City guide
2016 calendar of events and festivals in Budapest
Photo : Sziget Festival
2016 calendar of events and festivals in Budapest

Many exciting events spice up life in Hungary’s capital all year long, like national holidays, food fairs, art displays, street parties, music extravaganzas, and so much more. In this continually updated guide, we present the basics about all kinds of public gatherings happening in Budapest throughout 2016, including links for more information on every event. Whether you’re visiting Budapest later this year or you live here and want to stay in the loop of what’s going on around town, this handy events calendar has you covered!

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS NOW OUTDATED. FOR CURRENT INFORMATION ABOUT FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN BUDAPEST DURING 2017, PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.
For detailed information about festivals and events happening throughout 2016 across Hungary’s countryside, check out this article.

JANUARY

Photo: MACIVA
Farsang (Hungarian Carnival) 6 January – Ash Wednesday, nationally  

Raucous parties, grand masquerades, and special treats characterize Farsang, Hungary’s carnival season held during the lead up to the pre-Easter Lent period. Our article about Farsang celebrations in Hungary provides more insight into the country’s astonishing fancy-dress parties.

Budapest International Circus Festival 7-11 January, Capital Circus Budapest

Admire spectacular local and international performances during this prominent festival at the Capital Circus in Budapest, where acrobats soar at dazzling heights, while tumblers and jugglers balance under bright lights.
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Zúzmara Winter Half-marathon 17 January, Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center

No chilled climatic conditions can dissuade hardcore runners from tackling a half-marathon in the midst of winter. Get to the Hungexpo premises (Budapest’s extensive fair center in District X) and sprint through a seven-kilometer course, including the neighboring horse-racing track. 
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Caffeine Festival 29-31 January, multiple locations
 
The end of January brings a buzzing festival to town, filled with high-octane coffee concoctions, tasteful teas, and other energy-boosting liquids, along with an abundance of sweet seductions at many of city’s participating cafés, tea shops, and confectioneries. 
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A celebration of folk music – from dance houses to world music 30 January, Palace of Arts

World music and local folk tunes fill the  immense concert hall of Budapest’s Palace of Arts, as the contemporary edifice houses a grand gala concert with spirit-boosting dance-house activities and playful children’s programs. Hungarian folk bands perform alongside Slavic and Gypsy musicians, introducing visitors to a variety of colorful cultural heritages.
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Wedding Exhibition 30-31 January,

With its sublime beauty, Budapest has been an increasingly popular wedding destination in recent years, and the city has much more to offer for brides and grooms than its spectacular scenes. From elaborate decorations, to fragrant flowers, to breathtaking wedding dresses, to the trendiest hair and make-up styles, this profuse fair is crammed with expert exhibitors providing all that is required for a perfectly planned wedding.
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FEBRUARY

Photo: Hungarian State Opera
Töltött Hold Gastro-weekend 5-7 February, Hold Street Market

Devour delicious winter flavors, prepared by guest chefs and regional restaurants in downtown Budapest’s District V, where besides Hungary’s favorite wintertime delicacies, a vodka bar, a coffee stand, and much more welcome the crowd. A special culinary exhibition is set to open over the weekend, which will be around until the end of May, and here the audience can vote for their favorite pieces.
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Shakespeare Ball 6 February, 

Every year the Hungarian State Opera is home to one of Budapest’s fanciest Carnival galas, attracting a number of influential businesspeople and artists alike. This year’s Shakespeare Ball pays homage to the memory of the great English writer, with an outstanding lineup of programs and music of diverse genres in exclusive settings. Above all, the special guest star of the ball is Plácido Domingo, the legendary figure of the international classical-music scene.
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Torkos Csütörtök (‘Fat Thursday’ in Hungarian) 11 February, multiple locations  

Celebrate the final day before Lenten fasting begins in the Christian tradition, by engaging in a gluttonous feast at any of the many participating restaurants and eateries that all offer meals at a 50% discount. See Fat Thursday’s website for more information about the event and the list of restaurants involved.
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Olympic ice hockey qualification tournament 11-14 February, 

The Hungarian ice hockey team returns to Papp László Budapest SportArena to play for the chance to compete at the Olympics. There is a long road ahead of them: first they have to win the qualifications in Budapest. The opponents at this contest are the Dutch, the Lithuanian, and the Polish teams.
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Mangalica Festival 12-14 February, 

