WHAT TO DO IN BUDAPEST IN JANUARY 2020
Welcome to 2020! Budapest Urban Adventure’s number one new year resolution is to provide you with local knowledge about our beautiful city, which we can’t get tired of! People make the best memories when they leave the beaten tracks and go on an exploration. We believe that living like a local provides you with the best understanding of a nation’s culture, but how to do that, if you only have a few days? We are more than happy to give you a couple of insider tips! Let’s see what the new decade brings to us in Budapest!
1, Let’s go skating
Even people that are not fans of the winter can agree in one thing; skating is fun!
The biggest open-air ice skating rink of Europe, the Városligeti Műjégpálya is located in Budapest, at the City Park. We did recommend it last year and can’t forget about it in 2020 either. The fact that the gothic style Vajdahunyad Castle serves as the background during this activity is quite invincible. The opening and skating hours can be found on their website, where buying entrance tickets and renting skates are also possible. An adult ticket from Monday until Friday morning costs 1.500 HUF (approx. 5,0 USD), while from Friday afternoon until Sunday it is 2.000 HUF (approx. 6,7 USD). Visitors can rent skates for a 2.500 HUF (approx. 8,4 USD) fee, plus a 2.000 HUF (approx. 6,7 USD) deposit.
For the first time, until January 5th, there is a free of cost ice skating opportunity in the city centre. At the park of the Townhall (location), a rink for up to 150 people waits for you every day between 10 AM and 2 PM, then between 3 PM and 8 PM.
2, Boost your digestion with a sip of Unicum
Visit the Zwack Museum .”Das ist ein Unicum!” said emperor Joseph II. at the end of the 18th century, when his doctor, a member of the Zwack family offered him a bitter liquor to help with his stomach ache. The recipe that contains more than 40 herbs is still a secret kept by the family. Even, you can learn about the history and the process to make this aperitif in the Zwack Unicum Museum (location). Not to mention that you can have a taste from all the three different flavours: Unicum, Unicum plum (matured on dried plum in oak barrels) and Unicum Riserva (aged in an 80-year-old barrel).
3, Winter Picnic at Etyek
Etyek is the centre of the wine region that is located the closest to Budapest. Picnics are organized at every season showcasing gastronomy, seasonal traditions, and wines. The first event of 2020, falls on January 18th. Visitors can enjoy a huge variety of local dishes, most importantly, pork. Well, winter is the season of “pig slaughters”, when families process their pigs, using every part of them, and make delicious products like sausages, cracklings, pork jelly, pork knuckles and so on, to ensure having enough meat during the coldest months of the year. Besides food, wine and pálinka are in the focus of the picnic. To make sure about everyone is having fun, live concerts and family activities (for example petting zoo, horse riding, movies for children, wine-related team games, etc.) will take place as well.
We recommend you catch a bus to get there. Why? Primarily because we, at Urban Adventures, care about our environment, and always choose the option which has a lower carbon footprint. (that’s why Budapest Urban Adventures gives walking tours only). Secondly, if you decide to visit the Winter Picnic of Etyek, it’s going to be hard to avoid alcoholic drinks, and Hungary has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence. So hop on the metro line 4, ride to the last stop, Kelenföld vasútállomás (Kelenföld train station), and then take a couch to Etyek. Buses leave every hour between 5:40 and 23:40 and reach the location of the event in 40-45 minutes.
4, Olof Palme House
Learn about the Hungarian Millennium at the former Olof Palme HouseThe oldest building of the City Park, the House of the Hungarian Millenium got renovated and opened up again recently as part of the Liget project that aims to develop the park into a museum quarter and make it more green, modern, and livable. One of the first steps of that was the renovation of the former Olof Palme House which was built as the Exhibition Hall for the Millenial celebrations, organized for the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian Conquest. After decades of abandoned existence, the building is getting connected back to the circulation of the City Park with a new purpose: to display the history of the second-biggest park of the Hungarian capital. After getting familiar with the importance of the City Park through the interactive exhibition, sit down for a couple of minutes in the Zsolnay-tiled café, and get in a sentimental mood by imagining yourself sipping coffee in Budapest on the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Location: 1146 Budapest, Olof Palme sétány 1 (map)
5, Official Graffitis of the 8th district
Discover the murals of a lesser-known neighbourhood, the 8th district
After turning the dull, grey firewalls of the Jewish district into colourful, vivid paintings, Színes Város (Colorful City) have chosen another district to get in shape with the help of some paint and our childhood’s memories.
The 8th district of Budapest is an up-and-coming area, with a complex history resulting in a diverse society and a rich culture.
This time, Színes Város decided to open their newest “outdoor exhibition” in this neighbourhood, making people stop for a few minutes and enjoy their surroundings. The themes of these murals are various Hungarian cartoon series which instantly get everyone in a nostalgic mood and allow the youngest generation as well to learn a little bit about the shows that their parents, grandparents used to watch growing up.
The first art piece of the series popped up in April 2019 on the side of the building of Szigony street 10. (location) and depicted scenes from Szaffi. This animated film from 1985 tells a love story of a Romani-looking Turkish girl and an impoverished Hungarian aristocrat in the 18th century.
Vuk is probably the most iconic Hungarian animated movie that broke many kids’ hearts. The story of the brave and adventurous fox cub who became orphan at the very beginning of the film then later fights back and starts his own beautiful family, reserved two firewalls in the neighbourhood: in October 2019 at Baross street 109. (location) and right next to Szaffi at Szigony street 8. in November 2019 (location).
The characters of Vízipók-csodapók (roughly: water spider-wonder spider) can be found on the side of Leonardo da Vinci street 12-14. (location) Since November 2019. This cartoon is about a goofy spider living underwater, that is found strange even by his own grumpy crusader spider friend, but at the end of the day, everyone loved and accepted him against his outlandish lifestyle.
The most recent mural is inspired by the movie poster of Macskafogó (Cat City) from 1986. The Hungarian-Canadian-German coproduction is about the adventures of Grabowski, the secret mouse agent who wants to prevent evil cats from wiping out the mouse civilization totally. The art can be found on Szigony street 10. (location), on the opposite side of the Szaffi mural.
And if you would be interested in the extraordinary life of the neighbourhood, join our Controversial Budapest: Exploring the Infamous 8th District tour, where our local guides would be happy to discuss the history and the present of the area and its residentials.