Known in Hungarian as “Szilveszter”, New Year’s Eve really makes Budapest come alive. Locals like to party at the best of times and for many, the 31st is the time to pull out all the stops. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the city on NYE, then you’ve got lots of options when it comes to deciding where to spend your time. We decided to take a look at some great options for you this year.
Take a cruise on the Danube
A great way to see in the new year and take in Budapest’s spectacular riverside sites is aboard a cruise along the Danube. There are several options depending what you’re into. The Nostalgia Disco Cruise promises great music, a welcome drink and a buffet dinner. If you’re looking for something more sophisticated then you might want to opt for the Dinner & Piano Cruise to be treated to a four-course extravaganza with a Sinatra show and barside piano battle to see you through the night. And for the truly hedonistic, there is the Party Cruise which offers unlimited drinks, a midnight dinner and live music, including a gypsy band, right through to 5 am.
Photo and also featured image: Claudio Saroldi Photography
Go to a random street party
New Year’s Eve brings Hungarians out onto the streets and if you know where to look you can find a place to party all night without having to pay anything. Every year one of the biggest parties is held at Vörösmarty Square, the site of Budapest’s biggest Christmas market. Expect stalls and eateries to stay open late, local and international bands to keep the mood up and a spectacular laser show on when the clock strikes midnight.
You’ll also find smaller street parties on Nyugati Square and at Oktogon with local DJs keeping things moving all night long. And if you like fireworks, you’ll get the chance to enjoy midnight displays at all these street parties, probably while dancing, jumping and singing with complete strangers, all keen to welcome in another year.
Photo: Claudio Saroldi Photography
Find a party at a club or bar
As expected, many of Budapest’s most popular bars and clubs will be packed with fun seekers on New Year’s Eve. The Budapest Jazz Club will host its annual Jazzszilveszter party, while all the major nightclubs in Budapest, like A38, Akvárium, Hellobaby, Ötkert, Corvintető, Trafiq and Fogasház, hosting all-night parties.
If you’re looking for something more formal, most of the luxury hotels such as The Four Seasons, Corinthia, and Kempinski, will host parties and even some of the embassies although the later will most likely be invite-only.
The A38 Ship. Photo: a38.hu
Pre-party at Szechenyi Baths
Although not strictly an NYE party, on December 30th, Cinetrip will host a wild spa party at the famous Szechenyi Baths in City Park. From 10:30 pm to 3 am, expect loud music, great DJs, abundant amounts of booze and even a 3D laser light show. Not surprisingly, this party attracts a younger crowd and is particularly popular with backpackers.