If you plan to celebrate the New Year in Budapest there are plenty
of programs to entertain you.
From an upscale ball to local house parties and there's spectacular
fireworks in Budapest at midnight!
Hungarians are very good at partying.
We're a people who look for every occasion to eat and drink well. One
of these special occasions is the last day of the year, Szilveszter in our language.
Some people start preparing for New Year's Eve before they've even had
New Years in Budapest - Restaurants, Bars, Cafes
Most people in Budapest head for a restaurant, bar, cafeor pub to
carouse on 31st December.
You have to book well in advance, especially in popular places. If you
have no reservation, go early and you might get in with some luck. There's usually a
substantial dinner that includes special dishes. A glass of champagne is usually included
in the price, to clink glasses at midnight.
The New Year starts with more eating: frankfurter sausages with
horseradish and mustard, lentil soup, roast pig and other traditional Hungarian New Year
dishes are served after midnight.
Liszt Ferenc Square, on Andrassy Avenue, offers many trendy cafes and
bars. Pick a place here and you'll be close to the outdoor fesitivities on Nyugati tor
New Years in Budapest for Free - Celebration in the Streets
Three major places are the focal point of outdoor festivities.
A three-day celebration awaits: From 30th December to January 1st, live bands from
different countries will perform.
Nyugati Square: (M3 metro line, trams No 4, 6)
Hungarian pop-rock bands will entertain people.
Oktogon: (Trams No 4, 6)
Disco till dawn with popular Hungarian DJs.
Spectacular fireworks welcome in the New Year on all three places.
Don't forget to put on warm clothes, because the last days of December tend to be chilly
You'll find many people in the streets, especially around midnight.
Even those who've been carousing in a restaurant or bar, pour out onto the streets and
welcome the New Year with singing, dancing and blowing paper horns.
Luckily the government has banned the use of
firecrackers, so celebrating will be safer in the crowded streets than
it was in previous years.
New Year's Eve in Budapest - Partying In a Hotel
Hotels offer special packages for the New Year's Eve period.
Usually you have to stay for at least 2-3 nights. A festive dinner and
entertaining programs are included.
Choose a hotel in the city centre and you'll find many places of
entertainment within walking distance. You can join the happy crowd in the streets and
enjoy the fireworks as well.
Upscale Celebration of New Year's Eve in Budapest
The New Year's Eve ball in Budapest's beautiful Opera House is an
exclusive party where you have to dress up and wear a mask.
The program starts with a Gala Concert performed by singers, ballet of
the Opera House and the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.
Afterwards you can fill your stomach with delicious dishes and dance
New Year's Eve in Budapest on a Boat
Say farewell to the old year from a boat on the Danube.
Talented singers, dancers and musicians of the Hungarian State Opera
House and the Operetta House perform classical masterpieces. Programs also include belly
dancing, step dance and Hungarian folk dances.
Fine dinner and a beautiful vista of illuminated Budapest make the
This is another classy way of celebrating the New Years in Budapest.
The price includes a cocktail, substantial dinner with wide selection of cold and hot
dishes, desserts, a glass of champagne, coffee and mineral water.
New Years in Budapest - Home Parties
If the above programmes don't appeal to you, stroll in Budapest on New
Year's Eve afternoon and someone might invite you to a house party.
Hungarians are famous for their hospitality and we tend to be even
more welcoming on New Year's Eve.
Drink local bubbly, beer or wine, have some homemade snacks and make
Some Hungarian New Year's Traditions
Most Hungarian New Year's traditions are related to food.
Having lentil or bean dishes on New Year's Day makes you wealthy; pigs
root out your fortune, while poultry scrapes it away.
Eat roast pork on New Year's Eve and you'll be lucky throughout the
For a hangover we eat a special soup (korhely leves) made from sour
cabbage and sour cream.
Washing and hanging out the washing is forbidden, because someone will
die. According to common belief, the whole year will be like the way you behave on 1st
You'd better be happy to drive away gloominess in the New Year!
Why celebrate New Year's in Budapest?
You have many options of where to say good bye to the old year in the
Hungarian capital. From an exclusive ball to classy hotels, trendy restaurants and bars,
or from a boat on the Danube.
The best place to make friends and see how Hungarians welcome the New
Year is to go to a homeparty.
Hungarians are very friendly and hospitable. Champagne is cheap here
and illuminated Budapest is beautiful at night.
I hope you will come and have a good time!
Happy New Year!
By Erzsebet Dobos.
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