There is no end to the list of festivals Budapest hosts every year. Whether its specialty food, artisan beer, a good time partying or fun for your kids that you’re after, the 2018 calendar is so stacked with options, you’re sure to find something you like.
Night of Art Cinemas May 11, multiple locations
You just need to secure one wristband to gain access to several Budapest art cinemas for this one night, screening comedy, drama and sci-fi films, animation and much more until sunrise.
Rosalia – Rosé and Champagne Festival May 11-13, Városliget (City Park)
Linger around the sprawling City Park and sip on refreshing rosé wines, sparkling tipples and fizzy champagnes during the annual Rosalia Festival.
Mayday of Museums Festival May 13, Hungarian National Museum
Intriguing open-air displays are set up across the Hungarian National Museum garden, highlighting the work of major Budapest exhibition spaces.
Gourmet Festival May 17-20, Millenáris Park
Hungary’s top-tier restaurants set up stalls at Buda’s Millenáris Park to treat epicureans to creatively served dishes, fine desserts, aromatic wines and coffee specialties.
Total Dance Festival Cabrio May 18, Budapest Park
Fun Factory, Ice MC, Brooklyn Bounce, Dune and DJ Sash are among the most prominent acts headlining the 2018 Total Dance Festival, a yearly extravaganza staging legendary formations from the 1980s and ’90s to perform against a backdrop of impressive visuals.
Brain Bar Budapest June 1-2, Corvinus University of Budapest
Examining the boundaries between man and machine through the innovative visions of world-renowned masterminds, this future-focused event once again features an extraordinary lineup of speakers.
Children’s Island June 2-24, Óbuda Island
Budapest’s Óbuda Island turns into a grand open-air playground for kids during weekends.
Danube Carnival June 8-17, multiple locations
This annual multicultural festival presents folk, symphonic and World Music shows, alongside contemporary and traditional dance performances. Expect 1,000 or so performers from Hungary and beyond, creating a vibrant atmosphere.
Budapest Summer Festival June 9-August 31, multiple locations
From a Richard Strauss opera to The Great Gatsby ballet show and a Jeff Mills performance, diverse live acts brighten the summer days around the city’s parks, including Margaret Island and Városmajor.
Kolorádó Festival June 13-16, Adyliget, Nagykovácsi
A forested area surrounding Budapest hosts a multi-day open-air jamboree for the Kolorádó Festival, an up-and-coming musical extravaganza with a strong lineup of local and international acts.
Night of the Museums June 23, multiple locations
Most of Budapest’s exhibition venues can be visited until late at night by anyone holding the all-inclusive wristband.
Red Bull Air Race June 23-24, over the Danube in Downtown Budapest
Budapest is the mid-season stop in the 2018 World Championship calendar for the Red Bull Air Race.
Vajdahunyad Castle Summer Music Festival July 2-August 2, Vajdahunyad Castle
The fairy tale castle in City Park serves as an enchanting backdrop for this month-long music festival, presenting symphonic concerts, Gypsy music, jazz performance and much more.
Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix July 26-29, Hungaroring
The world’s top F1 drivers zoom into Hungary for one of the greatest motor-sports events on Earth, held every summer at the Hungaroring racetrack.
Sziget Festival August 8-15, Óbuda Island
One of Europe’s biggest summer extravaganzas draws tens of thousands of revelers to the Hungarian capital to spread good vibes accompanied by a cornucopia of live music and any number of attractions alongside.
Festival of Folk Arts August 17-20, Buda Castle
Numerous wooden stalls offer Hungarian handicrafts around the cobblestoned Buda Castle at the country’s most scenic festival of folk arts.
August 20 Public Holiday – observance of Saint Stephen’s Day and the Foundation of Hungary, festivities in Budapest across the country
Colorful fireworks create a cascade of sparkle above the Danube in Budapest as Hungary honors its founding king St. Stephen with a spectacular national holiday.
Budapest Short International Film Festival August 28-September 2, multiple locations
Designed to introduce talented young filmmakers working in the audiovisual field in Central and Eastern Europe, the annual BuSho Festival shows select short movies in the original language with English subtitles.
