Make the most out of February in Budapest: join lively carnival celebrations, explore a bustling designer market, celebrate Valentine's Day, and cap off the month with the mesmerising Lantern Festival!

1. Widen your horizon at the Budapest Independent Film Festival

If you are after a unique cinematic experience, join the Budapest Independent Film Festival, which is returning to Kino Café Cinema on February 9th and 10th. This year's edition features 15 short and feature-length independent films, all thought-provoking narratives and documentaries. First up, you'll have Zuzana Piussi's ‘The Unbalanced' (Zošalieť), a film that addresses the challenges of a single mother and comments on other social issues with a dash of humour, followed by 6 'Hungarian Shorts'. The second day is dedicated to international filmmakers.

More details here.

2. Watch the Super Bowl live at a pub

In the early hours of February 12th at 00:30 GMT+1, the San Francisco 49ers will go head-to-head with the Kansas City Chiefs at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. If you are a passionate American football fan and are eager to catch the Super Bowl live with your mates, Budapest offers several options. Head to popular bars and pubs like Dürer Kert, Stifler Ház, Majorka, or Kandalló Pub, or opt for a cinema.

3. Join carnival festivities during 'farsang'

Farsang, the Hungarian equivalent of the carnival season, stretches from January 6th until February 14th this year. Rooted in folklore traditions, its purpose is to welcome the arrival of spring and scare off evil spirits. In reality, it results in tribute parties, family-friendly celebrations, masquerade balls and more masquerade balls, a UNESCO-recognised festival called 'Busójárás' (between February 8th and 13th) and the eating of massive amounts of doughnuts.

4. Celebrate Valentine's Day in style

Like it or not, the Day of Love takes the spotlight in February, and we are ready to give you some recommendations on how to make it special in Budapest. If you'd follow to old Rule Book, reserve a table at the stunning Flava Kitchen&More, which is cooking up special dishes for the occasion. Feeling a bit more experimental? Sign up for love potion making at the Mystery Hotel Budapest. Seek a night of fun? Opt for a roller disco. If you're up for the whole experience, W Budapest will be your go-to place. And if you are steering clear of it all, Hoff House's Anti-Valentines Day hip-hop party might be right up your street.

5. Be amazed at the Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience

A visual exhibition like no other: Budapest is now the proud host of one of the world's most popular multimedia art exhibitions until September 2024. Spanning two thousand square meters across multiple rooms, prepare to be amazed as you step into the most iconic paintings of the Dutch master. No typo there; you will actually step into them, immersing yourself in pure art while gaining unique insights into the painter's life along the way.

Read more and have a sneak peek here.

6. Stock up on designer souvenirs at the Makers' Market

Makers' Market Budapest is a monthly fair, where you can get your hands on contemporary, artsy and designer products made by Hungarian designers. You can also have a chat with them and learn more about the items, which can also make a souvenir so much better than a magnet. What's more, the market celebrates its birthday on February 11th, which is a good enough reason for extra treats. So head to Marczibányi Téri Cultural Centre, browse, shop, and join workshops, screenings, and a live acoustic concert by Felső Tízezer (starting at 7 pm).

More details here.

7. Indulge in fondue at Pavillon de Paris

Indulge in cheese and more cheese at the super romantic Buda restaurant Pavillon de Paris! Every Thursday, the charming restaurant fires up the fondue sets, letting you enjoy cornichons, bread, and cold cuts dipped in melted Emmental, Comté, and Beaufort. Trust us, it's quite a unique experience sitting inside a conservatory and clinking glasses over this delicacy.

Reserve a table by calling +36 30 711 1135!

8. Make and sample sausages at the Fény utca Market

If you are a meat lover, don't miss the Fény utca Market on February 18th. You can immerse yourself in the fresh and authentic products of a pig slaughter feast. Various baked sausages will be in abundance, alongside baked blood (a local speciality) served with fresh bread and pickles. For an added touch of authenticity, you are invited for a round of pálinka (the iconic Hungarian shot), too. You can not only nibble on the delicious treats but help make them: try your hands at filling the sausages while sipping on mulled wine.

Get tickets here.

9. Taste craft beers at the Indoor Beer Festival

You can taste more than 100 types of draught beer during the Indoor Beer Festival at the historic Várkert Bazár on February 23-24th. The selection will be generous: APA, IPA, and Stout from tiny breweries and well-known brands both on tap. The spread will also be multicultural with Hungarian, Czech, English and Belgian beers on offer. With the entrance ticket, you can try as many variations as you like and pair the drinks with dinner (starting at 5 pm on both days).

 See the list of the breweries here and get tickets here.

10. Walk among thousands of lanterns at the Budapest Zoo

You only have a couple of weeks left to enter this magical world filled with fantasy, lights, lampions, and massive installations of gigantic pandas, phoenixes, and dragons. In celebration of the Year of the Dragon in 2024, the Biodome, a vast glass monument within the Budapest Zoo, is decked out in illuminated decorations until February 24th.

Get tickets here.

11. Catch a performance by a Hungarian band

The formation Bëlga is kind of an icon in the Hungarian hip-hop scene. Their career started in the '90s, and they have been performing ever since. They are famous for their witty lyrics (parodies) criticising society with humour, but even if you don't speak Hungarian, you will get the gist. Their music will make you nod your head to the rhythm.

Get tickets here.