It seems strange to think when we created our top tips for spring 2020, we had little idea what life-changing measures lay ahead. Now, a year on, we’re still dealing with the pandemic but Budapest has proved it can more than meet the challenges. A vastly improved cycling infrastructure, the live streaming of many arts events and markets operating with social distancing in mind are all now part of city life. Of course, spring is spring, with the cherry trees in bloom along Tóth Árpád sétány, snowdrops brightening Alcsút Arboretum and Budapest’s many parks awaiting joggers, strollers and keep-fit fanatics. Here are our 20 top tips for spring 2021 – while hoping for a healthy, inclusive and lively Budapest come spring 2022!
Admire the snowdrops
year, snowdrops are the first harbinger of spring, delighting passers-by with their
white blossoms. Some 45 minutes from Budapest, Alcsút Arboretum contains seven species and 24 varieties, and the collection can be visited
every day of the week between 10am and 6pm. The flowers only bloom for a few
weeks, so get a wriggle on to go and see them.
Walk along the Danube
Listen to the sounds of Bartók Spring
2 to 18 April, for the first time, the large-scale, free all-arts event series Bartók
Spring International Arts Weeks will take place
online, with world premieres and concerts from Europe’s renowned concert halls.
The programme includes performers such as the Bagossy Brothers Company, Félix
Lajkó and the Győr Ballet, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra, as well as the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble, the Budapest Ritmo
World Music Festival and the Hungarian premiere of György Kurtág’s only
Get lost in a book outdoors
the weather gets warmer, why not head to City Park or Margaret Island to relax over your latest reading material? There are lots of peaceful
locations elsewhere around the city, too, with quiet benches in pedestrianised areas of
town. Especially during lockdown, it’s good to get outside and breathe in the
Visit a small gallery
the pandemic measures were introduced last March, large museums were forced to
close their doors, but smaller galleries were able to remain open and hold
exhibitions for as long as possible. Look up some of these special showcases in
Budapest and you might find some you can still visit after pre-registering. The
the Várfok and the Vintage
Galéria should be good places to start.
Celebrate the Budapest Spring Festival
The ten days between 9-18 April mark the 40th Budapest Spring Festival, which this year is free and held through an online forum.
Due to this digital nature, visual content is at the forefront in 2021. Every
day, organisers will create a highlight event in line with the festival’s 40
years of tradition. These are complemented by performances which combine heritage
with future trends.
Shop for vegan treats
After a long hiatus, the Vegan Weekend Market should return to the promenade next to the Allee mall on 10-11 April. There are many products to choose from at this two-day market, from cakes to cheeses and artisanal soaps and cream. Get here early and chat with the makers themselves to get the full story on their wares.
Browse classic vinyl
The Budapest Record Exchange market is due to run again on 11 April, pandemic restrictions willing. The fair is hosted at the Globe Hall at ELTE on the second Sunday of every month, so music fans can also expect a another date in mid-May. In addition to vinyl records, CDs and cassettes, stalls will also be lined with music merchandise, posters, books and newspapers.
Nurture a garden at home
extra time being spent indoors, it’s the perfect opportunity to put your green fingers
to use. Urban Jungle is a local group dedicated to helping Budapest residents
grow their indoor plants, and offer lots of useful tips on their Facebook page.
The posts are usually in Hungarian, but the owners speak English and are happy
to pass along their knowledge. Get your urban garden growing so that you can
really enjoy it in summer.
Catch the iamyank Live Ensemble
The idea for the iamyank Live Ensemble was born at the Valley of the Arts festival in 2017. His solo performances and productions, his world of electronic sound, a positive melancholy, became his constant characteristics. On 17 April, iamyank will create timeless, ever-changing textures in the intimate space of the studio.
Stroll along Tóth Árpád sétány
Immerse yourself in OFF-Biennale Budapest
The third edition of OFF-Biennale Budapest will start on 23 April, with five weeks of festival-specific creative events. This time, it focuses on fewer but more complex projects, in a hybrid digital form.
Pick pretty plants and flowers
On the last weekend of April, the Spring Garden Ornamental Plant Exhibition & Fair awaits those with green fingers at Buda Arboretum where, in addition to flowers, ornamental plants and gardening supplies, you can also choose from back-to-nature design products. Lectures, exhibitions and other green-focused events take place.
Take a hike
Hunt for retro fashion
On 1 May, the Telep and Judas team will hold another outdoor vintage clothing fair on Madách tér in the city centre. Pandemic willing, you can happily sort through piles of tops and trousers to pick out some retro spring wear.
Get involved in outdoor sports
Celebrate May Day
Update your spring wardrobe
Find a film at Friss Hús
Between 21 May and 2 June, the Friss Hús International Short Film Festival will be showing a number of English-friendly features. If the pandemic allows, the Toldi cinema will host the event. If all goes ahead as planned, presentations and discussions will augment the programme of garden cinema and pop-up screenings. Until May, you can also see exclusive online premieres on the festival’s Facebook page, selected from domestic and international filmmakers.
Get on your bike