Budapest Wine Festival September 6-9, Buda Castle
Tour Hungary’s wine regions without leaving the city limits of Budapest, sampling excellent varieties from an impressive assortment of labels at the city’s most scenic wine festival at Buda Castle.
33rd Wizz Air Budapest Half Marathon September 9, Városliget (City Park)
Central Budapest lanes are cleared of car traffic to give way to thousands of athletes running along Andrássy Avenue, the Chain Bridge and the Danube bank during the biggest half marathon event in Central Europe.
National Gallop September 14-16, Heroes’ Square
Hungary’s young jockeys gallop around Heroes’ Square, transformed into a one-of-a-kind racecourse for the weekend.
Sweet Days Chocolate and Sweets Festival, date to be announced, Szent István Square
Indulge in creamy chocolates, scrumptious cakes and refreshing ice creams at this outdoor gathering. Music, food and wine balance out the sugary treats.
Jewish Cultural Festival, date to be announced, multiple locations
Concerts, theater shows, and cabaret performances highlight Jewish culture and traditions at this annual festival.
Budapest Design Week October 5-19, multiple locations
Budapest Design Week transforms Hungary’s capital into a massive showcase for modern fashion, furniture and art with numerous venues hosting a mix of events, workshops, exhibitions and creative gatherings.
33rd Spar Budapest Marathon October 6-7, Heroes’ Square
Runners pass the city’s iconic sites, including Heroes’ Square and Andrássy Avenue on their way to the finish line during this two-day athletic event, with distances ranging from 400 meters to 42.195 kilometers.
Art Market Budapest October 11-14, Millenáris Cultural Center
Set up across a maze of viewing spaces, a vast collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, installations and photos entices art aficionados to browse, buy or just view pieces displayed by prominent local and international galleries.
Pig Slaughter and Sausage Festival October 12-14, Hungarian Railway History Park
This peculiar Hungarian countryside tradition encourages a carnivorous urban crowd to make a pilgrimage to District XIV. While observing the tradition of pig-slaughtering, festival visitors can sample many varieties of pork-based dishes.
Chimney Cake Festival October 12-14, Gesztenyés-kert
The Hungarian kürtőskalács (chimney cake) has been enjoying a creative renaissance in recent years, and this annual fair aims to bring traditional versions back into the limelight.
October 23 Public Holiday – observance of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, honored across the country
Every October 23, historic Budapest sites welcome the public with events to honor the heroic insurrection by Hungarians against the oppressive Soviet regime in 1956.
Oktoberfest Budapest, date to be announced, Kincsem Park
The world’s biggest beer festival comes to Budapest, where ale aficionados can get a taste of the atmosphere of Bavaria’s alcohol-fueled fiesta.
CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival, date to be announced, multiple locations
From classical to pop music, and from opera to contemporary circus shows, invigorating art performances pop up at various locations citywide.
Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival November 6-11, multiple locations
Selective documentaries highlight war crimes, political oppression, press freedom, racism and sexual diversity alongside other human-right issues at this thought-provoking film event.
St. Martin’s Day Festival November 11, countrywide
Every November 11, Hungarians commemorate St. Martin of Tours, one of the country’s patron saints.
Budapest Jewish Film Festival, date to be announced, multiple locations
A selection of recent motion pictures from around the world screens across multiple Budapest art-house cinemas to spotlight contemporary Jewish culture and heritage.
St Nicholas’ Day December 6, countrywide
On December 6, St Nicholas (Mikulás or Szent Miklós in Hungarian) visits Budapest to deliver presents to Hungarian kids, who shine their boots the night before and place one on the windowsill in the hope that they’ll awaken to find it filled with candy and chocolates.
Christmas markets throughout December, multiple dates and locations
As the merriest season of the year approaches, Budapest squares dress up in festive lights and vendors set up stalls to offer Hungarian handmade items, warm wintertime drinks and local dishes at the city’s Yuletide bazaars.
Santa Speedo Run, date to be announced, Gozsdu Courtyard
Every December, an intrepid team of underdressed Santas take the streets to run along central lanes and roads wearing a swimsuit, sneakers, a Santa hat and little else.