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25 best things to do in Budapest this autumn

With leaves falling and nights drawing in, Budapest’s many music venues, galleries and museums are staging a whole range of events for autumn. Here we pick out 25 highlights, from observing deer in the forest to pagan celebrations for Halloween.

Check before you go

At the time of publication, the information was correct, but we also include links wherever possible to check if events are going ahead. Given the possible uncertainty of pandemic restrictions in October or November, always verify before you head out.


Deer tours

Through September, the authorities at Pilis Park Forest, the vast areas of greenery surrounding Budapest, organise tours at five separate locations, including Budakeszi Wildlife ParkSzentendre and Gödöllő, for visitors to hear the roaring and rutting of deer in season. All tours start at 5.30pm. See the exact schedule here – it’s in Hungarian but the dates and times are easy to follow.


Humen Festival

This September, Humen Magazine is organising its now-traditional autumn cultural LGBTQ festival for the sixth time. A film week and an exhibition dedicated to the history of LGBTQ in Hungary and Central Europe are scheduled until 24 September, and the programme also includes contemporary dance and gastronomic events.


Budapest Park

Between 15 and 19 September, key alfresco music venue Budapest Park is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a mini-festival. Xtra Feszt features concerts by Tiknekedkányány and Carson Coma, Jamie Winchester, Follow The Flow, Vad Fruttik and Supernem, culminating in a show by Pöttömkert.


Eleven Ősz

Art classes, music shows and gastronomic delicacies await as part of the Eleven Ősz festival on Buda’s trendy Bartók Béla út between 17 and 19 September. The event unites the many nearby galleries, cultural and culinary destinations. Look out for the Limitless Kinetics exhibition and Figaró the Magician showing a few alluring tricks.


Winelovers 100

In the grand surroundings of the Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Winelovers 100 showcases the 100 best wines of last year. On 18 September, more than 100 exhibitors, pop-up performers and exclusive tastings await wine lovers. The renowned Vylyan, Hilltop and Pannonhalmi labels will all be featured.


Budapest Classics Film Marathon

The annual Budapest Classics Film Marathon takes place between 21 and 26 September. You’ll be able to see 70 newly restored classic films in five themed series at several venues in the capital, including in front of St Stephen's Basilica. Most screenings should be English-friendly. For this year’s gala opening, there will be a selection of Lumière films from 1896, an animated documentary about A táncz, plus a digitally remastered version of Sándor Korda’s 1918 film Az aranyember. As part of the hommage section, the festival commemorates revered actress Mari Törőcsik, who died recently, as well as mark the centenary of the birth of famed filmmaker Miklós Jancsó


Zoos & wildlife parks

With the weather still nice, why not take the kids out at the weekend to one of Budapest’s many wildlife parks, where the little ones can stroke and feed the animals. Along with the main city zoo, with its plethora of creatures and scheduled feeding times, there’s a pony retreat, even an alpaca farm.


Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar is one of the contemporary masters of Hindustani classical music who also dips into the world of Indian artpop. Daughter of Ravi Shankar, half-sister to Norah Jones, this sitar maestro returns to Müpa for the second time on 23 September. For this show, she has composed a new film score to the epic Indian silent film, Shiraz from 1928, which deals with the romantic history of the Taj Mahal.


Budapest Wine Festival

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Budapest Wine Festival take place at Buda Castle between 23-26 September. In these historic, panoramic surroundings, you can meet producers from every Hungarian wine region, sample a variety of gastronomic dishes and enjoy live music in several genres – Hungarian Jazz Day is also incorporated as part of the event. This year’s special guest region is Somló, to be represented by 12 wineries.


Researchers’ Night

Researchers’ Night is a free series of events being held across Europe to promote careers in science and research. On 24 and 25 September, you can get a glimpse into the secrets of different fields. Through informative lectures, experiments, laboratory visits and additional entertaining activities, potential inventors of all ages can learn about many of the new advances in scientific research.


BikeJam Festival

At Nagykovácsi just outside Budapest, the BikeJam Festival involves three days of tours and competitions, with live shows every evening, between 24 and 26 September. Bands include Bohemian Betyars, Ivan & The Parazol, Mark & Jason (Mörk) and Amber Smith. The green, hilly setting is ideal for those who want to exercise and relax at the same time.


World Press Photo

The annual World Press Photo is one of the most prestigious events of its kind. Thousands enter the competition, then hundreds of thousands view the travelling exhibition. In 2021, 4,315 photographers from 130 countries submitted 74,470 photos. In all, 151 images in this exhibition were selected by an international jury of 17 reporters and editors in a total of eight categories, including environment, nature and sport, and bestowed prizes on 45 photojournalists from 28 countries. This year in Budapest, the World Press Photo runs from 24 September until 31 October, and is accompanied by the jubilee exhibition of the Sibiu Workshop, where you can find the works of 15 Hungarian photographers.


