City guide
Events Horizon: what’s happening in Budapest – May 2018
Photo : Norbert Juhász / WLB

There are so many major things going on in May 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!

Rag and Bone Man Food Truck Show Budapest Budapest100 Day of Birds and Trees James Blunt The Night of Art Cinemas Rosalia – Rosé and Champagne Festival  Total Dance Festival Cabrio Mayday of Museums Gourmet Festival Game of Thrones Concert Budapest Beer Week

Rag and Bone Man

Photo: Rag and Bone Man

“Oh, my love, we almost had it all…” When Rory Graham’s deep, bass-baritone soul-stirring voice starts singing it gets under your skin. With songs full of feeling and meaning, and utterly beautiful lyrics, there is absolutely no question that Rag and Bone Man is a true talent. And when you get a call from Elton John himself because he loves you, well, you are well on your way. In 2017 Rory Graham struck gold with his massive hit, ‘Human’ that charmed the whole world, leading to unstoppable success making him the fastest-selling male debut album of this decade. Graham is currently on his Grande Reserve Tour around Europe, which brings him to Budapest’s Papp László Sportaréna on May 4th. This will be unforgettable! More details

Food Truck Show Budapest

Photo: Kincsem Park

This alfresco festival gathers the best of Budapest’s food trucks to the Kincsem Park racecourse between May 4th and 6th. 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, while film screenings brighten up the evenings. Over the weekend, a yellow school bus rides between central Deák tér and Kincsem Park, transporting passengers for free. More details (in Hungarian)  

Budapest100

Photo: Budaoes

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 May 5th and 6th are mostly concentrated around 24 of the city’s squares. Activities taking place for the occasion should unveil lesser-known details of the buildings located at these hubs. More details

Day of Birds and Trees

Photo: Kazinczy Street

On May 5th, 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 in order to celebrate nature in the middle of the city. The not-so-secret aim of this family-friendly street festival is showing how lovely it would be if the street could be permanently transformed into a more liveable and greener promenade for pedestrians and bikers only. Breakfasts, pop-up clothes stalls, belly-dancing performances, photo shoots and children’s attractions entertain crowds here from 10am to 8pm. More details

James Blunt

Photo: James Blunt

Think of James Blunt and you think of You’re Beautiful and then you can’t get it out of your head. Somewhere in the mid-noughties, this English singer-songwriter released this hit song – with a slightly strange music video, but let’s not go into that – and it propelled him to stardom. A whole decade has passed, he has come out with dozens of hits and people are getting married to his timeless tune. Last year, he told Huffington Post what he thought about it, and…: “You get labelled with these things like, ‘Oh, James Blunt. Isn’t he just a soft romantic?’ Well, f… that. No, I’m not. ‘You’re Beautiful’ is not this soft romantic f… song. It’s about a guy who’s high as a f… kite on drugs in the subway stalking someone else’s girlfriend when that guy is there in front of him, and he should be locked up or put in prison for being some kind of perv.” Guess you did not know this about Blunt, did you? Head to the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna on May 8th and see what else he’s got up his sleeve. More details

The Night of Art Cinemas

Photo: Budapest Film

Budapest has several ornate art-house film theatres which, for one special night each spring, stay open until dawn to screen movies of various genres until the sun rises. This year, on May 11th-12th, night owls can visit five Budapest cinemas – MűvészPuskinKino CaféTabán and Toldi – with one single wristband. Many of these movies play in original language and Hungarian or English subtitles. Each cinema focuses on a special theme: Művész highlights directors, screening the features of Roman Polanski, Wim Wenders and Tarantino; Puskin plays true stories like I, Tonya, The Darkest Hour; at Toldi, the spotlight is on rowdy romance stories, while Kino Café gives the limelight to the ladies with Lady Bird, Mother! and Thelma and Louise. Tabán will screen iconic Hungarian films. More details (in Hungarian)

Rosalia – Rosé and Champagne Festival 

Photo: Rosalia

Between May 11-13, 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 the live performances of 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. More details

Total Dance Festival Cabrio

Photo: Total Dance Festival

Travel back in time to relive the ’80s and ’90s for a nostalgic gathering at Budapest Park on May 12th. For this mind-blasting bash, the line-up includes stars such as Fun FactoryIce MCBrooklyn BounceLou Bega, Dune and DJ Sash, while choreographed dance shows and several surprises also entertain crowds. More details (in Hungarian)

Mayday of Museums

Photo: Mayday of Museums

Filling the gardens of the Hungarian National Museum with diverse open-air displays, the annual Mayday of Museums Festival is taking place on May 13th, highlighting the work of major Budapest exhibition spaces. Altogether 70 institutions from all over the country will be represented, while children’s activities and concert entertain visitors. Entry is free. More details

Gourmet Festival

Photo: Gourmet Festival

A prominent event in the Hungarian culinary agenda, the annual Gourmet Festival takes place this year between May 17th and 20th at the Millenáris Park on the Buda side. Budapest’s top restaurants, fine wineries, pálinka distilleries and confectioneries set up stalls to proffer delicate dishes to epicures. Attending this gastronomic extravaganza feels like being invited to a deluxe picnic, with live music performances thrown in. More details

Game of Thrones Concert

Photo: YouTube

Music is coming… Series often annoy viewers with unnecessarily long intros, but Game of Thrones is one where you don’t have to click on skip as the theme song is great. If you are a fan of the hit HBO series and its soundtrack, this show is totally for you. Listening to live renditions of the most epic soundtrack moments – from all seven seasons in the series – while watching each of your favourite characters get their own tribute montage is about as good as it gets. Renowned composer Ramin Djawadi brings Westeros to Budapest’s Papp László Sportaréna on May 18th, don’t miss. More details

Budapest Beer Week

Photo: Budapest Beer Week

Between May 20th and 27th, Budapest dedicates a whole week to craft beer. This hop-fuelled festival brings together 16 countries, 45 breweries and 180 beers for you to sink as many suds as you wish. The main events, two unlimited tasting sessions and rowdy parties, take place on May 25th and 26th at Dürer Kert, but you can sample ales, meet brewers and enjoy live music shows at the hottest craft-beer places in Budapest over all eight days. More details