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Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Budapest
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Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Hello Everyone,

Here is your ultimate survival kit for Budapest during this Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Just let me know if you need recommendation for free parties and other low cost events during your Budapest visit.

I made this list for you guys as a happy holiday gift from Budapester1973:-)

OPENING HOURS

Dec. 24th, Saturday

SHOPS:

Shops are closing around noon.

Shopping Malls are open 10am-2pm.

Some seven-eleven shops will be open all night long.

MUSEUMS:

Museums, galleries, tourist attractions, banks and post offices are also closing early afternoon.

National Gallery is open 10am-2pm.

BATHS:

Szechenyi, Gellert, Lukacs, Rudas baths are open 6am-2pm. Kiraly bath is open from 9am-2pm.

MISC.

Zoo is open 9am-1pm.

Opera: 11am Nutcracker

CHURCHES:

Churches are open all day long. Main service is at midnight.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Metro, buses, trams will operate as it was Sunday, till 4pm, then night buses will run.

No Chirstmas tram for today.

CHRISTMAS HABITS:

Dec.24th is a private, family holiday in Hungary, we don't go to parties. Kids are kept busy outside home, while parents or grandparents are decorating Christmas trees on the holy night. Christmas tree is bought by angels, gifts are bought by baby Jesus. Children enter the room only when tiny bells ring and they sing Christmas songs, then open their gifts.

Religious families go to the Midnight mass

CHRISTMAS MENU:

The menu for lunch is something really light. One of the most typical is poppy seed bread pudding. We usually eat fish with mashed potatoes and beigli at Christmas night (This is a rolled up crust with lots of poppy seed or walnut filling. Yummy..!)

GOOD TO KNOW:

Streets are getting very quiet for the rest of the day

Dec. 25th, Sunday

SHOPS:

Shops are closed.

Shopping Malls are open for movies only. Shops in the malls are closed.

Some seven-eleven shops will be open all day long.

MUSEUMS:

Museums, galleries, tourist attractions, banks and post offices are all closed.

National Gallery is open 10am-6pm.

BATHS:

Szechenyi and Gellert Baths are open 10am-6pm. The rest are closed.

MISC.

Zoo is open 9am-3pm.

Opera: 11am- Nutcracker. 7pm- La Boheme

CHURCHES:

Churches are open all day long. Main service is at 10am or 11am.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Metro,buses and trams will operate according to their Sunday schedule.

CHRISTMAS HABITS:

Family members often travelling to another city or village to visit each other or spending this day at home with playing games, watching TV.

CHRISTMAS MENU:

Fish soup (carp or catfish) with noodles and stuffed cabbage (sour cabbage) with minced pork. Beigli for dessert is essential

GOOD TO KNOW:

Streets are still quiet.

Bars operate from afternoon.

Fast food restaurants are closed.

Jegbüfé café at Ferenciek tere with delicious strudels was open last year.

Dec.26th Monday

SHOPS:

Shops are closed.

Shopping Malls are open for movies. Shops in the malls are closed.

Some seven-eleven shops are open.

MUSEUMS:

Museums, galleries, tourist attractions, banks and post offices are all closed.

Museum of Fine Art is open 10am-6pm.

National Gallery is closed.

BATHS:

Szechenyi, Gellert, Lukacs, Rudas baths are open 6am-8pm. Kiraly bath is open from 9am-8pm

MISC.

Zoo is open 9am-3pm.

Opera: 6pm- Nutcracker

CHURCHES:

Churches are open all day long.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTAION

Metro, buses and trams will operate as it was Sunday

CHRISTMAS HABITS:

Family members often travelling to another city or village to visit each other or spending this day at home with playing games, watching TV.

CHRISTMAS MENU:

Fish soup (carp or catfish) with noodles and stuffed cabbage (sour cabbage) with minced pork. Beigli for dessert is essential

GOOD TO KNOW:

Streets are busier than during the previous two days.

Dec.27th-30th

Most shops, bars, restaurants, theatre, opera, sightseeing tours and tourist attractions operate as normal. House of Terror is closed. All baths are open.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Metro, buses and trams will operate as it was school holidays (intervals of 10-20 min)

Dec 31st

SHOPS:

Shops are open.

Shopping Malls are open 10am-2pm. Shops in the malls are partly closed.

Some seven-eleven shops will be open all day and all night long.

MUSEUMS:

Museums, galleries, tourist attractions, banks and post offices are open until early afternoon.

National Gallery is open 10am-2pm.

Museum of Etnography is open 10am-2pm.

Museum of Fine Arts operates only the temporary exhibition.

House of Terror is closed.

BATHS:

Szechenyi, Gellert, , Rudas baths are open 11am-8pm. Kiraly bath is open from 11am-8pm Lukacs Bath is closed.

MISC.

Zoo is open 9am-1pm.

Opera:5pm and 8.30pm- The Bat (J.Strauss)

CHURCHES:

Churches are open all day long. Main service varies from church to church.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

All night buses are operating. Cogwheel railway is operating too!

