Budapest's very nature is defined by the Danube River. The two parts of the city, Buda and Pest, sit on either side. Buda has rolling geography, and Pest is flat. Together they form a striking panorama on one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. This relatively undiscovered Central European city is known for its thermal baths, early 20th-century architecture, and music of great variety, from jazz and folk to klezmer and Gypsy music. If you're going to Budapest in October, get a handle on what the weather will be like and what you should pack before you go.
October Weather in Budapest
October is, in general, a good month to visit Budapest, weather-wise. Afternoon highs average 61 degrees Fahrenheit, with average nighttime lows around 45 degrees. Mild days like these are perfect for sightseeing in a walking city. Because October is a month of rapidly falling temperatures, expect both of these numbers to trend downward as the month goes on and be higher in early October. You should also expect significant deviations from these averages as a result of fall cold fronts. October is relatively sunny, although the chances of rain are on the rise.
But all in all, you'll still have plenty of chances to sit outside at the cafes, especially in early October.
What to Pack
Dressing in layers is key to being comfortable and prepared for changing weather in Budapest in October. Good bets are jeans, long-sleeved cotton blouses or shirts, a medium-weight cotton sweater or two, and a lightweight jacket like denim or heavier sweater or poncho. If you are going toward the end of October, a leather jacket could be switched out for a lightweight one. If you have a short trench coat with a hood, that's a good alternative and useful if it rains. A cashmere wrap is great for evenings out at restaurants or cultural events.
As always in Europe, you'll need comfy walking shoes. Ankle boots are the perfect choice in October and work with jeans or a more dressed-up outfit. If it gets really chilly, buy yourself a splendid scarf that adds warmth; a piece of clothing from a place you've visited is one of the best souvenirs ever.
October Holidays and Events
- The annual Palinka and Sausage Festival, which takes place at Buda Castle, pairs famous Hungarian fruit brandy with sausage, a favorite Central European food. (Construction at Buda Castle has caused this event to be canceled in 2017.)
- The Budapest Autumn Festival is a cultural tour-de-force and highlights contemporary music, theater, and dance.
- Late-night pool parties happen in October at Scezhenyi Bath or Lucas Baths. Think of this as a European hot-tub experience extraordinaire.
- Halloween parties happen all over the city in pubs, at Scezhenyi Bath, and on a boat on the Danube that includes a DJ and a bar onboard. Costumes are optional.
- The World Press Photo Exhibition is on display in Budapest every October. It's a traveling show of award-winning news photos from about 25 countries.
- There's a full concert calendar in Budapest every October. Check venues for dates you will be there.