Budapest Autumn Festival, Contemporary Arts

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Budapest Autumn Festival – For Contemporary Art Fans

Budapest is a Festival City. Every season has its own festival so visitors to the Hungarian capital always have plenty of cultural programs to choose from.

The Budapest Autumn Festival  (previously known as Café Budapest Contemporary Art Festival) kick off at the end of September and lasts through the first week of  October.

The more than two-week event will be focusing on Béla Bartók Hungarian-born composer whose work and life are a source of inspiration for many local and international artists.

Israel, Jewish art and artists will also be in the limelight.


the facade of the Science Academy painted in red and blue
The Hungarian National Academy – Decorated with Visual Art on the festival in 2013.

The festival welcomes contemporary art fans for the 26th time.

In 2020 it offers around 110 programs at more than 40 venues including many with free entry.

Look for performances and mini concerts at public places across Budapest.


  • Design Week,
  • the Art Market Budapest,
  • the Mini Festival of Contemporay Music in Várkert Bazaar, and
  • the Afternoon of Open Studios are all partner events of CAFE Budapest.

The More than 40 Venues Include:

  • the Palace of Arts (Művészetek Palotája),
  • Music Academy,
  • National Dance Theatre
  • Budapest Music Center
  • Trafó
  • Millenáris
  • the A38 Ship,
  • the Várkert Bazaar
  • Mai Manó Ház,
  • the Bálna/Whale

Jazz and lighter music enthusiasts can choose from concerts by the David Murray Infinity Quartet feat. Saul Williams, the Namyslowski Quintet, the John Pizzarelli Quartet, the Myrtill Micheller & Tibor Pintér Duo and several more.

A large tent set up by the Palace of Arts welcomes lovers of contemporary circus: the Recirquel presented their new show in 2015: Non Solus.

The festival offers a wide range of programs and performances in the music, dance, and theatre genres each year. Genres cover contemporary music, popular music, world music, jazz and opera.

06. October, Friday

Viewpoint – Exhibition of László Szlávics Jr.

Venue: Kiskép Gallery

Address: Országház utca 8., Buda Castle, District I.

Entry: free

You can view the artist’s spectacular medal works and psedudo-machine constructions built from clockworks.

Tan Dun and Concerto Budapest

Date & Time: 06. October, 19.30

Venue: MÜPA-Palace of Arts, Béla Bartók National Concert Hall (Komor Marcell u. 1., district IX.)

Tickets: 2400 HUF, 3100 HUF, 3800 HUF, 4700 HUF, 5900

The opening concert of CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival

  • Tan Dun: Nu Shu – The Secret Songs of Women – Hungarian premiere
  • Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz. 106, BB 114

Budapest Ritmo (World Music)

Date & Time: 06. October, 19.00

Venue:: Akvárium Klub, Ezsébet tér 12., district V. (M1, M2, M3 metro, Deák F. tér station)

Tickets: 3 000 HUF, 7 500 HUF

The Budapest Ritmo Central European World Music Festival welcomes music artists from more than 20 countries.

Small Hall

  • 20.15 pm Ponk
  • 21.00 Authentic Light Orchestra
  • 23.00 Chassol

Main Hall

  • 20.30 pm Söndörgő & Amsterdam Klezmer Band
  • 21.30 pm Lajkó Félix & Vołosi
  • 23.30 pm Mookomba
  • 01.00 am H.A.T.

VOLT Lokál

  • 21.00 Makossa & Megablast

07. October, Saturday

RUG ART FEST – In Tune with Rugs

Festival of Contemporary Hungarian Carpet Designers

Venue: Bálna/Whale, 1st Floor CAFe Exhibition area,

Address: Fővám tér 11-12., district IX., tram 2

Entry: free

The exhibition is on view: 08 – 22. October

You Trash!

Venue: Public spaces in Budapest

Entry: free

You Trash! is focusing on the topic of waste.

The show is a series of hilarious and outrageous routines performed by members of a “commando” turning up in various corners of the city, provoking passers-by to react.

It draws attention not only to the unsolved global problem of waste but also to trashed lives of people no longer needed by society.

Antonia Vai – Introducing the New Album

Date & Time. 07. October, 20.00

Venue: A38 Ship, Concerts Hall

Tickets: 1 400 HUF (inadvance/ 1 800 HUF (on the day of the concert at the venue)

The Swedish- Hungarian singer combines soul and folk music with a dash of pop.

08. October, Sunday

Walking Tour of the Classic Jewish Quarter

Date & Time: 08. October, 13.30

Meeting place: Örkén yTheatre, Madách tér 6., district VII.

Getting there: M1, M2, M3 metro Deák F. tér station, or trams 47, Városház tér stop

Tickets: 2 200 HUF

Duration: 1,5 – 2 hours

The walk covers the most prestigious monuments and buildings in the historic Jewish Quarter including:

  • Heroes’ Church
  • Rumbach Street Synagogue
  • Kazinczy Synagogue.

