Budapest Weekend Guide for June 1-3
Our regular round-up for the upcoming weekend offers plenty of suggestions for where to go, what to do and who should not be missed during the next three days. There are always so many happenings to choose from in Budapest – exhibitions, parties, live music, festivals and more – but here is our pick of the bunch:
During Friday and Saturday, the innovative Brain Bar festival will once again draw esteemed thinkers from around the world to Hungary’s capital for future-focused presentations and no-nonsense debates – including the world’s first android citizen, the dexterous production designer of The Dark Knight, Interstellar and Dunkirk Nathan Crowley, Google vice president Jacquelline Fuller, and renowned chef of three Michelin-starred restaurants, Massimo Bottura.
A piercingly provocative multi-channel video installation starring award-winning actor Cate Blanchett awaits at the Hungarian National Gallery this summer. “Manifesto” presents modern-day characters through 12 scenes, all played by the Australian actress and each projected on an individual screen. Appearing as a homeless man, a teacher, then as a stockbroker, Blanchett in her varied roles recites a collage of declarations that had significant impact on arts and history, including manifestos of Communism, Dada and Futurism.
4pm – 10pm: COURAGE-PAREVO International Documentary Film Festival at the Premier Kultcafé
The COURAGE-PAREVO International Documentary Film Festival presents the counterculture of former socialist countries in Eastern Europe on Friday and Saturday. Stories about silenced artists and the everyday life of the people, the samizdat and censorship, Budapest punks, graffiti dwarfs in Poland and the generation of 68ers all feature. Stories hardly ever told that not only defined the lives and trajectories of a generation but changed half of Europe. More details
Great music, fine wines and street food; Dürer Kert welcomes everyone for a two-day jazz fest on Friday and Saturday. The long list of performers includes American two-time Grammy Award winner jazz guitarist Paul Brown and instrumental jazz-funk fusion band from Iceland, Mezzoforte.
Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl studied human behaviour in cities for 40 years, in what he calls ‘Life Between Buildings’. How do we interact, rest, communicate on streets and in public spaces? Through his insights, visitors journey to cities around the world, examining the human need for intimacy and inclusion, and how better cities could be built for humans. A discussion follows the film screening and simultaneous interpretation will be provided. The event is free but registration is necessary.
Every Saturday and Sunday between June 2nd and 24th Concerts, slackline, arts and crafts activities, puppet shows, playhouses, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, trampolines and endless kinds of fun-filled games – every Saturday and Sunday between June 2nd and 24th, Óbuda Island – the site of Budapest’s annual Sziget Festival – turns into an immense playground for adults and children alike. Endless exciting activities await amid the greenery of the island, and entry is free for all.
Perfectly poured beer, frosty spritzers, thermal water, sauna, burgers and music from morning till eve. This is POOL&BEER, a regular (beach) party series that opens its summer season on Saturday. From then on, at least once a month, they fill Vituki Beach with fun and music that even make palm trees sprout in Budapest’s District IX.
After Rezső Seress wrote his utterly beautiful song “Szomorú Vasárnap” (Gloomy Sunday), it became world-famous within weeks and was translated to 28 languages. However, soon in Vienna, a teenage girl drowned herself while clutching a piece of sheet music, in Budapest, a shopkeeper killed himself and left a note that quoted from the lyrics and in London a woman overdosed while listening to a record over and over. The song can be connected to a a rash – over one hundred 20th century suicides including eventually that of the composer of “The Hungarian Suicide Song”. Is this all only an urban legend? This film gives an answer from various points of view and shows the birth of this everlasting tune. In Hungarian with English subtitles.
At this free Hungarian dance-house style folk festival visitors will have the chance to learn the dances of different nations: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania. The Hungarian folk music and dance presentation will be provided by the dancers and musicians of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble.
The Portland-based, world famous Cappella Romana, a professional vocal ensemble specialised in early and contemporary sacred classical music performs together with the Hungarian Szent Efrém Male Choir on Saturday at the Inner City Parish Church. The eight male singers will perform within the framework of the Orientale lumen series on the occasion of orthodox Pentecost.
A special European breakfast awaits those with a curiosity for culinary wonders at Szimpla Kert. The traditional breakfasts of four countries, the Czech Republic, France, Israel and Poland. Try shakshouka, tartes, frgal and kiełbasa, made by volunteers freshly on the spot.
Slow Gastro Market aims to support a health-conscious and sustainable lifestyle by presenting various treats made naturally of high-quality ingredients. Friendly vendors offering syrups, teas, sausages, cheeses, yogurts, cakes, pies, dips, quail eggs, chutneys, honeys and all kinds of tasty bites await at Anker’t on Sunday. At the same time, the eco-friendly Kiskertpiac floral fair also takes place, offering fragrant flowers, plants and beautiful bouquets, as well as creative inspiration and gardening tips and tricks.
If you have a furry friend – with four legs – and you would like to meet other dog lovers, this meet-up is for you. Head to the Római Shore with your picnic basket and meet other fans of cute canines.
Every summer local and international artists flock to Budapest to beautify drab walls around town with mesmerising murals within the framework of the Színes Város Festival. On Sunday the curator of the festival holds a tour around town, showing you 18 different murals, six of which will be gone by the end of the season. She talks about the history of the oversized paintings, while after the tour you can gulp up a beer at a top Budapest restaurant, Dobrumba, for free.
On Sunday, one of the world’s most prominent rock musicians and winner of four consecutive Grammy Awards appears at the Budapest Arena. In addition to performing his biggest hits, this American legend will also play a few new songs released this spring.