Wooden stalls fill Szabadság Square at the festival dedicated to Hungary’s prized pig, introducing the country’s domestic animal to visitors with many Mangalica-based meals, alfresco cooking activities, local wines and pálinka (Hungary’s fruit-based brandy), traditional handicrafts, and live music performances. Entry is free of charge.
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Budapest Fish Festival 12-14 February, 

Budapest’s Millenáris expo area is set to offer all kinds of seafoods at this annual festival highlighting delicious aquatic animals living in the country’s rivers and lakes. Alongside luscious local treats like Hungarian fish soup and fish paprikash, guests can savor a variety of international eats, including Japanese sushi, Russian caviar, French fish soup, Thailand’s mouthwatering Pad Thai, and much more.  
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Budapest Boat Show 18-21 February, Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center

Set sail to Budapest’s sprawling fair center and admire a wide variety of sailboats, electronic vessels, and motorboats, along with supreme brands presenting countless boating accessories, including technical outerwear, footwear, apparel, and boating gear at this extensive market space. Besides the new innovations and prestigious ships, fascinating programs entertain marine-loving visitors during the four-day extravaganza.  
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Indoor Beer Festival 19-21 February, 

Gellért Hotel hosts the first indoor meeting for hops fanatics in collaboration with Serfőző with no less than 100 different kinds of bottled and draft beers, including Barbár, Corsendonk, Floris Kriek, Delirium, Zirci Apátsági Manufaktúra, Guinness, Kilkenny, Brewdog, Oedipus, Postřižinské, just to name a few. Apart from the liquid refreshers, guests can also taste delicious beer-flavored snacks.
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Budapest Cup International Synchronized Skating Competition 25-27 February, The Ice Rink (Jégpalota)

On a mirror-smooth icy surface, brightly dressed teams perform artistic spinning and twirling, moving as one flowing unit at incredible speeds to form a spectacular show on the frost-glazed grounds. Jaw-dropping figures combine with various dance forms to create an impressive spectacle, featuring gleaming garments and intricate footwork in time to pulsating music.
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Ball of Hungarian Wines 27 February, 

An elite crowd gathers annually to sample top-notch Hungarian reds and whites amid deluxe settings at the annual Ball of Hungarian Wines. Apart from renowned wine experts, the high-prestige event draws a number of cultural figures and envoys, all coming together to savor crispy Riesling and sweet Tokaji wines, along with gourmet delicacies.
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MARCH

Photo: MTI
VinCE Budapest Wine Show 3-5 March, Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Discover Hungary’s wide world of good libations at the VinCE Budapest Wine Show, awaiting wine experts on the opening day, and then all wine lovers on Friday and Saturday. At the biggest wine expo of the region, visitors can see the world’s first wine dispenser and preservation system that can be operated with a smart phone, and also taste 1,000 kinds of wines from 182 wineries with just one ticket at this event, with glasses often filled by the winemakers themselves.
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Travel Exhibition 3-6 March, Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center

Pick your dream destination at the annual Travel Exhibition, where representatives of the international and local travel sector bring joyful journeys to visitors to the fair. This year the focus is on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, so expect colorful Carnival festivities while dancers heat up the scenes.
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Budapest Architecture Film Days 3-6 March, 

Budapest Architecture Film Days is an event organized by the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Center every year since 2008. The mission of Film Days is to generate a dialogue between the architectural practice that finds inspiration in cinema, and the cinema borrowing its subjects from architecture and the city. This year’s program focuses on the metamorphosis of Budapest and the changes in architectural practices. The selection provides new perspectives and insights to track the city’s changes and transformations. 
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Public Holiday – observance of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution 15 March, honored nationally

This national holiday commemorates the 1848 Revolution against the Austrian Empire, with political speeches and military processions on  and the , as well as family activities at the . Find out more about the events that went down on this day in our article about , while the detailed programs of this year’s celebrations will be announced closer to the date. 
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International Macaron Day 20 March, 

Held on the same day as the Macaron Day in Paris and in New York City, this delightful get-together now stimulates the taste buds of Budapest’s sweet-toothed crowds as well. Dedicated to the flavorful French macaron (a sweet meringue-based confection available in many flavors), during the event visitors can not only sample but also learn how to bake these miniature colorful cakes.
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St. Patrick’s Day Parade 20 March, 

