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May in Budapest

What to Do in Budapest in May?

May is packed with all sorts of exciting events. Besides the program-packed 1st May, the whole month offers plenty to see and do in Budapest.

The weather is warm enough for outdoor programs, picnics, al fresco dining.

Events in May: Craft Beer Festival in ÓbudaBudapest Beer WeekRooftop Cinema Opening

TIP: Children’s Day (26-27. May)Downtown FestivalIce Cream DayÓbuda Festival

Things to Do: Sightseeing, Tours: Jewish Heritage ToursNEW: Segway Tour – ConcertsVisit the ZooTerraced Places

Past Events: Budapest 100 – Festival of MuseumsEurope Day FestivalRosalia Wine Fest – Gourmet FestivalPentecostBeer Festival in Újbuda

Budapest Folk Fest 23 – 27. May

Venues: Fonó Music House, Várkert Bazaar, Kassa Jazz Boat on the Danube

A 5-day event all about Hungarian folk music and dance. Come and get a taste of local folklore at such stunning venues  as the Várkert Bazaar in Buda and a a boat on the Danube.

27. May/ Sunday offers a range of family programs too.

Learn more about the programs of the Budapest Folk Festival!

Budapest Beer Week, 20 – 27. May 2018.

Venue: main tasting sessions: on 25 – 26. May: Dürer Kert, Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21-. district XIV., City Park

Admission:

  • tasting sessions on 25 May & 26. May: 19 790 HUF / 63 EUR/day,
  • two-day ticket: 32 990 HUF / 106 EUR
  • Tasting session opening hours: 14.00 – 20.00 on both days
  • Ticket includes:

    • unlimited tasting of the best local and international craft brews (different beer list on Friday and Saturday)
    • tasting glass (1 dl)
    • meeting and a chance to talk to the brewers in person
    • after party on both days.

    Beer will be in the focus for a whole week in Budapest’s best craft beer bars, specialty cafes and street food places.

    You can also sample unlimited beers on the two tasting sessions in Dürer Kert:

    • 25. May/Friday and
    • 26. May/Saturday.

    After the tasting sessions get wild on the after parties from 20.00 to the tunes of the best live DJ-s and rock’n’roll bands.

    The venue, Dürer Kert is one of the most popular outdoor party venues in the city, near the City Park. You can have more local craft beer goodness on the parties.

    List of the participating venues will be announced soon.

    Local craft breweries that will be present at the event:

    • Armando_otchoa_b_c
    • Balkezes
    • HopTop Brewery
    • Horizont Brewing
    • Mad Scientist
    • MONYO Brewing Co.
    • Reketye Brewing Co.
    • TuffBuzz

    See also the official website of the event.

    Craft Beer Festival in Óbuda, 25 – 27. May

    Venue: Óbuda (Distr. III.), Main Square

    Entry and programs are free!

    A showcase of the Hungarian craft beer scene with 23 artisan breweries, concerts, brewing workshops, goulash, and other street food.

    Downtown Festival (Belvárosi Fesztivál), 25 – 27. May

    Venue: Szabadság Sqr., Erzsébet Sqr., Zrínyi Street, Vigadó Square

    2017 poster of the Downtown FestivalThe inner city of Budapest (district V.) organizes a festival each year in May or June.

    Five venues in downtown offer concerts, cultural programs, children activities during the 3-day event.

    The main location is Szabadság Square, near the Parliament, where pop-rock concerts by popular Hungarian bands will be performed.

    A world music stage on the revamped Erzsébet tér, and another pop music stage in Zrínyi utca welcomes everyone.

    This year the Downtown Market in Hold utca joins the festival with gastronomy programs and street food specialties.

    Concerts, tasty food, drinks, a design fair, street ball show ensure a great program on the last weekend of May in Budapest.

    Craft Beer Tasting & Live Concert, Optional Dinner, 19. May

    7 0.33 L bottled craft beers at the barVenue: Krak’n Town Steampunk Club

    Time: 19.00 – 22.00

    Sample some of the best Hungarian IPA-s while enjoying a 3-hour live blues concert in  a cool underground club, the Krak’n Town Steampunk Saloon.

    The program can be booked with a 3-course gourmet dinner or snack plate (both optional).

    An awesome program for a May evening!

    Book Craft Beer Tasting

    Gourmet Festival 17 – 20. May, 2018.

    cooking stew in kettles over open fire in Millenaris park
    Variations on Goulash-Gourmet Festival

    Venue: Millenáris Park, trams 4, 6, M2 metro Széll Kálmán tér stop – a couple of minutes walk from there

    Tickets: 4 300 HUF/day (includes a Spiegelau wine glass, wine, beer, and pálinka samples, Famous Grous Whiskey tasting, street food bite, 2 gastro magazines)

    This is a must event for foodies.

