Hungry for a memorable trip? Learn the best time to visit Hungary with tips for going during the overall best, cheapest, and least busy time of year.
We’ll also show you the worst time of year to go along with tips and frequently asked questions to help you make the most of your Hungarian adventure!
Why You Should Visit Hungary
If striking architecture with historic origins, dramatic landscapes, and world-famous spas, thermal baths, and hot springs attract your attention, Hungary is where you need to go.
This landlocked Central European country is home to iconic sights, vibrant nightlife, and amazing experiences for world travelers seeking something different.
The continental climate here is warm and pleasant during the spring, summer, and early fall with low humidity and regular rainfall that cools things off.
In late fall and winter, it’s cold (especially in Northern Hungary) and snowy with lots of holiday and winter-themed events and celebrations taking place.
Stroll through the capital Budapest with thousands of years of Celtic and Roman history to intrigue any visitor. Or head to the Hungarian countryside in search of fairytale scenery!
In the capital, you’ll see historic Roman ruins and onion-domed Islamic buildings alongside modern architecture and infrastructure that brings you back to today’s world.
Walk or bike across the Szechenyi Chain Bridge crossing the majestic Danube River in Budapest. Or take a boat tour to see the capital from the water below for a truly unique point of view!
Outside of the capital, Hungary’s wine region in the west makes an excellent place to visit (Hungarian wines are highly sought after, even by kings of the past).
Ancient castles and palaces, a variety of caves with unique landforms, open-air celebrations and events, and lots of respected museums and galleries await you in Hungary.
Another bit of good news if you’re thinking of planning a visit: Hungary is considered a safe country with low crime rates and a worldwide ranking as the 13th safest country globally.
If it sounds like Hungary is the right place for you to visit, keep reading to learn about the best time to go!
What’s the Best Time to Visit Hungary?
- Overall best time to visit: April-June
- Cheapest time to visit: January-February
- Least busy time to visit: September-October
- Worst time to visit: December-February
Making the most of your visit to Hungary starts with knowing the best time to visit. The right time to go depends on your goals for the trip!
If you’re open to traveling to Hungary during the peak season, the overall best time to go is from April to June. This is the start of the busy season and you can’t beat the warm weather for sightseeing.
For a more budget-friendly trip, the cheapest time to visit Hungary is from January to February. It’s cold and snowy, but you won’t find better rates on hotel rooms than during this period.
Head to Hungary from September to October to beat the crowds while still enjoying warm temperatures in the 60F-70F range with little rainfall.
Try to avoid going from December to February unless cheap prices are your main priority. It can get really cold and snowy, making sightseeing and walking the cities uncomfortable.
Learn more about the best time to visit Hungary below, from the best and cheapest to the least busy and worst time to go.
Planning on keeping your visit to the capital only? Take a look at the best time to visit Budapest!
Overall Best Time to Visit Hungary
The pleasant months of April, May, and June are the overall best time to visit Hungary for moderate weather and lots of events and activities happening.
Tourists flock to Hungary from May to September, the peak season here, because this is when the weather is warmest and more conducive to sightseeing and outdoor activities like the thermal baths.
But from April to June, you’ll get the best of both worlds with warm temperatures that aren’t yet scorching (it’s hottest in July and August) and plenty of activities happening around the country.
High temperatures in April range from 59F to 62F, warming up to 68F to 71F in May and reaching highs of 74F to 77F in June. Talk about pleasant weather!
There is an increase in rainfall during this spring-early summer period, but you’ll still see clear skies much of the time and deal with precipitation no more than 9 rainy days or so out of the rainiest month (June).
We found rooms ranging from about $70/night to about $150/night during this peak tourism period, which really isn’t bad compared to other destinations in Europe.
Check out the Hollókő Easter Festival (Easter), Budapest Spring Festival (late April-May), Tihany Lavender Field & Festival (mid-late June).
You can also plan to go to Hortobágy Equestrian Days, Sopron Early Music Days, and Miskolc Opera Festiva in late June!
Cheapest Time to Visit Hungary
The cheapest time to visit Hungary is generally from January to February, just after the holiday period ends and before temperatures start warming up.
Fewer tourists come to Hungary during this chilly, snowy time of year because conditions aren’t great for many of the activities and events Hungary is known for.
Sightseeing is a lot less fun when it’s snowing nonstop and highs struggle to rise above 25F (January) to 40F (February) in different regions of the country.
But if you can handle the temperatures and frigid precipitation, you’ll reap the rewards with a much cheaper trip to this fascinating, historic country!
We found rooms ranging from about $50/night to just over $100/night in Budapest during this period. That can be a great bargain!
You can always take advantage of the great indoor activities and attractions in Hungary, like museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants, to get out of the cold during this time of year.
Least Busy Time to Visit Hungary
September to October is the least busy time to visit Hungary and still offers pleasant temperatures and less rainfall than the summer months.
If you’re not a fan of big crowds and the longer lines, limited room and restaurant availability, and higher prices that come along with them, visit Hungary during this time of year.
From September to October, Hungary experiences a dip in tourism as the peak summer months subside and give way to fall.
You’ll enjoy temperatures that are still warm and pleasant – around 70F in September and 60F in October – with minimal rainfall totaling just 1.4″ to 1.9″ per month.
The wine region comes alive during this period, with the Budapest Wine Festival (early September) and Harvest Fest in Tokaj taking place in October filled with chances to taste local wine, jam, and coffee.