Every year the Irish in Budapest (as well as anyone else who feels like being Irish for a day) celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green and drinking Guinness in a grand procession through the city center. Although St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th, to allow as many people to attend as possible, this year’s procession takes place on Sunday, March 20th, beginning at 1:30pm at , before winding through the streets of Pest and heading to a pub, where the Hibernian happenings rock on all night long.  
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Budapest Spring Fair 25 March-24 April, 

Flowers and folk art fill downtown’s most picturesque plaza when the Budapest Spring Fair happens once again. The event series, evoking the festive mood of the winter fair, will take place at . It will feature folk art (in both the traditional and a modern styles), as well as creations from various designers. Merchandise from artisans, craftsmen, and artisanal food makers can be admired, browsed and purchased, while colorful spring and Easter programs will also be organized for families.
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APRIL

Photo: Balázs Mohai/Budapest100
National Táncház Festival and Fair 2-3 April, 

Musicians, dancers, and artists of many walks of life bring traditional performances onstage at this vibrant folklore festival (Táncháztalálkozó) from all over the Carpathian Basin. Besides the musical gigs, visitors can enjoy varied workshops, or purchase traditional apparel and accessories, along with diverse folk-art products.
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Titanic International Film Festival 7-16 April, multiple locations

Movies screening at five different venues during the 23nd edition of Hungary’s most popular international film festival: Sugar Cinema, and  Art Cinema. Eagerly anticipated by the film industry each year, Titanic specializes in films from all around the world that are not distributed in Hungary, or will arrive to Hungary with a delay, balancing art with the mainstream. The 42 different films will be screened with original audio and no subtitles, but simultaneous Hungarian translation is usually available through headphones.
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Budapest Spring Festival 8-24 April, multiple locations  

Local and international talents of several artistic genres perform diverse concerts like classical, contemporary, jazz, and folk music, alongside theatrical acts and astounding visual arts. The festival takes places at dozens of venues, including the Palace of Arts, the , the , the , and many other prominent locales. 
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Feast of Hungarian Jazz 8-9 April,

The Budapest Jazz Club gets anyone grooving at this jolly jazz event, representing the best of the Hungarian musical scene of this kind. Performers include prominent Magyar musicians like the duo of Ágnes Lakatos and Barna Tibor Csuhaj, the Miklós Lukács Trio, the Viktor Tóth Trio, and the duo of Veronika Harcsa and Bálint Gyémánt.  
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Beer, Burger & Barbecue Festival 15-17 April, 

Budapest’s best street-food eateries serve traditional and new-wave meals, while the best local and international beers are on tap during the city’s first Beer, Burger & Barbecue Festival. The festival offers free-time activities for all generations, so if you won’t feel like eating (although there’s a really low chance of that), you’ll still find something to do. More details

Budapest100 16-17 April, multiple locations

Get a closer view at Budapest’s century-old buildings through thematic guided tours, re-enactments of historic events, fascinating photo exhibitions, and spine-tingling attic expeditions, while engaging with many of the city’s most notable edifices. This year, Budapest’s  (“Grand Boulevard” in Hungarian) and its often-overlooked buildings are in the spotlight.
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Telekom Vivicitta Spring Half-marathon 16-17 April, , Water Tower

Kicking off on Margaret Island, this two-day spring jogging jamboree traverses shorter and longer distances (7 km, 10 km, 21 km) in the heart of Budapest, and whichever challenge you take depends on your level of fitness. Start training to take part, or come cheer for the runners.
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International Book Festival Budapest 21-24 April, 

Celebrating books by renowned authors from all over the world, this festival hosts representatives of global literature, scientists, and artists from more than 25 countries. The intellectual festivities feature such cultural programs as meetings with the authors, book-signing sessions, book launches, various presentations, roundtable discussions, concerts, theater performances, exhibitions, and movie screenings.  
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Get Closer Budapest Jazz Fest 22-24 April, MOM Cultural Center

