With global temperatures continuing to increase, heat waves are becoming more and more common across the whole continent of Europe. Budapest is no exception. Hot summer weather in Budapest starts as early as May and can last until the end of September. Luckily there are plenty of ways to stay cool in the city during the hottest summer months. We reveal some of them below.
Reschedule your sightseeing
Plan your sightseeing walks for the early morning or the evening. Book an early morning bicycle tour to watch the city wake up or to discover local markets. Budapest, however, is most spectacular in the evening, when the Citadel on Gellért Hill, Buda Castle, Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, as well as some of the bridges, are lit up. Take a stroll down Danube promenade or for a more memorable experience, book a dinner cruise on the River Danube and see the emblematic sights from the deck of a ship. If you do want to explore the city during daytime, take a bottle of cold water with you and make sure you wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen!
Hot summer weather is perfect for exploring Budapest’s museums and art galleries. Check out the summer exhibitions at the recently renovated Museum of Fine Arts, visit the Hungarian National Gallery, the Holocaust Memorial Center, the House of Terror Museum, look for contemporary art exhibitions at Ludwig Museum, at the Palace Arts, or check out the former secret emergency hospital at the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum.
Indulge in a cold treat
During the hot summer days in Budapest, try some of the best ice-cream at Hisztéria Cremeria on Andrássy Street, at Nándory confectionary on Ráday Street or at Gelarto Rosa near St. Stephen’s Basilica, where the ice-cream is presented to you in the shape of a rose. On the Buda side, Artiginana Gelati, near Széll Kálmán Square, offers some of the most delicious ice-cream in Budapest.
Take a dip at the most popular beach amongst locals
You won’t have to miss out on the beach feeling during your vacation in Budapest if you visit Lupa Beach, located near Budakalász, an hour from the city center. Lupa Beach awaits you with clear lake water, a sandy waterfront, sun beds, umbrellas, an aquatic adventure park, various water sport activities, cool restaurants, beach cafés and cocktail bars!
Browse a Bookstore
A high-rated bookstore is a great place to cool down during the hot summer weather in Budapest! Make sure to spend enough time at Bestsellers, Budapest’s first multi-language bookstore, at the old-style Atlantisz Book Island in the Jewish Quarter or at Yellow Zebra, which is not only a second hand English-language book store, but a bike tour organizer and bike rental place as well!
Shop til you drop
With plenty of premium stores and breezy air-conditioning, Budapest shopping malls can be a great escape from the heat, especially during mid-summer sales. Shopping malls you should definitely consider visiting are Aréna Plaza and WestEnd City Centre on the Pest side, Mammut Shopping Centre and Mom Park on the Buda side. Enjoy the bargain hunting!
Join the festival fever
Budapest offers various evening programs during the summer months – the biggest cultural festival being the 3-month long Budapest Summer Festival which offers a wide selection of open-air programs. Summer Festival starts in June while Sziget Festival, one of the most popular music festivals in Europe, starts in August. During the weekends of July, Budapest’s Liberty Bridge is closed off from traffic and turns into a colorful celebration!
Have dinner at the Danube riverfront
Spend more time near the river Danube, where not only the view is spectacular but the summer heat is way more bearable as well! Some of the riverfront chill-out places include Bálna Budapest, Esco Bár, Jónás Sörház and Columbus Restaurant and Pub.
Splash into a pool
Budapest is famous for its thermal baths and spas. Many of the baths – for example Széchenyi Bath, Lukács Bath and Gellért Bath – also have an outdoor pool open from May until September. The Palatinus Beach & Outdoor Pools on Margaret Island are also great places to visit for some beach time. It has eleven pools including a leisure pool, two children’s pools, a wave pool and a slide pool as well as various eateries and plenty of greenery.
Cool down watching the musical fountain on Margaret Island
During the hot summer months many of the locals escape the inner city of Budapest to the shadowy green areas of Margaret Island. The island is a great place for a picnic or a jog in the evening. It also has two beaches, the already mentioned Palatinus Beach and the Dagály Beach, while more serious swimmers can head to the Hajós Alfréd Swimming Pool. Margaret Island also has a Japanese garden with a fishpond, a small petting zoo with rabbits, ponies, deer and various birds, and a musical fountain with changing shapes of water and hourly playlists.
Visit the peaceful waterfront of Roman shore
If you want to get out of the crowded inner city and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Danube waterfront, then the Roman shore (Római part) is for you. Located in about an hour from the city center, the five kilometers long recreational area awaits you with charming outdoor restaurants and bars, watersport facilities, and a beautiful walking and cycling promenade. The area also has a great bath called Római Beach with a large outdoor swimming pool, a leisure pool with water slides, a children’s pool and plenty of green areas to hang out and cool down.