The weekend starts here – gigs, films, festivals & more
Shows, movies, concerts and cultural attractions – Budapest is always buzzing. Each week, we gather all of the important happenings taking place in our favourite city so you can plan ahead. Incorporating our regular movie guide, now updated weekly, here we showcase Budapest’s best events for the upcoming days. Get out and get involved!
Between 5-10 June, Szabadság tér in the city centre will be one of the best places to hang out in Budapest, thanks to endless quantities of constantly flowing cold beer. Throughout the event, you can enjoy flavoured local and imported specialities, beer premieres and live concerts. The largest number of craft-beer manufacturers from all over Hungary will be gathered at one spot, and food trucks offer delicious handheld treats. Entry to the festival is free, but you need to buy a tasting glass to try the endless ale variations.
6pm – : Botellón at Eiffel tér
Botellón (‘street party’ in Spanish) is when people gather in public areas to socialise at night while gulping a few glasses of alcoholic wonders. On this special Thursday, Botellón takes over Eiffel tér by Nyugati station. Bring peace, love, food, drinks, kids and dogs, and the organisers will provide the music and an amazing atmosphere.
Russian artist, producer, multi-instrumentalist and band leader Kito Jempere comes to the hottest hangout of any Budapest summer, Pontoon. Come chill by the Danube, with great views thrown in.
Running for the next nine days until Saturday, 15 June, this fund-raising festival for Tilos Rádió takes place around all the areas of the Dürer Kert complex near City Park. Renowned Hungarian bands play on the garden stage, the main hall and small hall, with a Cökxpön Chill Zone set up in Room 041. On this opening day, look out for funky underground radicals Tudósok at 10.30pm, then electronica party stalwarts ColorStar at the same time slot in the same space on Saturday. Sunday is given over to a family and children’s day, Monday to world music. Admission is free.
Organised by Bladerunnaz, drum & bass party series Friday now showcases its first foreign act: UK duo Technimatic appear at the A38 Ship, on the back of recently released LP Through the Hours. Pete Rogers and Andy Powell have stuck with Friction’s Brighton-based label Shogun Audio for the last ten years, earning high-profile gigs and prime radio slots. This summer, their concert agenda includes the Exit Festival in Novi Sad and London’s Hospitality in the Park.
If you fancy catching a decent Hungarian group, head to Budapest Park on Friday, where the Szabó Balázs band will be playing a tenth anniversary show. Afterwards, a traditional alfresco Hungarian Dance House will break out under the stars.
Czakó Piac is a farmer’s market full of friendly vendors, awaiting visitors in the lovely garden of an old Hungarian peasant house on the Buda side. Stalls offer organic products, vegetables, eggs, mouthwatering meat, handcrafted cheeses, wild mushrooms and countless unique specialities not available elsewhere in the capital. The chef at Czakó Kert prepares the best breakfasts and lunches from the delicacies available here while the market is open.
Concerts, slackline, arts and crafts workshops, puppet shows, playhouses, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, trampolines and endless fun-filled games – every Saturday and Sunday between 1-23 June, Óbuda Island, site of Budapest’s annual Sziget Festival, turns into an immense playground for adults and children alike. Countless exciting activities await amid the greenery, and entry is free for all.
Belgian alternative rock band dEUS are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal album The Ideal Crash, to be played live to a Budapest audience at the Barba Negra Track on Saturday. Their musical influences range from folk and punk to jazz and progressive rock.
After four days of intense competition, the final matches are taking place of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League. From 3pm, decisive placement games run until the main final at 8.15pm. Recently dominated by America, this prestigious annual event is now being staged at the Duna Aréna, a stunning contemporary sports facility built for the 2017 FINA World Championships. A packed house has already witnessed America’s narrow victory over Hungary on the opening day, with the quarter-finals to come on Friday and semis on Saturday.
Ambient American pop band, Cigarettes After Sex play the Akvárium Klub on Sunday night. The band are known for their ethereal, limerent and dream-like musical style, lyrics often based on the themes of romance and love.
Rock the boat on Sunday! Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, 2Pac, Eminem, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and many others fly you back in time with the best hits of the Eighties, Nineties and Noughties at the A38 Ship.
If you’d like to see English-friendly films, mainly blockbusters, your best bet is always Cinema City, especially the ones at Allee or Aréna, sometimes at Campona and WestEnd. Budapest’s art-house film theatres mainly focus on artsy and indie films, while the Bem Cinema brings back the classics to the big screen, almost always in English.
This weekend’s English-friendly film selection:
- A whole new world awaits in Aladdin, featuring at Cinema City Allee and Aréna.
- The story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, evolving into the iconic Dark Phoenix in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Showing at Cinema City Allee, Aréna, Campona and WestEnd.
- An epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years, Rocketman. Showing at Cinema City Allee, Aréna, Campona and WestEnd, as well as at art-house cinemas.
- A creepy story to send chills down your spine, Ma. Showing at Cinema City Allee and Aréna, as well as at art-house cinemas.
- A timeless classic, A Streetcar Named Desire, at the Bem Cinema on Friday.
- Showcased as part of Japanese Film Week, a selection of comedies and dramas all share the same trait: their hero arrives at a turning point and has to make a decision about their future.