This new addition to Budapest’s flamboyant festival scene is set to host renowned names of Hungarian and international jazz culture to bring fans of this musical genre closer to contemporary jazz styles. International performers include the Billy Cobham Band, GFS Trio, and the Richard Bona Quintet, while Syrius Legacy, the Csaba Toth Bagi Balkan Union, and Bass Loco represent the local jazz sphere.
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HYPERSPACE Electronic Music Festival 23 April, Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center

Extravagant DJs blast booming beats across the Hungexpo premises, with headliners including Ben Klock and Felix Kröcher from Germany, Marco Bailey from Belgium, Rebekah from UK, Budai from Hungary, and many other prominent local and international electronica virtuosos.
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Downtown Pálinka Days 28-30 April, Városháza Park (1052 Budapest, Városház Street 9/11)

Savor potent potables during a three-day jamboree in central Budapest, where the star attraction is Hungary’s fruit-based brandy prepared in many varieties, including this year’s highlight the quince-pálinka. Besides the intoxicating delights the bibulous crowd can sip on refreshing wines and devour assorted local street-food specialties, like mangalica meat (Hungary’s prized pig), crimson sausages, or Chimney Cake. Best of all, entry is free of charge.
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MAY

Photo: Gourmet Festival
Rosalia – Rosé and Champagne Festival 6-8 May, 

Refreshing rosé wines, fizzy champagnes, and superb sparkling libations await guests amid a sprawling green parkland at the annual Rosalia Festival in City Park. A diverse range of street-food treats accompanies the delicious drinks, while live jazz tunes ensure a breezy night out on the town.
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Food Truck Show Budapest 6-8 May, 

Devour dishes served from local rolling culinary trucks, including bagel sandwiches from Bakker, hearty sausage cones by Kolbice, fresh and hot burgers from Zing Burger, or homemade pasta meals from the Gnocchi Furgon – just to name a few of the intriguing selection. Many of the food trucks come with a special menu for this delightful festival, so even those who are familiar with them will find something new and exciting. An assortment of drinks are served alongside the tasteful meals, including various syrup concoctions, chilled beers, aromatic wines, and potent pálinkas, while side programs entertain guests, like horse races, greyhound races, children’s activities, concerts, street musicians, and much more.
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Sirha Budapest – International HORECA and Retail Show 9-11 May, Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center

This internationally acclaimed event for the food service and hotel sectors is set in Budapest for the first time to bring together key players of the HORECA and retail industry from Hungary and Eastern Europe. The highlight of Sirha Budapest is the prestigious Bocuse d’Or contest that will feature the very best chefs from Europe, revealing future culinary talents.  
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Gourmet Festival 12-15 May, 

Sample delights from almost all of Hungary’s top restaurants at one location, and try the best of local cuisine. Besides the prominent eateries, the event will feature excellent wineries, confectioneries, and other prime representatives of the Hungarian foodie world from Budapest and the countryside as well.
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Night of Art Cinemas 13-14 May, multiple locations

Watch multiple movies at varied cinemas throughout the night, as a single wristband grants you entry into five of Budapest’s art-house theaters, , , , and Kino Café Cinema. During this late-night event, visitors have the chance to see fascinating films of different genres, including comedies, dramas, sci-fi, and animation movies, while several films play in their original language with Hungarian or English subtitles. Wristbands are available for purchase at any of the participating cinemas for 3,500 forints.
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Belgian Beer Festival 13-15 May,

Budapest is home to a hop-scented festival that brings 43 Belgian breweries together to present their finest selection of beers with more than 200 different types of these intoxicating suds. Besides the alcoholic treats, visitors can gulp fine bites like local sausages, hams, and cheese varieties, while food trucks of the Budapest street-food scene serve premium hamburgers, golden French fries, Belgian waffles, and much more. 
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Coca-Cola Wake Your Body Women’s Run 22 May, 

All Budapest-based women out there! Coca-Cola presents a running event for ladies only in the heart of Budapest, with challenges of different levels and multiple distances to tackle.
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Rakéta Festival 30 May-5 June, multiple locations  

The city’s coolest clubs welcome exciting young musicians during a full week of madness at the annual Rakéta Festival, which is basically the Hungarian version of the Czech Creepy Teepee or the Austin-based SXSW festivals. Some bands make their very first appearance during the week, while many of them are already well known for their freaking-strange live shows. 
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JUNE

