With so much to explore in the city, you need to time your visit to enjoy the things you like the most. Budapest has a unique proposition to provide fun and plenty to do all year round. October could be the ideal month to visit if you enjoy cooler weather for sightseeing as well as indoor activities such as thermal spas, museums, galleries, escape rooms or art cinemas. Let’s see how you can celebrate autumn in Budapest in October!
Budapest weather in October
October enjoys sunny days with some rain in Budapest. If you travel towards the end of October, make sure you pack plenty of layers for dropping temperatures. The weather can be sunny with temperatures as high as 16°C in the afternoon, or see the temperatures drop to 7°C at night with high chances of rain.
Is October a good time to visit Budapest?
The high temperatures of the summer months drop to some extent in October, but early October is still a perfect time to take a trip to Budapest. Both the average daytime temperatures and night time temperatures decrease in the course of the month. As autumn is in full swing, the days keep on getting shorter and shorter throughout the month. October 1 is the longest day with 11.40 daylight hours, while October 31 is the shortest with 10.01 hours of daylight.
On average, a day in October has 10 hours of sunshine. This is two hours fewer than the average September day, but considering the number of daylight hours, it is still very sunny.
As in many places in Europe, autumn brings more rainfall. The probability that precipitation occurs on any given day in October increases from 44% to 53% in the course of the month.
What to wear in Budapest in October?
During typical autumn time in Europe you always need comfy shoes to walk around. Ankle boots are the perfect choice in October and work well with jeans or a more dressed-up outfit. When it gets nippy, keep a scarf that add warmth. The key is to dress in layers to be comfortable and prepared for the changing weather in Budapest during October.
You can’t go wrong with jeans, long-sleeved shirts, knitted sweaters and a lightweight jacket like denim or leather. If you are going towards the end of October, a leather jacket could be switched out for a lightweight padded one. If you have a short trench coat with a hood, that’s a good alternative and useful for rainy days.
City breaks in Budapest
Budapest is perfect for a city break all year round. Whether you plan to stay for the weekend or for a midweek break, you will find great accommodation at any area at reasonable price in one of our centrally located hotels in Budapest. Choose one our hotels for an unforgettable Budapest city break.
Don’t know where to start your planning? Check out our guide for The Best itinerary for 3 days in Budapest.
Things to do on a rainy day
Soak up in a thermal spa
Hungary is famous for its thermal water and spa culture that the country inherited from the times it was part of the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire. Thermal water is high in calcium, magnesium, and hydrogen carbonate and is best to ease joint pain and arthritis and improve blood circulation.
Housed in a neo-Baroque palace in Budapest’s City Park, Széchenyi Thermal Bath is Europe’s largest thermal bath complex. Built in 1913, the spa is home to 15 indoor pools and three huge outdoor pools of different temperatures – which you explore even during the cold winter months. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs with average temperature of 74°C and 77°C. It is open year-round, and you might catch some of the locals play chess on floating boards at the edge of the pool come rain, sunshine or even snow.
The baths can be reached by public transport, metro line 1 (yellow line) from Vörösmarty square. (It is also a station of the yellow M1 (Millennium Underground) line of the Budapest Metro) or the trolleybus 72. From downtown, the bath is a few hundred metres beyond Heroes’ Square.
“Sparty” like there is no tomorrow
While California dreaming comes with pool parties, Budapest nightlife takes this to another level: taking advantage of its natural features the city turns the thermal baths into the best party venues. Whilst reforming our thousand years old bathing culture, the aim with the combination of Hungarian bathing and party-culture is to create a unique musical and visual world that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Go Hungarian Wine Tasting
Faust Wine Cellar is part of the vast labyrinth system winding beneath Buda Castle. Gábor Nagy, owner and wine sommelier at Faust Wine Cellar, travels throughout Hungary’s 22 wine regions regularly in search of only the best to supply their cellar with. The cellar is such a relaxed and romantic setting and you’ll be sure to leave your tasting with a rich understanding of Hungarian wine. Cozying up with wine in the atmospheric cave is especially one of the best choices for things to do in Budapest during the colder months.
Have lunch at the Central Market Hall
Built in the 19th century, the Central Market Hall is the largest indoor market in Budapest and the focus is on typical Hungarian products. The first floor is the food hall with vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables to Hungarian sausages and Hungarian paprika to Hungarian wines. The market is a great place to visit several vendors for an inexpensive lunch of traditional Hungarian foods and is simply a must do in Budapest. The second floor is full of vendors selling wares like souvenirs and traditional Hungarian embroidery.