    Strawberry and mangalica, the indegenious Hungarian pork will be in the focus of the festival in 2017.

    You can meet Hungarian and international chef celebrities.

    The cream of the crop of Hungary’s and its capital’s

    • restaurants,
    • street food bars
    • gourmet shops,
    • cake and pastry shops,
    • wineries, wine shops and
    • craft breweries will be present, so you can sample the best foods and drinks at one place.

    Find out more details about the Gourmet Festival in 2018.

    See also our photos taken on the Gourmet Festival.

    Budapest Rooftop Cinema Season Opening, 17- 18. May

    Venue: Corvin Club , Blaha Lujza tér 1 – 2., distr. VIII.

    a projector in a rooftop cinemaEntrance: from the side of Somogyi Béla street)

    Gate opens at 19:00

    Tickets: single: 1 490 HUF, couples: 2 790 HUF

    Movie starts when it gets dark, approx 20:30

    An open-air movie theatre on the rooftop of the former department store, the Corvin. On the pre-opening evening they will screen Deadpool 2 in English with Hungarian subtitles.

    On the official opening event, 18. May you can watch a classic movie: The Fight Club.

    Pentecost Sunday & Monday, 20 – 21. May

    Pentecost is a Christian religious holiday and public holiday in Hungary. Shops, markets, some museums will be closed.

    A couple of Pentecost festivals reviving the folk customs related to the holiday will take place at several Budapest venues.

    Ice Cream Time!

    Venue: ice cream parlors at various locations in Budapest

    son enjoying his icecream in MAMOSadly, The Day of Artisan Ice Cream held usually on 8th May has been cancelled this year.

    You can still celebrate this sweet day having scoops of ice cream at one of the following palces:

    • Dolce Fantasia – a true Italian Gelateria now at two locations:

    at Szondi utca 82. district VII. and at Andrássy út 61. (across from the House of Terror Museum): perhaps not as good as the ice cream in Gelateria Pomo D’oro (Arany J. utca in city centre)but very close. Open: Mon-Sun: 11.00 – 20.00

    They also have an ice cream van in Corvin köz , distr. VIII. (at the Corvin Cinema)

    They have a permanent selection of flavours with some seasonal offers thrown in: chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, pistachio, mascarpone-gorgonzola, strawberry, tiramisu, lemon, oreo.

    • Wiener Salon, Corvin sétány 2/b (behind the Corvin Plaza, tram 4, 6 or M3 metro get off at Corvin negyed)- a charming Viennese style cafe with excellent ice cream (do try their cakes, donut and breakfast dishes)
    • Damniczky Budapest – a new cake shop (just opened this May) in Hercegprímás utca at No. 17., at a short stroll from the Basilica.
    • Zimoo Cake Shop, Cukor utca 1., distr. V., city centre – home-style pastries and cakes, and great ice cream in a wide variety of flavours. They have a small terrace. Open: every day: 11.00 – 19.00

    See also our list of Best Ice Cream in Budapest!

    Children’s Day Programs in Budapest, 25 – 27. May

    The last Sunday of May is all about children: programs for the youngest at several venues in the city.

    Children’s Day Festival in City Park (Városliget), 26 – 27. May

    The Hungarian Children’s Safety Service has been organising a children’s day festival in Budapest’s popular park, the Városliget/City Park since 1990.

    The varied two-day program include:

    • theatre performances, concerts
    • sport events, programs involving horses and dogs
    • children can learn rules of safe transportation in a fun way
    • quizzes, competitions
    • gastronomy offers, and
    • the usual fair where you can get all sorts of things that your kid will persuade you to buy.

    Entry is free.

    Children’s Day in the Hungarian Railway Museum, 26 – 27. May, Sunday

    kids on the small children railway in the Hungarian Railway MuseumThe Hungarian Railway Museum is a must-see attraction for families with kids and the last Sunday of May is a great opportunity to go.

    Similarly to previous years the park, which showcases the history of railway in Hungary with giant, retro locomotives and hands-on displays, welcomes kids with concerts and exciting programs all day.

    Entry is free under 14 years of age.

    Gozsdu Court – Children’s Day 27., May

    Address: Király utca 13., Bp. 1075, district VII.

