This post covers the top things to do in Budapest in February (updated for 2020), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.
Be sure to read our master post on things to do in Budapest for even more ideas.
February is a great time to visit Budapest. While the weather is still a bit cold, there's plenty to do inside as well. We've made a list below of the top 10 things to do in Budapest in February, with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for you to enjoy.
The Parliament Building is an iconic landmark in Budapest. It's impressive from the outside and beautiful inside. February is the perfect month to take a tour of it! Included with the purchase of a ticket is a 50-minute guided tour of the building. Children under 6 years can visit for free, just be sure to email them beforehand.
To purchase tickets and learn more, click here.
Budapest has a number of great concerts each month. Notable performances in February include:
- Mahler: Budapest Festival Orchestra & Ivan Fischer- Feb. 17
- Five Finger Death Punch - Feb. 20
- Slipknot- Feb. 4
- Milky Chance- Feb. 29
Keep an eye out for more great concerts in Budapest.
Feb. 29, 2020
Hungary is a country known for the art of folk dancing, and this performance is an incredible showcase of the country's talent. This 1.5 hour performance (with intermission) at the Duna Palota Theater showcases the Danube Folk Ensemble, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, and Rajkó Folk Ensemble, 3 of the most highly regarded and professional Hungarian folk troupes.
The performance starts at 8pm, and you can learn more here.
If you want to see more traditional Hungarian dancing, check out the Budapest Dance Festival in the kids' section below.
4. Mangalica Festival
Feb. 7-9, 2020
This food festival celebrates the Mangalica, a unique pig breed indigenous to Hungary. The festival takes place at the Szabadság tér near the Parliament in the city center. There will be plenty of food to taste, like Mangalica meat and sausage, but also other vendors with things like artisan cheese, honey, bread, and alcoholic drinks. This festival is free to attend and there will be free samples at a lot of the booths as well.
For more free things to do in Budapest in February, check out our free section below.
5. Warm up in a Bath House
Budapest is well known for its bathhouses, even nicknamed "City of Spas". They're great places to enjoy a soak and warm up on a cold day! There are a number of bathhouses around the city, and each one caters to different tastes and ailments you might have. The most popular ones are:
Most bathhouse entry fees range from $10-$30 depending on the place and when you go.
6. Take a Walking Tour!
There's no better way to explore a new city than on foot! Explore the history and stories of Budapest on a free walking tour. You'll have expert locals guides showing you around and teaching you things the guidebooks can't tell you. They are great for all ages!
For more family-friendly ideas, check out our things to do with kids section.
7. Celebrate Valentine's Day
Not sure what to do for Valentine's Day? Try a romantic dinner cruise or wine tasting experience!
See the sights illuminated at night on this 2-hour cruise on the Danube with live music. The wine tasting includes samples of 7 Hungarian wines, while the dinner option is a buffet with vegetarian options as well.
Reserve your tickets here.
8. Visit the Invisible Exhibition
This exhibit lets your senses awaken as you participate in activities in total darkness. For the "invisible" experience, choose from an Italian dinner, a wine tasting, and a team-building exercise. Make your way through each experience with just touch, sounds, and scent. Tours come in a variety of languages!
If this sounds intriguing, check out more and book your experience here.
St Stephen’s Basilica (Szt Istvan Bazilika) is one of the top attractions to see in Budapest. The most notable feature inside is the mummified right hand of the first Hungarian king, St Stephen (Istvan).
The basilica has beautiful architecture and is knows for its incredible organ concerts. You can go up into the dome and get an amazing view f the city.
Entering the basilica is free, and you can get tickets for tours for extra. To learn more, click here.
10. Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts
Built between 1900-1906, the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts is in Heroes' Square and has over 100,000 pieces of art.
The art collection is made up of international art and is showcased in 6 departments: Egyptian, Antique, Old Sculpture Gallery, Old Master Paintings Gallery, Modern Collection, and Graphics Collection.
To learn more, click here.
Nighttime is a great time for exploring Budapest. With bars and after-dark activities, there's plenty to do around the city once the sun does down.
Below are a few things to do in Budapest in February at night.
Enjoy the Night Life
There are a number of great bars and clubs to enjoy in Budapest.
Szimpla Kert is a kooky-atmosphere multi-level pub with a number of concerts every week.
With two courtyards and eight bars, Instant is the biggest ruin bar in Budapest.
