by Lucas Aresin
One of the big advantages of visiting almost any place on earth outside of regular tourist season is that it's usually cheaper, the hotels are not completely overbooked, and you can sometimes discover and enjoy attractions and places you never even knew about. Fall is not just the time for sweaters, pumpkin cake, and hot chocolate inside (even though we highly recommend those) but there's still so much to do – especially in Budapest – that it would be a shame to miss out on any of them. So here we go, a first glimpse into the fall of the city this year (the season, not the downfall).
Firsts things first: The atmosphere
Don't worry, we'll get much more concrete later on, but this sets up our narrative for this article. Budapest has, in fact, as much sunshine as many Mediterranean places. The climate is continental, and that means that even in October you can expect lots of dry, sunny days with an average temperature of 16°C (61°F), and a record high of 30.8°C (87.4°F). You see, you don't need grandma's hand-knitted sweater all the time.
October in Budapest is also a very young month, and by that, we mean that while the overall crowdedness of the city decreases, a lot of students are coming back to the city to continue their studies. The city feels young, alive, and being able to leave the house without a centimeter-thick layer of sunscreen has its appeal. But even though Budapest has a very beautiful, almost Mediterranean climate, there are those days where you think you shouldn't leave the house at all – it's cold and maybe a bit rainy. But Budapest is just as ready for those days as it is for the scorching summer heat. Don't believe me? Follow us through this list of six reasons to visit Budapest in the fall.
It's wine season!
In late August, many of Hungary's delicious wines are bottled and boxed, ready for shipment to the local wine stores, and that includes Budapest. In a way, they manage to capture the Vitamin-D rich sunshine of the summer and store it in bottles for your intoxication once the leaves turn red as wine. But that's not all because simply going out and buying a bottle is not exotic enough, don't you think? Well, fear no more, because Budapest's baths have you covered. For example, at Gellért Baths, guests can bathe in fine red wine. It's supplemented with grape-seed oil, and overall helps to hydrate your skin. Does it feel a bit decadent? Yes. Does it feel good? Yes indeed!
World Press Photo Exhibition
Alright..what if it's not as sunny as I promised? Fine.. let's add some indoor activities. From the end of September and throughout October the World Press Photo exhibition is visiting Budapest. This exhibition of award-winning photographs visits 45 countries and 100 cities every year, with a global audience surpassing 4 million annually. In Budapest, this will be hosted inside the Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum). So if you're interested in photography, or if you simply want to see the latest and best work of visual journalists, come along!
When the days get colder, we want to warm ourselves with food and drink. Budapest's residents know this, and as such, October is a month of culinary excellence. Several food-related celebrations open up a menu of choices for the hungry visitor. There's usually a wine festival at the beginning of the month, but if you're more of a foodie, the Chimney Cake Festival at Vajdahunyad Castle brings you fluffy, sugary, and all-around amazing cakes. The smell of cinnamon and powdered sugar is simply mouthwatering (and probably has lots of calories but as we know they don't count on holiday) That's it for vegetarians, but if you enjoy meat, there's the Pig Slaughtering and Sausage Festival in the Railway History Park. It's the place to be for lovers of traditional, rustic Hungarian sausage and meat dishes.
Budapest Contemporary Arts & Music Festival
Residents and visitors of Budapest can visit the Contemporary Arts & Music Festival. By now, you might have noticed that Budapest is full of festivals, culture, art, and more. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that a wide range of tastes and genres are covered: From contemporary classical, jazz, dance, and many other music concerts to dance performances, theatrical performances, and exhibitions, the festival is stock-full with live art from the solemn, relaxing to the energizing and mesmerizing. Just as the festival spreads over multiple weeks, it is also spread over multiple locations, for example, the A38 boat, the Academy of Music and many, many other places. Various talented performers await you, and with over two weeks of festival activity, you should definitely find the time to check it out! It's worth it!
You could go hiking in the hills of Buda, visit the Elisabeth lookout, hop on the chairlift, ride on the children's railway, go biking.. read on for our list of what to do in Budapest in autumn.
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