    Opening Hours: 10.00 – 14.00

    Entry: FREE

    Take your little ones to Gozsdu Court – a series of connected courtyards –  and enjoy craft programs, play corner, face painting and balloon folding.

    Children’s Day in the Garden of the Várkert Bazaar, 27. May

    Entry: free

    a wooden toy car and a large red balloon at the southern palace of VárkertThe 6000 sqm neo-Renaissance park in the Várkert Bazaar in Buda welcomes children with various programs on the last Sunday of May:

    • Puppet show by the Majorka Theatre at 11.00
    • Folk dance by the Forrás Folk Ensemble at the  Szárazárok Stage from 12.00
    • Concert by the Csurgó Band starting at 13.00
    • Dance performance of the Kutyakölkök Ensemble from 15.00
    • Netz Production – an interactive family fun for all ages, from 16.00
    • Children show of the MintaPinty Band from 17.00

    Accompanying programs include arts and crafts workshop, face painting, wooden toys, adventure park, ice cream and other sweet treats.

    Programs in the Miniversum, 27. May, Sunday

    our 12 year and 4 year old boys playing in the MiniversumAddress: Andrássy út 12., district VI.
    Opening hours: Sun – Thurs: 09.00 – 19.00, Fri – Sat: 09.00 – 21.00

    The Miniversum, a superb model train layout, is great fun any day of the year but they prepare with extra programs for Children’s Day.

    Every child visitor will be greeted with a small present, those who fill out the Miniversum-quiz can choose from 3 presents, there’ll be face painting and other programs in the playhouse too.

    Sightseeing Recommendations

    Budapest is a walkable city with many sights located in downtown Pest or in the Castle district in Buda.

    Here are some walk and other tours with expert, English guiding:

    Jewish Tours

    Budapest boasts a very rich Jewish heritage from synagogues to museums, and monuments.

    The world’s most beautiful and one of the largest synagogue is in the centre, in Dohány Street. It has a museum and archives with lots of relics and historic displays.

    TIP: Book a Jewish Heritage Tour to visit the Dohány Street Synagogue, the Jewish Museum, and other historic and cultural sights. Small group tour with professional guiding in English. Private tours with more intimate atmosphere and the possibility to tailor made the route are also available!

    Segway Tour in the City Center

    4 segway riders on a squareThe city is also ideal for Segwaying around which is a great way to quickly see all the important landmarks and attractions and the wonderful view.

    The 1-hour tour in Pest city center covers all the must-see sights from the Opera House to the Parliament.

    Prior the tour you’ll get a 15-minute training to help you safely ride and control your Segway. Small group, professional guide.

    Segway Budapest Ticket

    The Zoo – A Great May Program for Families

    our 2 kids inside a giant shark jaw skeleton
    In the Magic Hill – Budapest Zoo

    A visit to the Zoo is always a nice outdoor program for the whole family:

    • lots of green,
    • animals (do go say hello to Asha the baby elephant),
    • playgrounds,
    • snacks, restaurants, and
    • a fine confectionery (Gundel Patisserie).

    The best thing is that the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden is in the City Park, home to a colourful May Day Festival each year.

    TIP: Take a Night Walk in the Zoo on every 2nd Thursday between 18.00 – 21.00. Find out about the Zoo’s and its inhabitants nightlife secrets
    which you almost certainly can not see in daylight!

    Professional guides lead you through the park and you cantake a peak behind the glass walls and runways. Price: 5 000 HUF. More info: Facebook Event

    Concerts, Cultural Programs in May

    Gala Concerts in Danube Palace

    Dates in May 2018: 05, 12, 19, 26

    Tickets in various categories, depending on seat.

    performers of the concert on stageThe historic palace in Zrínyi Str., close to the Basilica and the Danube in downtown has a great theatre hall perfect for classical concerts.

    The 1,5-hour Budapest Gala Concert includes evergreen pieces by

    • Brahms,
    • Zoltán Kodály,
    • Béla Bartók and
    • Franz Liszt.

    Operetta performances and folk songs accompanied by cimbalom/hammered dulcimer music (a traditional Hungarian folk instrument) add to the atmosphere of the evening.

    Folk Dance Shows in the Danube Palace

    A 1,5-half hour cultural entertainment in the heart of the city showcasing Hungary’s colourful folk traditions.

    Organ Concerts in the Inner City Parish Church

    Venue: Inner City Parish Church (Belvárosi Plébániatemplom, Március 15. tér, Pest near Elizabeth Bridge, tram 2

    Dates in May: 03, 10, 17, 24, 31 – concerts start at 16.00

    Tickets: full price: 4 500 HUF, students, seniors: 4 000 HUF

    Note: the Church is open for tourists: every day between 09.00 – 16.30

    side view of the two-towered chucrch on a clear spring dayThe oldest church of Pest next to Erzsébet Bridge gives home to organ recitals on Wednesday evenings.