Gastro festivals in October
Budapest Restaurant Week
Date: October 7 – 13, 2019
In many top restaurants in Budapest and in the countryside a 3-course exclusive menu is available from 7th until 13th October, for a uniform-fixed price. Half of the participant restaurants offer their menus for only 3,900 HUF (appr. €13) and the other half offer premium menus for 4,900 HUF (appr. €16) & exclusive menus for 5,900 HUF (appr. €19). Service charge is always included in the menu price. Restaurants that serve premium or exclusive menus are marked a red “DiningCity Star” icon (you can find this icon on the restaurant-list page of the Restaurant Week website.) Bookings for the Restaurant Week can only be made through www.etteremhet.hu.
Chimney Cake Festival
Date: Oct 11 – 13, 2019, City Park
Budapest’s new gastro festival, the Chimney Cake Festival, promises to be a fun and delicious event. Visitors can learn everything about the sweet, spiral-shaped ‘kürtőskalács’, a traditional pastry, that is so popular in Hungary. The festival offers a wide variety of chimney cakes, prepared over charcoal or fried in oil, plain or rolled into various toppings. There will be drawing contests for kids, magic shows, baking contests and lots of live music.
Sausage and Palinka Festival
Date: Oct 2 – 4, 2019, Buda Castle
The Sausage and Pálinka Festival, held annually in autumn, is an attraction to fans of the combination of food, good drinks and authentic folklore. The festival takes place in Buda castle in Budapest. During the three days of the festival, more than twenty Pálinka distilleries join the best sausage producers. Dance and music Hungarian folklore shows accompany the taste of the sausages and drinks.
The best art events and exhibitions in October
Art Market Budapest
Date: Oct 8 -11, 2019
Art Market Budapest is an exhibition and art fair that aims to bring attention and awareness to contemporary Central and Eastern European art and artists. Art Market and its programs are designed to help bring the public and the artists closer together. In addition to the exhibition, special programs and art presentations help highlight the uniqueness of art in Central and Eastern Europe.
Art Market Budapest will be held at Millenáris, a ‘Europa Nostra’ awarded complex and one of best equipped cultural centers in Central & Eastern Europe. Art Market Budapest extends into Art Week Budapest, a series of related events, programs and workshops with the participation of various art groups and cultural communities.
Budapest Design Week
Date: 4 – 13 October, 2019, multiple venues (Museum of Applied Arts, Apartment Restaurants in Budapest, Galleries, Parks, etc.)
BDW attempts to visualise design as a set of innovative tools and approach, which would harmonically meet the functional and social demands and produce an indispensable device for the creation of products and services. To support this aim, the events include programs both for the public at large (inaugurations of exhibitions, programs for children, thematic tours, workshop visits) and for the profession (round table discussions, professional lectures, conferences, prize winning galas, etc.), and other elements that would explicitly support the work of economic policy-makers (investors’ meetings, introduction of case studies, lectures, workshops).
World Press Photo Exhibition Budapest
Date: Sept 19 – Oct 23, 2019, Museum of Ethnography Budapest
You can now visit the World Press Photo Exhibition 2019 on its world-wide tour showcasing the stories that matter with photography from the 62nd annual World Press Photo contest. The winners were chosen by an independent jury that reviewed more than 78,801 photographs entered by 4,738 photographers from 129 countries.
Contemporary Art Festival
Date: Oct 4 – 20, 2019, multiple venues (theatres, film theatres, galleries)
From contemporary music to theatre premieres, from popular music and jazz to dance and visual art, the art of our times will again be highlighted in the Hungarian capital during the seventeen days of the event series, which is realised in cooperation between Müpa Budapest, the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre, and the Hungarian Tourism Agency.
The events will be hosted, among others, by Müpa Budapest, Liszt Academy, BMC, Akvárium Klub, A38 Ship, the Várkert Bazár (Castle Garden Bazaar), Pesti Vigadó, Uránia National Film Theatre and the Trafó House of Contemporary Arts.