There are countless events that take place during September and a few in October as Hungarians celebrate the harvest season and one last outdoor hurrah before winter’s chill sets in.
If you like attending events while you travel to experience the local culture, these are great events to put on your itinerary.
But if you’re all about avoiding crowds and enjoying a low-key stay, you may want to avoid the wine region during this time of year and stick to Budapest and the countryside away from the north-east.
Worst Time to Visit Hungary
December to February is the worst time to visit Hungary, as the coldest and snowiest period of the year here. There’s not much going on outside of holiday celebrations.
You’ll see highs in the 35F-37F range during this time of year, with snowfall ranging from 1.5″ to 3.4″ per month. It’s the snowiest time of year in Hungary, especially in the north.
That makes sightseeing and walking through the cities and countryside – many visitors’ main reason for going – less enjoyable or downright impossible.
Hungary does have some incredible holiday celebrations in December and January with Christmas- and winter-themed fairs and festivals taking place in public squares, parks, and in front of basilicas.
The period from December to February does include some of the cheapest months to visit Hungary (January and February), so that could be a bonus if you’re planning a budget trip.
But most travelers will find the cost savings isn’t worth the tradeoff with cold weather and poor conditions for sightseeing and spending time outdoors.
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen the best time to visit Hungary, you might be seriously considering planning a trip to this historic European country.
Here’s what you should consider before you start planning!
- Know where to stay while you’re here. Most travelers will want to stay in Budapest (view our guide on the best places to stay in Budapest) to be close to the action, landmarks, and most food and shopping options. If you’re interested in venturing beyond the capital, other popular areas to stay in include Szeged (the third-largest city), Eger (home to the Eger Castle), and Gyor (with a charming old town dating back to the 5th century).
- Take a day trip or several. If you do stay in Budapest, you’ll have plenty of sightseeing and exploring to do in the city. But don’t miss the chance to take a few day trips! Eger Castle is about 1.5 hours away, the country town of Szentendre is about 40 minutes north, and the Gödöllő Royal Palace is about 40 minutes east. Other neat areas to visit are Esztergom’s huge domed basilica and nearby museum and Lake Balaton (the largest in Europe) about 1.5 hours southwest.
- Use public transportation to get around. Hungary is known for excellent public transit with trains, buses, trams, trolleys, and more to shuttle you around the different regions with ease. From getting to Budapest from the airport to taking day trips to different regions across the country, you’ll find many direct train routes and bus routes connect you to anywhere you want to go.
- Learn some Hungarian phrases. About 98% of Hungarians speak Hungarian, but estimates say about 20% speak English. It’s a good idea to learn some key phrases before you visit for the easiest communication experience here. Young Hungarians may be the most likely to speak English, so you may have the best luck communicating with young workers at hotels, restaurants, and shops.
- Use the Hungarian forint currency. Some places may accept euros, dollars, or other currency, but are known for not offering the proper exchange rates. To stretch your money the furthest and ensure fair payment practices, use the local Hungarian forint by exchanging your currency at a bank or exchange office upon arrival.
Frequently Asked Questions
Figuring out the best time to visit Hungary is an essential step to take as you prepare for a trip, but don’t forget to check out the most frequently asked questions to learn more!
What is the best month to visit Hungary?
April may be the best month to visit Hungary for sightseeing with pleasant temperatures around 60F and clearer skies with less rainfall than the summer months.
For festivals and events, August might be the best month to visit Hungary. So many events take place during this warm, end-of-summer month when tourists are still arriving in droves.
How many days are enough for Hungary?
Try to spend at least 5-7 days in Hungary to really experience all this country has to offer. You'll need 3-4 days in Budapest alone, plus time to head to the western wine region, castles, palaces, and domed basilicas around the country.
Is Hungary a cheap place to visit?
Hungary is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe, with lower rates on everything from hotel rooms and transportation to food and retail items.
Your money will go further in Hungary than in, say, Paris or Barcelona. For example, a hotel room in Budapest may cost $50-$200/night, while a similar room in Paris typically starts at $200/night.
Should I spend more time in Prague or Budapest?
Budapest requires a little more time to see and experience in full, being larger than Prague. With thermal spas, amazing architecture and landmarks, and tons of dining options, Budapest deserves as much of your time as you can give it.
Which city is prettier, Prague or Budapest?
Prague and Budapest are both known for being gorgeous cities filled with breathtaking buildings and historic landmarks. But in Budapest, the sights are spaced further apart and don't have the same visual impact as in Prague, where everything is much closer together.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Hungary?
Overall, the best time to visit Hungary is between April and June. This mild, pleasantly warm period is when tourists start arriving in larger numbers as the peak season begins.
From January to February, temperatures and visitor numbers are at their lowest in Hungary. The result is lower prices on everything from hotels to attractions, so budget travelers take note!
Visit from September to October to avoid big crowds of tourists and ensure you’re not waiting in long lines or dealing with limited hotel room availability.
Try to avoid going during the chilliest, snowiest period – December to February – that puts a damper on sightseeing and opportunities to walk through the historic city of Budapest.
These are the best and worst times to go, but know that whenever your travel dates are, there’s always something to amaze you in the country of Hungary.
From architectural wonders from centuries past to great food and nightlife, you’ll find that anytime you visit Hungary is a good time!