There are a lot of major events going on in December that you don’t want to miss: a film festival, a night of street food, Christmas fairs, all kinds of concerts, and more. In this event roundup, we collect all of the important happenings taking place in Hungary’s capital during the upcoming weeks, so that you can plan ahead to attend whatever events are the most interesting for you. Get out there and enjoy everything that Budapest has to offer!
The most wonderful time of the year is here once again, and during December the sky starts to sparkle with festive spirit across Hungary’s capital as autumn glides into winter and holiday-season fairs start popping up in numerous squares and monumental buildings. Scented with spicy mulled wine and chimney cakes baking over open fires, these Christmas markets amaze visitors of all ages with old-fashioned wooden toys and other handicrafts, live folk-music concerts, delicious delicacies, and even some avant-garde surprises. The market at is the most famous and unmissable, but there is also a Christmas Market at the , and the charming Advent Feast at the has already opened too, among many other jolly bazaars that will be making Magyars merry this month.
The famous Night Of Tattoo Artists celebrates its fifth birthday at Dürlin and Dürer Kert. More than 100 significant artists from Budapest’s tattoo scene will participate in it, and those who buy a ticket will automatically participate in the lottery, with the winner to be decorated permanently for free! Of course there will be concerts too: Subscribe will rip through their favorite Rage Against The Machine songs, Omega Diatribe will unleash their brutal sonic terror, Fish! – the local torch bearers of punk-rock and hardpop – will make you jump out of your boots, and that’s not nearly all.
The Night Of Street Food
The largest event of the Budapest-based street-food scene will take place on : street-food bars, burger joints, and food trucks will be present, and will provide 20-50% discounts and a special Advent-themed menu to those who would like to sink their teeth into the hippest dishes. Since more than 60 different venues have decided to participate, you might want to prepare your stomach – not to mention that special offers include ’s cranberry-flavored deer sausage with pistachio sauce and marinated carrot, or ’s Vietnamese specialty, pho bo. Eat the city!
The Santa Speedo Run is a fun, unique, and crowd-pleasing fundraising event like no other you have ever experienced. It began in Boston in 2000 with five guys just looking to spread some holiday spirit by running through Back Bay while wearing only Santa hats and Speedos. Since then it has grown to include 700 men and women each year and has become an annual holiday tradition in cities around the world, even in Budapest. Every December, a crowd of underdressed Santas take on the streets of District VII to run through the capital’s central lanes and thoroughfares, each of them wearing only a piece of swimwear to create a surreal wintery scene. All this is part of an initiative to support children in need. The best thing of all is that anyone can join the icy run on December 11th, starting at Gozsdu Courtyard!
The British pianist, singer, and songwriter Benjamin Clementine moved to Paris in his teens, and started his career as a homeless street musician, but today he plays at the most elegant concert halls of the world. The nearly two-meter-tall thin man amazes audiences with this autodidact and suggestive style, extraordinary compositions, poetic lyrics, and tenor voice. He is considered to be one of the most significant singers of the 21st century, and will return to Budapest on .
Papp László Budapest Sportaréna
An international superstar whose appeal spans not only Western Europe but also Latin America, Eros Ramazzotti is an Italian singer-songwriter with a distinctive voice and a wide-ranging pop-rock style that encompasses everything from adult contemporary to classical crossover. He initially established himself as a chart-topping twenty-something pop star in the mid-’80s before growing even more successful from both a critical and commercial standpoint in the process. He already mesmerized the local audience a number of times, and , he returns to Papp László Sportaréna to present his newest album to his enthusiastic fans.
Three decades ago, Peter Brook’s production of the Mahabharata helped to redefine theater. It not only made the ancient Sanskrit text available to a global audience, but also proved that a piece of epic theater could be created out of the elementary ingredients of earth, fire, and water. Now Brook and his longtime collaborator, Marie-Hélène Estienne, have returned to the same source and fashioned a remarkable 65-minute piece that is clearly intended as a parable for our times. Using four actors and a musician, Brook and Estienne evoke the apocalyptic aftermath of a great war between rival members of the same family. Be sure that you don't miss Battlefield, showing at Trafó during December 14-16 in English with Hungarian subtitles.
During December 14-17 at MüPa, you are invited on an unusual journey into imaginary realms by Recirquel Circus Company, where the layers covering and protecting reality disappear. Their famous show titled The Naked Clown traverses the borders of circus arts, dance, theater, and music. Five dancers, four trampoline artists, and live music that brings the European music of the 19th and 20th centuries to life with all the flair of the circus. If you want your breath to be taken away by one of the shiniest gems of the Hungarian circus scene, this will be your show.
For more than 12 years, Marissa Nadler has perfected her own take on the exquisitely sculpted Gothic American song form – which she will present at the A38 Ship on December 17th for the first time in Hungary. Her relentlessly haunting vocals, introspective and thoughtful lyrics, and Lynchian torch songs are usually accompanied on guitar, ukulele, and five-string banjo by herself. Two years ago, she signed to one of the most respected contemporary labels, Sacred Bones Records, which – until this day – released two of her albums: the second, titled Strangers, came out this year to high acclaimed by fans and critics alike.