23rd October – Commemoration of the Hungarian Revolution 1956
October 23 is a Hungarian National Holiday that commemorates the 1956 Hungarian revolution and is marked by a range of national events. A number of events will commemorate the day from free exhibitions to an open day at the Hungarian Parliament. The date is when, in 1956, Hungarians began to rise up against Soviet occupation. On this day peaceful protests calling for free elections and a free press started what would become a weeks-long bloody freedom fight in which thousands would die. In the end, in early November, the revolution was crushed and Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest and a Soviet controlled government was reinstated. Despite this the revolution of 1956 is an important event in Hungary’s history and many pay their respects to the people who fought for Hungary’s freedom – especially the many young men and women who gave their lives – or their own personal freedom – for the cause.
Recommended Hotels in the city center
Hotel Astoria ****
The legendary Hotel Astoria Budapest opened in 1914 as one of the city’s most elegant hotels, and – over a century later – it stays true to that original character. Guests have always been attracted by its sublime fin-de-siècle architecture and comfortable rooms. And its location: a 10-minute walk from prime attractions like the Hungarian National Museum, the Great Synagogue (the largest in Europe), the Danube promenade and the famous Váci Street. Furthermore, if you want to venture further, the metro station and tram line are just a few steps away.
Hotel Hungaria City Center ****
The Hotel Hungaria City Center – with an illustrious history stretching beyond 100 years – is renowned for the high standard of its services and its excellent location. The hotel is an ideal base both for tourists and business visitors, with Budapest’s main attractions within easy reach on the M2 and M4 metro lines or by bus from just outside the hotel, and Keleti train station just a few minutes’ walk away.
Hotel Erzsebet City Center ***
Whether you plan to do some sightseeing, browse the shops or go out for a special meal, Hotel Erzsébet City Center is a great starting point.
This modern, atmospheric hotel – occupying a recently pedestrianized street in the city centre – is popular among both business travellers and tourists exploring Budapest. It’s situated in the middle of bustling District 5, which is the capital’s business, commercial and cultural heartland. Váci utca, Budapest’s most famous shopping street, is only a few steps away, and it’s not much further to the Danube Promenade and the legendary Great Market Hall. This neighborhood is full of sights to see, shops, cafés and excellent restaurants.
Numerous buses stop nearby, and the M3, M2 and M4 Metro lines are also within easy reach.
October is a fantastic time to visit Budapest if you like cooler weather and enjoy arts and gastronomy. Don’t let the changing autumn weather put you off as the city is still full of fun: from the coolest exhibitions to annual festivals you find everything in Budapest in October.
Getting around Budapest in October
One of the best ways to discover a city is by taking public transport and Budapest has a very reliable public transport system. You can get to any area on either side of the Danube using buses, trams, boats, metro, trolleybus, and suburban railways. Public transport is available 24/7 in Budapest with two separate categories of transport for daytime and nighttime. There are bicycles available on rent as well across various docking stations in the city. If you’re planning on using public transport extensively, we would recommend opting for a convenient travelcard. Get more tips on Getting around Budapest.
How to exchange money?
Most places accept credit and debit cards, including restaurants, bars, shops and taxis. Street vendors or small shops may insist on cash only. The national currency is Hungarian Forint (HUF), which you can easily exchange from any currency at bureaux de change. However, there are huge differences between the rates offered by money changers. The worst rates tend to be offered at the airport, railway stations and in banks. The best policy is to exchange currency in a larger bureau such as Northline or Correct Change. Avoid people in the streets offering better rates than the licensed bureaux, as they are most likely out to scam you.
October enjoys pleasant sunny days with some rain in Budapest. If you travel toward the end of October, be sure to pack war layers for dropping temperatures, especially in the evenings. The weather can be sunny with temperatures as high as 16°C in the afternoon, or see the temperatures drop to only 7°C at night with rain.
Autumn time in Europe, you always need comfy shoes to walk around. Ankle boots are the perfect choice in October and work with jeans or a more dressed-up outfit. When it gets nippy, keep a scarf that adds warmth. The key is to dress in layers to be comfortable and prepared for the changing weather in Budapest during October.
October could be the ideal month to visit if you enjoy cooler weather for sightseeing as well as indoor activities such as spas, museums, galleries, escape rooms or art cinemas.
Budapest is lively all year round thanks to the spirit of the locals as well as the ever popular features of the city. October is the ideal time to visit if you enjoy cooler weather and indoor activities such as art galleries, awesome exhibitions and festivals.
Start with a long weekend, Thursday to Sunday and spend 3 full days in the city to tick all the boxes such as key sightseeing sites, popular restaurants, the ever-buzzing city centre nightlife or local markets.