Budapest averages 2000 hours of sunshine a year, among the highest in Europe, providing many opportunities to visit Budapest in reasonably fine weather and avoid the madness and expense of Europe's high season. Both spring and autumn are glorious in Budapest, with plenty to see and do, and the winter cold doesn't really hit until mid-December when many museums and tourist sights close. Often, even in winter there are spectacular blue skies.
During Budapest's long, hot summer, what are called kertek, literally 'gardens' but in Budapest any outdoor spot that has been converted into an entertainment zone, have been emptying out even the most popular indoor bars and clubs.
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This centrally located hotel offers stylish guest rooms and gorgeous views of Budapest and the River Danube.
Budapest has a temperate, transitional climate. Spring arrives in early April and usually ends in showers. Summer can be very hot and humid. It rains for most of November and doesn't usually get cold until mid-December. Winter is relatively short, often cloudy and damp but sometimes brilliantly sunny. What little snow the city gets usually disappears after a few days. January is the coldest month (with the temperature averaging 28°F) and August the hottest (70°F - although summers can get much hotter than this average). The number of hours of sunshine a year averages just over 2000, among the highest in Europe; from April to the end of September, you can expect the sun to shine for about 10 hours a day.
Budapest's Ferenc Liszt International Airport, what everyone still calls Ferihegy, has two modern terminals side by side 24km southeast of the city center and an older one about 5km to the west. The national carrier Malév Hungarian Airlines flies to Budapest from North America, the Middle East and more than 50 cities in continental Europe and the British Isles. The bus is also a popular means of getting to Budapest. There are three main stations, with all international buses and some domestic ones to/from Hungary's south and west arriving at and departing from Népliget bus station in Pest.
The Hungarian State Railway links to the European rail network, with different stations handling various destinations.
There is a safe, efficient and inexpensive public transport system that is rapidly being upgraded and will never have you waiting more than five or 10 minutes for any conveyance. Five types of vehicle are in general use: metro trains, green HÉV trains, blue buses, yellow trams and red trolleybuses. But you can also do it yourself by bicycle, car or motorbike.
Taxis are cheap by most European standards. Never get into a taxi that does not have a yellow license plate and an identification badge displayed on the dashboard.
Check current visa requirements at the website of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry as requirements often change without notice.
No parts of Budapest are 'off-limits' to visitors, although some locals now avoid Margaret Island after dark, and both residents and visitors give the dodgier parts of the 8th and 9th districts a wide berth. Pickpocketing is most common in crowded places, especially those places where there are plenty of tourists.
Practical information to assist you before and during your trip.
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