City guide

7 splendid date destinations at Budapest’s Sziget Festival

Photo : Norbert Hartyányi / We Love Budapest
Sziget Festival Budapest

The Sziget Festival is Budapest’s biggest party of the summer, and even though its rowdy revelry may not seem like a perfect scene for a romantic rendezvous, if you are lucky enough to share a day or more on the Island of Freedom with the love of your life (or that special someone you met last night), you might want to leave the crowds behind to get close to your sweetheart amid a more intimate atmosphere. Fortunately, we know a few romantic – or at least semi-romantic – Sziget date destinations where you can share some carefree cuddle time.

Take a dip together at Sziget Beach

Photo: Norbert Hartyányi / We Love Budapest

Sitting on deck chairs in shallow water while enjoying warm rays of sunshine stroking your skin – what lovelier way is there to start the day at Sziget? At laid-back Sziget Beach, you and your beloved can lie next to each other without a care in the world, providing a perfect time for a chilled-out chat and some cuddles. This little enclosed area in the Danube – found on the northern end of the island – awaits festivalgoers during sizzling-hot days, and if you both close your eyes here while soaking in the sun, you can easily pretend that you’re sharing your first-ever beach holiday together.


Smoke some shisha at Cökxpôn Chill Garden

Photo: Norbert Hartyányi / We Love Budapest

Right next to Sziget Beach, another super cool chill zone is enhanced with colorful soft carpets, snake pillows, enchanting lights, soothing psychedelic tunes, and intoxicating aromas. This is the Cökxpôn Chill Garden, and here you and your honey can get a tasty shisha, curl up side-by-side, and envelop yourselves insider a cloud of sweet-scented smoke, letting your shared consciousness get dizzy amid this dreamlike ambience.


Watch a movie at the Cinema Hungary Tent

Photo: Hungarian National Film Fund

If you remember any awkward arm-around-the-shoulder movie-date scene from cheesy old films, then you know that asking your crush out to see a flick is always a safe bet. Even though sitting in silence for two hours in front of a big screen while the festival rages outside might not seem so appealing at first, it is a great way to take some time off from the ever-bustling festival environment. Furthermore, things can always take a romantic turn in the dark, and there will surely be a lot to talk about after the credits roll, perhaps giving you an inside joke that is a perfect early building block to a successful relationship. The Sziget Festival’s Cinema Hungary Tent screens major Magyar-made films from recent years every day with English subtitles.


Get playful at the Travelling Fun Fair

Photo: Norbert Hartyányi / We Love Budapest

If you would like to see the fun side of your date, or wish to rekindle the romance after a tiff, take a spin on the merry-go-round of love by heading to Sziget’s Travelling Fun Fair, full of all kinds of funny and easy games like hat throwing, ring tossing, and walnut smashing, alongside performances of juggling, magic, puppetry, and many other cutely antiquated amusements. Whether you compete against each other or show off some mad skills, you can let yourself loose and grow closer with hugs of triumph at this area full of games, where fun is guaranteed regardless of whether you win or lose. Here you can even visit the enclosed tent of a fortune teller to find out whether your love is truly meant to be…


Cuddle up at the Campfire

Photo: Sziget Festival

A blazing bonfire can add a hint of romance to the air as you sit under starry skies in the arms of the one you love, or while gazing into glowing embers alongside the date you’re just getting to know. The Campfire is one of the coziest hangouts at Sziget, where live acoustic tunes and a splendid atmosphere provide some peace amid the crazy festival ambience. Talented musicians jam here every night, encouraging everyone to sing along or move to the music – hopefully in each other’s embrace.


Pass time idly at various chill zones

If all you want to do is shut out the whole world and get lost in each other’s eyes, you can find several cozy spots where you can hide away from other festivalgoers together. Red, blue, and green hues spread throughout the inflatable chambers of the mesmerizing Luminarium maze, while comfy little nooks provide shelter for lovebirds at the Wahorn Love Nest, and swinging chairs for two await couples in the soothing shade of towering trees at varied points throughout the festival grounds. Even though at first sight Sziget seems to be ever-buzzing and just too busy, there are always a few spots around where you can enjoy some intimate privacy.


Get married at the Wedding Tent

Photo: Norbert Hartyányi / We Love Budapest

If you already spent enough time with your sweetie to feel like you’ll be together forever – or at least until Sziget ends – there is nothing left but to walk down the aisle with the one closest to your heart to tie the knot at the Wedding Tent… although if you haven’t found anybody like that yet, a stuffed animal, a random Szitizen, or a glass of booze are acceptable, too. If you head to this love-infused temporary chapel, you will be wed within minutes, in a semi-solemn ceremony including exchanging rings, signing a really serious certificate, and making a vow to be in love forever – well, at least for a memorable little while.