WHAT TO DO IN BUDAPEST IN FEBRUARY 2020
The holidays are over, but you can’t wait 4-5-6 more months until your next trip? Come to Budapest then! Yes, it’s cold outside, but not like Siberia or even Chicago, so that can’t be an excuse. We can’t emphasize enough how good travelling on the shoulder season is: no queuing, lower prices, fewer tourists and more local interactions. This is what we, at Budapest Urban Adventures, would like you to experience. Moreover, we will give you some advice on what to do in Budapest in February to make your life and decision-making easier.
1, Escape the winter at Twentysix co-space
brand new community space, Twentysix has just opened in the heart of the city. Right across the street from Gozsdu Courtyard, under 26 Király street, that’s where you can find the oasis with green plants everywhere you look, and the smell of the Mediterranean cuisine in the air. This downtown jungle incorporates not only a restaurant but a deli and a yoga studio as well, Twentysix intends to help people slow down and enjoy a mindful, calm day.2
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most colourful and healthy of all, featuring fish and poultry, olive oil, fresh fruits, and vegetables. That’s what you can find on the menu of the restaurant, which is located in the covered courtyard of an apartment house. In the shop beside eco-design home decor products, you can find all kinds of goodies from small producers. What is more, from February they open their bakery as well so you will be able to buy everything you need for a fresh, healthy, delicious breakfast in one place? To find your inner harmony, visit the yoga studio as well. If you sign up on their website , you can join any class, in the beginning, or at the end of the day. Location: 1061 Budapest, Király u. 26. (map)
2, Learn more about the top grape-variety of Hungary – Furmint February
Furmint is a Hungarian white grape-variety grown on 3600 hectares all over the country. This variety collects sugar well, which results in high alcohol content in wines. Besides that, furmints typically have pear, quince, and clove notes on the nose and taste as well. But all wine-lovers know that flavours and smells in wine depend not only on the grape-variety itself but the soil, the climate, the weather, the harvest and other conditions. February was chosen to be the month of Furmint when restaurants and wine shops focus on acquainting this unique wine with customers. The most important event of Furmint February is the Big Tasting at the Museum of Agriculture, in Vajdahunyad Castle. So if you want to experience how minerality caused by the volcanic soil of Tokaj region or the sweet, honey flavour of late harvests suit to Furmint, head to the City Park on February 6 and find the best from more than 200 different wines provided by 84 Hungarian wineries. If you are not in town on this day, or just want to start learning about Hungarian wine culture by tasting more than one variety, join our Fine Wines & Ruin Bars Tour! Location: 1146 Budapest, Vajdahunyad stny.(map)Date: February 6, 2020; 4:00-9:00 PM
Tickets: 12.500 HUF (approx. 37,2 EUR) on pre-sale (website); 15.000 HUF (approx. 44,6 EUR) on spot
3, Celebrate Valentine’s Day in a unique way
MÁV (Hungarian State Railways) provides a very special experience on Valentine’s Day. A few lucky couples can enjoy a nostalgic, romantic journey on the luxurious carriages of the Candle-light Express. The train will ride to Nagymaros, a charming small town along the Danube bend. Moving along the river grants a breath-taking view to the river and the surrounding hills during sunset. On the way, passengers can enjoy a 3-course menu paired with the best Hungarian wines in the dining cars and live music in the bar car.
Tickets can be purchased on the website or at Nyugati Train Station (location) for 21.990 HUF (approx. 65,4 EUR) per person.
4, Scare winter away with Carnival celebrations
This year the celebrations of Farsang (Carnival) fall in February. The season starts on Epiphany (January 6, 2020) and it ends on Ash Wednesday (February 26, 2020). During these three weeks, many masquerades, balls, costume parties are organized all over the country. They are not just great fun – most of the time on these events the person in the best costume wins a little prize – but according to the beliefs of these celebrations spooky masks and noise scare the winter away.5
If you visit Budapest in February, you should taste the speciality of this holiday, the “szalagos fánk” (ribbon doughnut: the name refers to the white ribbon that forms on the side of the doughnut during frying). The dough is lightly seasoned with rum and lemon zest, and they are best when tasted fresh, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with home-made apricot jam.
5, Warm-up at Pálinka Museum
You might have heard of pálinka, our fruit brandy already. You can drink it in the morning, to wake you up, before lunch to get your stomach ready for the delicious Hungarian dishes, after lunch to boost your digestion, or whenever you feel like that.
What you probably haven’t known is making pálinka is Hungarian men’s hobby, especially if they have a garden with fruit trees. And some regions in the country have some typical fruits to use in pálinka. For example, the southern-eastern corner of Hungary has amazing plum, so you might want to try a plum pálinka from Békés. Are you an apricot fan? Go for Kecskemét’s spirits!
If you thirsty for more information about the process of making this precious drink, visit the interactive Pálinka Museum in Király street, where you can receive a shot of pálinka for free by collecting points during the games. And if you want to try more than one flavour, you can join their tasting events or ask for a few samples at their bar.
Location: 1061 Budapest, Király u. 20. (map)