Programs, Activity Recommendations
August offers the richest selection of events, festivals and other programs in Budapest. The main event of the month is St. Stephen’s Day, on August 20.: a National Holiday ending with fireworks at 21.00.
Festivals, Other Events in the Last Month of Summer
Weather – Recommended: Fireworks & Cruise With Dinner 20. Aug – Top Activities – Folk Art Festival – 20th August Festivities – Beer Festival In Downtown – Summer Festival Margaret Isl. – Cholent Festival – Free Mini Concerts – TIP: Concerts In The Basilica & Other Churches – Splash In The Gellért Bath – Sights, Tour Tips – Museum Exhibitions – Cafes, Pubs – Parties, Nightlife – Sziget Festival
August tends to be scorching hot and dry in the last month of summer.
There are heat waves with no clouds and rain in sight, so do bring your
- Summer cap,
- Sunscreen and
- Comfy, light clothes and shoes.
Plan your program to avoid the hottest hours on the midday sun, or if you do have to be outside, take frequent rests and have a bottle of water with you.
Fireworks Show & Cruise With Dinner, 27. August
Date & Time: 27. August/Saturday, 19.00 – 21.00
The spectacular fireworks ending the St. Stephen’s Day festivities have been rescheduled to 27. August/Saturday.
You can enjoy the show from the deck of a cruise boat along with a splendid 3-course dinner and all-inclusive drinks from the bar.
Price: 145 EUR (Likely To Sell Out!)
- A cruise on the Danube,
- 4-course buffet dinner with live music,
- Open bar with unlimited drinks, and
- Watching the fireworks from one of the best possible viewing points
Top Budapest Experiences In August
Pálinka Experience With Guiding & Tasting
We have been on this tour recently and had a terrific time. The museum is centrally located in Király utca, the old Jewish Quarter.
The guide is knowledgeable, yet fun. He will tell you interesting facts about this strong, alcoholic drink, but not in an encyclopedic style.
You can choose from several tasting menus
Note: The program is available with a visit to the Széchenyi Bath for a great half-day activity!
The combo ticket includes a 2cl plum brandy sample but of course you can have more from the menu. They have a wide selection, even cocktails made with pálinka if you want a drink lighter on alcohol.
We pay honor to our first King, St. Stephen (cc. 970-980 – 1038.) who formed a stable Christian Kingdom of Hungary out of the seven nomadic tribes arriving in the Carpathian basin at the end of the IX. century.
It is also the holiday of the new bread baked from the newly harvested wheat and rye, as well as a thanksgiving for good harvest.
It is a sort of closing celebration of summer helping everyone to prepare in mind for the coming of autumn and the new school year.
The holiday ends with spectacular fireworks over the Danube and the bridges that you can enjoy from the open deck of a historic cruise ship:
NOTE: The Fireworks scheduled at 9pm on 20. August have been POSTPONED TO 27. August due to bad predicted rain and storms.
Quick TIP: If you wander around the city centre: Vörösmarty Square, Liberty Square, Szent István Square/Basilica, Vigadó Square, and the banks of the Danube you will definitely bump into a festival, concert or other program that catches your interest over the 4 days of the festivities.
Programs During The 4 Days Include:
- State ceremonies on Kossuth tér in front of the Parliament building, 8.00 – 9.00
- Air show over the Danube in front of the Parliament starting at 09.00 – 10.00
- Festival Of Folk Arts in Buda Castle offers craft fair, folk dance and music, children activities, food and drinsk, 19 – 21. August
- Csárdafesztivál/Festival of Inns/Taverns On Vörösmarty Square, 18 – 21. August,
- Street of Hungarian Flavours August 19 – 21.: Gastro promenade between Várkert Bazaar and Döbrentei Square in Buda, starts at 10.00 on 19. August. Here you can taste and buy traditional local food, Hungary’s Cake and bread, as well as other bakery goods.
- Food Truck Show & Concerts – Liberty Square/Szabadság tér, 19 – 21. August 2022.
- Blessing the new bread at cc. 15.00 at the Statue of St. Stephen in Buda Castle (Part of the Folk Art Festival)
- Holy Mass and the procession of Saint Stephen’s alleged holy right hand at St. Stephen’s Basilica starting at 17.00,
- An impressive fireworks show that you can watch from the Danube.
