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St.Stephens Day

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AudiCard
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27 posts
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St.Stephens Day

Hey, TripAdvisor faithful!! I will be traveling to Budapest in August and I will be in Budapest on August 20th which coincides with St.Stephens Day. My questions are as follows:

1) Will public transit be open, reroutes, partial closures etc? Where can I find this information at? I checked BKV website but couldn't find anything.

2) What can i expect for crowds?

3) Will restaurants, shops etc be closed like in the U.S for a National Holiday?

An one off the wall question. When I arrive home it will be a friends birthday and I would like to pick her up a birthday card. Where could I purchase one while in Budapest? Central market?

Thanks!

Teesside, England
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1. Re: St.Stephens Day

We where there for the 20th last year. As far as I remember the metro was running normally. I think it closed slightly earlier at night. There are closures along the Danube so that affects the trams.

Crowd wise, its the biggest crowd we have ever experienced. It is really busy in the day and then Millions line the river bank for the fireworks at night, it is a amazing display set off from two barges at different locations and also across the Chain bridge. Its a great atmosphere.

We found restaurants and bars open, there maybe the odd family owned places closed but we did not find it difficult to find any place to get a drink or food. We did notice a few shops closed.

Not sure about the card, but I am sure it would be pretty easy to find.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: St.Stephens Day

Unless you go to Times Square on New Year's Eve, this will probably be the biggest party you have ever seen.

For every food shop that is closed, there will be half a dozen food and drink tents set up. You won't starve or go thirsty.

Stationary stores have birthday cards but it would help if you spoke a little Hungarian or the clerk spoke English so you don't buy a "Sympathy" card. You can also find them at some bakeries, which is actually easier. Point to the festive cake, then point to the card rack. The clerk will understand.

Budapest, Hungary
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3. Re: St.Stephens Day

Dear AudiCard,

as ugyved2 and neilnsarah have said this is a major (state and religous) holiday in Hungary with a very large crowd. And as they said finding a place to it will not be a problem.

The metros will keep running but you can expect some restinctions regarding the trams and buses near the embankments of the Danube. And don't worry, BKK (Centre for Budapest Transport) will tell you about the changes in public transport as they did in 2012: http://www.bkk.hu/2012/08/augusztus20/ Note: This was issued in last year - probably it will not be 100% same this year but this link can give you a clue about what to expect.

Budapest, Hungary
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4. Re: St.Stephens Day

Sorry I misspelled one sentence: 'And as they said finding a place to eat will not be a problem.'

AudiCard
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27 posts
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5. Re: St.Stephens Day

Thanks for the replies. I figured there would be some reroutes since its national holiday and such large crowds. I can't wait to experience this should be a highlight of my trip. Looks like I got lucky.

My city host a large fireworks festival every year usually around 700,000 people come so large crowds shouldn't be an issue but being abroad it might. Also we host the Kentucky Derby which is a week long party so I've seen some pretty large parties! Plus the infield! Anyways looking forward to this trip.

I didn't know if birthday cards were an American thing or if other countries even celebrated with birthday cards. So that's good to know. Gives me a reason to go to some local shops.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: St.Stephens Day

If you like the crowd in Louisville, you will love the mob in Budapest. Just go with the flow!!!

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: St.Stephens Day

I'm lucking out on been in Budapest for St. Stephens Day too! I am looking forward to all the festivities and fireworks.

Do any of you have any good suggestions for spots to watch the fireworks from??

Thanks in advance!

Jennie

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: St.Stephens Day

Hello Jennie18

Lucky you it will be a great celebration day!

As far as location along the river there are many great spots to watch the fireworks but be fore warned it will be packed. St Stephens is not just a Budapest celebration it seems to draw people into the city from all over Hungary. People will start lining up early in the day along the Danube just to get a good spot to view the show so don't wait till the last minute to make your way toward the river.

Best

SEBESZ

Budapest, Budapest...
5 posts
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9. Re: St.Stephens Day

Hi Audicard,

There is a store I know that sells a lot of greeting cards. Its name is Kepesbolt, and its address is Deak ter 6. Deak ter is at the intersection of the 3 metro lines. "Happy Birthday" in Hungarian is "Boldog szuletesnapot".

nyc, usa
Destination Expert
for Budapest
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10. Re: St.Stephens Day

Another large stationers that carries cards is (was actually) on Kossuth Lajos utca at Petofi utca. I say 'was' because they appear to have moved but only sort-of: They were on the ground level in a sort of small arcade in the building that is at the very corner (#2 Kossuth Lajos or maybe it is #1 Petofi); if you stand with your back towards the Elizabeth bridge it's at about 11:00. Now they have moved upstairs and there is a sign that says the address is #2b and looked up and could see the chop and people in it but for the life of me couldn't find the entrance to get to it. Still, it's a very large shop and it has to be pretty easy to find -- I was just passing by and had limited curiosity...

Speaking of the Elizabeth Bridge, I tend to think that's a great place to watch the fireworks. The number of barges and their locations change from year to year but from the embankment by the bridge on the Pest side you can see almost the entire way up and down and though very crowded you can walk from one side of the Bridge to the other to get the view you prefer (the north Pest embankment to the South, not across the bridge). You're also dead center in the city when done and it is easy to get most places from there with a little patience. It's always amazing to me how well the crowd dissipates and the city cleans up after this massive and decentralized celebration.