Things to Do in Budapest in November

November in Budapest offers a unique blend of cultural events, festive preparations, and seasonal activities. As autumn transitions into winter, the city brims with events celebrating its rich history, vibrant culture, and festive spirit. This guide will help you explore the best things to do in Budapest during this picturesque month.

Table of Contents

Major Events and Festivals

Things to Do in Budapest in November

Budapest’s 150th Birthday Celebration

On November 17th, Budapest celebrates its 150th anniversary with a series of grand events. These include free concerts at City Hall's courtyard, variety shows featuring dancers and illusionists, and the Makers Market showcasing local designer products. These festivities reflect the city’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant contemporary scene.

  • Date: November 17, 2023
  • Locations: City Hall Courtyard, various other locations
  • Cost: Free for most events
  • Important Data: Concerts and performances are scheduled throughout the day​.

St. Martin’s Day Festivities

St. Martin’s Day, celebrated on November 11th, is marked by traditional goose dishes and new wine. This day commemorates the legend of St. Martin hiding among geese to avoid becoming a bishop. Various restaurants offer special St. Martin’s Day menus, and community events provide a taste of Hungarian tradition and folklore.

  • Date: November 11, 2023
  • Locations: Various restaurants and community centers
  • Cost: Varies by venue
  • Important Data: Special menus and community events typically require advance reservations​​.

Reflektor Festival

On November 16th, the Reflektor Festival brings an array of concerts to Dürer Kert, featuring both international and local musicians. This festival is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in contemporary Hungarian music and enjoy vibrant DJ sets.

  • Date: November 16, 2023
  • Location: Dürer Kert, Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21, 1146 Budapest
  • Cost: Tickets start at 5,000 HUF
  • Important Data: Concerts begin in the evening and continue into the night​.

Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

From November 22nd to 29th, the Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival presents over 80 documentaries from 40 countries. Screenings, discussions, and events take place at various venues, including Toldi, Művész, and Corvin cinemas.

  • Dates: November 22-29, 2023
  • Locations: Toldi Cinema, Művész Cinema, Corvin Cinema, Blinken OSA Archivum
  • Cost: Tickets start at 1,500 HUF per screening
  • Important Data: The festival includes both in-person and online events​.

Holiday and Winter Activities

Things to Do in Budapest in November

Christmas Markets

Budapest’s Christmas markets begin in mid-November, transforming the city into a winter wonderland. The Vörösmarty Square Christmas Fair is a highlight, featuring stalls with handcrafted gifts, festive foods, and live performances. Another notable market is the Green Xmas Market at Klauzál Square, which emphasizes eco-friendly products.

  • Dates: November 18 - December 31, 2023
  • Location: Vörösmarty Square, Klauzál Square
  • Cost: Free entry, items for purchase
  • Important Data: Markets are open daily from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM​​.

Winter Wonderland at WestEnd Mall

From November 17th to December 23rd, the rooftop of WestEnd Mall hosts a Winter Wonderland complete with an ice skating rink, festive foods, and a heated Christmas tent. This event offers a festive atmosphere and a chance to do some holiday shopping.

  • Dates: November 17 - December 23, 2023
  • Location: WestEnd Mall Rooftop, Váci út 1-3, 1062 Budapest
  • Cost: Free entry, 1,500 HUF for ice skating (includes a gift card)
  • Important Data: Open daily from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM on weekdays, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekends​.

Cultural and Indoor Activities

Things to Do in Budapest in November

Classical Music Concerts

Budapest's neoclassical churches, like St. Stephen’s Basilica, host enchanting organ concerts throughout November. These concerts provide an ideal venue for enjoying classical music in a historic setting. Other venues also offer a range of musical performances, enhancing the city’s cultural appeal.

  • Dates: Every Thursday in November
  • Location: St. Stephen’s Basilica, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Budapest
  • Cost: Tickets range from 25 to 38 EUR
  • Important Data: Concerts typically start at 8:00 PM​.

Museum Exhibitions

Budapest’s museums offer a refuge from the chilly weather with a variety of exhibitions. The House of Terror, Hungarian National Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts are some of the must-visit indoor attractions. These museums provide insights into Hungary’s history and cultural heritage.