If you want a great view of the city, check out the 360 Bar, which features cocktails and an extensive wine list.
If the cold doesn't bother you, we recommend seeing the sunset from Gellért Hill. There's a beautiful Garden of Philosophy on top, a peaceful place to see the sun go down. If you're more of an early riser, you can also catch the sunset from there. It's a beautiful view of the city!
Walk Along a Bridge
If you want a great view of the city, walk along the Széchenyi Chain Bridge connecting Buda and Pest. The view of the Danube is incredible at night and offers great photo opportunities of the city.
Go to the Opera
The Hungarian State Opera in Budapest is well known for its opera and ballet shows. This month's program includes a number of Italian operas with English and Hungarian subtitles but also productions for younger audience members, like baby sing-alongs great for families.
Currently, the opera house is closed until 2021 but they are doing productions in the Erkel Theater. Different venue, same great experience! To learn more and get your ticket, click here.
Budapest has plenty of free things to do! A lot of the items we've listed in other sections like seeing the sunset from Gellért Hill are completely free to do!
Here are a few more free activities to do in Budapest in February.
Visit Central Market Hall
This indoor market is a great place to explore on a chilly day. At over 100,000 square feet, Central Market is Budapest's most expansive indoor market and is a great place to shop for food and souvenirs. Shop meats, vegetables, desserts, and wines, and be sure to grab some paprika to take home!
They are open every day except Sunday.
Visit Heroes' Square
An iconic landmark in Budapest, Heroes' Square (Hősök Tere) is a must-see when visiting the city. It features the Millenial Monument, which includes a 36-meter column on which is a statue of the angel Gabriel. Around it are statues of notable men who made their mark on Hungarian history.
This is one of the most photographed places in Budapest!
Explore the Fisherman's Bastion
For one of the best views in the city, check out the Fisherman's Bastion. It features Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces and is located right across the river from the Parlament Building, so you'll get a great view of that as well as the rest of the city. It's free to visit, but if you want to explore the upper towers there is a charge.
Visit the Buda Castle Gardens
Buda Castle is a great place to stop on your visit to Budapest. While there is an entrance cost, you can explore the grounds and gardens for free! Although the garden is not in bloom this time of year, reviews from people who have visited in the winter say that the garden is a peaceful and impressive place to explore and relax in.
Budapest is super family-friendly! There are so many things to do, there is sure to be something to fit everyone's tastes.
A few activities we've listed above are also kid-friendly, like the Mangalica festival, so be sure to read through the other sections for more ideas.
Bear Carnival in the Zoo
Feb. 1-3, 2020
Taking place at the Zoo and Botanical Garden is Hungary's version of Groundhog's Day, but with a bear and its shadow- will it see it? This special carnival will celebrate bears, with plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy. Programs take place at the Varázshegy/Magic Hill between 10am -3pm (15:00) each day. There will be mask making, face painting, and storytelling. There's also a special animal show each day of the event!
Admission: 200 HUF for kids under 14 years if they arrive in bear costume or bring a toy bear.
Go Ice Skating
Two great places to go ice staking in Budapest are:
- Whale/Bálna Shopping & Cultural Centre- scenic rink right by the Danube.
- Ice Skating Rink in City Park - recently refurbished for a great experience.
Rinks will stay open until the end of February, so you have time to check out both!
Visit the Puppet Theater
The Budapest Puppet Theatre is one of the largest puppet Theatres in Central Europe and has been around since 1947. The puppet theater is a great experience for children and adults alike, with performances written by Hungarian and foreign writers as well.
You will enjoy an incredible display of puppets and beautiful music for both folk story-type shows and more contemporary productions.
For prices and tickets, click here.
Budapest Dance Festival
Feb. 27- Mar. 11, 2020
The Budapest Dance Festival is an annual festival that features an array of dance, including folk, contemporary, and ballet. Local and international dance companies will be putting on performances in venues all around the city. Whether your a dance enthusiast or simply curious, this festival is a great way to immerse yourself in the dance scene.
Find out more click here.
Visit the Palace of Miracles
The Csodák Palotája, or Palace of Miracles, is a really cool, interactive museum that gets kids of all ages to participate in experiments! Their mission is to get kids to learn about the world and science in fun, relatable ways. There are themed exhibits each month so there's something new to see no matter when you come. This is a great indoor activity to enjoy on a cold February day!
To learn more, click here.