Shows, 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. And this time, our guide covers 4 days as a bank holiday extends the weekend.

Friday, 17 May

Jazzy Festival

If you are a jazz aficionado, this is your lucky day (and weekend). The festival is the official house party of Jazzy Radio, a radio channel dedicated to – you guessed it – jazz. Between May 17th and 21st, you can enjoy an array of jazz, funk, and soul concerts, accompanied by DJ sets, at MOMKult (indoors and outdoors). Hungarian legends like Anima Sound System, Lőrinc Barabás, Los Orangutanes, and Melody Maker take the stage, and that's not all. Since everything is better with wine, you can enjoy their music with a glass of red, white, or rosé in hand as 40 wineries bring their best bottles.

More details here, tickets here.

Opening of the Városháza pop-up park

In the very heart of Budapest, only steps away from Deák Frenc tér and the City Hall, new community space opens up on May 17th. The pop-up park gives us an extra 3000 square metres of freely accessible public space, where you can chill on stylish furniture, sip on drinks, and enjoy events, concerts, and workshops. Check it out on its opening day – without worrying about getting sunburnt.

More details here.

The Night of Art Cinemas

A special night each spring when movie theatres stay open until dawn. On May 17th, you can visit six Budapest cinemas – Művész, Puskin, Kino Café, TabánToldi, and Corvin – with one single wristband. Most movies play in their original language and with Hungarian or English subtitles. The one-night cinema marathon feautres Oscar-winning hits like Poor Things and acclaimed Hungarian films such as Explanation for Everything or Blue Pelican. Check out the full lineup here. Each listing includes:

  • 'f' for films in their original language with Hungarian subtitles
  • 'mb' for films with original Hungarian audio and no subtitles
  • 'sz' for films dubbed in Hungarian

Tickets can be purchased at the participating cinemas or online here.

Saturday, 18 May

Viadukt Terrace reopens on the car-free embankment

We've already swooned over a section of Budapest's embankment being car-free on weekends, and now you can even swig by the Viadukt Terrace to grab a beer and stay for cool events. They are hosting a variety of activities, including workshops, exhibitions, children's activities, and musical performances. The season kicks off on May 18th, with Bladerunnaz, one of Hungary's leading drum & bass promoter crew, ensuring good vibes.

More details here

Budapest Comic Con

Comic book freaks, series and movie fanatics, cosplay and anime maniacs, young Jedi padawans, and real-life superheroes, clear your calendars for May 18th and 19th! You are invited to mingle with foreign and Hungarian actors, and comic creators at Budapest's Hungexpo, and browse national and international merches! Also, don't miss to check out a gigantic Star Wars-inspired LEGO diorama while there!

More details here.

KoreaON - Korean Cultural Festival

If an intergalactic adventure isn't your thing, how about a journey to the Far East? Join the free KoreaON events at the same location: in another section of Hungexpo, you can immerse yourself in Korean culture between May 18th and 19th. Enjoy modern and traditional musical performances, a taekwondo demonstration, beauty consultations, a K-pop party, and a concert by the acapella group MayTree.

More details here.

Cruisin x LavaLava Party with Josh Wink

Ready to party on a boat? Book your ticket for the joint event of Cruisin and LavaLava, promising an epic day (starting at 2 pm) of acid house and techno on the Danube! The American acid pioneer, Josh Wink join the party too, flying in straight from Philadelphia. The terrace of Európa Hajó is sure to be packed, so don't miss out!

Get tickets here.

Sunday, 19 May

Brunch at Mozata

Sundays are for lazy mornings, and the more food is involved, the better. If you like tucking into creamy Labneh or munching on crunchy yet soft falafel – head to downtown Lebanese bistro, bakery, and specialty café Mozata! You can even sit on the terrace, neighbouring buzzing shopping street Váci uta, and if you listen to us, you order a Lebanese breakfast dish!

Breakfast is available between 8:30 am and midday. More details and reservations here.

Contemporary Spring Fair

Join the Contemporary Spring Fair at Collab Gallery Budapest, where the unique worlds of nine selected artists come together. Discover and even buy artworks, including oil and acrylic paintings, graphics, sculptures, photographs and even a LEGO statue. With maximum prices set to be affordable for even rookie art enthusiasts, this event aims to make art accessible to everyone.

The exhibition can be visited by appointment between May 9th and July 6th. More details here.

Divas & Icons

The Divas & Icons exhibition is now officially open! Get a close-up look at the magnificent stage costumes of Rihanna, Björk, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Marilyn Monroe, and Billie Eilish, travelling all the way from London's Victoria and Albert Museum. The empowering collection is on view at the House of Music Hungary.

More details here and here

Monday, 20 May

Shortcuts exhibition

For an artsy experience in Budapest's Jewish Quarter, enter the realm of Csanád Szesztay. His photos, displayed in the cosy Massolit Books & Café, resemble a first encounter with the world; they are brief but extremely detailed. They also awaken a childlike curiosity and you will find yourself examining the playfulness of light and shade and appreciating vibrant moments captured during city walks. After viewing the exhibition, stay for a coffee and cake.

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 pm - 7 pm, more details here.

Chinatown Terrace - street food night market

If you are a fan of Southeast Asian cuisine, visiting Budapest's Chinatown is a must. They have opened their terrace for the season, offering food and tables al fresco (every day between 5 pm and 11 pm). Laid out is Chinese street food at its best: pancake, dim sum, teppanyaki, oden, Cantonese curry, rice noodle roll, shaved ice, tong sui, and other special treats you can hardly find anywhere else in the city. Find more food recommendations here.

More details here.

Budapest Beer Week

Budapest Beer Week, recently ranked the 3rd best craft beer festival in Europe, kicks off on May 20th. And you can join in celebrating various craft beer styles and breweries until May 26th. On Monday, head to Hopaholic to taste four different brews by the American Ruse, and also meet the brewers! The festival will feature other tap takeovers, meetups, 'meet the brewer' events and even a conference during the week, with the highlight being unlimited tasting sessions and afterparties on May 24th and 25th in Dürer Kert.

Check out the festival's event calendar here.

(Cover photo: Viadukt Terrace - Facebook)