We do not have long sea shores, high mountains or Mediterranean atmosphere, but but we do have the Lake Balaton, limitless summer festivals, strolls on the shadowy lanes of the Margaret Island, shopping in the trendiest boutiques, or a cool swig on a breezy bar-terrace. While in Budapest, just enjoy your summer break and do not miss out on anything!
Summer is the favorite season of almost every Hungarian, thus it is worth joining them in this delighted celebration. Take the chance of countless open air festivals, craft fairs and early wine feasts, or bond up with half of the country and head down to Lake Balaton. The north part is classier while the south is more upbeat, but nevertheless the entire region is coming up rapidly to please all kinds of demands. In the capital, the temperature might be a little to hefty for your body, but the overall relaxed atmosphere will surely compensate. Especially, if you are accompanied by a nice glass of Fröccs, Mojito or Daiquiri, it can be quite a relief after a sizzling day.
At the Andrassy Avenue-Liszt Ferenc tér ,Ráday utca or Bazilika-Vörösmarty square-Danube Promenade areas everyone would be sitting outside having conversations with nippy drinks in front of them. For the more adventurous, we recommend getting sunburn at one of the urban open air pools in Budapest, it is really a local experience and truly refreshing.
If you desire more and still didn’t get knocked out after a long day, than spending the night the off beaten tracks, you must search for an outdoor concert for example in Zöld Pardon, West Balkan, Gödör Club or Cha-Cha-Cha at Margitsziget. This is something really exciting, because you will meet ordinary people listening to their favorite Hungarian band or DJ. You might get a chance to have a glass of beer or shockingly enough a glass of red wine with coke (attempted murder) with one of the artists. If you are more up to some chic entertainment, head the hip clubs of Hajógyári Island, Club Kreol, Choco, Symbol and the all time favorite, Romkert. They will greet you with open arms, and maybe you say goodbye with less cash but more unforgettable memories. For some hidden private-party jam, check back constantly, or contact us any time!
That was the urban way of spending summer days and nights, but if you choose a day when the Sun doesn’t burn so fiercely there is a completely different world outside the cities. The countryside tourism allows you to enjoy the genuine village or farm life in a neatly decorated peasant cottage with some exceptional quality wineries and restaurants. Don’t say no to a little pálinka, a nice wine or a big bowl of beef stew served by the owner of the house. The lucky ones could even experience the July/August harvest season.
Enjoy the beat, the surroundings and indulge your senses… You should not be left unsatisfied, just check out one of the three main music festivals. In July the Volt festival takes place in Sopron, followed by the Balaton Sound at Siófok, on the waves of the lake and in August the biggest music event of Central-Europe, the renowned Sziget Festival!! To learn more about festivals, click here!
Wine and Fish, Opera and Ballet, Hunting and Sailing, Crafts and Arts ,-Everything is there, select and come at the right time, the Hungarian summer is full with action and joy. If you want to discover Hungary’s art and folk festivals, click here!
The 20th of August:
This day Hungary celebrates the founding of the state. It is also called the birthday of Hungary. On the 20th of August the biggest programs are held in Budapest, but in almost every town or village you van find some parades, celebrations or programs. If you spend the day in Budapest, you van admire a grand firework, an air race under the bridges of the Danube, and numerous parades throughout the city. Huge crowds come out to the banks of the Danube, so you definitely shouldn’t miss it! If you’re lucky enough, you can book your hotel room at the Danube promenade and admire the fireworks from a full panorama! To learn more about the 20th of august, read further in the holiday section!
Summer Holidays: 20th of August
Around this day everyone returns from their holidays, and hopes that nice weather lasts till the end of the 20th August celebrations.
This special feast brings color, diversity and joy into the last days of hot Hungarian summer. Diversity above all, as it is not only the number and types of events that take place for 3 days all over the country, but the reason of celebration itself. Hungary first of all remembers her first Christian king – Stephen I. Before his reign Hungary was a pagan country, and he was the one who recognized that the peoples of the Carpathian basin would only survive if they took up the Christian religion. To achieve this, he had to go through hard times with his own relatives and the pagan tribes. After being the grand prince of Hungary for 3 years, he was crowned king either on Christmas day in 1000 or 1st January 1001 and was canonized on 20th August 1083. He is known as the founder of the Kingdom of Hungary.
St Gellért has to be mentioned for two reasons: first that he was the newly founded kingdom’s first bishop and that Gellért-hegy on Buda side was named after him. Gellért was on his way to the Holy Land when suffered shipwrecked and the abbot of Pannonhalma persuaded him to come to Hungary. Later he spent most of his time in István’s court and was made bishop. But his life ended tragically not long after the king’s death. Rebellious pagans pushed him off a hill by the Danube, which place now bares the name of St Gellért. But 20th August had several interpretations since the 1900’s. It had been the day of new bread, the day of Constitution and the day of the Holy Crown – which can be seen in the Parliament. In the 50’s though there was a strong will from the Government’s side to deprive this holiday of its Christian past.
Then interestingly more and more folkloristic elements began to come into picture. This mixture shows itself in the wide range of events, namely: the most awaited high quality craft fair in Buda Castle – Mesterségek Ünnepe, several musical events down by river Danube and along Andrássy Avenue, a newly introduced air show called the Red Bull air race and finally the day is crowned with spectacular fire works. If you see crowds of people starting to gather on top of high buildings or on bridges and on Duna part – well, the reason is that they do not want to miss the fire works, which never had been absent since we celebrate the 20th August. On the 20th of August you should never miss the commemoration of the founding of Hungary. During the day amazing air shows are taking place over the Danube, such as the Red Bull Air Race. In the evening, the culmination of the celebration is the glamorous fireworks and leaser show over the Danube, on the bridges and on the Buda hills. An unforgettable experience for the whole family. If you have the chance, book a panoramic hotel room and you can enjoy this fabulous show from the best place you can get! Remember! A splendid Budapest summer is always enlightened!
Photo: László Balkányi / We Love Budapest 5 pictures
Sör (Beer) – No, we are not a typical beer drinking nation, like Germany, Belgium or the Czech Republic but we still very much enjoy drinking the oldest alcoholic drink. We have a wide Variety of local breweries, most dating back to the 19th century, which capitalized the high-quality local water s and fine barley.
Lángos– Lángos is a typical retro food. It gained popularity during the years of communism, when everybody ate it at Balaton, which – back than – was the most popular summer destination in the Eastern Bloc. Lángos is a pasta-mass fried in oil. It can be flavored with garlic, cheese, sour cream, or its combinations. Today it is available in fancier and more versatile tastes also, but these are the standards! You can still find lángos at almost every beach during summer!
Sült Hekk (Fried Hekk)– It is also a typical beach food. It is fried in oil with a spicy – so called – “fur”. It matches perfectly French fries and beer.
(Görög)dinnye (Watermelon) – In Hungarian we call it greek-melon, and love it in summer! If you drive around the country you will find melon sellers everywhere, usually with a small stand, an old car and huge piles of watermelon. Even if the vendor looks a bit unsettling, don’t hesitate to buy a big watermelon, as Hungarian melon is world class!
Fagyi (Ice cream) – Hungarians are big ice-cream consumers. Every child begs for mommy to get an extra dumpling. Traditional Hungarian flavors are vanilla (vanília); chocolate (csoki); punch (puncs); russian cream (oroszkrém); esterházy; gerbeaud; or the – extra-blue – Smurfs (hupikék törpikék).