FREE for everyone
- 10.00 – 23.00,
- except on 20. August: 10.00 – 21.00 (the folk art fair is open between 10.00 – 21.00 each day)
The 4-day festival is organised each year in the courtyards of the Royal Palace on Buda Castle Hill.
An ideal program for families because the festival offers a couple of great activities for children of all ages:
- Folk dance and music performances and
- Craft fair
- Folk art workshops,
- Kids’ programs: puppet show, toys and games, craft workshops
TIP: There is also a folk art market where you can buy quality products (ceramics, glass, wood, leather, and enameled artifacts).
At the Folk Pub you can chill and relax with a cool drink and tasty food while enjoying the melodies and dance performances.
Concerts, culinary delights, a harvest process round up the event that is tightly connected to St. Stephen’s day on 20. August.
Cholent Festival, Újbuda – 28. August, 2022
- Újbuda Parkszínpad (Újbuda Park Stage) – at Feneketlen tó Lake
- 11.00 – 27.00, August 28., Sunday, 2022.
- FREE entry (You have to pay for food and drinks)
This Jewish gastronomy festival is held for the 6th time.
Besides offering an opportunity to taste the cholent of three countries – Hungary, Israel, and Libya – a series of concerts and children programs will entertain visitors.
The location moved from Kazinczy Street, a vibrant cultural and gastronomy spot of district VII to a charming green park next to a small lake Feneketlen-tó inBuda
The section of Kazinczy between Király and Wesselényi Streets will be turned into a cultural and foodie festival focusing on the emblematic Jewish dish, the cholent.
What To Expect?
- Lots of cholent – including vegan options – and other kosher food prepared in various ways.
- Kids program (puppet show, story telling, jump castle, contests) at 11.00 – 12.00 and at 15.30-16.15,
- Concerts and magician show in the afternoon.
Entry to the event is free but you have to pay for food and drinks. A basic cholent is 1 000 HUF, extra cholent: 1 500 HUF.
Beer Festival in Budapest’s City Centre, 30. Aug – 04. Sept
Location: Szabadság tér/Liberty Sqr.
- Free, but you need to buy a festival glass to taste beers (2 799 HUF)
Liberty Square park will be a venue for a 6-day beer fest where you can sample the best brews of Hungary made both by large breweries and smaller craft beer makers.
It’s easy to get to the park either by walk or public transport and you can include the festival in your sightseeing program since it’s so close to many noteable landmarks (Basilica, the Parliament).
Besides beer there will be plenty of foof and concerts in the evenings. What more you need to have a great time?
Gellért Thermal Bath – Outdoor Pools In The City Centre
The open-air pools of this magnificent, historic spa are an ideal place to relax at on a sultry August day
There are two pools:
- A larger one with wave function (doesn’t operate in 2022) and a
- Smaller one a level above the wave pool with some neck and back massaging jets.
You can also try the pools inside (children under 14 are not allowed to visit the thermal scetions).
TIP: If you go early enough in the morning you will avoid the crowd and the hottest hours of the day.
After splashing and sunbathing do look around inside the bath.
It boasts great turn-of-the-19th-20th century architecture with beautiful stained glass windows and mosaics.
- Kelenhegyi út 4., district XI., Buda, at the bridgehead of the Szabadság Bridge, at the foot of Gellért Hill
The bath is easily accessible either on foot or using public transport. It’s centrally located in Buda, next to the Liberty Bridge and Gellért Hill, also must-see attractions of the city.
- M4 (green) metro,
- Trams 47, 49, (from Deák Ferenc tér metro hub in Pest), get off at Gellért tér stop, or
- Trams 19, 48, 49, 56, 56A also ahve a stop at Gellért Bath
- Buses 7, 133
- Every day 09.00 – 19.00
- Pools close at 18.45
- Casheir closes at 18.00
- Weekdays: 7 100 HUF (cc. 18 EUR, use of locker is included)
- Weekends/Holidays: 7 600 HUF (cc. 19 EUR, use of locker is included)
Read also our Tips on How to Beat the Heat in Budapest.
