There's plenty to look forward to this autumn in Budapest. Check out this selection of exciting things to do around the city!
Find an exciting event at the Humen Festival
The Humen Festival began in 2016 as a film week at the Művész Cinema, which aimed to showcase works not previously screened in Hungarian theatres, celebrate LGBTQ-themed films and form a bridge with the LGBTQ community. The festival has since grown to become an LGBTQ cultural festival, including a variety of theatrical and contemporary dance performances, films and other artistic mediums. This year, the exhibition is entitled Families, and aims to show that LGBTQ couples and rainbow families are an integral part of Hungarian society. Films are shown in a myriad of languages – with Hungarian subtitles – and the full programme can be found online.
Sip wine at Buda Castle
The 2020 Budapest Wine Festival is smaller is size this year but that doesn’t mean the wine will be any less enjoyable! Taking place between 10-13 September, premium wines and food can be sampled in the Hunyadi Courtyard of Buda Palace, while live concerts represent styles from jazz to folk music, all the way to Balkan melodies. How many can say they've drunk wine in the grounds of a historic castle?
See films at Friss Hús
Play board games over drinks
Board games have enjoyed unprecedented popularity lately, as people are looking for ways to entertain themselves indoors. If you’re looking for some new gaming buddies, maybe it’s time to put your mask on and head to some of the bars and cafés around town which cater to board-game enthusiasts. Check out Társa's Játék Bár, Board Game Café, HammerTime Café, Mit Játsszunk? and the Játszóház Projekt!
Explore Art Night 2020
Held this year on 17-19 September, 2020 Arts Night is an opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes at over 100 galleries, museums, auction houses and artists’ studios. There are guided tours, lectures, workshops and exhibitions in Hungarian, as well as children’s activities and auctions. Even if you don’t speak Hungarian, the artwork speaks in its own language.
See hidden sights at Budapest100
Budapest100 is all about celebrating the people and buildings around us, which make Budapest the city we know and love. The event was founded in 2011 and has won international and domestic awards, with over 150,000 visitors attending each year. During the event, selected buildings around the city open their doors so residents can admire unique architecture and interior design, and meet other members of the community. The event is free to attend and will take place this year on 19-20 September.
Find treasure at a record exchange
Fans of music will spend hours searching for the perfect record to add to their collection, and there are a few record stores around Budapest which hide secret treasure. Bring some new music into your home this autumn from outlets such as LemezPiac or Lemez Börze Plusz, or check out Record Fair held at Szimpla Kert.
View the world’s best press photos
The World Press Photo Exhibition has been a long-standing tradition in Budapest, and is one of the most-visited cultural events every year. This will be its 43rd iteration, featuring 151 award-winning photos, including one by Hungarian Eszter Horváth, one who won first place in the environment category. Over 73,000 photos were submitted this year for consideration, by 4,282 photographers from 125 countries.
Cycle the Danube Bend
Autumn is a great time to take to two wheels, when the sweat-drenched summer weather has given way to more brisk and moderate temperatures. The Danube Bend is a must for cycling enthusiasts. In addition to the natural and cultural attractions along the way, there are also great spots en route to have a bite to eat or drink. Recently, three new bars and cafés have popped up, with hot sandwiches, goulash and much more.
Enjoy art and culture on Bartók Béla
Every year, Bartók Béla boulevard comes to life with the Autumn Eleven event. From the Gellért Hotel to the Bottomless Lake, events are organised to encourage social and economic revitalisation of the area. Gallery and studio visits, concerts and workshops are on the menu.
Take in the Budapest Comics Festival
Hungary’s biggest comics festival is being organised this year on 25-27 September, by the Hungarian Comics Association. On the first day, visitors can check out the works of award-winning creators, and on the 27th, the invitation is open for anyone to experiment with digital drawing themselves. Entry is 1,000 forints.
Indulge in brunch
On cool, foggy autumn mornings, there’s nothing better than digging in to a delicious and hearty breakfast or brunch. We like the idea so much, in fact, that we made a whole list of the very best places in town to do just that! Check out where to get the best coffee, croissants, soft-boiled eggs and all the other trappings of brunch!
Check out a new café
See how deer rut
Budapest might be an urban jungle, but it doesn’t take too much effort to make it out into surrounding nature. In the autumn, visitors to the Pilisi Park Forest can witness the roe deer who live among the trees, and during mating season lucky visitors can even hear the bucks roaring and see them fighting for the hand – or hoof – of their sweetheart. Tours are available into the woods, organised by the Budapest, Gödöllő, Valkó and Visegrád Forestry services. For more information contact:
Budapest Forestry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gödöllő Forestry: email@example.com
Valkó Forestry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visegrád Forestry: email@example.com
Travel on the 150-year-old Funicular
In 2020, the Funicular is celebrating its 150th birthday! As part of the Danube riverfront, it’s also a World Heritage Site. Construction on began in 1868, under the direction of Count Ödön Széchenyi, son of the ‘Greatest Hungarian’ István, who conceived of the Chain Bridge. If you’ve never ridden it before, now is the perfect time – in the absence of tourists, there are no queues!
