Weather in Budapest: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Frozen Danube River By Hungarian Parliament Building Against Blue Sky
Vass Renat / EyeEm / Getty Images

Budapest has a continental climate, which means snowy, freezing winters and scorching hot, sweaty summers. Hungary’s location in Central Europe makes it a meeting point between hot and cold weather fronts. It’s not north enough to earn the icy reputation of Scandinavia or Russia, nor so south as to evoke the Mediterranean sunshine, but it’s a country with both climate extremes depending on what time of year you come.  

The height of summer can see temperatures peak at 105 degrees F (40 degrees C), where heavy and thundery downpours sometimes punctuate the heat. Summers are hot and humid, thanks to the city’s proximity to the Danube, but there is often a cool breeze, especially up in the leafy Buda Hills, to keep things pleasant. Winters on the other hand can dip below freezing, sometimes even going as cold as minus 14 degrees F (minus 26 degrees C) when even the Danube can freeze over.

Most of the time, there is plenty to do no matter the weather. Its famous thermal baths see the crowds all year round—both indoors and outdoors—and its museums, cafes, and bars welcome visitors come rain or shine. Here’s what you need to know about the Hungarian capital so you can prepare for your trip at any time of year.     

Fast Climate Facts

  • Hottest Month: July (82 degrees F / 28 degrees C) 
  • Coldest Month: January (38 degrees F / -2 degrees C) 
  • Wettest Month: June (2.5 inches)
  • Windiest Month: April (8 mph)
  • Best Month for Swimming: August (68 degrees F / 20 degrees C)

Summer in Budapest

June to August is often hot and humid. Blue skies and long hours of sunlight tempt locals out to the parks, outdoor baths, and swimming pools around the city, and when it’s scorching, many escape up onto the shade of the Buda Hills for breezy hikes in the woods. Many Hungarians will also get out of the capital and head to the beaches of nearby Lake Balaton to escape the city heat. 

Although Hungarians try to skip town, tourists flock to the capital, either for a city break or for summer festivals like Sziget, one of the largest music festivals in Europe that’s held on a Danube island in the suburbs in August. However, despite the heat, prepare for rain and patches of storms. Due to Budapest’s location in the middle of Europe, there’s often a clash of fronts, and sometimes the sun is punctuated by intense thunderstorms and showery downpours. These may only last a day, but can be heavy, and also bear in mind that June is often the wettest month of the year in terms of rainfall.

What to pack: Make sure you bring a good sunscreen for when the days get very hot. It can get humid and sticky so pack light, breathable clothes, and consider bringing a fan. Also pack waterproofs and an umbrella for those unexpected summer storms. 

Average Temperatures by Month

  • June: 77 F (25 C) / 56 F (13 C)
  • July: 82 F (28 C) / 59 F (15 C)
  • August: 81 F (27 C) / 59 F (15 C)

Fall in Budapest 

Fall is the best time to visit the city, especially in September and October. The warmth of the summer still lingers, just without the bite, and there’s still plenty of sunshine even as the crowds start to disappear. It begins to get cool and rainy towards the end of October and November, and once daylight savings time hits, it gets dark as early as 4 or 5 p.m. 

What to pack: It’s a good idea to pack layers and keep an eye on the weather forecast. You may still get away with summer clothes in early September, but you’ll want a coat and warmer clothes in October and November, as temperatures can dip below freezing at night sometimes. Pack an umbrella and waterproofs for the autumnal rains. 

Average Temperatures by Month

  • September: 71 F (22 C) / 51 F (11 C)
  • October: 60 F (16 C) / 42 F (6 C)
  • November: 48 F (9 C) / 34 F (1 C)

Winter in Budapest 

Winter tends to be crisp and cold, with a little snow and ice thrown in. Temperatures can dip below freezing, sometimes only slightly, but it can get so cold the Danube freezes over. Although there is little sunlight, people pack the streets in December for the Christmas markets, where you can warm up with a glass of mulled wine. January is the coldest month, and there is usually ice on the streets in the morning, which can make things slippery unless salt has been put down. Things slowly warm up in February, but it’s still pretty cold and windy.  

What to pack: Bring a warm coat, scarf, hat and gloves. Shoes with a good grip are also important so you won’t slip on the icy streets. It’s a good idea to wear layers since most places, including public transport, tend to overheat. 

Average Temperatures by Month

  • December: 38 F (3 C) / 29 F (minus 2 C)
  • January: 34 F (1 C) / 25 F (minus 4 C)
  • February: 40 F (4 C ) / 29 F (minus 2 C)

Spring in Budapest 

Spring brings back the longer daylight hours, blossoms, and sunshine. The temperature rises to be pleasantly warm, and you’ll see more sun and blue skies. However, like fall, spring can be temperamental. You’ll have stretches of sunny days, but you may still get weeks of gray skies and rain. One consistent thing is that the extreme temperatures of winter and summer are gone, which makes spring a very comfortable time to explore. 

What to pack: Make sure you bring an umbrella, a light jacket and clothes you can layer. You can pack warmer clothes in March and lighter items in May, but check the forecast before going. 

Average Temperatures by Month

  • March: 51 F (11 C) / 33 F (1 C)
  • April: 62 F (17 C) / 41 F (5 C)
  • May: 71 F (22 C) / 50 F (10 C)

Budapest has a continental climate, which means hot summers, cold winters, and pleasant shoulder seasons. Rain in the summer is heavy and intense in bursts, with June being the wettest month of the year, and late fall and early spring tend to be overcast with some rain.

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours
Month Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours
January 34 F 1.5 inches 9 hours
February 40 F 1.5 inches 10 hours
March 50 F 1.5 inches 12 hours
April 61 F 1.9 inches 14 hours
May 71 F 2.5 inches 15 hours
June 76 F 2.8 inches 16 hours
July 80 F 1.0 inches 16 hours
August 79 F 2.0 inches 14 hours
September 72 F 1.7 inches 12 hours
October 61 F 1.9 inches 11 hours
November 47 F 2.4 inches 10 hours
December 38 F 1.9inches 9 hours
Article Sources
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  1. Time and Date. "Budapest, Hungary." November 2020.