No Christmas tram today!

NEW YEAR’S EVE HABITS:

Streets are full with people before midnight. Street stalls on the streets of Budapest sell champagne, masks and noisy paper trumpets. Seniors are mainly watching TV or going to parties. We say “BUEK” (it means happy new year) at midnight and most of us sings the national anthem and greet each other.

NEW YEAR’S EVE MENU:

Having lentil or bean dishes on New Year’s Eve makes you wealthy. Pork is considered a symbol of progress and prosperity so Hungarians eat mainly roast pork Avoid fish as it will swim away with your fortune.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Streets are busy all day long. Peak time is 8pm-midnight.

Concerts and theatres have early evening performances and shows.

Restaurants, bars, clubs have extended opening hours and many have live bands playing.

There are lots of parties for New Year’s Eve, so you definitely won’t be bored!

There are plenty of programs to entertain you from free street parties to upscale balls and crazy clubs with local DJ's. Tickets varies from 2000-4900 HUF

The biggest public event of the year is “Ügetőszilveszter” (don’t even try to pronounce) at Kincsem Park. A place to go for both trotting and flat racing. Avastly popular extraordinary trotting meeting that attracts all ages on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

FREE STREET PARTIES:

"VÖRÖSMARTY TER" - live bands from different countries will perform.

"NYUGATI TER" (M3 metro line, tram 6, 4)- Hungarian pop-rock bands will entertain you there.

"OKTOGON TER" (M1 metro line, tram 6.4) all night disco with Hungarian DJ-s.

Hint: Bring warm clothes! Buy champagne in the shops before arrival. (2.5€)

Jan.1st Sunday

SHOPS:

Shops are closed.

Shopping Malls are closed.

Some seven-eleven shops will be open all day and all night long.

MUSEUMS:

Museums are mainly closed.

Museum of Fine Arts operates only the temporary exhibition. 12am-6pm

BATHS:

Szechenyi, Gellert, Király, Rudas baths are open 11am-8pm. Lukacs Bath is closed.

MISC.

Opera:5pm and 8.30pm- The Bat (J.Strauss)

CHURCHES:

Churches are open all day long. Main service varies from church to church.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Metro,buses and trams will operate according to their Sunday schedule.

HABITS FOR TODAY

Not much is happening usually today! We mainly sleep or go to the baths.

MENU FOR TODAY:

Cabbage soup or hangover soup in the New Year morning. Roasted pig and cabbage is meant to bring good luck.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Streets are quiet.

Restaurants, bars, clubs have varied opening hours.

Recommended sightseeing activity in Budapest in case of freezing weather:

Glowing Christmas tram in Budapest.

Pest side Christmas tram N.2.runs every Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun. 5-9pm.

It.goes along the Danube Promenade from the Central Market to the Parliament.

Buda side Christmas tram N.19. is operated on the rest of the week same hours from Batthanyi Square to Gellert Hotel .

You need Day Card or single ticket. Mulled wine is highly recommended!!

Please note :Christmas tram doesn’t run 24th and 31st Dec.

Weather

Since Budapest has a continental climate, the only advice I can give is : expect low temperatures, dress for the weather! It starts to get dark at about 4.15pm.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Boldog Karácsonyt és Új Évet!

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Excellent report! Only one question. Do any of the musuems or galleries offer free or reduced admission during any of these days?

Austin, Texas
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2. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Awesome!!! Thanks Budapester1973! This is really handy as we'll be there over Christmas. I would love to go to Midnight Mass, if I can figure out how to get there and back, and motivate myself to leave the cozy apartment late at night.

Are the reduced operating hours for metros posted, or should I print a list to carry with me?

Denver, Colorado
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for Pecs, Budapest
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3. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

A MOST useful summary for anyone visiting Budapest during that period.

Thanks for the obviously many hours of work you spent to look up all of this.

Hope you have a good holiday season yourself.

ezs
Manalapan, NJ
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4. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Thank you so much Budapester1973! You have answered many of my questions about what we can do and see over the holidays while we are in Budapest. I really appreciate all of the time you must have put into compiling this list.

One more week till we leave!

Eve

USA
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5. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Gabby you could join my wife and myself a the little church at the corner of Nagymező utca and kiraly utca

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Bobandco: Are you boots on the ground? How was the reconfigured AA flight?

Israel
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7. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

thanks so much for this Post - merry xmas and happy new year!!

USA
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8. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

This is really off topic, but I wont be flying AA again if any other option exists. One of the most miserable trips here ever. Flying out on Malev this evening for Tel Aviv. Be back in BP in a few days.

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

So I guess the trip to eastern Hungary is off?

Sint Maarten...
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10. Re: Christmas Survival Kit for Budapest- 2011

Hello,

I comme 22dec until 26dec. I would like to know what is open to do 24 and 25 dec, like castle Buda is it open? And walk on the danube boat? And ice rink close to Vajdahunyad castle?

Greetings

Edited: 20 December 2011, 22:22