe’s oldest long–distance path. The hills in Hungary, like Bükk and Mátra, are particularly stunning during the fall, especially with the yellows and reds taking over the landscape. Fall is also the season of the grape harvest – go to Eger or Tokaj, and enjoy a glass (or few) of some of the finest wines in the world.
November to March – Winter / Low Season
Winter in Hungary can be rather dreary. It rains in November and February, and the weather in Hungary becomes bitter cold and bleak. A lot of attractions shut down, and accommodation becomes sparse in smaller towns and villages. However, the cost of accommodation would be incredibly low. If you want to stick to the bigger towns, and not rely on all–day public transport, this is when to visit Hungary on a budget. This is when to visit Hungary if you want to take full advantage of the lower costs.
- Avg. Temperature: 37 – 54° F / 3 – 12° C (in Budapest)
- Rainfall: 3 – 105 mm
- Season: Winter
- Highlights: It’s too cold outside, so it’s best if you spent your time exploring Budapest’s many museums and castles – from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Castle District in Buda. Winters provide you with the perfect opportunity to take a long soak in one of Budapest’s 100 thermal baths – we recommend the Széchenyi, Gellert, or the Király and Rudas Turkish Baths, built in the 16th century. Christmas is celebrated with great pomp in Budapest – do not miss out on the stunning Christmas market, for sure!