What to Do & See in the First Month of Spring?
The first month of spring is capricious, windy and the air still carries the chill of winter.
But the days are getting longer and longer and the sun shines more and more so it is a great time to discover the popular as well as the hidden treasures of Budapest.
After the less active winter months march offers
- a couple of festivals,
- a national holiday (March 15.),
- concerts and
- some fun activities for all ages.
As mentioned before weather in March in Hungary is unpredictable.
It is still quite cold during the day (5-10 degr. Celsius) and the sharp wind often makes the air even colder than it is.
So do bring warm clothes, a light coat, sweaters, cap and dress in layers.
In some years it can even snow.
(There was a huge snow storm on 15. March in 2013, an infamous day when government officials texted everyone to sit in another person’s car if yours is down).
Venue: Várkert Bazaar, Event Hall
Address: Ybl Miklós tér 2 – 6., Buda, district I.
- 03. March/Saturday: 10. 00 – 20.00
- 04. March/Sunday: 08.00 – 18.00
If you love to stock up on some local craft produce this is the place to get them!
With the approach of Easter this time ham and other pork specialties will be in the limelight.
Besides meat, you can sample the best craft foods brought to you by Hungarian small farmers.
Some of the things to look for:
- fruit preserves
- craft cheese
- homemade pastas
- spices, handcrafted mustard, chili sauces
- pastries, chocolates and sweets
- fruit distillate (pálinka) and wine
Concerts, children performances, show cooking, and tastings accompany the food fair on both days. Entry is free to all programs.
Gastro Weekend in the Downtown Market, 01 – 03. March
Venue: Belvárosi Piac/Downtown Market, Hold utca 13., district V.
- 01. March/Fri: 11.00 – 22.00
- 02. March/Sat: 10.00 – 22.00
- 03. March/Sun: 11.00 – 16.00
The market opens at 06.30 on Friday and Saturday.
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.
Learn about other grocery markets in Budapest!
Venue: Gastro promenade next tot he Allee Shopping Mall
Address: Kőrösy József u. 1117, Budapest,
Getting there: tram 4, M4 metro (green )line Újbuda Központ station
An event all about the pancakes! You can choose from around 100 types of this delicacy both sweet and savoury versions.
- chocolates and other sweets,
- drinks hot and cold will tempt visitors.
You can also join to make pancake sor take part in a pancake eating contest.
15. March is one of the most important national holidays in Hungary when we commemorate the 1848 revolution against the Habsburg oppression.
Commemorations, family programs will take place in the garden of the Hungarian National Museum, on Kossuth Sqr/Parliament and in Buda Castle.
Shops, markets will be closed on 15. March and public transport services operate according to holiday schedule.
Thermal Baths will be open according to Saturday opening hours and pricing.
Learn more about the historical background of 15. March and programs taking place in Budapest.
Address: Palace of Arts/Művészetek Palotája, Komor Marcell u. 1., district IX.
The festival, organised for the 4th time, is focusing on the music of the French baroque era but pieces by Mozart and Haydn will also be featured in the program.
Some of the programs:
You can find the detailed program list on the Müpa’s website.
Venues: exhibition halls, museums across the city
The Budapest Photo Festival is a real treat to photograpy and art lovers.
Besides two major exhibits that provide a frame to the event, a series of smaller exhibition offer a glimpse into the Hungarian and international photo art, both classic and contemporary.
A couple of public events acompany the festival:
- portfolio review, and
- photobook show.
Find out more about the programs at the event’s official website!
David Lynch: Small Stories – Art Hall (Kunsthalle), 01. March – 02. June 2019
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 – 18:00,
- Thursday 12:00 – 20:00
- Saturday, Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
Tickets: full price: 1 600 HUF, students/retiree: 800 HUF
The Photo Festival kick off with a real gem of an exhibit, with David Lynch’s – American independent film maker, director, screenwriter, painter and musician – sensational Small Stories.
The unique ambience of Lynch’s collection lies in revealing invisible connections, expression of hidden emotions and liberated fantasy.
The early spring weather is ideal for exploring the city’s many sights on foot, bus, boat or bike or Segway.
Parliament Tours with Guiding
Learn about the history of the city’s and one of the country’s grandest building, the Parliament. It dominates the Pest riverbank offering striking photo opportunities from the Buda side.
You can visit the historic building on a 1-hour guided tour that can be combined with a boat tour on the Danube or folklore dance show.
Address: Liszt Ferenc tér 8., district VI.
Getting there: tram 4-6, Király utca stopPlease note that there are no tours on 10th and 15 March 2019!
Visit one of Budapest’s Art Nouveau gems on a guided tour.
The renewed Music Academy founded by Franz Liszt in 1875 (the only music academy in the world founded by the composer) is a must-see building in Budapest.
It boasts a stunning interior decorated with lots of mythological elements (the meanings of which are explained on the tour).
You can learn a great deal about the history and architectural details of the academy. Highly recommended, not just for music and architecture fans!
Tours in English (for individuals) start every day at 13.30.
The tour is approx. 50 min – 1 hour long.
- full price: 3 500 HUF/person,
- students (with ID card) and for people over 65: 1 750 HUF/person.
- 50 % discount with Budapest Card.
No need to register, just be there on time (5-10 minutes before the start, meeting is usually inside at the main entrance at the stairs).
