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 October, National Gallop, Design Week and a Chimney Cake Festival are among the many exciting events you shouldn’t miss. Get out there and enjoy everything that Budapest has to offer!
World Press Photo Exhibition
Art Market Budapest
Set up across a maze of viewing spaces, Central Europe’s premier showcase for contemporary art is held from 3 to 6 October at the Millenáris Park. Exhibitors from over 40 countries come together to showcase and sell a vast collection of contemporary artworks, paintings, sculptures, installations and photographs. An entire section and exhibition hall will be dedicated to the ever-evolving art of photography, providing a platform for one of the biggest international photo fairs in the region. Several affiliated events, performances, guided tours and concerts, also await guests. More details
From 4 to 13 October, Budapest turns into a gigantic showroom of Magyar-made fashion, with furniture, artworks, architecture and much more, all on display at various venues citywide, from major museums down to hidden ateliers. Numerous events await art aficionados at what is autumn’s biggest design festival, including exhibition openings, kid’s activities, workshops and all kinds of creative get-togethers. One of the most popular attractions each year is when various art studios hold open days, giving guests a glimpse into the tips and tricks of making their products. More details
The Hungarian version of the world’s biggest brew festival, Oktoberfest, this year takes place on central Erzsébet tér between 4-5 October. Guests can enjoy a gluttonous Bavarian-style blow-out with barrels of beer, savoury sausages, grilled chicken, roasted pork trotters, Bavarian mini sausages and pretzels, and other meaty morsels, while barmaids in traditional garb serve Steins. Alongside countless kinds of spectacular suds from Hungarian and international breweries, a little yodelayheehoo is generally provided by live music late into the night. More details
Budapest’s annual cross-disciplinary arts festival, CAFe Budapest takes place between 5-21 October at various venues citywide. A wide variety of cutting-edge performances, concerts of many genres, contemporary-circus shows, visual art exhibitions, opera and theatre shows and dance productions, will be given, along with photography displays and countless other aesthetic attractions. These exciting events will be held at spectacular venues such as the Palace of Arts, the Franz Liszt Music Academy, the Várkert Bazaar, the Vigadó, and at downtown locations such as the Budapest Music Center, the Akvárium Klub and Bálna Budapest. More details.
Déli Doku Film Festival
Latin-American documentary film festival Déli Doku is running again, between 8 and 13 October, with lively parties, gastronomic specialities, great wine – and, of course, amazing movies. The organisers aim to bring Latin-American culture closer to locals and discuss female representation in the film industry. The event is hosted at locations such as the Bem Cinema, Anker’t and the House Bar. As the event celebrates and emphasises the impact of contemporary female directors, stories deal with the lives of Latin-American women. An Argentinian girl revisits her childhood as an adult by exploring her mother’s past through old videos, a hedonistic Colombian grandfather has secrets that change the course of his family’s life, and ageing showgirls from Mexico now face the passage of time. A fiery Brazilian director also jumps straight into the depths of the darkest city slums. For more information, click here.
Chimney Cake Festival
Autumn’s most aromatic food festival celebrates Hungary’s traditional sugar-dusted pastry, chimney cake, between 11-13 October at the City Park. Sprinkled with cinnamon, cocoa, walnut, coconut, vanilla and everything sweet, various versions of this tasty treat will be here for you to sample, while the festival also presents the age-old methods of preparing chimney cake, from baking it over hot coal to frying it in oil. This is family-friendly event is complete with concerts and fun for kids. More details (in Hungarian)
American singer/songwriter and music producer, wonderful William Fitzsimmons is coming to Budapest on 13 October to present his latest record, Mission Bell, at the Akvárium Klub as a part of the event series CAFe Budapest. The album chronicles the tumultuous last year of his life, particularly the separation from his second wife. An initial version was originally recorded in Fitzsimmons’ home studio in the summer of 2017 but was subsequently abandoned as a result of the separation. In 2018, William travelled to Nashville, to start re-recording the album from square one. Working with producer Adam Landry, Fitzsimmons spent a month rebuilding the lost record, with contributions from friends, including Abby Gundersen and Rosie Thomas. The resulting 11-song album tells the story of a decade-long marriage destroyed and eventually rebuilt from the ground up.
Budapest’s scenic Heroes’ Square turns into a racecourse during 19-20 October, evoking the atmosphere of bygone times. Young jockeys dress up as Hungarian hussars on horseback, while archers, cavalrymen and other historic Hungarian figures entertain crowds. Discover Hungarian equestrian traditions during this two-day extravaganza, and cheer as horses and riders compete for the grand prize and national glory. More details
23 October National Holiday
On 23 October, Hungarians commemorate the 1956 Revolution against the Soviet occupation. In Budapest, an official flag-raising ceremony, political speeches and military processions take place on Kossuth Lajos tér by Parliament, while a number of cultural events are held nationwide. Normally on this day, the House of Terror Museum and Parliament grant free admission to visitors all day, and nostalgic trams serve busy line 6. If you’d like to know more about the Uprising or see where you can honour it, check out this article. More details will be available closer to the date here.