- Margaret Island-Open-Air Stage, Water Tower, Városmajor Open-Air Stage
- Getting There: trams 4, 6 get off at Margizszigeti lejáró then walk, by boat (see the linked post below)
The last month of the Budapest Summer Festival offers a wide range of cultural programs in various genres:
- You can see Giuseppe Verdi’s ATTILA, a Semi-staged opera on 12. August, Friday with the Hungarian State Opera House’s orchestra and chorus
- Light music concerts by Hungarian performers will be on stage in August.
Attractions Not To Miss In August, Unique Tour Tips
- Location: Ybl Miklós tér, district I., between the Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge
- Getting There:
Exhibitions are opne Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00
What To Do At Várkert Bazar?
The refurbished Castle Bazaar & Royal Gardens (Várkert Bazár), historical building complex designed by Miklós Ybl, was inaugurated a few years ago
Explore the beautifully restored arcaded buildings and promenade to enjoy
- A fine view of the Danube and the Pest side,
- The green peacefulness of a neo-Renaissance garden on 5000 sqm,
- Exhibitions on various topics
- Cafes, bistros and an
The underground event hall usually offers great program for a summer afternoon.
There’s an escalator that takes you up almost to the Royal Palace (you have to walk a bit to get there).
The southern palaces regularly host exhibitions usually on Hungarian historical topic.
Guided Tour Tip
TIP: You can visit the palaces and gardens on a 90-minute guided tour, titled Sisi and her beloved Hungary. Expert guides will tell you about the life of Sisi, Hungary’s beloved queen and wife of Emperor Josef II.
During the walk you will also get a glimpse into the history of the buildings and the beautiful neo-Renaissance garden.
Price:4 000 HUF/prs. Tours depart from the Southern Palace/Déli palota, (Ybl Miklós tér 5., distr. I.) Duration: cc. 90 minutes.
Registration is required at the (+36 ) 30 -198 5274 mobile number. Tickets can be bought at the Ticket office in the Testőrpalota/ Guards’ Palace/(Ybl Miklós tér 2., distr. I.).
Date & Time:
- Till August 18.: at most venues: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
All concerts are free.
Locations & Schedule – 5 Budapest Landmarks
- Castle Bazaar & Garden, Gloriett, Brass in Hussar Uniforms (Handel, Carpantier, Purcell), Sundays at 17.00
- Buda Castle, Csikós Udvar (Csikós Courtyard), Brass in Hussar Uniforms (Handel, Carpantier, Purcell), Sundays at 18.00
- Hungarian National Museum – Con Fuoco Clarinet Quartet and András Káldi Kiss opera singer, Saturdays at 11.00 and 11.30
- Museum Of Fine Arts – Leggiero Saxophone Quartet, Sundays at 11.00 and 11.30.
- Margaret Island, Musical Fountain (Northern tip)
The Hungarian capital deserves to be called “The City of Music” besides other nicknames such as the “Pearl of the Danube” or the “City of Healing Waters”.
This summer you can listen too mini concerts for free at various locations:
For example in Castle Bazaar at 17.00 then in Buda Castle at 18.00 on Sundays you can enjoy Brass in Hussar Uniforms (Handel, Carpantier, Purcell). Take tram 19 to get there.
Concerts last cc. 15-20 minutes and are performed by musicians of Budapest’s prestigious orchestras.
Concerts in Matthias Church
Fridays Starting at 19.00/7 pm
The Church of Our Lady in Buda Castle (better known as Matthias Church) gives home to wonderful classical music performances played by orchestras from around the world.
The repertoire includes classical pieces ranging from Gregorian, Baroque to spiritual music and contemporary church works.
Tickets To The Concert
Prices depend on seat category.
- Category A tickets price (right behind the VIP seats): 40 EUR
- Category B tickets price: 32 EUR
- VIP tickets (at the best spot for the best experience): 48 EUR.
Free cancellation if something comes up and you aren’t able to attend the program.
The more than 100 museums and exhibition halls of Budapest always offer some exciting exhibits.
