Budapest Festivals – News, Information and Stories!
Festivals belong to Budapest like Goulash Soup or the Parliament. Mainly during summer time there are many festivals taking place in Budapest and all over Hungary, from the well known Sziget Festival over the very popular Wine Festival to the Mangalica Festival you can find a festival for nearly everything.
Budapest is also called “Festival City” and Hungarians love to enjoy their free days on festivals and listen to music from international musicians, eat and drink local specialties and simply be among other people.
Festival Calendar 2013
08. – 10. February Mangalica Festival
08. – 10. March Handmade Hungarian Trade Fair
22. March – 07. April Budapest Spring Festival
05. – 13. April Titanic Film Festival
18. – 21. April International Book Festival
16. – 19. May Budapest Pálinka Festival
31. May – 02. June Budai Gourmet Festival
08. – 30. June Gyerek Sziget
03. – 06. July Volt Festival
11. – 14. July Balaton Sound
05. – 12. August Sziget Festival
25. August – 01. September Jewish Summer Festival
11. – 15. September Budapest Wine Festival
18. November – 30. December Budapest Christmas Fair
Top 3 Festivals in Budapest
It is not easy to name the top events in the yearly festival calendar as they differ from each other very much. It is also a matter of taste, music taste or culinary taste, and interest for culture. One might have an interest in art another in music, one person likes hearty Hungarian food the other person rather culinary highlights from around the world. However below you can find the top 3 festivals in Budapest, one of each category (music, culinary and culture) which I think are essential to visit.
- Sziget Festival
- Budapest Wine Festival
- Spring Festival
The Sziget Festival is one of the largest European music festivals and for sure also one of the most spectacular. Sziget (meaning island in Hungarian) takes place on the Óbudai Island on the river Danube which divides the city into Buda and Pest. On this island you feel as if you are somewhere in the countryside but in fact you are in the heart of Budapest.
Sziget Festival Information – Sziget Festival News
The Budapest Wine Festival is a great event for 2 main reasons, the spectacular location and the deep insides of Hungarian wine culture. Wines from Hungary have a great reputation however the industry does not focus on export. So you might get a Tokaj wine in your supermarket but that’s about it. Hungarian wines are much more than this and do not need to fear high class wines from the typical suspect countries such as France or Italy. There are more, even less commercial wine festivals in Budapest and Hungary where you can taste wines whilst chatting to the owner. But the Budapest Wine Festival in the Buda Castle is the biggest and most popular among them.
Budapest Wine Festival Information – Wine Festival News
The Budapest Spring Festival celebrates over a fairly long period of time the beginning of Spring since many years. Around 40.000 visitors will visit one of the 70 mainly classical performances in around 50 venues during the 17 days. Art and music lovers from all over the city as well as the first tourists of the year are participating in this event.
Spring Festival Information
Festivals in Hungary
Of course there are not only Festivals in Budapest but all over Hungary. There is a festival dedicated to nearly anything from strawberry, cherry and other fruits to Pörkölt and Goulash soup somewhere in Hungary there is a festival for it. 2 of the biggest festivals in Hungary are not taking place in Budapest but at Lake Balaton and in Sopron near the Austrian border. The Balaton Sound Festival is the biggest festival for electronic music in Hungary which takes place every summer in Zamárdi and the Volt Festival in Sopron is another mainly rock music festival in Hungary.
- Volt Festival
- Balaton Sound
- Bekescsabai Kolbaszfestival
The Volt Festival in Sopron is a rock music festival (not only rock is played there but mainly) which takes place every year and attracts thousands of Hungarians but also Austrians as it is located near the Austrian border. While the Sziget Festival is a very commercialized festival with visitors from around the world Volt is a bit more local. Worth a visit.
The Balaton Sound is the biggest electric music festival in Hungary. Every summer thousands of people gather at Lake Balaton to celebrate on the shore of Zamárdi DJs from all around the world while bathing in the lake, sunbathing, playing games and just relax for a long weekend.
If you think about Hungary in most people’s mind is the sausage called “Kolbász” which is a tasty salami type of sausage which can be spicy or mild. If you ask me the best Kolbász in Hungary you can get on the Bekescsabai Kolbaszfestival which takes place in autumn every year in a small city called Békéscsaba which is around 200km away from Budapest. A well worth trip if you can buy fantastic sausage for the coming 12 months until you are back on the festival.
History of Festivals in Budapest
The Festivalmania started with a small festival in 1993 after the comunism era which was organized by a small group of artisits and general rock enthusiats, called the Diáksziget which is now known as the Sziget Festival, 2011 awarded as “the best major European festival”. Diáksziget translated means the Student island and it kept the name until 1997 when the first main sponsor Pepsi branded it the Pepsi Sziget until 2001 when it became the today known Sziget Festival. Not that the Sziget Festival was the first festival in Budapest but it was the tipping point when Hungarians started to enjoy music, culture and other topics together and independent.
Importance of Festivals in Budapest today
Today, as mentioned above, festivals belong to Budapest like the Parliament building or the Opera. As you can see in the right menu during summer time there is a major festival in each month and that has a reason. Most of the festivals in Budapest, at least the big ones, are organised by the same company EMG (Est Media group). The EMG is the organiser of the Sziget, the Volt, Balaton Sound, Gyerek Sziget and many more events. Also in their portfolio you can find print media, online media, music and indoor activites and much more. So as you can see many channels are covered by EMG which is the largest festival oraganizer in Hungary.
I have craeted this website because I love to go to festivals in Budapest and like to create websites. So this website was a logical consequence next to my other websites about Budapest. It stated all end of 2011 after the Festival marathon, when I took images, went to nearly all of the festivals listed here and had a lot of impressions. So I decided that I setup this website covering all the festivals I have been to before 2011 and build up more and more festivals in 2012 so that it becomes a decent source for news and information around all festivals in Budapest and all over Hungary.
If you feel like contributing to BudapestFestivals.com you can do so by sending in your festival pictures or reviews about festivals you have visited or in case you want to contribute more I am happy to get your guestblogging articles or even your full contribution as an editor.
There is still no money involved, the ads shown do not even cover hosting costs and the domain so in case you see this as a job offer I can only offer you experience and practice. I hope you understand.
Budapest All in One Guide
Information for travellers to Budapest, programs, Budapest airport transfer, sightseeings.All you need and many more!
In case you are coming from abroad and need to get a place to stay you should be looking for Hotels in Budapest, especially city center hotels as most fetivals take place in downtown Budapest to attract as many people as possible.