Home / Blog / Carnival Season in Budapest

Carnival Season in Budapest

Come and have fun during Farsang (Carnival Season) in Budapest! We listed some places and programs where you can experience this “crazy” time of the year.

a red and gold carnival mask on a wooden surfaceThe Carnival Season in Hungary (Farsang) starts

  • on Epiphany (06. January) and lasts
  • till Ash Wednesday (February 14. in 2018.), that marks the 40-Day lent preceding Easter.

Quick Links: Donut FestivalCarnival Whirl Vajdahunyad CastleGastro Weekend Downtown MarketMangalica FestivalV4 carnival Várkert BazaarTaste the Mardi Gras! L.A. Night/Carnevale di VeneziaMoulin Rouge The Masquerade BallFat Thursday in Nándori Confefctionery

Fat Thursday (Gluttonous Thursday, Torkos Csütörtök in Hungary) comes right after Ash Wednesday.

It is a day of uninhibited eating and drinking for the last time before the strict fasting of the Lent period.

Hungarians love to carouse, eat and drink well and the Farsang season is a great opportunity for all these.

People go to

  • masked balls,
  • dress-up parties,
  • noisy, costumed parades the aim of which is to ward off evil spirits and the winter cold.

Let’s see some programs where you can join the merry crowd!

Where to Celebrate the Carnival Season?

Carnival Whirl in Vajdahunyad Castle, 10. February 2018.

Address: Musuem of Hungarian Agriculture/Vajdahunyad Castle, City Park, distr. XIV.

Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (10. February)

Admission: Free

Vajdahunyad castle back view illuminated at dusk
The Museum of Agriculture
Vajdahunyad Castle

“Come to the Light” is the slogan of the festival indicating that the event will be focusing on awaiting the sunlight of spring.

You can participate in activities on the theme of light:

  • craft workshops
  • juggler and artist show
  • theatre performances, and
  • folk playhouse.

The fairy-tale like Castle of Vajdahunyad hosts the event, located in the largest green area of Budapest, the City Park (also home to the Zoo and the Grand Circus).

Donut Festival, Allee Shopping Centre, 09 – 11. February

Venue: the promenade next to Allee Mall, Kőrössy József u. district XI., tram 4

Entry: free

rows of traditional donuts at a festivalDonut – fánk in Hungarian – is a traditional pastry of the carnival period.

At the festival you can have your fill of the decadent sweet, in all sorts of variations:

  • stuffed donut
  • strudel filled with donut
  • donut hamburger
  • cream buns
  • éclair, and so on

Gastro Weekend in the Downtown Market (Hold Street), 09 – 10. Feb.

Venue: Belvárosi Piac/Downtown Market, Hold utca 13., district V.

Opening Hours:

  • 09 -10. February/Fri, Sat: 11.00 – 22.00
  • 11. February/Sun: 11.00 – 17.00

The Downtown Food Market in Hold utca is known for its quality food court on the gallery. You can find some really great street food bars and restaurants here.

Some of the best are:

  • Stand 25 – fine bistro food from fresh ingredients under the supervision of a Michelin-star chef, Tamás Széll.
  • Séf Utcája – traditional local dishes (sausage, cholent, offals prepared in creative ways, seasonal breakfast offer. Really popular among the crowd working in the area
  • Lakatos Műhely – daily soups and delicious grilled sausages – the place belongs to Márk Lakatos, a local celebrity stylist.

What’s more, they regularly organise foodie events, like the Töltött Hold Gastro Weekend usually in the carnival Season.

The name literally means Stuffed Moon after the street the market is located in. Besides regional flavours, this year the event will offer

  • more of international cuisine
  • champagne within cool bar atmosphere
  • music, and
  • many surprises.

Mangalica Festival, 09 – 11. February

Venue: Szabadság tér, in the city centre (near the Parliament)

A 3-day event focusing on a local specialty, the Mangalica, a rare pig breed indigenuous to Hungary.

You can buy and taste managalica food an other craft food stuff straight fromt he farmers.

A couple of street food trucks will offer quality fast food:

  • burgers
  • BBQ
  • goulash, and of course
  • drinks: wine, beer, non-alcoholic options.

Concerts and a cooking contest (meals prepared in cauldron over open fire) are the other highlights of the program.

V4 Carnival in Várkert Bazaar, 10. February

Venue: Várkert Bazár, address: Ybl Miklós tér 2-6., at the foot of Castle Hill

Entry: free

V4 stands for the Visegrad Group – aka the Visegrad Four – an association of four Central European nations:

  • Czechia,
  • Hungary,
  • Poland and
  • Slovakia

The member countires celebrate the V4’s founding with a whole-day carnival at the foot of Buda Castle in the Várkert Bazaar.

Join the whirl where live concerts, family programs, carnival traditions, and performances typical of the four nations await visitors.

Fireworks and light painting show

  • on the Danube Promenade in Pest and
  • at Várkert in Buda end the program.

Taste the Mardi Gras! – High Note SkyBar (Aria Hotel), 10. Feb.

Venue: High Note SkyBar of the Aria Hotel, Hercegprímás utca 5., near the Basilica

Date: 10. February, Saturday

Opening Hours: 20.00 – 0.00

night view of the city from the rooftop bar
View form the High Note SkyBar

After feasting on tasty food in the Downtown Market, drop by the High Note SkyBar for a drink or two.

The amazing roof top bar of the upscale Aria Budapest Hotel has recently undergone a spectacular makeover.

The place has transformed into a forest with lots of

  • trees,
  • moss and
  • rocks.

The forest theme – that will be around till March – also appears in the cocktails and food.

The view is still awesome, you can enjoy nice panoramic vista of the city while sipping an exciting cocktail.

Try: 

  • the Poison (Sloe gin, black rowan berry, rose)  – 2 500 HUF or
  • the Ghost from the Barrel (Unicum Riserva, grapes, Port wine) –  2 800 HUF

L.A. NIGHT – Carnevale di Venezia, 10. February

Venue: Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

Date & Time: 10. Feb/Saturday, 22.00 – 03.00

Entry: 4 000 HUF, includes 2 drinks (a top-quality Prosecco and a drink of your choice)

Dress Code: sexy, elegant and masked, men in suits

Attend a Venetian-style masquerade Ball in one of Budapest’s top luxury hotel, the Sofitel Chain bridge!

It’s kind of a posh party but guests will sure have a terrific time!

Fat Thursday in Nádori Cake Shop, 15. February

50% off of the prices of all cakes, pastries, tortes as well as drinks consumed on the spot or taken away!

Address: Nádori Cukrászda, Ráday utca 53. district IX. (near Boráros tér tram 4, 6 stop)

Opening Hours: 07.30 – 20.00

 

Moulin Rouge – The Masquerade Ball, 16. February

purple light show and a dancing crowd in the bar
Hellobaby Bar

Venue: Hellobaby Bar, Andrássy út 52., Budapest 1062

Date & Time: 16. February/Friday: 22.00 – 05.00

Age Limit: 18+

Tickets: can be bought through the event’s FB page.

Dress Code:

  • ladies: feather headdress
  • men: black tie

One of the top bars located in a chic villa on the elegant Andrássy Blvd. hosts a decadent masked ball in mid-February.

  • Dance show,
  • unbridled hedonism to the latest rhythms – promises to be an unforgettable party!

Find more Budapest events and things to do in February!

Check out alos our post about Gluttonous Thursday programs!

Visit also our Season by Season page for more program and things to do ideas!

Check Also

Event Calendar

Budapestbylocals.com