The climate of Hungary is continental, with cold winters and warm to hot summers. Spring and autumn are mild, but there are frequent changes in temperature, especially in spring.

Precipitation is not abundant, but it is well distributed throughout the year. During winter, precipitation is quite frequent, and often occurs in the form of snow or sleet, while from May to August, thunderstorms can break out during the afternoon.
The climatic differences between the different regions are small, although the climate is slightly more continental in the eastern cities (see Miskolc, Debrecen), while in the south (see Pécs, Szeged), the winter is slightly less cold.
On the shores of Lake Balaton, which is large but not deep, the weather in winter is usually a bit milder and less dull, except during cold waves, while in summer, the breezes temper a bit the heat. In summer, locals go swimming in the lake.

Hungary is largely a flat country, occupied by the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld), however, in the north and west, we find hills and low mountains. In the west, on the border with Austria, we find Alpokalja, which is actually the easternmost part of the Alps; the highest point, in the Koszegi Landscape Protection Area, is Írott-ko, at 882 meters (2,894 ft).
In the north-west, we find the Transdanubian Mountains. To the north of Lake Balaton, it is possible to ski in winter in the Intersport Síaréna Eplény. Northwest of Budapest, we find the Visegrád Hills and the Pilis Mountains.
Moreover, in the north-east, we have the North Hungarian Mountains, where we find the highest peak in Hungary, Mount Kékes, 1.014 meters (3.327 ft) high.

Lake Balaton at Keszthely

In winter, from December to February, gray skies, mists and fogs are frequent. Snowfalls are quite frequent, though not abundant. Sometimes, cold air masses from Russia can lower the temperature by many degrees, down to -20 °C (-4 °F) in the worst moments.

Summer, from June to August, is warm and quite sunny, though with fairly frequent thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sometimes, warm air masses from Southern Europe can raise the temperature to around 35 °C (95 °F) or even above, for a few days, usually in July and August, but sometimes also in June and September. On the other hand, even in summer, Atlantic weather fronts can sometimes reach the country, bringing cool and rainy weather.


In Budapest, the capital, located near the center of the country, the average temperature in January is -1.5 degrees Celsius (29.5 °F), while in July it's about 21 °C (70 °F). Here are the average temperatures.
Budapest - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-4-226111415151272-2
Max (°C)15101621242726221683
Min (°F)252836435257595954453628
Max (°F)344150617075817972614637

In Budapest, 610 millimeters (24 inches) of rain fall per year, with a minimum of 35/45 mm (1.4/1.8 in) per month from December to April and a maximum of 70 mm (2.8 in) in May, June and November. Here is the average precipitation.
Budapest - Average precipitation

The sun in Hungary is rarely seen in winter, while in the summer, it shines quite often. Here are the average sunshine hours per day in Budapest.
Budapest - Sunshine

Best Time

The best periods to visit Hungary are spring and autumn, in particular, the months of May, June and September. The height of summer, in July and August, is generally a good period as well, although it can sometimes get very hot.

What to pack

In winter: bring warm clothing, a sweater, a down jacket, gloves and a scarf, and a raincoat or umbrella.
In summer: bring light clothes, a T-shirt and shorts, but also long pants, a light jacket and a sweater for the evening and for cooler days, and a raincoat or umbrella.

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