An article specifically for tourists planning a trip to Hungary. I’ll tell you about the holidays in Hungary, how they’re celebrated, the unique features, and traditions. You’ll learn about how stores, thermal baths, and other places useful for tourists operate during these holidays. The information will be practical and interesting.

Key Points about Holidays in Hungary:

Here are some important points to know:

  • On public holidays in Hungary, stores and exchange offices are closed.
  • However, cafes, public transport, museums, and other attractions, including baths, remain open.

Useful to know:

For instance, in Budapest’s thermal baths, ticket prices increase by around 30% during public holidays.

Calling Hungarians a party-loving nation wouldn’t be accurate. Hungarians typically have a standard set of public holidays, with only a few days off in a year. There aren’t major street parties or wild celebrations in the cities.

holidays in hungary
One traditional holiday is Easter Monday. While Budapest doesn’t celebrate it much, the tradition persists in villages. Women are splashed with water to make them even more beautiful.

And remember, over 70% of Hungarians are Christians. Catholic Christmas is a significant holiday, often more important than New Year celebrations.

  • This article provides useful insights about time in Hungary, market and stores schedules, daylight saving time, and many tips for tourists.

List of Public Holidays in Hungary

Here are the main holidays in Hungary, along with some of their unique aspects.


If your trip falls on national holidays when the country is off, be prepared that changing money or buying groceries might be challenging.
January 1stNew YearDay off. But for New Year, there will be information below.
March 15thMemorial Day of the 1848 RevolutionDay off. One of Hungary’s main national holidays.
AprilEasterEvery year the date shifts. An important religious holiday. On Monday, all the girls are splashed with water. The tradition has been preserved in the countryside.
May 1stLabour DayOriginally, it was a spring festival. Then, due to ideological reasons, it became the Labour Day.
August 20thSt. Stephen’s DayDay off. The first king of Hungary, Stephen, was crowned. In Budapest, there is a horse parade of Hungarian troops.
October 23rdMemorial Day of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956Day off. It’s Independence Day and one of the country’s main celebrations. It marks the proclamation of the Hungarian Republic. There aren’t any particular street celebrations, but the entire country takes a break.
~December 18thPig’s WakeThis is a traditional holiday. A week before Christmas, Hungarians used to slaughter a pig so that there would be meat for Christmas. They gathered around a table with dishes solely made from pork.
December 25thChristmasDay off. Today, it’s more of a family celebration. It takes place around the family table. There aren’t any particular street celebrations.
Main holidays in Hungary

These were the major Hungarian holidays, but there are more. There’s also Budapest City Day, celebrated on November 17 in 2023, marking Budapest’s 150th anniversary. Traditional holidays are usually preserved only in villages; most large cities don’t observe them.

hungary national holidays
During traditional Hungarian holidays, locals often dress in traditional Hungarian attire.

New Year in Hungary

Let me tell you how New Year and Christmas are celebrated in Hungary. This information is for those considering a trip to Europe during the Christmas holidays.


Many who’ve never been dream of spending Christmas and New Year in a cozy European city. They picture strolling along decorated streets to Jingle Bells, sipping on mulled wine, and watching fluffy snowflakes fall.

But here’s the reality:

  • It’s cold. Rain and wind are more common than snow. Details about Hungary’s monthly weather.
  • It’s chilly inside apartments; there’s no central heating. Pack sweaters and warm socks.
  • It’s expensive. Accommodation for Christmas and New Year is nearly twice as costly. Entrance fees to baths and other attractions skyrocket, and crowds multiply.
  • Stores are closed; almost everything shuts down. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, if you haven’t reserved a table at a restaurant, there’s nowhere much to go. Nobody enjoys walking in the rain at +1 degree for long. A 200ml cup of mulled wine on the street costs around 10 euros.
christmas in budapest
Budapest hosts the main Christmas market. If you’re in Hungary during this time, this place is a must-visit.

The Bright Side:

Europe’s best Christmas market

Budapest’s Christmas market has been recognized as the best in Europe for four consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023).

Here’s what you need to know:

  • It opens from mid-November and runs until December 31st. Yes, a month and a half!
  • It takes place at St. Stephen’s Square (coordinates): 47.50068083001891, 19.0526390125549
  • Hundreds of stalls showcase New Year decorations, gifts, souvenirs, and sometimes, there’s an ice rink. They sell mulled wine, goulash, and other hot Hungarian dishes. The atmosphere is festive, truly beautiful. I highly recommend it.

New Year in Hungary:

If you have a clear plan—know where you’ll spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve, like a reserved table at a restaurant or tickets for Széchenyi or Gellért Baths—then you’re all set. But if you’re coming in without a plan, hoping for endless walks and a fairytale vibe, you’ll face disappointment. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, everything’s closed, few people are out, and the weather won’t allow for long walks. The streets are deserted, cold, and desolate. Ultimately, you might find yourself sitting in your hotel room. It’s better to arrive a couple of days before.

Honestly, the best plan for Budapest in winter is soaking in thermal baths overlooking the Danube, regardless of the weather. Two overview articles on Budapest’s best baths. Book tickets in advance, especially for New Year’s outings or national holidays.

christmas in hungary
In the photo: Rudas Baths. There’s a hot pool on the rooftop overlooking the Danube. The water temperature is +36-37 even in winter. It’s like a fairy tale, lounging here on New Year’s Eve with a glass of champagne!

In conclusion: I hope you’ve learned more about holidays in Hungary and what to expect in Budapest during these days. Hungarians aren’t the kind to party for a week like in Brazil’s carnival; it’s all calm, family-oriented, without lavish celebrations. On national holidays, Hungarians prefer gathering at home with family rather than going out for festivities.

IMPORTANT: Below are useful links that will help organize your trip to Hungary and Budapest:

  • Flight: Aviasales – compares prices for flights among 30+ airlines flying to Budapest.
  • Tours and excursions:
    • Viator and GetYourGuide – the best services for finding tours in Budapest and Hungary with the largest database of activities in Hungary. They offer river cruises on the Danube, tickets to baths, and 1000+ tours (available in different languages).
  • Accommodation, apartments, hotels, hostels:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Hungary
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – the leading and largest car rental service in Hungary.
  • Travel Insurance: EKTA.
  • eSIMAiralo virtual SIM card in Hungary.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel