Join Budapest in celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hungary's EU membership! From May 1st to 5th, the city is hosting an urban festival, embracing themes of freedom, diversity, and being European. Free events will pop up across town, including concerts, light paintings, kids' activities, and yoga on the car-free Liberty Bridge. Here's all you need to know.

In 2024, Hungary joined the European Union, and the 20th anniversary is a major reason to celebrate. And when it comes to celebrations, Budapest knows how to throw a party: between May 1st and 5th, free events will pop up in several iconic public spaces.

Unwind on the car-free Liberty Bridge!

One of the highlights – and our personal favourite – is the Liberty Bridge takeover. Throughout the weekend (May 3rd-5th), traffic is suspended, allowing city-dwellers to gather for yoga sessions, circus performances, DJ sets, or just casual get-togethers. Bring your kids, pups, and picnic blankets – or even a hammock – and enjoy soaking up the sunshine amidst a gorgeous panorama and equally gorgeous people.

Indulge in art on Bartók Béla Boulevard

Near Liberty Bridge, the culture-infused and always buzzing Bartók – a section of Bartók Béla út lined with galleries, bars, and cafés – is joining the festivities too. Contemporary art installations are about to fill the neighbouring streets and squares, such as LUGO's graffiti installation on Móricz Zsigmond körtér. Buskers and DJs will spread their love for music on Szent Gellért tér and Egyetem tér, jazzing up any simple walk along the street. 

Be awed by light installations

The courtyard within Budapest's City Hall (just a stone's throw away from Deák Ferenc tér) will be transformed into a spectacular canvas for light installation - powered by the Light Art Museum Budapest. Meanwhile, an equally interesting projection mapping will illuminate the facade of the Great Market Hall. And don't miss Cinema Mystica's light art show, bringing surprises to a long-forgotten underpass at Ferenciek tere.

Enjoy concerts in City Hall Pop-up Park

For a taste of Hungarian music and local talents, head to the City Hall Pop-up Park on May 1st (7 pm - 10 pm). Renowned local artists such as Freddie, Hősök, and Kállay-Saunders, will take the stage, performing hits from the past 20 years. Plus, don't miss the performance by a 40-member choir as they present the EU anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

Celebrate May Day

May Day – or Labour Day celebrated on May 1st – will span five days this year as Városháza Park (City Hall Park near the City Hall) is hosting free family events between May 1st and 5th. Expect fun performances, concerts, dancing, games, face painting, tattoos, and even an upcycled playground, complete with a carousel.

More details on the Hungarian website and the Facebook event

(Cover photo: Krisztián Bódis – Budapest Images)