Published: July 21 2023
Yes, a good number of stores and establishments do close on Sundays in Budapest. This is a consequence of a law enacted in 2015 aimed at improving the quality of life of employees by granting them a common day of rest.
However, this doesn't mean that every place in this vibrant city shuts down as there are numerous exceptions to this rule. Read on for a detailed look at what to expect for Budapest's Sunday operations.
Restaurants and Cafes
Very often, your gastronomic adventures in Budapest do not need to pause on Sundays. Majority of restaurants and cafes continue business as usual, although some might operate on reduced hours or offer a limited menu. Artisanal cafes particularly, being smaller, family-run businesses, might choose to close.
Retail Outlets and Shopping Malls
Due to the mentioned law, most of the retail stores and shopping malls remain closed on Sundays. However, establishments that are smaller than 200 square meters and owned by the same person who is managing the outlet are allowed to stay open. Therefore, small boutique stores and local grocery shops are usually open for business.
When it comes to the city's numerous tourist attractions, most operate throughout the week, Sundays included. Budapest's famous thermal baths, for instance, welcome visitors every day. The Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, and St. Stephen’s Basilica, continue to be open seven days a week, but with shorter hours or guided tours only on Sundays. It is always recommended to check official websites for the accurate timings and schedules.
Cultural venues such as theaters, concert halls, and cinemas tend to open on Sundays. Many of these places actually have special programs or shows on these days. Museums, however, are a bit of a mixed bag, with some closing on Sundays while others use this day for free or discounted admissions.
The public transportation system in Budapest - buses, trams, boats, and the metro - all operate on Sunday. However, they follow a weekend schedule, meaning services may be less frequent compared to weekdays, so it's important to check schedules in advance.
Supermarkets and Pharmacies
While many major supermarkets close their doors on Sundays, convenience stores and small grocery outlets, particularly those in the central areas or near transport hubs, are open. A select few pharmacies also remain open on Sundays.
In conclusion, while Sundays see a slowdown in Budapest, they are hardly a day where the city comes to a standstill. It might take a bit of advance planning, but there's still plenty to see, do, and eat in Budapest on a Sunday!