Climate of Hungary
Where is the country of Hungary located? Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Hungary lies on the dividing line between the maritime climates (type C) and the land climates (type D). Due to its central location in Central Europe, the influence of the Mediterranean is very small. Because Hungary is almost enclosed by hilly and mountainous areas, depressions are much less likely to reach the country. This makes Hungary a relatively dry country and the eastern half is certainly one of the driest areas in Europe, with only 400 to 500 millimeters of precipitation per year. The western part and the mountain areas are slightly wetter. Here precipitation amounts to 500 to 800 millimeters.
The summer months in Hungary are quite warm. During the day temperatures rise to 25 to 30 degrees. Even in the higher areas west of the Danube, it gets hot in the summer in the months of June, July and August. With stable high-pressure systems over the Balkans, temperatures can easily rise a lot further during these months. Heat waves with maximum temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees therefore occur almost every year in Hungary. Summer is also the relatively wettest period. In terms of total quantities, it is not too bad. In summer, on average, there is 50 to 90 millimeters of rain per month. The west is, as during the rest of the year, slightly wetter, the east slightly drier. With the exception of the southwest, a lot of rain falls during summer thunderstorms, which mainly occur after a warm period.
The fact that Hungary is located in a transition area between maritime climates and a continental climate is clearly noticeable in winter. The average temperature in Hungary in the winter months is on the low side. Only a part in the west is suitable for a maritime climate in terms of winter temperature and precipitation. The rest of the country shows a considerably more erratic character in winter. Characteristic for the eastern part of Hungary is the more capricious character of the winter period. With average daytime temperatures just around or above freezing and nighttime temperatures averaging around five degrees below freezing, excellent conditions are created to allow snow to settle.
On average, Hungary has a snow cover about thirty days a year. The lowlands in the southeast are less well endowed with snow, where the landscape is covered with a white layer on average for around twenty days. In the mountains in the north (Matra and Bükk) the snow period is much longer. In the highest places there is snow for about a hundred days a year and there is the possibility to do winter sports. Hungary will not be such a huge challenge for experienced skiers, but for those who don’t have to do it all so hard, fast and steep, Hungary offers the opportunity to do winter sports.
Hungary is fairly well endowed in terms of hours of sunshine. With just over two thousand hours of sunshine a year, the Hungarians have nothing to complain about compared to quite a few other European countries. The south and southwest are somewhat sunnier (2100-2200 hours of sunshine per year), the north is the darkest with about eighteen hundred to nineteen hundred hours of sunshine on an annual basis.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Hours of sunshine per day
|Days of rainfall per month
Best time to visit Hungary
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Hungary? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Hungary is a country that is located in the central part of Europe and is therefore never bordered by a sea or ocean. The lack of influence of seawater ensures that there is a moderate continental climate throughout Hungary. If you look at the climate statistics, you will see that the winters are on average on the cool side and that the summers are quite warm. What is characteristic of a continental climate is the capriciousness of the weather. Warm and cold periods can alternate quite quickly, just like sunshine and rain. Thunderstorms can set in quickly in the summer and cause a fairly sudden weather change. That is certainly something to take into account if you are going on long walks in Hungary or if you are going to be active in nature in another way. The best time to travel for a holiday in Hungary is from May to September. The months of July and August can be on the hot side. If you visit Hungary for an active holiday or a city trip, it might be better to avoid these hottest summer months and opt for spring or autumn. Hungary is not particularly wet or dry. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with a slight increase in rainfall in the months of May and June. July is the sunniest month in Hungary.
Those who want to go cross-country skiing, ice skating or skiing should be in Hungary from December to February or March. Because of the winter character with all the associated inconveniences, that period is less suitable for practicing ‘normal’ sports or for visiting the sights. January is usually the most snow-sure.