Autumn is one of the most popular travel seasons in Budapest, Hungary. The summer heat fades, Hungarians celebrate national beverages and food with annual festivals, most of the tourists have returned home, and, as always, plenty of attractions and activities await.
If you've never been to Budapest, do make a point of seeing its major sights, including Buda Castle, the Parliament Building, St. Stephan's Basilica, and Heroes' Square. Autumn is an excellent time to tour the Hungarian capital.
It's easy to get to Budapest for your fall vacation. International flights arrive at the Ferihegy Airport. There's an airport minibus with service to most hotels, or you can take public transportation. It's also possible to reach Budapest by train from other European destination cities, as well as by bus, and, from Vienna, hydrofoil.
Budapest Weather in Fall
September starts out with average highs around 76 degrees Fahrenheit—that falls to afternoon highs around 67 F by the end of the month. Lows range from 56 degrees Fahrenheit to 48 degrees F by the end of the month. It's still nice during the early evening, so eating alfresco is still possible even though summer is on the wane. The average September rainfall total is only about 1.5 inches, so you will not likely need an umbrella.
October weather starts out warm, which is ideal for walking and sightseeing and by the end of the month is trending toward chilly. Afternoon highs average 61 degrees Fahrenheit, with average nighttime lows around 45 degrees.
November still is warmer than in many Central European destinations, but you'll still want to pack plenty of layers. With an average high of 46 degrees Fahrenheit, you'll be wearing a jacket to visit the early Christmas markets.
Fall Average High and Low Temperatures
- Beginning of Month - 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) /56 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius)
- End of Month - 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius) / 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius)
- Beginning of Month - 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius) / 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius)
- End of Month - 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) / 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius)
- Beginning of Month - 53 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) / 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius)
- End of Month - 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) / 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)
What to Pack
A nip in the air in the evenings or during rainy weather signals the end of summer in the first part of fall, and you'll notice that temperature averages gradually drop the closer the calendar moves towards November. Even if you travel towards the beginning of the season, remember a sweater or light jacket to keep off the chill in the evenings. You'll need long sleeves and jackets to travel deeper into autumn.
Most travelers pack layers. This provides the most flexibility as weather changes. Start with technical T-shirts or light shirts followed by a fleece vest or light fleece jacket. Especially toward the end of fall, you'll need a regular warm jacket as your outerwear piece. It's always wise that your outerwear is either water-resistant or waterproof in case of rain.
Bring comfortable walking shoes for spending a day at festivals or touring the old sections of Budapest.
Fall Events in Budapest
In Budapest, fall is time for harvest festivals as well as cultural and religious events. Look forward to good food, contemporary art, and traditional events.
- The Budapest International Wine Festival: Head to Buda Castle in September for the Budapest Wine Festival. The festival features a Harvest Procession in the Buda Castle, and many concerts and performances. Local and International still and sparkling wines are featured during this four-day festival.
- Palinka and Sausage Festival: Taking place in October, this festival invites you to taste wares from more than 20 pálinka (Hungarian brandy) distillers and savor bites from a full range of sausage makers. Held on Castle Hill, the festival provides entertainment as well as food and beverages.
- Festival of New Wine and Cheese: Toward the end of November, it's time to taste the season's first new wines. Winemakers from all over Hungary bring their new wines to this public tasting and pair them with artisanal cheeses during the event located at Vajdahunyad Castle in the city park.
- Jewish Summer Festival: A festival of Jewish culture runs through the beginning of September in Budapest. Enjoy music, dance, fine art, books, and films. The center of the event is the spectacular Great Synagogue, the second largest Synagogue in the world.
- Budapest Baroque Festival: Usually, this festival lasts from mid-September to early October. Enjoy Baroque music in a variety of settings.
- Café Budapest Contemporary Art Festival: This two-week festival is focused on contemporary arts including such diverse forms as film, dance, music, photography, and theater. The festival is held annually in mid-October and takes place in about 20 different venues.
- All Saints' Day: Annually on November 1st, Hungarians visit the graveyards to pay their respects to their deceased family members, leave beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets and, at night, light candles of remembrance.
- Budapest Christmas Market: At the end of November, when winter weather may have already settled into the bones of the city, the annual Budapest Christmas Market opens. Vendors at this colorful market sell food and drink, handmade gifts, and holiday decorations.
Fall Travel Tips
- Budapest is a large city, so consider the location as well as the budget when you research hotels for your visit. Public transportation is plentiful, but you may want to be within a short distance of shops, eateries, or attractions. Also remember that Budapest has two sides, Buda and Pest, divided by the Danube River. Sights such as Buda Castle are on the Budapest side, while Heroes' Square and the Parliament Building are on the Pest side of the city.
- Fall is known for great weather but on wet or cold days spend a couple of hours in a Budapest cafe, shopping for souvenirs at the Great Market Hall, or perusing art at one of the excellent Budapest museums.
- Take time to enjoy local food and wine. The most common Hungarian recipes can be sampled at almost any restaurant specializing in national cuisine. Seasoned with paprika, meat-heavy dishes with vegetable accompaniments make delicious autumn fare. They'll ward off any chill in the air even if you choose to dine outdoors. Order a glass or a bottle of Hungarian wine. Rich reds, such as Bull's Blood and sweet whites, such as Tokaji, are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hungarian wine varieties. Ask for a suggestion from your server, specifying that you would like to try a Hungarian wine.