City guide

Join free Budapest events for the March 15th celebrations

Photo : Károly Árvai / kormany.hu

This weekend, major Budapest sights welcome visitors with free admission to mark Hungary’s national holiday commemorating the nation’s 1848 Revolution against the Habsburg regime. On 15 March, ceremonial events take place on Kossuth tér, around the National Museum and Buda Castle. Then on Saturday, anyone can join a free tour around Parliament. Here’s a rundown of events.

Revolution was in the air across Europe in 1848, with insurrections from Sicily to the royal palace in Paris and the streets of Berlin and beyond. This widespread wave of rebellion also swept through Hungary in the early months of that year, erupting into an insurgency that inspired the dramatic recital of a poem that still stirs the souls of patriotic Magyars to this day. While exact details of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 are obscured by history, the rebellion began on March 15th – now solemnly observed as a national holiday.

Photo: Károly Árvai / kormany.hu

This Friday, Hungarian military officers will line up on focal Kossuth tér to mark the beginning of the celebrations by hoisting the nation’s tricolour flag at 9am. The square always gets packed with crowds, who then join the festive hussar procession marching to the National Museum, a key location of the 1848 Uprising, now a site for official speeches during the anniversary.

 

Then between 1pm and 6pm, the museum garden and the surrounding area host a series of events, including dance tuition, folk-music concerts, pony-riding, crafts workshops and a gastronomy fair. From 2pm, the museum provides free admission around their permanent and temporary displays. A current show there focuses on another side of 1848 – the Hungarian revolutionaries who went on to make their fortune in America.

Photo: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

Meanwhile, visitors in the Buda Castle can be part of a similarly convivial celebration with food, music and dance, all taking place around cobblestoned Szentháromság tér and Várkert Bazaar until after sunset.

Photo: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

On 16 March between 10am and 5pm, Parliament grants free Hungarian-language guided tours around the building’s Grand Stairway, Dome Hall and the treasured Holy Crown of Hungary – expect long queues. Standard paid tours in multiple languages will also run during the day from 8am to 4pm.

 

More details about the events here (in Hungarian only).