TIP: The Music Academy has a varied concert repertoire each month from classical to jazz and folk music featuring Hungarian and interanational orchestras and artists. A concert is a great opportunity to admire the architecture and enjoy the excellent acoustics of either the Grand Hall or the smaller Solti Hall.
Visit the official website of the Academy for the up-to-date programs and ticket purchase.
Bike Tours In and Outside Budapest
Budapest bike tours let you experience the city in a fun way, on two wheels. They’ll show you the major landmarks as well as the hidden spots known only by locals.
- Do the Tour with Goulash tour and you’ll be also treated to a bowl of delicious goulash soup at the end of the program. A really enjoyable program if you want to do something more exciting than a boring bus tour.
Lead by seasoned bikers as well as friendly, English-speaking guides!
TIP: If you don’t feel fit enough or just don’t feel like pedaling you can do a tour in Budapest on a Segway. Convenient and fun!
We’ve already recommended the Music Academy as a superb concert venue and you’ll certainly find a concert in their March program that you’ll like.
Organ Concerts in St. Stephen’s BasilicaDates in March 2019: 07, 14, 28
Tickets (based on seating): 20 EUR, 27 EUR, 31 EUR
The largest and best-known church of the city, the Basilica on Szt. István Square is a fitting venue for organ recitals.
The 70-minute program is orchestrated by Miklós Teleki, one of the most talented organ artists of Hungary.
Soloist and flute piece complement the concert.
Budapest boasts many lovely churches that regularly host concerts that are usually free to attend. Here is our selection of spiritual musical performances for March.
St. Michael’s Church
Address: Váci utca 47/b., BP., 1056
This charming little church in the bustling shopping street, Váci utca regularly gives home to concerts mainly Organ Concerts Saturdays at 19.00.
Tickets to the Saturday evening choir and organ concerts: full price: 18 EUR, students, seniors: 16 EUR (can be bought on the spot, every day from 10.00.
A great place to enjoy some serenity, away from the hectic city centre.
Duna String Orchestra, 22. March & 29. March, 19.00
The Duna String Orchestra, a small group of accomplished musicians lead by Gyula Gabora violinist, regularly gives concerts in the city’s churches.
Part of the Concert Program (70 min.)
Johann Pachelbel: Canon
Antonio Vivaldi: “Winter”, from The Four Seasons, op. 8 no. 4
Antonio Vivaldi: Gloria/Domine Deus
Johann Sebastian Bach: Violin Concerto in E major, BWV 1042, 1st movement
Georg Friedrich Händel: Water Music, excerpts
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni: Adagio in G minor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Church Sonata no. 4 in D Major, KV 144
Tickets: 28 EUR /36 EUR / 44 EURBuy Tickets
Solti Chamber Orchestra, March 30.
Date & Time: 30. March/Saturday, at 20.00
- Bronze – 3 900 HUF,
- Silver – 4 900 HUF,
- Gold – 7 900 HUF,
- Platinum – 9 900 HUF,
- VIP – 16 900 HUF
- Premium: 25 900 HUF[/tie_list]
Ticket purchase: in front of the church on the day of the concert between 15.00 – 20.00.
The renovated Church of Our Lady or better known as Matthias Church in Buda Castle has wonderful acoustics that can be enjoyed on concerts organized on a regular basis.
The Hungarian Virtuosi Orchestra usually gives 2 concerts each month (4 in the Christmas season).
These are not free but tickets are affordable and available in various price categories.
The VIP and Premium tickets are for comfortable benches placed near the the altar, right next to the band.
These tickets also include a welcome drink, a CD and a 3-course dinner in the Hilton’s Ikon restaurant next door.
- The Gold sector is next to the altar,
- the Silver sector in the front row of seats, while
- the Bronze sector is in the back pews.
TIP: The church also has free organ recitals once in a month, usually on Sundays at 19.30. This month Liszt’s Via Crucis will be performed by the church’s choir and soloists and Bertalan Hock organ player on 18. March, 19.30.
You can see numerous exhibitions in Budapest’s 100+ museums all the year round.
Museum of Fine Arts – Renewed Exhibits
Address: Dózsa György út 41., Heroes’ Square, XIV. district,
Getting there: M1 (yellow) line, Heroes’ Square station
Admissions (permanent exhibitions):
- full price: 1 600 HUF,
- students aged 6 – 26 (only for the citizens of EES): 800 HUF,
- retirees aged between 64 – 70: 800 HUF,
- free for children under 6 and citizens over 70
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (last entry at 17.00, halls start to close at 17.30)
Visit the refurbished Museum of Fine Arts next to Hősök tere and Városliget (City Park).
Besides the building, all the permanent exhibitions had been completely revamped:
- Ancient Egypt (level -1),
- Classical Antiquity (level -1),
- European Art 1250-1600 (level 1),
- European Sculpture 1350–1800 (level 2),
- Art in Hungary 1600-1800 (level 3),
- Van Dyck: Wedding Portrait of Princess Mary Henrietta Stuart: cabinet exhibition (level 0, Michelangelo room)
- Romanesque Hall (level 0)
The beautifully renovated Roman Hall is available to the public after 70 years. It is one of the most stunning rooms of the museum that closed down after WW II.
The 900 sqm hall evokes the shape of a medieval Basilica. More than 70 resturateurs worked on renovating the impressive mural paintings covering the 2500 sqm of wall surface.