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Hungary's climate consists of four distinct seasons: beautiful, warm summers; bitterly cold winters; and mild springs and autumns.
Summers are quite warm and can occasionally be uncomfortable, but there are lots of ways to beat the heat. Temperatures can reach 28°C (82°F) or higher, with the occasional evening thunderstorm. Hungary is land-locked and far from the ocean, but there are many beautiful public baths and open-air swimming pools providing an ideal way to cool down. Lake Balaton and Mátra Hills are popular places to spend time in the summer for locals and visitors alike.
In summer, clothing made from lightweight and breathable fabric is recommended, although a light sweater or cover-up might be necessary in the evenings.
Winters are often extremely cold, but thankfully short, particularly in Budapest. Winter lows usually hover between 0°C and -15°C (32°F and 5°F), but can easily drop lower, especially when the north-easterly wind known as the Bora sweeps through the country. The coldest months of the year are December and January.
Snowfall is common in winter and those who love the outdoors will enjoy the opportunity to ski, snowboard, sled, or just play around in the snow. However, expats should take care as even light snow can be whipped up into a vicious snowstorm, especially in the high-altitude, mountainous parts of the country.
In winter, expats should wrap up warmly with layers and thick coats, particularly if the weather is rainy or snowy.
The pleasantly mild weather in spring and autumn makes these seasons popular with visitors, and they are widely considered to be the best times of year to be in Hungary in terms of weather. There can, however, still be bouts of relatively chilly weather in either spring or autumn.