Photo: A Mozgás Éjszakája
Brain Bar Budapest 2-4 June, Budapest

Central Europe’s one-of-a-kind festival is set to debate various issues that influence our future, including the complex and evolving relationship between technology and humanity. With its broad scope and ambitious format, it strives to create a unique space of inspiration, where top trendsetters, decision makers, and fresh challengers exchange ideas in unrestrained conversations. 
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The Final Buda Castle Beer Festival 2-5 June, 

Ascend the Buda Castle to sample among almost 200 different types of beers and ciders from local and international large and small-scale breweries, all offering unique flavors amid magical settings overlooking the  and the  building. Apart from the hop-scented pleasures, visitors can devour tasteful local treats.
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Total Dance Festival 4 June, 

Bombastic bands from the ’80s and ’90s take the stage amid fantastic visuals, breathtaking choreographies, and perfect sound as the city blasts a mind-blowing house-party atmosphere. The most spectacular show of the year hosts international headliners like Culture Beat, Captain Jack, or Pharao, along with prominent local performers of the era.
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Budapest Summer Festival 10 June-28 August, multiple locations  

Summer days bring a great variety of alfresco live performances to the city, giving space to melodic music, captivating circus shows, fantastic opera performances, and much more, all taking place at the grand amphitheaters at the and at .  
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Movement Night 24 June, multiple locations   

Get your body moving with various fun forms of fitness on  and within the  premises, where sporty folks can warm up and exercise late into the night anytime between 10pm and 4am. Whether it’s running, cycling, salsa, zumba, Nordic walking, badminton, or yoga that feels close to your heart, this energy-boosting night will be your best bet when the sun goes down in Budapest.
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Night of the Museums 25 June, multiple locations

Visit several of Budapest’s exhibitions by night with an all-inclusive ticket that provides access to all participating museums for an intellectual crowd, and enjoy the countless cultural programs organized around this cultural feast. The thematic of the event this year focuses on “Heroes, explorers, and innovators”.
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Czech Beer Festival 24 June-3 July, (Parking lot on Dózsa György Road, near Heroes’ Square)

Budapest’s malt-infused movement serves to present popular and lesser-known artisanal Czech beers and morsels of Czech culture to residents and visitors to the Hungarian capital. Last year’s festival included genuine specialties from microbreweries like Purkmistr, Kout, Brevnov, Kocour and Sveti Norbert. Check out the event’s website to find out what this year’s festival brings to town.
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JULY

Photo: Formula 1
Vajdahunyad Castle Summer Music Festival 4 July-4 August, 

At the peak of summer, a month-long music festival enchants guests amid fairy-tale settings at Vajdahunyad Castle within City Park, providing diverse performances from symphonic concerts to Gypsy music, and much more.
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Red Bull Air Race World Championship 16-17 July, over the Danube in downtown Budapest

Thousands of visitors from all parts of the world conquer the Danube banks to see the world’s best pilots competing in a high-speed, low-altitude, and extreme maneuverability race, using the fastest, most agile, and lightweight racing planes ever. A breathtaking spectacle like no other. 
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Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix 22-24 July, Hungaroring

Since 1986, Budapest hosts one of the world’s biggest motor-sports events – the annual Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring racecourse, located just outside of the Magyar metropolis, where the world’s fastest drivers arrive to rev up their engines and zoom around the track in hopes of earning a shower of champagne at the finish line.
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AUGUST

Photo: Sziget Festival
Sziget Festival 10-17 August, 

One of Europe’s biggest alfresco gigs, the annual Sziget Festival, attracts revelers from all over the world to the Island of Freedom to celebrate together amid this week-long musical extravaganza with international superstars and acclaimed local performers of all genres. The annual good-time gathering is about blasting concerts, artful acts, and extravagant entertainment, alongside loads of chill zones and psychedelic settings. It’s an unforgettable experience.
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Public Holiday – observance of Saint Stephen’s Day and the Foundation of Hungary 20 August, honored nationally  

Every August 20th, Hungary honors its founding king with a national holiday of fantastic festivities and spectacular fireworks – and while these celebrations light up the night all across the country, Budapest hosts the nation’s biggest St. Stephen’s Day blowout. Great programs line the all-encompassing fiesta citywide: open-air concerts, gastronomy delights, the cutting ceremony of Hungary’s birthday cake, and a lot more. Check out .

