Budapest Weekend Guide: April 21-23
Our weekly roundup for the upcoming weekend offers plenty of suggestions for where to go, what to do, and who must not be missed during the next three days. There are always so many happenings to choose from in Budapest – exhibitions, parties, live music, festivals, performances, and more – but here is our pick of the bunch for the imminent 72 hours or so:
Presenting books by authors from around the world, the International Book Festival features a mix of cultural programs throughout the weekend, like meetings with writers, book-signing sessions, book launches, roundtable discussions, concerts, and more. This year, Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk attends as the event’s guest of honor. More details
Between Friday and Sunday, the Mai Manó House and the Robert Capa Center of Contemporary Photography transform downtown Pest’s Nagymező Street into an alfresco festival dedicated to photography, providing an eclectic mix of free events from the morning into the late-night hours for analogue diehards and digital devotees alike. Visitors can enjoy countless mini-exhibits in containers as well as inside the two photo display centers, such as “Flashing Mona Lisa” and the 35th Hungarian Press Photo Exhibit, as well as interactive installations, performances, guided tours, and photo fairs along the entire length of the street. See the programs of the Capa Center here, and the events of the Mai Manó House here.
11pm – 4am: Disco Fever w/ Elliot & Séf – ’70s party at Mika Tivadar Mulató
One night with the best music of the disco era, when microphone haircuts and trapeze pants were the real deal. Enjoy the biggest hits of the ’70s selected by Séf and Elliot, enticing everyone to the dance floor late into the night on Friday. More details
11pm – 8am: SHDW & Obscure Shape Der Morgen at Corvin Club
What leads from Stuttgart to the top of the international music scene? An outstanding producing talent, an unconventional image, a unique look, a tasteful label, an unmatched record collection, and most importantly: DJ skills honed to perfection. This is what you can enjoy at Corvin Club on Friday. More details
11pm – 5am: Tanz Global: Dreems at Toldi Klub
“I am on a mission, a quest to free you from the divisive shackles of flags and tongues. Whatever your culture, sex, or species, there is a place in your heart for light, sound, and dance, and that is where I will make my home” – so says Dreems. More details
Several of Budapest’s century-old buildings open their gates for curious visitors to explore for free on Saturday and Sunday, enabling everyone to take a glimpse into what life is like in these extraordinary edifices. Budapest100 annually highlights a selection of the historic buildings that have been standing strong in the Hungarian capital for a century, this year focusing on those that are found along the Danube banks between Rákóczi Bridge and Árpád Bridge. More details 10am – 10pm: National Dance Festival and Fair at the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna
During Saturday and Sunday, view a diverse range of traditional regional acts onstage, performed by musicians, dancers, and artists from all over the Carpathian Basin at this vibrant folklore festival. In addition to the musical gigs, visitors can join varied workshops or purchase traditional folk-art merchandise like flower-embroidered apparel, while Serbia’s Boban Marković Orkestar fills the arena with good vibes on Sunday.
10am – 6pm: “Street of the Future” Exhibition at Madách Imre Square
“Street of the Future” is a unique exhibition happening during April 22-23 in downtown Budapest, aiming to bring current technologies closer to everyone. Join this free event and explore next-generation innovations created by today’s engineers that shape our future, and discover the amazing world of smart cars and homes, robots, and other intelligent devices. More details
4pm – 7pm: I Bike Budapest beginning at Szabadság Square
On Saturday, several roads of Hungary’s capital will be cleared of cars to be filled with a true family-friendly festival feeling instead, as numerous bikers hit the streets on two wheels, passing by the spectacular sights of the city. This immensely popular mass-cycling event began in Budapest in 2004, and by 2013’s group ride, over 100,000 people turned up to roam the empty city streets on two wheels, and to silently draw attention to the continuing need for creating better bike routes around town. More details
8pm – 7am: Hyperspace Electronic Music Festival at the Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center
World-class DJs spin discs at this surreal electronica extravaganza happening on the Hungexpo premises on Saturday, where headliners include Chris Liebing and the Kaiserdisco from Germany, Italy’s Sam Paganini, Rebekah from the UK, GABOR KRAFT from Hungary, and many other prominent local and international music masters.
8pm – 9:30pm: Orthodox Easter concert by the St. Ephraim Male Choir at St. Stephen’s Basilica
Saint Ephraim Male Choir – that celebrates its 15th birthday this year – invites everyone to enter the refreshing and enchanting realm of Byzantine music at an exceptionally beautiful venue, St Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest. Within the framework of the sixth season of the Orientale Lumen series, the Saint Ephraim Male Choir gives an Orthodox Easter concert together with an outstanding and unique Georgian male choir, Iberi, who are on UNESCO’s list of Oral and Intangible Masterpieces of Humanity. More details
On Sunday, this small community vegan market is held for the fifth time at Anker’t, warmly welcoming followers of a vegan or healthy lifestyle with countless salubrious treats. Pamper your taste buds with wonderful vegan produce purchased at this market, such as grillable vegan ingredients, coffee specialties, cakes, sandwiches, chili sauces, and much more, and meet new people at this cool community center. The event is child- and dog-friendly, and is also complete with cooking workshops and roundtable talks.
4:30pm – 8:30pm: Mamma Mia! at the Bem Cinema
This jukebox musical based on the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA screens two times on Sunday with original English audio and Hungarian subtitles. In the film, Donna (Meryl Streep), an independent hotelier on the Greek Islands, plans a wonderful wedding for her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who secretly has a plan. She invited three ghosts of her mum’s past, trying to figure out which one of them could be her real dad, and the one that walks her down the aisle.
7pm – 10pm: Budapest Improv Show – Easter Edition at Impró – kreatív töltőállomás
Are you ready for an Easter Budapest Improv Show and a real multicultural night with an extra surprise? Head to Ó Street at 6:30pm on Sunday, participate in an exciting Easter Egg Hunt, and enjoy an amazing 45-minute improv show and entertainment accompanied by live music.
7:30pm – 10pm: Háry János at the Palace of Arts
Háry János is a Hungarian folk opera, composed by internationally renowned Magyar maestro Zoltán Kodály, that tells the story of a 19th-century veteran hussar in the Austrian army who sits in the village inn boasting of fantastic tales about his unbelievable heroism. His supposed exploits include winning the heart of the wife of Napoleon, and then single-handedly defeating the emperor and his armies. Nevertheless, he finally renounces all riches in order to go back to his village with his sweetheart. On Sunday evening, the comic opera is played in two acts in Hungarian with English subtitles. More details