Gergely Vajda – Mark Childress: Georgia Bottoms

A comic opera of the Modern South

Date & Time: 08. October, 19.00

Venue: Liszt Academy, Sir George Solti Chamber Hall

Tickets: 1 900 HUF, 2 500 HUF

09. October Monday

Design at Auguszt by Zsuzsa Formanek and Kristóf Bedécs

Venue: Auguszt Confectionery, Kossuth L. utca 14 – 16., district V.

Date & Time: opening: 09. October, 16.00, The exhibit is on view: 10. October – 30. November

Entry: free

Made mostly of glass and metal, objects displayed represent functions associated with the serving of desserts, pastry and ice cream.

Mini-Festival 4.1

Venue: Várkert Bazaar, Ybl Miklós tér 2 – 6., district I.

Date & Time: 09. October, 19.30

Tickets: 500 HUF

  • Durkó: A gömb története (A History of the Sphere) – excerpts
  • Miklós Kocsár: String Quartet
  • István Láng: String Quartet
  • Márton Levente Horváth: Crosswords – world premiere
  • Bozay: Violin Duets
  • Árpád Barabás: Nocturne
  • Gyula Bánkövi: Szélvirágok (Wind Flowers)
  • Zoltán Kovács: Elegy and Tango for Clarinet and Piano
  • Iván Madarász: Fú a szél a nádasban (Wind in the Reeds)

10. October,  Tuesday

Mini-Festival  4.2

Venue: Várkert Bazaar, Ybl Miklós tér 2 – 6., district I.

Date & Time: 10. October, 19.30

Tickets: 500 HUF

  • Yinam Leef: Five Bagatelles for Flute and Piano – Hungarian premiere
  • Barnabás Horváth: Impromptus – three pieces for the piano
  • Péter Tornyai: Voilà for Viola
  • Péter Tóth: Fantasia – premiere
  • Tímea Dragony: Dagda – premiere
  • Yinam Leef: Nocturne for Viola and Piano – Hungarian premiere
  • László Sáry: Memory – premiere
  • Tamás Beischer-Matyó: Zoo

Adam Bałdych (violin), Tore Brunborg (saxophone) and Helge Lien Trio

Venue: Budapest Music Center – Opus Jazz Club

Date & Time: 10. October, 21.00

Tickets: 2 000 HUF

Theatre Evenings

Christopher Marlowe: Edward II – premiere


Venue: Budapest Music Center-Concert Hall, Mátyás utca 8., district IX.

Tickets: 6 500 HUF

shakespeares islandShakespeare’s Island, Guest performance by Teatro Potlach, 10. Oct: 19.00

Venue: Millenáris Thetare Hall, Building “E”, Kis Rókus u. 16–20., district II.

Tickets: 2 500 HUF

Famous Shakespeare characters land on the mysterious Prospero’s island…

Exhibitions, Design & Fine Arts

Design Date Exhibition

Venue: New Budapest Gallery, Bálna/Whale

Tickets: Free

The Design Date project of the Buying that Helps program seeks to enable workshops that employ persons with disabilities to produce marketable products that are in line with contemporary taste.

Art Market Budapest

Art Market in Millenaris, Buda

Venue: Millenáris, Kis Rókus u. 16–20., district II.

Tickets: Free

The largest contemporary art fair in Central and East Europe. You browse among the displayed works of 500 artists on 6000 sqm.

The section called Focus on Collectors features today’s most important private contemporary collections.

The Afternoon of Open Studios

Venue: art studios in Budapest

Date & Time: 09. October 2016., 14.00

Tickets:  1 000 HUF

 a contemporary art gallery inside

Individuals and communities open their studios for the public for two days in mid-October 2016. On Saturday afternoon, you can visit factory buildings that are used as studios, with several artists working together who cannot but influence one another.

After the tour, guests can enjoy some music, chats and a glass of wine.

The Sunday guided tour offers an insight into the world of private ateliers, spaces where work can be done independently of others.


Venue: Ludwig Museum (Komor Marcell u. 1., district IX.)

Opening hours of the museum: temporary exhibits: Tue-Sun: 10.00-20.00, permanent exhibits: Tue-Sun: 10.00-18.00, closed on Mondays

Tickets: full price: 2 400 HUF

The exhibition celebrates the 135th anniversry of Béla Bartók’s birth. A collection of contemporary art works places the composer’s heritage into a new focus.

The exhibition is accompanied by a variety of program series including lectures, guided tours, presentations, music events.

TIP: Browse our list of museums in Budapest.

TEXHIBITION, 08 – 23. Cctober 2016

Venue: Bálna/Whale, 1st floor, CAFE exhibition hall

Tickets for the Festival

Tickets to the programs are available in the Ticket Office of the Budapest Festival Centre at Liszt Ferenc tér 11., district VI.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 10.00-18.00.

Tickets are also available on the next websites:


For more information about the programs visit the official website of the Festival.

TIP: See also our suggestions for Halloween in Budapest.


Summer Festival  – Spring Festival – Concerts in Budapest