Festival of Folk Arts 18-21 August,

Handmade jewels, wooden music instruments, colorful pottery, soft fabrics, and sturdy furniture fill the open spaces of the Buda Castle at this traditional festival that celebrates folk art in historic settings. Browse through an abundance of local products or learn how they are made.
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Budapest Short International Film Festival 30 August-4 September, multiple locations

Presenting young filmmakers of the Eastern European audiovisual sector, the annual BuSho Festival screens plenty of short movies, all in their original language with English subtitles. Furthermore, several artistic workshops are set to engage festival guests.
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SEPTEMBER

Photo: Zsolt Szigetváry/Budapest Wine Festival
Jewish Cultural Festival 4-11 September, multiple locations  

This event series of varied artistic styles celebrates Jewish culture and traditions with exciting programs at various venues, including the , the , and the Goldmark Hall, which was considered the citadel of Jewish cultural life in the previous century.
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Budapest Wine Festival 8-11 September 2015, 

Drink your way through Hungary’s wine regions and sample good libations from a huge assortment of wineries, while pampering your taste buds with local culinary specialties during the most prominent annual wine festival in the country, all happening amid the magical setting of the Buda Castle.
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Főzdefeszt and Street Food Show 9-11 September, Grand Meadow, 

The ever-growing popularity of small-scale brewing around Hungary is celebrated with the Főzdefeszt (“Brewers’ Festival” in Hungarian), which took place last September just a short stroll away from the towering statues of . Chug down a few pints of the carefully selected local and international suds to wash down the delicious eats provided by Budapest’s popular street-food vendors.   
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Drone Competition and Robotics Show 10 September, Hungexpo 

A high-flying drone competition and robotics show is set to take place in early fall in Budapest. Visitors can join various activities during the event, including drone-building workshops, drone-sumo competition, and much more.
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Wizz Air Budapest Half-marathon 11 September, City Park

Run with over 16.000 athletes and enjoy the eye-catching scenery of central Budapest through this energizing exercise that leads along Andrássy Boulevard, the Chain Bridge, and the bank of the Danube.
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National Gallop 16-18 September, 

Once a year, Budapest’s Heroes’ Square is transformed into a spectacular horse-racing track, where the country’s young jockeys hop into the saddle to shine like modern-day hussars. Hooves are pounding, dirt is flying, the crowd is cheering as herds of horses and riders compete for the grand prize and national glory.
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Sweet Days Chocolate And Sweets Festival 16-18 September, Szent István Square

The sweetest festival of Budapest boasts a variety of local handcrafted and international confections such as chocolates, cakes, and ice creams, presented by a wide range of exhibitors. Besides the sweet seductions, the event offers music, various family programs, gastro specialties, and a nice wine selection.  
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Bridging Europe 21-28 September, multiple locations


Each year, the Bridging Europe Festival seeks to highlight the culture of a different European nation, bringing their music to the Hungarian capital. Besides the musical performances, the festival presents vivid cultural programs, literature events, movie screenings, and dance shows onstage.
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Budapest Design Week 23 September-3 October, multiple locations

As one of Europe’s most essential occasions in the world of cutting-edge style, Budapest Design Week is an annual gathering of international visionaries transforming the city into a massive showcase for modern fashion, furniture, art, and much more at numerous venues hosting a huge variety of events, workshops, exhibits, and many other creative get-togethers. 
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Budapest International Documentary Festival 24 September-2 October, multiple locations

Unleashing the unique power of documentary movies, this film festival is an international competition for creative documentaries from all over the world, bringing diverse topics to light with real-life stories.
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Oktoberfest 29 September-October (date to be announced), 1956 Memorial Square

Like at the Münich-based Oktoberfest, barrels of beer star in the Hungarian edition of the world’s biggest suds-soaked festival in Budapest, where fans of beer experience something of the feeling of Bavaria’s alcohol-infused fiesta on the city’s 1956 Memorial Square, just a short stroll away from the historic .
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OCTOBER

