October 23 is almost here, and you are staying in Budapest, Hungary. What should you know about October 23? Why is it a national holiday? What does it mean for you if there is a public holiday in Budapest? Is there anything to do on holidays?
Many legends go around the world wide web, like Oct 23, 'Oooh gosh everything will be closed in Budapest'. This is not true. Basically only the shops are closed, the rest are open as on weekends.
1, visit the 1956 Monument just by the City Park, and feel a bit of the lost revolution against the mighty Soviet troops and tanks.
2, avoid the rallies in Budapest: lots of political demonstrations on the political scenes, like the Hungarian Parliament, and often at Heroes Sq too.
3, forget about Oct 23, and enjoy your visit in Budapest as usual. Many museums are open, sights can be visited, cafes can be enjoyed and even the baths in Budapest are open. See useful links below. Yes, being apolitical and not giving a damn about Oct 23 is also very local. Many choose to enjoy the day off and celebrate with family picnics and tours.
4, walk by the river from the Technical University in Budapest at the Liberty Bridge up to north on Bem Square. This is a Buda side walk, scenic, and it is where the whole thing began as a peaceful demonstration
5, talk to locals about what happened on this day, clink your glasses to the heroes of the revolution, show your respect to the 1956 revolutionists by trying some wines and palinka in a good Hungarian pub or bar. In many ways, the noble essences will make you feel the strength of life, and the deep inner instinct of saying 'no' to oppression of any sort. When the revolution was lost and branded as 'anti-revolution' by the ruling Communist party, many of the people in the opposition sank into a personal alcohol induced revolution, the silent resistance.
Here are some great sources of information about Oct 23 in Budapest:
October 23 Budapest: opening hours, events on Oct 23 in Budapest
October things to do in Budapest
October 23 in Hungary
Rallies on Oct 23 in Budapest - yes, not everything is shiny and happy, but all in all, this is still a good day in Hungary.