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Mangalica Festival Budapest

February 9 - February 11

whole suckling pig roasted over open fireThe Mangalica Festival on 09 – 11. February, 2018. launches the series of gastro festivals held yearly in Budapest.

The festival’s locale is Szabadság tér near the Parliament in the city centre, easily aacessible by tram or metro.

Admission is free.

Quick Links: General InfoDetailed ProgramStreet FoodExhibitors Photos

Since we love mangalica meat and sausage, we drop by the festival each year to taste and stock up on mangalica goodies and usually stick by to listen to some of the concerts if it is not too cold (some hot wine or a shot of pálinka helps to endure the chilly February weather).

This year pálinka makers will be the special guests of the festival. You can find the best pálinka makers of Hungary in the Pálinka Udvar (Pálinka Court).

Note: Pálinka is a popular Hungarian strong alcoholic drink with around 40-50 % alcohol content.

It’s a fruit distillate made from a a variety of local fruits: apricot, plum, pear, cherry, apple etc. special flavours (elderflower, quince) or spiced versions are also available.

Basic Information About the Festival

snow covered Szabadsag square
The spacious Szabadság tér park is ideal for such a popular festival

Location: Szabadság tér (Parliament Neighbourhood), district V.,

Getting there: M2 metro Kossuth tér station, M3 metro Arany János utca station , tram 2 Kossuth L. tér stop (5-minute walk from each station)

Date: 09 – 11. February 2018., Friday – Sunday

Opening hours:

Admission: free, tasting of mangalica products at the exhibitor stalls is usually free.

Hotel TIP: The Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest is a chic, luxury boutique hotel right at Szabadság Square – a great choice if you want to be close to the festival and right in the heart of the city.

Programs, Exhibitors

The first mangalica festival took place in 2007 to promote mangalica products and to provide a platform for raisers of the breed.

Since then the festival has become one of the largest gastro events in Budapest that both locals and tourists look forward to each February.

Besides the more than 100 exhibitors (mangalica meat producers, artisan cheese, honey, chocolate, bread, wine and pálinka makers), the festival offers a wide range of programs for all members of the family:

  • Light music concerts in the afternoon
  • Gastro shows
  • Craft fair
  • Animal petting area: where you can see mangalica pigs: 3 from the three types: red, blonde and swallow-bellied.

There’ll be a cooking competition on Saturday where meals have to be made from mangalica products.

You can taste freshly made meals made from this unique pig breed:

  • roast meat,
  • sausage,
  • ham,
  • streed food specialties prepared in food trucks.

In the Pálinka Udvar you can warm up with a shot of fruit distilate called pálinka in Hungary.

Street Food on the Festival

The best food trucks will offer their goodies.

  • Nyakleves Soup Truck –  soups to warm you up in the February chill.
  • Befaló Bill – Mangalica BBQ
  • HungaroBistro – mangalica burger
  • Anyukám Mondta – the iconic countryside restaurant from Encs will make. mangalica ham flat bread.
  • Firebull – grilled sandwiches
  • Komachi Bistro – brings Japanese flavours to Szabadság Square: Tonjiru and Buta Don

Detailed Program (2017)

February 09 – Friday

12.00-15.00 – Match Boys – Rock & Roll, Rockabily

15.00-18.00 – Amber Jack – Blues rock

18.00-21.00 – Peet Project – Pop, Funk, Jazz

February 10 –  Saturday

10.00-11.00 – Opening ceremony, awards

11.30-12.30 – Iszkiri Ensemble – Children songs and music

13.00-15.30 – Peter & Pan – Accoustic Guitar Duo

Cooking competition results and awards

15.30-18.00 – Pumpkins Trio – Rock & Roll, Country, Oldies

18.00-21.00  – Manga Band

February 11 – Sunday

12.00-15.00 – Cimbaliband – Multicultural Folk Music

15.00-18.00 – Pribojszki Mátyás Blues Band

Rock, Blues, Folk music and children’s programs during the day, light music concerts in the evening.

About the Mangalica Pig Breed


Mangalica (also known as curly-hair hog) is a unique pig breed indigenous to Hungary.

Historic records first mention it in 1791.

The breed is a result of the cross-breeding of Bánsági Sumádia and Szalontai, Bakonyi pigs.

3 pigs with red fur lying next to each other on straw
Red Mangalica Pig

Due to its undemanding nature, quick reproduction and fast fattening, Mangalica became very popular among Hungarian farmers in the 19th century. Mangalica piglets are striped, while the grown pig has curly dark, red or blonde fur.

Mangalica is a “lard-type” pig with flavorful, marbled meat.

Its meat and the products made from it (sausages, salami, ham, bacon) are not only tastier but also slightly healthier than that of ordinary pigs.


It’s because mangalica fat has better ratio of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids (unsaturated fatty acids are healthier, they don’t increase the level of blood cholesterol).

Mangalica fat (and meat) tastes richer.

The fat also melts at lower temperature due to the unsaturated fatty acid content.

Since the 1950-ies mangalica had lost its popularity because it’d been replaced by “meat-type” swine breeds producing leaner meat.

In recent years the fame of mangalica and mangalica products has been resurrected thanks to events like the Mangalica Festival.

This unique Hungarian pork meat is sought after even in the US.

Visit the event around the second weekend of February to taste and buy some mangalica and enjoy the programs in the heart of Budapest!

Photos – Mangalica Festival Budapest



February 9
February 11