Photo: Norbert Juhász/We Love Budapest
Chimney Cake Festival 7-9 October, 

This toothsome festival is dedicated to Hungary’s Chimney Cake (or Sekler Cake), a sugar-dusted round cake made of sweet yeast dough. Set around the Vajdahunyad Castle within Budapest’s City Park, here visitors can enjoy the succulent sweets in many flavors, like walnut, cinnamon, chocolate, coconut, or vanilla. Besides the savory confections, guests can sample a range of local traditional cheeses and selected sausages, and wash it all down with fine wines or shots of high-spirited drinks.
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CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival 7-23 October, multiple locations

Hosting local and international artists with nearly 200 events at multiple venues, this colorful festival offers a variety of art performances from classical to pop music, and from opera to contemporary-circus shows, along with exciting visual art exhibitions.
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SPAR Budapest Marathon 9 October,

Run past two World Heritage Sites before you cross the finish line during one of the biggest outdoor public sporting events in the Hungarian capital. On the first day of the event, participants can warm up over short distances, followed by long-distance challenges on the second day.
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Art Market Budapest 13-16 October, 

Within a labyrinthine viewing space filling multiple exposition halls and floors, exhibitors from many different countries congregate in Budapest to display their finest works at Hungary’s most prominent international contemporary art fair, showcasing impressive paintings, statues, installations, and many other aesthetic attractions.
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Pig Slaughter and Sausage Festival 21-23 October, Hungarian Railway Museum

Get a taste of the traditional Hungarian sausage heritage at this meaty feast, held amid the sprawling parkland of the Hungarian Railway Museum in Budapest’s District XIV. Here visitors can discover many of the country’s long-standing culinary customs, while devouring delicious meals accompanied by local pálinka (the nation’s fruit-based brandy).
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Public Holiday – observance of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 23 October, honored nationally

This holiday commemorates the 1956 Revolution against the Soviet occupation over Hungary, with political speeches and military processions at Kossuth Lajos Square, as well as a number of cultural programs organized around the historical day. Learn the history of 1956 in , and read the  who recalls the day that the revolution broke out. For a detailed program calendar, visit the website set up for the event.
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NOVEMBER

Photo: St. Martin's Day Hungarikum Festival
Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 8-13 November, multiple locations

Screening freshly released documentaries with a focus on human rights, this festival is the place for thought-provoking films, workshops, and retrospectives, while the best piece in the genre gets an award every year.
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St. Martin’s Day Festival 11 November, countrywide

As a highlight of the harvest season every November 11th, this day honors St. Martin of Tours – born within the nation’s boundaries in 316 AD – with gluttonous holiday gatherings countrywide. From grand festivals to diverse restaurants presenting special meals that showcase goose delicacies, Budapest presents many enticing events on this delightful occasion.

Cake Festival 12-13 November, Millenáris Park

The best patisseries and confectioneries come together to display their most popular cakes and bakes, including candy-covered cupcakes, toothsome tartlets, delicate brownies, and sweet macarons, along with creatively designed cake specialties.
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Budapest Jewish Film Festival 17 November, 

With a broad lineup of the latest movies depicting today’s Jewish culture and heritage, the Budapest Jewish Film Festival is the largest event of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, presenting a fresh selection of recent motion pictures from all over the world.
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DECEMBER

Photo: Krisztián Bódis/We Love Budapest
Santa Claus Day 6 December, countrywide

December 6th is the feast day for Saint Nicholas (known as “Mikulás” in Hungary), and over many centuries this became accepted as the traditional time when Santa comes to visit several Central European countries, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Hungary. Here kids shine their boots on the night of December 5th and place one on the windowsill, in hopes that they’ll awaken to find their shoe filled with candy and chocolates courtesy of kindly Mikulás.

Christmas markets throughout December, multiple dates and locations  

A festive spirit fills the air around town as Yuletide bazaars brighten the chilly nights across Budapest, filling many of the city’s public spaces and monumental buildings with sparkling lights and merry scenes. The fragrant scent of cinnamon intermingles with the aroma of mulled wine in the air, and visiting any of the city’s Christmas markets is like a journey to a winter wonderland, where cozy wooden stalls offer various local handicrafts and tasteful delicacies. Read  to find out what Budapest’s spirit-boosting festive fairs were like in 2015.

Santa Speedo Run December (date to be announced), 

Every December, a crowd of underdressed Santas take on the streets of District VII to run through Budapest’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.
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