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10 Budapest landmarks hosting concerts during summer 2018


  • Nick Robertson

28/06/2018 7.05pm

Many monumental Budapest sights double as picturesque performance venues, and during summer these postcard superstars host numerous concerts ranging from organ recitals to classical symphonies to open-air jazz jams. Check out our guide to the following ten Budapest landmarks presenting diverse musical productions throughout summer 2018 – lots of the shows are free!

Buda Castle

Photo: Courtesy Of Zenélő Budapest

As part of the city’s annual Zenélő series of recurring live-music shows held at various Budapest landmarks all summer long, unique audiovisual entertainment awaits visitors every Saturday on the panoramic terrace by the Hungarian National Gallery within Buda Castle. While jazz guitarists play improvisational riffs, Hungarian fine-arts students paint pictures in synch with the music, with this unpredictable show presented to the public for no entry fee.

When: Saturdays at 4pm & 4:30pm until August 11

Admission: Free More details

Budapest Zoo

Photo: Rockstar Photographers - We Love Budapest

Get wild at the city’s biggest animal house when the historic Budapest Zoo hosts its popular Evening concerts at the Zoo series again this summer. Headline performers include the Budapest Klezmer Band on July 11th, the Budapest Jazz Orchestra on July 18th and the creative ensemble of Budapest Bár playing modern versions of classic Hungarian hits on August 15th. Before the show, ticketholders are welcome to walk around the zoo grounds from 7pm.

When: July 4, 11, 18 & 25; August 1, 8, 15 & 22. All concerts begin at 8:30pm and have rain dates

Admission: 4,300 forints More details

Fishermen’s Bastion

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

Budapest’s most romantic lookout point becomes a summer venue for beautiful music on multiple occasions every week, as Zenélő transforms Fishermen’s Bastion into a stage for world-class opera performances. Wind instrumentalists provide accompaniment for renowned Magyar baritone András Káldi Kiss to sing works by Liszt, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini and other operatic greats, all to enjoy for free while the city’s sweeping skyline provides a dramatic backdrop.

When: Mon, Tue & Sun at 4pm & 4:30pm until August 12

Admission: Free More details

Great Market Hall

Photo: Balkányi László - We Love Budapest

Spicy melodies fill the Great Market Hall when the bazaar’s booths are enlivened by live midday Gypsy-music concerts produced by Zenélő this summer. Shielded from the elements by the century-old market’s colourful Zsolnay-tiled roof, a quartet of talented Hungarian musicians perform evergreen classics laden with Roma rhythms rain or shine, adding pep to your step while admiring the emporium’s savoury sausage links, gourmet goose liver and plentiful paprika.

When: June 29; July 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20 & 30; August 1, 3, 6, 8 & 10. All concerts begin at 11am and 11:30am

Admission: Free More details

Margaret Island Water Tower

Photo: Pákozdi Nóra - We Love Budapest

For over 100 years now, the eye-catching Margaret Island Water Tower has been the centrepiece of our city’s most popular parkland isle, and the huge amphitheatre below it sets the open-air stage for the premier Budapest Summer Festival productions of 2018. This season’s concert highlights include world-touring Spanish violinist Ara Malikian on June 29th, American composer/DJ Jeff Mills on July 13th and a symphonic rendition of epic movie themes on August 17th.

When: June 29; July 1, 6, 7, 13, 15, 20, 21 & 28; August 3, 5, 10, 17, 20, 25 & 26. Concerts begin at 8pm or 9pm (check schedule via website link below)

Admission: Varies depending on show and seating section More details

Matthias Church

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

Standing for centuries as the holy crown of Budapest’s Castle District, ornate Matthias Church is a delight for the eyes inside out – and amid the fancifully painted interior, a series of classical concerts enchants audiences throughout this summer. With the towering gilded altar and stained-glass windows setting the stage, Hungary’s own Duna String Orchestra plays captivating compositions by Bach, Mozart, Saint-Saëns and other timeless musical visionaries.

When: July 13 & 20; August 3, 10, 14 & 24. Concerts begin at 7pm

Admission: €33-€51, depending on seating section More details

Pesti Vigadó

Photo: Balkányi László - We Love Budapest

Once upon a time, the majestic Pesti Vigadó on Budapest’s Danube Promenade was the city’s premier venue for grand balls and concerts; Franz Liszt is one of many renowned musicians who performed here. Following a recent renovation, this statuesque riverfront hall once again hosts impressive musical productions – this summer, audiences can enjoy the Budapest Gala Concert combining classical, operetta, and Hungarian folk music with a troupe of ballet dancers.

When: July 14 & 21; August 18 & 25. Concerts begin at 8pm

Admission: 10,200-29,800 forints, depending on seating section More details

St. Stephen’s Basilica

Photo: Archive - We Love Budapest

The monumental interior of city-centre St. Stephen’s Basilica resonates with hallowed harmonies by Liszt, Handel and Rachmaninoff during recurring pipe-organ recitals taking place twice weekly throughout the summer months. On every Monday through August (except for the national holiday on August 20th), a solo singer or instrumentalist accompanies the organist, while Friday-night concerts are trio performances.

When: Mondays at 5pm (except on August 20) & Fridays at 8pm through August

Admission: Varies depending on show and discounts More details

Vajdahunyad Castle

Photo: Bódis Krisztián - We Love Budapest

Nestled in the heart of Budapest’s City Park, fanciful Vajdahunyad Castle features architectural styles spanning centuries of Hungarian history – and during this landmark’s annual Summer Music Festival concert series, the cobblestoned courtyard provides a time-transcending setting for diverse open-air shows. Highlights include the King Saint Stephen Symphony Orchestra on July 2nd, the Sabbathsong Klezmer Band on July 16th and Budapest Bár on July 30th.

When: July 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26 & 30; August 2. All concerts begin at 8:30pm and have rain dates

Admission: 3,500-5,500 forints, depending on show More details

Várkert Bazaar

Photo: Courtesy Of Zenélő Budapest

Formerly the regal riverfront entryway to Buda Castle for the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, Várkert Bazaar now welcomes the public with ongoing free concerts for the Zenélő series, including a saxophone ensemble playing by the main entrance on Saturday afternoons, while a brass band of musicians wearing customary Hussar uniforms performs upstairs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is also the site of Zenélő’s full-scale free concerts on Sundays at 11am.

When: Fridays at 4pm & 5pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm, 3pm, 4pm & 5pm, Sundays at 11am, 4pm & 5pm, through August 12

Admission: Free More details

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