  • House of Terror: Andrássy út 60, 1062 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
  • Cost: Adults 3,000 HUF, Reduced 1,500 HUF
  • Important Data: Exhibitions focus on Hungary's 20th-century history under Nazi and Communist regimes.
  • Hungarian National Museum: Múzeum körút 14-16, 1088 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
  • Cost: Adults 2,600 HUF, Reduced 1,300 HUF
  • Important Data: Permanent exhibitions cover Hungarian history from prehistory to modern times​.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: Dózsa György út 41, 1146 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
  • Cost: Adults 3,200 HUF, Reduced 1,600 HUF
  • Important Data: Features European art from the Middle Ages to the 18th century​.

Thermal Baths

Visiting Budapest’s famous thermal baths, like Széchenyi and Gellért Baths, is a perfect way to relax and warm up. These historic baths offer a unique experience with their thermal waters and beautiful architecture, making them a popular attraction year-round.

  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath: Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM daily
  • Cost: Weekdays 5,900 HUF, Weekends 6,200 HUF
  • Important Data: One of the largest spa complexes in Europe, with 18 pools.
  • Gellért Baths: Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily
  • Cost: Weekdays 6,100 HUF, Weekends 6,500 HUF
  • Important Data: Renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture and medicinal waters.

Outdoor and Sightseeing Activities

Things to Do in Budapest in November

Exploring Iconic Landmarks

Budapest is home to several iconic landmarks worth visiting in November. Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Heroes’ Square, and Vajdahunyad Castle are just a few of the city’s architectural gems. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge, especially stunning when lit up at night, is another must-see.

  • Buda Castle: Szent György tér 2, 1014 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM daily
  • Cost: Free to explore the grounds, museums within the castle complex may charge entry fees
  • Important Data: Offers panoramic views of the city and houses the Hungarian National Gallery and Budapest History Museum.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion: Szentháromság tér, 1014 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
  • Cost: Free (upper towers may have a small fee)
  • Important Data: Known for its panoramic views of the Danube and Pest side of the city​.
  • Heroes’ Square: Hősök tere, 1146 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
  • Cost: Free
  • Important Data: Features statues of Hungarian leaders and the Millennium Monument​
  • Vajdahunyad Castle: Vajdahunyad stny., 1146 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily
  • Cost: Free to explore the courtyard, museum entry may require a ticket
  • Important Data: Located in City Park, this castle features architectural styles from various historical periods.
  • Széchenyi Chain Bridge: Széchenyi Lánchíd, 1051 Budapest
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
  • Cost: Free
  • Important Data: Iconic bridge connecting Buda and Pest, beautifully illuminated at night​.

Danube Bend Tour

A tour of the Danube Bend, including visits to Esztergom, Visegrád, and Szentendre, offers scenic beauty and historical insights. These picturesque locations provide a perfect day trip from Budapest, combining natural beauty with cultural exploration.

  • Tour Schedule: Daily tours typically start at 9:00 AM
  • Cost: Prices vary by tour operator, generally around 12,000 HUF
  • Important Data: Includes bus travel to the Danube Bend and a return by boat from Szentendre to Budapest​​.

City Park Ice Rink

The City Park Ice Rink, reopening in mid-November, is a beloved winter destination. Skating with the backdrop of Vajdahunyad Castle is a quintessential Budapest experience, perfect for both locals and tourists.

  • Opening Hours: Mid-November to early March, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily
  • Location: Városligeti Műjégpálya, Olof Palme sétány 5, 1146 Budapest
  • Cost: Adults 2,000 HUF, children 1,500 HUF, skate rental available
  • Important Data: Largest and one of the oldest ice rinks in Europe​​.

Food and Drink

Things to Do in Budapest in November

Budapest Food Tour

A food tour in Budapest is an excellent way to sample traditional Hungarian cuisine. From hearty goulash to sweet chimney cakes, these tours offer a delicious journey through the city’s culinary landscape. Check out various Budapest food tours to explore the city's culinary delights.