    The oldest parts of the temple dates back to the early middle ages, 11th century. According to legend, Bishop Gellért‘s remains were buried here.

    Following the death of King St. Stephen in 1038 rebels killed the martyr by pushing him down a hill in Buda that bears his name since then (Gellért Hill).

    The church has been nicely redone in recent years and it provides a perfect venue for concerts. It

    Program of the Concert Includes the Following pieces (the list is just an example not a complete concert program):

    • J. S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
    • W. A. Mozart: Allegro
    • Liszt Ferenc: Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (arr. Koloss)
    • T. Albinoni: Adagio, and more.

    TIP: The Basilica of Budapest hosts wonderful organ concerts in May on 04, 11, 18, and 25 strating at 20.00.

    The major cultural venues of Budapest:

    • the Erkel Theatre,
    • the Music Academy and
    • the Palace of Arts/Müpa.

    always have a rich repertoire. Two of the above places, the Music Academy and the Opera House can be visited on guided tours:

    Opera House tour with Optional Mini Concert:

    Date & Time: every day at 14.00 with guiding in English. Tours in other languages strat usually at 15.00 and 16.00.

    Prices: adult: 2 990 HUF, students: 1 990 HUF, 20 % discount with Budapest Card

    5-minute concert (can be bought only with a tour ticket): 690 HUF/person – the concert is at the end of the tour 2 popular arias presented by a singer of the Hungarian State Opera.

    On the tour you’ll explore the building and learn about its history and architecture.

    Eat and Drink Alfresco – Terraced Cafes, Bars in Budapest

    people sitting on the terrace of Kiosk with blue tentsThe pleasant May weather is perfect for sipping a glass of wine or fröccs (spritzer made from wine and soda) or craft beer outdoor.

    Here are some of our favorite terraced places in the city:

    Kiosk Terasz – Március 15. Square

    Address: Március 15. tér 2., tram 2

    Sitting on the terrace of Kiosk on the Danube Promenade with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and enjoying the beautiful panorama of Erzsébet bridge, the Gellért Hill and the Danube is a perfect way to relax.

    The place also offers tasty meals:

    • goulash soup with csipetke,
    • chicken paprikash,
    • grilled sandwiches and
    • a good value 2- or 3-course daily menu.

    More Outdoor Cafes:

    You’ll find plenty in the following areas:

    • Gozsdu Court – packed with bars, cafes – Blue Bird cafe is great for a breakfast and coffee (they have their own coffee roaster)
    • Liszt Ferenc Tér, Hajós utca, Nagymező utca (aka Pesti Broadway)
    • Andrássy út – Callas Cafe has a lovely terrace overlooking the Opera House
    • Ráday utca in district IX. – a restaurant street lined with terraced cafes, bistros on both sides: try BudDog (Ráday utca 10-12.) for quality hotdogs, lángos (a classic Hungarian street food speciality).
    • the Duna Korzó – Danube Promenade- a scenic walkway between the Chain Bridge and Erzsébet bridge.

    Party TIP – Outdoor Clubs

    outdoor concertOpen air clubs and bars welcome the summer season with the arrival of May.

    Barba Negra Track

    Location: Neumann János utca 2., district XI.
    See programs.

    The Barba Negra Track (former Zöld Pardon) at the Buda end of Rákóczi Bridge has opened its gates on 30. April with a 4-day concert series by Hungary’s best rock, pop and underground bands.

    Concert tickets: from  1500 – 2 500 HUF, big name band concerts: 7 000 – 30 000 HUF

    TIP: See also our May Day/Labor Day Budapest program recommendations. Note: 1st May/May Day is a public holiday: most shops, food markets are closed. Public transport operates according to Sunday/Holiday schedule.

    Past Events

    Danube Regatta, 05. May 2018

    rowers on the Danube Regatta with the Budapets Parliament in the backgroundVenue: on the bank of the Danube in front of the Technical University in Buda
    Entry: free

    A university festival with

    • boat competition (rowing and dragon boat races between Hungarian universities),
    • running race in costume,
    • other sport events,
    • children programs,
    • folk dance house,
    • cheerleader show,
    • concerts and
    • lots of fun and cold beer on a wonderful scenic location of the city.

    A great sport and cultural program for all ages on the first weekend of May.