Discover the Csepel Works complex
On 3 October, the gates of the Csepel Works will open again to visitors, on occasion of the Open Factories Weekend, when you can get to know the industrial, historical and cultural heritage of this unique island site accessible from the Grand Boulevard. This is also a great opportunity for photographers, or just those interested in old, industrial architecture.
Get cultural at CAFe Budapest
One of the most important arts events in autumn is the Budapest Contemporary Art Festival, which is not to be missed. The event this year takes place from 9-25 October, and our fingers are crossed that restrictions won’t be tightened by then. Of course this year there will not be the wide docket of foreign performers as exhibited in previous years, but that doesn’t mean that this year won’t be full of exciting concerts, exhibitions and performances worth checking out.
Run the Budapest Marathon
The SPAR Budapest Marathon is the largest of its kind in Hungary, attended by 31,000 people last year alone! Running (pun intended) from 10-11 October, the event is great for families and less experienced runners, as well as those with a more competitive streak. Saturday focuses on shorter distances for the casual runner, while Sunday sees the hefty 42km marathon and the 30km Regnum, which can be completed in teams of two or four. Numerous exciting attractions are set up along the route, for those coming to cheer on a friend.
See Budapest Art Week
The 2020 Budapest Art Week, postponed from its original date in April, will now take place between 16-25 October, presenting a world of contemporary art at museums, exhibition halls, galleries and ateliers across the city. Anyone who likes art cannot miss this one!
Explore exotic gardens
Budapest is full of exotic gardens and parks, just waiting for you to step inside and be swept away by the natural beauty. Everyone knows to check them out in the spring and summer, but autumn provides a whole new, exciting atmosphere. Need some inspiration on where to go? We detailed nine of the best gardens and parks here!
Visit Art Market Budapest
Art Market Budapest is an international contemporary art fair, catering to an audience of around 30,000 each year, exhibitors coming from more than 40 countries. This year, the market will set up from 22-25 October at the Millenáris exhibition hall, with a number of galleries and art projects from all around the world.
Ride the Cogwheel Railway
Hike in colourful forests
Autumn is a beautiful time in the woods: the leaves are changing colours, the air is chillier and the sounds of the animals sound more pronounced as the world readies for winter. There are loads of day trips easily accessible from the city centre, such as Farkaserdő, Kamaraerdő, Ferenc Hill and Ördög-orom, and if for a longer adventure, check out these seven great escapes we recommend!
Carve a Jack-o’-Lantern
Halloween is the epitome of autumn, and carving Jack-o'-Lanterns is a delight for old and young alike. The Pumpkin Lantern Festival on Heroes' Square is one of the most popular attractions in Budapest in the autumn, and also encourages participants to donate food for children in need at the same time.
Meet famous actors at Budapest Comic Con
The first Budapest Comic Con has undergone a change of date thanks to the pandemic, from August to 21-22 November. The event, which will feature international film stars, is still uncertain due to entry restrictions, but if given the go-ahead, the appearance is a must for all film, television and comic book fans. Reported guests include Georgia Hirst (Torvi - Vikings), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli - Lord of the Rings) and Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon - Game of Thrones).
Drink specialty teas
Cooler weather begs for a warm, cosy cup of tea, and there are many specialty tea shops around Budapest to check out! Sample delicious loose-leafs at Herbar, Zhao Zhou, Filtery and Levél Teaház. If you are looking for a place to buy loose-leaf to take home, head to Bonthé and 1000 Tea Teaház és Szaküzlet for unbeatable selections.
Sample craft beer at the Day of Open Breweries
Beer lovers will not want to miss the Day of Open Breweries on 10 October, when small-batch Hungarian breweries will open their doors to visitors to showcase their finest beverages. Events, beer tastings and shopping opportunities are available throughout the day, and English-language tours will be provided depending on the brewery! It’s best to reach out and ask ahead.
Shop for seasonal produce at farmer’s markets
Although summer is winding down, there are still plenty of opportunities to find fresh local products at various markets around the city. On Saturdays, you can head to the Czakó Termelői Market, or to the Római Parti Market, both teaming with fresh produce, jams and honeys, flowers, cheeses and meats. On Sundays, don’t miss the Pancs Gastroplacc!