  • Tour Schedule: Multiple tours available daily
  • Cost: Prices vary by tour operator, typically starting at 15,000 HUF
  • Important Data: Tours usually last 3-4 hours and include visits to several eateries​.

Thanksgiving Dinners

Though Thanksgiving is an American tradition, many Budapest restaurants offer special menus featuring roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Venues like DNB, Bortodoor Wine, and Ruin Brew provide festive dining options.

  • Date: November 23, 2023
  • Locations: Various restaurants, including DNB Budapest, Bortodoor Wine, Ruin Brew
  • Cost: Varies by restaurant, typically around 8,000 HUF per person
  • Important Data: Reservations recommended due to high demand.

Wine Tasting Experiences

November is an ideal time for wine tasting in Budapest. Events like the wine tasting experience at the Palinka Museum offer a chance to savor Hungarian wines and learn about the country’s winemaking traditions.

  • Location: Palinka Museum, Király utca 20, 1061 Budapest
  • Schedule: Saturdays at 6:00 PM
  • Cost: 57 EUR per person
  • Important Data: Includes tasting of nine different wines, charcuterie, and sourdough bread​.

Practical Information

Weather and Packing Tips

Budapest in November has a crisp climate with average temperatures ranging from 4°C to 9°C. Visitors should pack warm clothing, including thermal underwear, knit sweaters, and a water-resistant coat. Comfortable walking shoes and warm accessories are also recommended.

  • Average Temperatures: High 9°C (48°F), Low 4°C (39°F)
  • Rainfall: Approximately 6 days of rain
  • Packing Essentials: Thermal layers, waterproof outerwear, warm socks, and a travel umbrella.

Travel Essentials

When visiting Budapest, it’s useful to know that the local currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF), and the primary language is Hungarian. The city operates on GMT+2 time zone. Power sockets are of types C and F, and the voltage is 230V. Knowing some basic Hungarian phrases can be helpful, though English is widely understood in tourist areas.

  • Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Time Zone: GMT+2
  • Power Sockets: Type C and F
  • Voltage: 230V.

Additional Resources

Itineraries

If you’re planning a short visit, consider using a structured itinerary to make the most of your time. A 1-day itinerary might include a visit to Széchenyi Thermal Bath in the morning, a tour of the Hungarian Parliament in the afternoon, and a food tour in the evening. A 2-day itinerary could add a Danube River cruise and a Danube Bend tour. For a 3-day itinerary, include a walking tour of Pest and Buda, and a relaxing visit to Margaret Island.

  • 1-Day Itinerary:
  • Morning: Széchenyi Thermal Bath
  • Afternoon: Hungarian Parliament
  • Evening: Budapest Food Tour
  • 2-Day Itinerary:
  • Day 1: Above activities
  • Day 2: Danube River Cruise, Danube Bend Tour
  • 3-Day Itinerary:
  • Days 1-2: Above activities
  • Day 3: Walking tour of Pest and Buda, Margaret Island.

Nearby Destinations

Consider day trips to nearby attractions such as Esztergom, Visegrád, and Szentendre. These locations offer a blend of historical significance, scenic beauty, and cultural experiences that complement your visit to Budapest.

  • Esztergom: Former capital of Hungary, home to the Esztergom Basilica
  • Visegrád: Known for its medieval citadel and panoramic views of the Danube Bend
  • Szentendre: Famous for its museums, galleries, and Mediterranean atmosphere​.

Accommodation Recommendations

Budapest offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets. Luxury travelers might choose the Corinthia Hotel Budapest, known for its grand architecture and central location. For a mid-range option, the Continental Hotel Budapest offers a cozy stay near popular attractions. Budget travelers can find numerous affordable and comfortable hotels and hostels throughout the city.

  • Luxury: The Corinthia Hotel Budapest
  • Mid-Range: The Continental Hotel Budapest
  • Budget: Numerous affordable options available on booking platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb.

Conclusion

November in Budapest is a time of cultural richness and festive preparations. Whether you’re attending one of the many festivals, exploring the city’s historical sites, or enjoying a thermal bath, Budapest offers a unique and memorable experience. Use this guide to plan your visit and ensure you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

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