Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new!
Like any major city across the world, New Years is a big celebration and most capital cities have big, organised firework displays at midnight – However, Budapest is the exception to the rule.
Before we headed to Budapest and even during, my friend and I searched the internet for any information for firework-related events presuming they would most likely held in the Chain Bridge area, but as we discovered on New Years eve is that people sell fireworks freely on the streets to anyone whom is interested. Coming from the UK where Fireworks are highly regulated, only sold at certain times of year, certain shops etc it was a shock to see such freedom with the release of fireworks not much different…. people go to an area, light them and up they go. Busy areas included but most people do go to a quiet area within these to release their fireworks.
Due to this freedom, Fireworks start filling the area over the course of the night from as early as 6pm to as late at 4am, maybe even later. Happening across the city, you are bound to see fireworks from the city center outwards. Expect central areas to be very busy, getting more crowded as time draws nearer to midnight, people by the river, at the Christmas market, looking for places to drink and eat.
If you want to eat, get there early – We entered a small restaurant at around 6.35pm and the place was busy but we managed to get a table, but as we eat our meal (3 course meal, 1 litre of Hungarian beer and an after dinner drink – £15!) over the course of a 3 hour period, the place was turning more and more people away.
Venturing out into Vörösmarty Square to the Christmas after our meal heading towards the Christmas Market, we claimed our free mug of hot mulled wine courtesy of our Budapest card, sat on the benches watching fireworks quite literally above our heads, taking in the calm yet also spirited atmosphere. Heading to Heroes Square near midnight, the place abuzz with people and of course, fireworks – HAPPY NEW YEAR!