Festivals, cool concerts, cultural events and amazing parties – Budapest is always buzzing. Every month, we bring together all the important happenings taking place in and around Hungary’s capital, so you can plan ahead. For May, Budapest Beer Week, the Rosalia Wine Festival and Brain Bar Budapest are among the many exciting events you shouldn't miss. Whether you would like to shake it to the coolest beats, immerse yourself in culture or give in to guilty pleasures, we present a bunch of events for the upcoming weeks. Get out there and enjoy everything that Budapest has to offer!
IX. Food Truck Show
This alfresco festival gathers the best of Budapest’s food trucks to the Kincsem Park racecourse between 3-5 May. An impressive international selection of eats and drinks await: juicy burgers, succulent sausages, vegan bites, ice creams, craft beers, BBQ meats and all kinds of delicious handheld delights. Horse and greyhound races, attractions for kids and a carousel entertain everyone during the day. Over the weekend, a yellow school bus rides between central Deák tér and Kincsem Park, transporting passengers for free. More details (in Hungarian)
Budapest is famous for its stunning architecture and century-old apartment buildings. These edifices hold countless hidden wonders inside, but as most of them are residential or offices, they are closed to the general public. But for one weekend every year, they all open their front gates and welcome anyone to take a sneak peek. This year, Budapest100 events on 4-5 May are focused on the Bauhaus movement, celebrating its centenary.
A regular event at the Várkert Bazaar, Midnight Music is an informal classical music concert series held late at night, where guests can enjoy the melodies while sitting comfortably on beanbags. On 10 May, the band, led by conductor Iván Fischer, play Bruckner’s Symphony No.4.
Day of Birds and Trees
11 May, Budapest’s chaotic Kazinczy utca hosts a colourful car-free carnival, the Day of Birds and Trees. Almost all of the street’s restaurants, clubs, bars and cafés join forces to celebrate nature in the middle of the city. The not-so-secret aim of this family-friendly street festival is to show how lovely it would be if the street could be permanently transformed into a more liveable and greener promenade for pedestrians and cyclists only. Breakfasts, concerts, photo shoots and children’s attractions entertain crowds here all day.
Folk Dance House Day
Dance House Day on 11 May is traditionally staged on the anniversary of the first urban dance house in Hungary. This celebratory folk concert, organised by the Hungarian Heritage House and the Liszt Academy Concert Centre, sees the presentation of two prestigious awards. The Halmos Béla Trophy is actually a violin once owned by the virtuoso of the same name. It is given to a young musician whose work maintains contact with Hungarian communities beyond the country’s borders. The Halmos Béla Memorial Medal recognises outstanding community activity as part of the Dance House Movement. Performers this year are folk bands who regularly organise traditional dance houses.
, the latest album by British trip-hop duo Morcheeba, reaches back into the band’s early, eclectic style with no strict generic boundaries. They come to Budapest on 15 May to showcase their release at the Dürer Kert.
The iconic, multiple Oscar- and Grammy-winner Giorgio Moroder earned the nickname ‘Godfather of Disco’ by the pioneering electronic dance music fraternity. The 78-year old Italian composer plays at the Papp László Arena on 15 May, accompanied by his band and vocalists.
A prominent event in the Hungarian culinary agenda, the annual Gourmet Festival takes place this year between 16-19 May at the Millenáris Park on the Buda side. Budapest’s top restaurants, fine wineries, pálinka distilleries and confectioneries set up stalls to proffer divine dishes to epicureans. Attending this gastronomic extravaganza feels like being invited to a deluxe picnic, with live music performances thrown in.
The Night of Art Cinemas
Budapest has several ornate art-house cinemas which, for one special night in spring, stay open until dawn to screen movies of various genres until the sun rises. This year, on 17 May, night owls can visit five Budapest cinemas – Művész, Puskin, Kino Café, Tabán and Toldi – with one single wristband. Many movies play in original language and Hungarian or English subtitles. More details (in Hungarian)
Budapest Beer Week
Between 20-26 May, Budapest dedicates a whole week to craft beer. This hop-fuelled festival brings together many countries, breweries and beers so that you can sink suds to your heart’s delight. Enjoy tasting sessions, rowdy parties, rare ales, live music and meet brewers at the hottest craft-beer places in Budapest over all six days.
Muse hit Budapest on 28 May as part of their world tour entitled Simulation Theory. The Grammy-winning band with multi-platinum record sales fill the biggest concert arenas around the globe playing melancholic alternative rock.
More details and tickets
Brain Bar Budapest
Can robots provide us with emotional attachment? Will science eventually lead to a post-human era? Will dinosaurs roam the Earth again? At this meeting of the brightest minds (on 30-31 May), far-reaching discussions investigate such questions, and more, seeking what the future holds for humankind. On the impressive list of guests are one of the world’s foremost experts in AI, Ben Goertzel, Jurassic Park advisor and palaeontologist Jack Horner, and the first female imam in Scandinavia, Sherin Kankan.
More details and tickets
Rosalia Rosé and Champagne Festival
Between 31 May and 2 July, you can see the sprawling City Park in pink (or slightly blurred…) as the annual Rosalia Rosé and Champagne Festival takes place, awaiting bibulous locals with refreshing rosé wines and fizzy champagnes. An impressive selection of traditional and new-wave handheld snacks accompanies the intoxicating drinks, and live performances by local musicians entertain the crowds. In the afternoon, Rosalia is a family- and dog-friendly festival that lays on exciting events for little ones, but after bedtime, the park fills with grape-fuelled revelry.