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5+1 free things to do in Budapest in October

As we always emphasise, Budapest is a city for everyone, even if you are on a tight budget. We have gathered six amazing events happening this month that you can enjoy without spending a penny.


Family Day at the 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. Its quirk is that it is staffed with schoolchildren, who check tickets and act as guards – the driving, of course, is done by grown-ups. This month, a special event is brewing at its Hűvösvölgy station: on October 14th, you can not only enjoy a ride and a hike but join a family day, too. Fun activities await such as a bouncy castle,  gigantic board games, puzzles, and fair games. The little ones can also try face painting, while train enthusiasts can enjoy a track, a wooden railway, a train simulator, and a model railway. Trains will be running all day between Hűvösvölgy and Széchenyi-hegy.

More details here (Hungarian-only). 


PONT Festival

On October 14th, a buzzing cultural festival fills the gardens of the Hungarian National MuseumPONT Festival, as part of the Liszt Fest – International Cultural Festival, brings unique concerts, traditional craft and music workshops, and kids' activities showcasing the cultural treasures of West Africa. The event kicks off with a parade (led by the Ballet Camara), then you can join dance, drum, and screen printing workshops, try African board games, listen to a children's concert, and enjoy live music by Bassekou Kouyate and Amy Sacko. PONT Festival has been showcasing the ‘wonders of the world’, the cultural heritage protected by UNESCO, since 2017. 

More details here


Stand-Up Comedy Nights

Up for a joke-filled evening? The brilliant team of Hot Paprika Comedy will definitely work on your laughing muscles at their upcoming shows. Every Tuesday, they host an English open-mic comedy night, where you can not only listen to stories but test your own entertaining skills. The location is Erasmus hotspot Hoff House, where grabbing seats is on a first come first serve basis. On October 26th, you can also count on American-style restaurant and bar Gaby's (opened by LA expat Brian Wilson) for some fun, where another open-mic comedy night will pop up.


Free Jam Session Nights

If you are a jazz enthusiast, you will be glad to hear that one of the main centres of Budapest’s local live-music scene Budapest Jazz Club is hosting free jam sessions regularly. Just a stone's throw away from Jászai Mari tér, you can enjoy a laid-back and joyful evening with friends or family.

More details here



Bank Holiday: October 23rd Celebrations

23 October is a national holiday commemorating the uprising by Hungarians against the Soviet regime on this day in 1956. On this occasion, historic locations across Budapest welcome the public to observe the legacy of the Magyars’ struggle against Soviet rule in the exact places where the revolution occurred. The day traditionally starts with a solemn flag-raising ceremony outside Parliament on Kossuth tér, followed by various free museum openings – from the Parliament to the House of Terror.
More details coming soon.


Pumpkin Festivals

No October should pass without pumpkin carving, and on October 27th, you can try your hand at it at the Pumpkin Festival and Night Market on Hunyadi tér. Pumpkins will be provided by the organisers (along with children's concerts and an LED show), but you will need to bring your carving kit.

The following day (October 28th), you can take these masterpieces to the iconic landmark Heroes' Square where hundreds of Halloween pumpkins are traditionally lit. Beginning at 7 pm, anyone can place their artfully carved jack-o’-lanterns around the semi-circular colonnade of historic Hungarian heroes. Participants are also encouraged to bring a few cartons, cans or boxes of non-perishable food – festival organisers will deliver these edible donations to children in need. 


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