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May Day in Budapest

April 29 - May 1

Festivals, Things to Do Recommendations, 1st May/Labor Day

May Day in Budapest used to be a major holiday of the Communist Party. Large processions followed by beer and frankfurter in the City Park marked 1st May a couple of decades ago.

Today political parties still use May Day/Labor Day to advertise their programs and recruit followers, but luckily 1st May- Labor Day has become a family day with a range of festivals and programs in the capital, and other towns of Hungary.

The Big Race/Nagy Futam car show will be the greatest event on the 1st Day of May 2018, this time without and Air Show and a at a new route: Városháza Park – Andrássy Avenue – Oktogon.

TIP: 1st May/Monday  is a bank holiday in Hungary: shops, markets, most museums will be closed. Thermal baths will be open according to Sunday opening hours, public transport operates according to Sunday/holiday schedule and pricing.

Quick Links: Race Car Show/The Big Race 2018Festival in City ParkTabán FestivalYoga Festival on Margaret Island

Race Car Show in Budapest City Centre, 30. April – 1st May

Venue-Route: Városháza Park – Károly körút – Andrássy Avenue – Opera – Oktogon

Entry: free, VIP tickets from 179 EUR if you want to enjoy the show from the best spot

an F1 race car of the Red Bull team on the Danube bank in BudaThe spectacular show moves to a new venue from Városháza Park in the city centre and along Andrássy Av.

  • Formula 1 cars and pilots: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) will drivet heir F1 cars
  • The legendary Austrian F1 pilot Gerhard Berger will also be here again.
  • DTM stars Timo Glock, Robert Wickens and Nico Müller
  • WTCC cars and drivers including the Hungarian Norbert Michelisz

The race takes place in two parts in the morning and in the afternoon on 1st May.

On 30. April you can visit the cars and meet the pilots in the Paddock in Városháza park, downtown Budapest.

  • 1st Part of the Big Race Car Show will be held between 10.00 – 12.50
  • 2nd Part of the Big Race between 14.00 – 16.20

Note: the program can change and delays might occur due to weather, technical or other issues.

The Big Drift Race, Formula 1 & WTCC Touring Cars, 1st May 2018

Time: the event starts at 10.00 and ends at around 16.20, May 01.,/Monday

Programs – I. Part:

  • 10.00 – Pilots
  • 10.10 – 11.25 – Introduction of cars, autocross, rallycross, terrain, rally, truck and drift racers
  • 11.25 – 11.35 – DTM – Robert Wickens, Timo Glock és Nico Müller

map of the big race car show

  • 11.35 – 11.45 – NASCAR – Gerhard Berger
  • 11.50 – 12.00 – F1 Sauber C14 1995 – Karl Wendlinger Formula Renault 3.5 – Roy Nissany and Kis Pál Tamás
  • 12.00 – 12.10 – WTCC Honda – Norbert Michelisz and the pilots of the Zengő Motorsport
  • 12.10 – 12.20 – Introduction of Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas
  • 12.20 – 12.35 – Red Bull Racing – Daniel Ricciardo
  • 12.35 – 12.50 – Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport – Valtteri Bottas

Programs – II. Part

  • 14.00 – 14.15 – Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport – Valtteri Bottas
  • 14.15 – 14.25 – Mercdes street cars
  • 14.25 – 14.35 – WTCC Honda – Norbert Michelisz and the pilots of the Zengő Motorsport
  • 14.35 – 14.45 – DTM – Robert Wickens, Timo Glock és Nico Müller
  • 14.45 – 15.40 – Introduction of cars, autocross, rallycross, terrain, rally, truck and drift racers
  • 15.40 – 15.50 – NASCAR – Gerhard Berger
  • 15.55 – 16.05 – F1 Sauber C14 1995 – Karl Wendlinger Formula Renault 3.5 – Roy Nissany and Kis Pál Tamás
  • 16.05 – 1620 – Red Bull Racing – Daniel Ricciardo

See more details on the event’s webpage.

May Day Festivals: City Park (Városliget) – Majális – 30. Apr – 01. May

Vajdahunyad Castle and City Park lake
Vajdahunyad Castle and City Park lake

Venue: City Park, district XIV., M1 metro (yellow line) Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square) stop

Entry: FREE

Budapest’s largest park, the Városliget hosts a festival on each Labor Day.

  • Craft fair,
  • concerts featuring local pop stars starting at 11.00 each day
  • cooking competitions,
  • a small amusement park,
  • children programs

Tabán Festival – 1st May, 2018, 14.30 – 24.00

Venue: Tabán, district I., Buda
Admission: Free

The Tabán Festival looks back to decades of tradition (except for a 10-year break).

Budapesti people celebrate the first day of May with live concerts from early afternoon till late night in the Tabán area in Buda.

This year’s performers include prestigious Hungarian rock & blues bands:

  • people sitting on the grass at a concert in Taban14:30 Maxisun
  • 15:40 Csaba Abaházi and the MégEgyKör
  • 16:50 Ádám Török and the Mini
  • 18:00 Beatrice
  • 19:10 Bill and Hobo reunited
  • 20:20 Tátrai Band

The Tabán concerts used to be all about rebelation against the communist regime, today it has a more relaxed atmosphere with the most popular Hungarian pop-rock bands giving concerts all afternoon.

Quick fact: The Tabán area is the hilly part between Buda Castle and the Gellért Hill in district I., and partly in district XI. It used to be a very idyllic city part around the turn of the 19th-20 century with lots of cozy cafes, bars and restaurants, the prototypes of Budapest’s all popular ruin pubs today.

In the 1960s the Tabán underwent a landscaping project then the park slowly became neglected.

The area today is more or less organised and clean.

The renovated Rác Spa and Hotel, a former Turkish Bath of Budapest stands at the edge of the park.. The first May Day Festival in the Tabán took place in 1968.

More May Events, Festivals…

The rest of May offers a wide range of events and programs in Budapest.

Yoga Festival 01. May, 10.00 – 15.00, Margitsziget – Isle of Serenity

Margaret Island in May
Margaret Island in May

Margaret Island is another spacious green patch in the heart of the city; a perfect place to celebrate May Day in Budapest.

You can join an outdoor Yoga Festival on 01. May/Monday starting at 10.00 on the Nagyrét next to a big plane tree.

Location: the large green lawn between the Water Tower, the Open-Air Theatre and the Danubius Health Spa Hotel.

The program starts with 108 Sun Salutations then continues with an Astanga Yoga Class at 11.00. Bring some food, vegan snacks to end the program with a picnic.

Bring a yoga mat and water with you.

TIP: The outdoor yoga classes (donation based) on Margaret Island continue throughout summer on Weekdays and Sundays . In May classes start at 17.00 on Sundays at 11.00. June-September classes begin at 18.00 on Weekdays and at 11.00 on Sundays.

TIP: The musical fountain at the southern corner of the island welcomes visitors with a water and music show.

Twice a day a children playlist is played: at 11.00 and 16.00 featuring Hungarian kids’ favourite tunes

  • Vuk by Kati Wolf,
  • Miki manó by 100 Folk Celsius,
  • Micimackó Winnie the Pooh by Zsuzsa Koncz etc.

Read more about attractions on Margaret Island.

Related: Public Holidays in HungarySummer Things to Do in Budapest – Visit Budapest in JuneVisit Budapest in JulyBudapest in MarchApril Programs


April 29
May 1