    More information…

    Budapest 100 – Celebration of 100-Year Old Buildings, 05 – 06. May

    a historic building on Rakoczi utLocation: several venues in the city

    The Budapest 100 is a wonderful event devoted to all buildings in the city that turn 100 year old in 2018.

    Historic houses otherwise closed to the public welcome everyone around the 100th day of the year.

    This year the Danube riverfronts and the bridges will be the main venue of programs.

    Programs include:

    • guided tours,
    • exhibitions,
    • movie watching, and
    • children activities.

    Óbuda Festival, 03 – 05. May, Friday Evening-Saturday

    a cook roasting sausages in two big iron skilletsÓbuda (Old Buda, district III.) is a lovely quaint part of Northern Budapest with several great events during the year.

    The 3-day May Festival offers lots of fun family programs at several venues in Óbuda:

    • Main Square (Fő tér),
    • Szentlélek tér,
    • Kobuci garden.

    Concerts, art and craft workshops, wine and gastro programs, activities for children welcome everyone on the first whole weekend of May.

    The festival kicks off on Friday afternoon on Szentlélek Square, with concerts by the Budapest Voices (at 18.00), and Péterffy Bori & Love Band (at 20.30). The “Gastronomy Adventures” ensure that you won’t be hungry (nor thirsty) on this beautiful spring evening.

    The programs continue on Saturday/05. May with concert by children’s all-time favourite Judit Halász (at 10.00), followed by the Danubia Chamber Orchestra Óbuda ((at 11.30).

    You can also wander among he stalls of a Craft fair (both days).

    On Main Square you can have your fill of food by Katlan Tóni, nibble some flat bread baked in clay oven, taste Street Food, and have a cake for dessert by the Cziniel Confectionery or Rachel’s flódni and sip splendid specialty coffee in Gázlámpa Kioszk, a buffet housed in a former gas station.

    See more at the event’s website.

    Entry is free.

    Rosalia, Festival of Balaton Wines, 11 – 13. May

    Venue: City Park, behind Vajdahunyad Castle

    Getting there: M1 (yellow line) Hősök tere or Széchenyi fürdő stop

    Opening Hours: 12th May: 14.00 – 24.00, 13th May: 12.00 – 24.00, 14th May: 10.00 – 21.00

    Entry: free, tasting: you have to buy a tasting glass for 1 000 HUF (Stölzle crystal glass)

    festival visitors sitting on wooden benches in a parkA festival celebrating fresh roses. sparkling wines and other splendid summer wines.

    More than 50 exhibitors, including some of the best street food vendors.

    This year it moves to a Pest location: the City Park-Vajdahunyad Castle – a green expanse behind Heroes’ Square, home to the Zoo and the Széchenyi Bath.

    Family and children programs early afternoons:

    • Bread making in the Szittya Pitta Cottage: every day of the festival
    • Learning to bake Kürtöskalács/Sekler cake: Sat – Sun: 10.00 – 16.00
    • Craft workshop, face painting on Sunday/14. May: 10.00 – 18.00

    Organiser’s website

    Europe Day Festival & Running Race, 13. May

    Venue: Szabadság Square, city centre, near the Parliament

    A festival celebrating Hungary’s joining the EU 14 years ago.

    Programs include:

    • A 14 km running race starting at 10.00
    • concerts and children programs between 11.00 – 17.30.

    Beer Festival in Újbuda, 11 – 13. May

    Opening hours: 12.00 – 22.00

    Venue: Október Huszonharmadika utca 8-10., Budapest,  next to the Allee Mall

    A great outdoor festival not just for beer lovers! Besides more than 200 local and import beer specialties, guests can enjoy

    • live Swabian muisc,
    • street food and
    • the performance of the Budapest Circus Festival’s a acrobats.

    Entry is free, prices are friendly! See also the Budapest Beer Week below.

    Museum Festival, 13. May, 2018.

    the colonnaded front of the National Museum with a colorful flower bed in the foregroundVenue: Several Museums in Budapest, main event is in the Hungarian National Museum, Múzeum körút 14 – 16., district VIII., M3 metro, Kálvin tér statio

    The main themes of this year’s festival are

    • nature and environment protection,
    • conservation and care of green areas,
    • environmental consciousness,
    • reuse and recycling.

    Concerts, workshops, unique guided tours of museum exhibits and many other programs on the 2-day weekend festival.

    Find out more about the Museum Festival in Budapest

    Related

    June Things To DoJuly Events, ProgramsAugust Things To Do

    Check Also

    Event Calendar

    Budapestbylocals.com