Budapest Autumn Festival

More cutting-edge than its spring counterpart, Budapest Autumn Festival runs from 26 September to 10 October, and will feature contemporary music, theatre and dance performances, exhibitions, city walks, literary events, workshops and markets. Highlights include a vintage photo exhibition by communal archive Fortepan.


Budapest Retro Interactive Museum

Recently opened in downtown Budapest, this English-friendly attraction and imaginative family-friendly activity showcases the everyday world of Hungary in the late 1980s, shortly before the fall of Communism. There are buttons to press, phones to talk into, little doors to open and TV shows to watch. Hungarian speakers can even read out the news and earn themselves an Outstanding Comrade certificate when answering the quiz. Bags of fun and authentic with it.


Vintage clothes shopping

Let’s face it, every new season requires new clothes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to mean off the peg. In fact, to help protect the environment, we should all be focusing on secondhand fashion. You can refresh your wardrobe from the Ludovika VNTG Shop, the Szputnyik Shop, LoveBug Vintage, Typo Showroom and Humana Vintage Boutique, among others. Seasonal fairs such as the Vintage Outfit Market also offer plenty of fancy secondhand clothes.


Open Brewery Day

On Open Brewery Day, the date moved to 2 October, Hungarian small-batch producers open their doors to showcase their beers and their activities to the general public. All kinds of activities, tours, snacks, samplings and shopping offers await, as well as the chance to see how these brews are made. Visits are free.


Art Market Budapest

Established in 2011, Art Market Budapest is the leading art fair in Central and Eastern Europe, providing a whole range of challenging work to anyone interested in international contemporary art. From 7-10 October, Bálna Budapest hosts exhibitors from over 40 countries, showcasing galleries and art projects from mainly emerging regions.


Children’s Railway

Connecting some of the loveliest spots in the Buda hills, the Children’s Railway (Gyermekvasút)  is one of Budapest’s most unique attractions. It’s even more inviting in autumn as the leaves turn shades of red and the view becomes spectacular. The line runs from Széchenyi Hill to Hűvösvölgy, crossing with the Cogwheel Railway and serving Normafa and János Hill. The lookout points, forest playgrounds, places of pilgrimage and other hilly attractions lie close to stations, making the Children’s Railway the ideal jumping-off point for a day’s outing. Combining it with the Chairlift at János Hill, it’s ideal for a romantic couple's day out as well. Tickets (HUF 800 cash only) are sold at stations.


Budapest Design Week

Budapest Design Week aims to present design as an innovative tool that harmoniously combines functionality with user and social needs. This series of events from 8 to 17 October will include activities both for the public, such as exhibitions, outlet visits and events, and for professionals, such as round-table discussions, presentations, conferences, galas and webinars.


Liszt Fest International Cultural Festival

Musical rarities, premieres, legendary ensembles and young talent will all feature at the inaugural Liszt Fest International Cultural Festival from 8 to 24 October. In addition to classical music concerts, opera and dance performances, industry conferences, organ recitals and contemporary music evenings are also programmed, along with jazz, world and light music, literary and fine arts shows at numerous venues from Esztergom Basilica to the Svábhegy Observatory.


Gerhard Richter

Few artists still with us have lived through the kind of experiences as encountered by Gerhard Richter, whose retrospective Truth in Semblance is the main exhibition at the Hungarian National Gallery this autumn. Growing up in Nazi Germany, working in design in East Germany before defecting to the West, Richter deals with themes of freedom, attachment and detachment, blurring reality and projected appearance. The show runs until 14 November.


Dog Critical Mass

Critical Mass in a non-profit organisation whose rallies allow locals to reclaim Budapest. The annual Critical Mass for cyclists involves shutting down half the city – for this event, it’s dogs. From St Stephen’s Basilica to Heroes’ Square, the second annual Dog Critical Mass parade takes place on 9 October. The event aims to draw the decision-makers’ attention to the importance of adapting the capital for canines, as half a million dogs live in town and need more space.


Budapest Central European Fashion Week

For this annual event held between 11-17 October at Bálna Budapest, Hungarian and regional designers can showcase their 2022 spring-summer collections. Up-and-coming costumiers will also be in the spotlight, together with the Young Talent Programme.



Breathtaking UK beatbox exponent Darren Foreman, aka Beardyman, brings his unique scat-rap and live looping skills to the Trafó on 30 October, alongside special guests Foli.



Introduced relatively recently to Hungary, this annual festival of ghosts and pumpkins is now celebrated with parties across town, both for kids and clubbers. Look out in case the Aquincum Museum is holding another of its fabulous Samhain celebrations, involving pagan rites and Celtic tradition. Funny costumes and make-up are otherwise the order of the day elsewhere.


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