There are so many major things going on in June that you shouldn’t miss. In this events round-up, we bring together all of the important happenings taking place in and around Hungary’s capital in the upcoming weeks, so you can plan the month ahead. Get out there and enjoy everything that Budapest has to offer!
The world’s first android citizen, humanoid robot Sofia, dexterous production designer of The Dark Knight, Interstellar and Dunkirk Nathan Crowley, Google vice president Jacquelline Fuller and renowned chef of three Michelin-starred restaurants, Massimo Bottura, are all among the special guests of this year’s Brain Bar. This annual futuristic festival, taking place between June 1st and 2nd, is a meeting of bright minds, where far-reaching discussions investigate what the future holds for humankind. This year’s Brain Bar covers questions such as how to fight against tech monopolies, the role of creativity in business, how to solve the migration crisis, how fiction can help us fight for freedom and if we should be afraid of humanoid robots. More details
Generali Children's Island
Concerts, slackline, arts and crafts activities, puppet shows, playhouses, a petting zoo, a climbing wall, trampolines and endless kinds of fun-filled games; every Saturday and Sunday between June 2nd and 24th, Óbuda Island – the site of Budapest’s annual Sziget Festival – turns into an immense playground for adults and children alike. Endless exciting activities await amid the greenery of the island, and entry is free for all. More details (in Hungarian)
On June 3rd, one of the world’s most prominent rock musicians appears at the Budapest Arena. In addition to performing his biggest hits, this American legend will also play a few new songs released this spring. Winner of four consecutive Grammy Awards, Lenny Kravitz has transcended genre, style, race and class into a two-decade musical career that has produced ten studio albums. More details
Downtown Beer Festival
2018 is the year of premium Hungarian beers. Between June 6th and 15th, Szabadság tér in the city centre will be one of the best places to hang out in Budapest, thanks to endless quantities of constantly flowing cold beer. Throughout the event, you can enjoy more than 250 specially scented local and imported specialities, beer premieres and live music concerts. The largest number of craft-beer manufactures from all over Hungary gather at one spot and food trucks offer delicious handheld treats. Entry to the festival is free, but you need to buy a tasting glass to try the endless variations of beer. More details
Between June 8th and 14th, Budapest hosts one of Hungary’s most colourful cultural events, the Danube Carnival. This fun-filled multicultural festival offers a wide range of exciting happenings at various venues around the city, including performances of folk, symphonic and world music, as well as traditional and contemporary dance. Expect 1,000 or so performers from Hungary and beyond, combining to create a vibrant atmosphere. More details
In June, scores of cool concerts will be rocking the A38 Ship, a repurposed Ukrainian cargo vessel that is today one of the hottest hangouts in Budapest. Parties aboard are aplenty, but here is out pick of the bunch: on June 8th yesyes present their unique blend of drum ‘n’ bass, electronic music and live instrumentation, while on June 23rd, London-based five-piece Jam Experiment tread the boards. On the same day, the next big thing in house music, Glaswegian Denis Sulta, shakes the decks, while the following day, UK indie band Superorganism bring their best songs to Budapest. On June 28th, Hungarian rock band Hollywoodoo takes the stage.
Etyek Summer Picnic
The picturesquely rustic wine community of Etyek – about 30km west of Budapest – is full of excellent boutique wineries with friendly, small-batch family producers amid wonderfully green vineyards. The region is mostly known for crisp whites, and some of the country’s best Pinot Noir. This adorable village hosts homely picnics four times a year, presenting top wines and gastronomic treasures typical of each season. The summer picnic, taking place on June 9th and 10th at Újhegy, welcomes visitors with delicious wines, tasty dishes, family activities, outdoor cooking and fantastic folk concerts. Guests can stroll the unpaved roads of the hill, popping into various cellars to sample distinctive tipples, amid the musty aroma of oak barrels and tantalising bouquets of wine. This year, focus falls on lecsó (Hungarian ratatouille) and rosé wines.
How to get there: Take the shuttle bus 760 from Budapest’s Kelenföld station (M4 metro) to Etyek autóbusz forduló.
Budapest Summer Festival
The Budapest Summer Festival – an event series held between June 9th and August 31st – connects several cultural institutes and outdoor performance venues in the city’s sprawling parklands of Margaret Island and Városmajor Park. Home-grown Hungarian talent and prominent entertainers from all around the world will be providing eclectic performances, including classical concerts, captivating circus shows and soaring opera spectaculars. This year’s must-see events are the opera premiere of Richard Strauss’ Salome, the first performance in Hungary of violin virtuoso , Ara Malikian, and a concert by Hungarian singer and instrumentalist Balázs Szabó. More details
Hidden away in a big forest at Nagykovácsi, on the border of Budapest and mother nature, Kolorádó welcomes mellow merrymakers for five days of live music and fresh-air fun. During the day, revellers can recover from the previous night while chilling amid the greenery and awakening their arty side, while after the sun goes down, local and international musicians take the stage, enticing everyone to dance under the starry skies until dawn. This year you’ll be able to party to the music of Kelela and Wavves from the USA, the UK’s Perc, Tops from Canada, Axel Boman from Sweden, and several other musical acts, between June 13th and 17th. More details
Billy Elliot – The Musical
11-year-old Billy Elliot lives in a hardscrabble English mining town in the mid-1980s with his father and older brother. Following the family tradition, he takes up boxing lessons, but after stumbling upon girls practising dancing, Billy discovers that he is a ballet-loving boy, and he’s not at all bad at it. Will his artistic talent bring the family and the community together? Will Billy succeed in making his dreams come true? This musical adaptation which has delighted audiences around the world is a collaboration between Elton John and the winning team behind the original 2000 feature film. The dialogue of this show is in Hungarian, but English surtitles are presented above the stage. You can watch this heartwarming masterpiece on different dates in June at the Erkel Theatre. More details
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Save the date! Living legend Nick Cave and his band come to Budapest. The Australian singer is one of the most influential and most inventive of our time. He and his band bring their latest album, as well as their best songs, to Budapest’s Papp László Sportaréna on June 21st. More details
Night of the Museums
On June 23rd you can find out whether museums really do come alive after the sun goes down. The Night of Museums is an annual event when many exhibition venues in Budapest stay open until late at night, awaiting families with plenty of exciting events that can all be visited with one all-inclusive wristband. Besides perusing permanent and temporary museum displays, you can join the special cultural activities set up for the occasion across participating locations. More details
Red Bull Air Race
The Red Bull Air Race fills Budapest’s skies with extreme aerobatic stunts performed by some of the world’s most daring pilots right above the river, using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes. This air show generally exceeds any expectations, because in addition to flying between floating checkpoints, the planes pass beneath the Chain Bridge, amazing the crowd of spectators lining the length of the riverside. A combination of high speed and extreme manoeuvres make this race an unparalleled visual spectacle that everyone can enjoy between June 23rd and 24th, over the Danube in the city centre. More details