Museum Of Fine Arts Exhibitions
- Address: Dózsa György út 41., Heroes’ Square, XIV. district
- Getting There: M1 (yellow) line, Heroes’ Square station
- Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10.00 – 18.00 (Exhibitions close at 17.30), Closed: Mondays
TIP: The museum currently hosts a Henry Matisse exhibit that can be visited on 3 Mondays in August: 15., 22., and 29. from 10.00 . Tickets: full price: 4 200 HUF, students/pensioners: 2 100 HUF.
Admission – Permanent Exhibits:
- Full price: 3 400 HUF, discounts: 1 700 HUF/students (6-26 years old) and pensioners (62-70 years old), FREE with Budapest card.
- FREE Entry for everyone on 20th August/St. Stephen’s Day, Open: 10.00 – 18.00 (last entyr is at 17.00
Visit the refurbished Fine Arts Museum and its renewed exhibits!
The basement level is home to Ancient Egyptian art and Classical Antiquities.
The ground floor of the museum has three grand halls of different architectural styles that worth visiting.
Ground Floor –
- Marble Hall
- Renaissance Hall,
- Romanesque Hall,
- Baroque Hall
- Michelangelo Hall
- Temporary Exhibition Halls
1st Level –
- European Art 1250–1600
- European Art 1600 – 1700 & British Art 1600 – 1800
- European Sculpture 1350–1800
- Art in Hungary 1600–1800 (display of the baroque collection from the Hungarian National Gallery in a new exhibition area)
Budapest is chock full of restaurants, cafes bars and pubs. Here are our picks to try in August.
Address: Múzeum krt. 15.
- Mon – Fri: 07.30 – 19.00,
- Sat – Sun: 09.00 – 19.00
A new specialty coffee bar is behind the unoriginal name on Múzeum krt (just across the Hungarian National Museum) in a spacious, airy historic building (
The cafe – formerly antique and used books shop incorporates parts of the medieval city wall of Pest.
The road already has a new wave coffee shop, Fekete (translates to black, though they seem to focus more on milky coffee beverages) just a few blocks from Bp baristas.
Anyway, the compulsory
- La Marzocco espresso machine,
- Hario V60,
- AeroPress and
- other gadgets for alternative ways of getting the most out of the freshly roasted beans supplied by one of Hungary’s best micro-roasteries, Casino Mocca are all there on the shiny new counter.
You can enjoy your choice of drink up on
- the gallery, though it seemed a bit narrow when I first visited the place, or
- behind the shopwindows facing the street.
Besides quality coffee, you can have muesli, fresh croissant, and cake and dessert creations ranging from brownie, strawberry cheesecake, tapioca pudding, and paleo (sugar and dairy free) goodies.
TIP: If you love third-wave coffee try also Fekete just a short walk from BP Baristas also on Múzeum körút, No. 5.
It started out as a tiny cafe with a La Marzocco machine then opened a second place in the courtyard next door where they’re focusing more on filtered coffee and also serve cakes and simple, tasty food.
See other favourite cafes, espresso bars in Budapest!
The outdoor clubs are still full of life at night. The major clubbing hot spots of the city are:
- Kazinczy utca in district VII. – a range of retro, garden pubs like Szimpla Kert, Kirakat, Kocka, or 400 Bar
Barba Negra Track
A small but popular open air concert stage at the Buda end of the Rákóczi Bridge.
It has excellent acoustics and you can see the performing bands really up close. Staff is kind, security is good too.
You are not allowed to take in any drinks, not even bottled water. Security will check bags at the gate. There is a bar where you can get drinks and no to outrageous price.
Concert tickets are also very affordable.
Address: Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21., district XIV. Facebook
Dürer Kert is one of the most popular underground party places in Budapest at the southern edge of City Park.
- Several dance rooms,
- a garden,
- great parties and
- DJ nights.
Besides the wide selection of drinks, they also offer food: sandwiches, toasts, burgers, breaded cheese or chicken breast fillet, fries.
Although it’s a bit far from the centre, Dürer is an excellent place to have a great time on a warm August night.
Past August Events
One of Europe’s most popular outdoor pop-rock music festival takes place on an island in the Danube (hence the name: Sziget which means island).
The week-long Sziget Festival on Hajógyári-sziget brings an impressive line of international and local performers each year.
Besides concerts all sorts programs and activities await visitors of all ages.