Festivals, Activities for a Fun Autumn
October in Budapest looks to be just as exciting as the event-rich September was.
Although the so-called vénasszonyok nyara (also known as Indian summer– a 8-10 day warm period at end of September the beginning of October) seems to be less warm and sunny than it was in previous years a couple of foodie events, art festivals, concerts, and Halloween Parties offer entertainment in the middle of autumn.Quick Links: Oktoberfest – Design Week – Sekler Cake Festival – Restaurant Week – Cafe Budapest Contemporary Art Festival – Art Market/Art Photo – Budapest Marathon – October 23. National Holiday-1956 Revolution – Halloween Programs – Ice Skating at Jégterasz/Aréna Plaza – TIP: Concerts, Folk Performances in October – Hungarian Nights in a Downtown Restaurant – Museum Exhibitions Cafe TIP: Mantra Specialty Coffee Bar
Festivals, Events, Sightseeing in October
If you plan to celebrate the last day of October in Budapest here are some tips on Halloween parties, festivals. On 1st and 2nd November we remember our dead relatives, friends in Hungary.
People pay a visit to their dead relatives’ graves in cemeteries, lighting candles and lanterns.
This is a great time to take a walk in one of Budapest’s famous cemeteries.
TIP: Halloween Cruise Party, 29 October, 22.30
Have fun on a special, Halloween decorated party boat.
- Welcome drink – a local specialty, mák pálinka/poppy seed distilate,
- after-party in a downtown club (free entry for ladies, 2 000 HUF for men that is fully consumable at club’s bar)
- music and dance,
- beerpong and other exciting games and
- a sighsteeing excursion on the Danube are all included in the price.
Tickets: 14 EUR/person.Buy Tickets!
Addresss: Aréna Plaza, Kerepesi út 9., district VIII., (M2/red or M4/ green metro line-Keleti Pályaudvar st.),
Opening Hours: from 29. Oct: Mon-Thurs: Morning: 09.00-14.00, Afternoon/Evening: 15.00-21.00, Fri-Sun: Morning: 09.00-12.00, Afternoon: 13.00-17.00, Evening: Fri-Sat: 18.00-23.00, Sun: 18.00-21.00
Tickets: Entry is free on the opening party, on 29. October/Thursday Weekdays (Mon 9.00-Fri 17.00): adults: 1 200 HUF, students/retirees: 900 HUF, Weekends: adults: 1 500 HUF, students/retirees: 1 200 HUF
The Jégterasz ice skating rink launches the season in Budapest on 29. October, Thursday with a party: free entry to everyone, ice disco, smooth ice, skate rental (650 HUF for 1 hour, sizes/EUR: 35-50), lots of fun.
Discover the World of Hungarian Wines!
October is also the time of grape harvest in Hungary. The country has 22 wine regions with long history in wine making.
You can taste the finest local wines in several places in Budapest (at wine bars like Doblo in the Jewish district, or DiVino near the Basilica, or wine restaurants like the Bock Bistro or Borlabor).
TIP: Cultivini, a state-of-the-art wine gallery and shop in the city centre is another excellent choice to sample local wines.
October also offers a nice selection of classical music concerts.
The Baroque Church of St. Michael in Váci Street hosts concerts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting at19.00. The historic church with its outstanding acoustics is a perfect place to enjoy an orchestra or soloist performance.
There will be:
- Paganini & Liszt in Budapest in the Liszt Academy Concert Center
- Strauss & Mahler, Budapest Festival Orchestra in the Palace of Arts
- Mozart & Chopin Piano Concertos in the Liszt Academy Concert Center (Liszt F. tér 8., district VI.).
More Cultural Programs…
You can choose from a wide array of cultural entertainment in October:
- 90-minute long Gala Concerts in the theatre hall of the Duna Palota/Pesti Vigadó (classical music, operetta, ballet dance gypsy music),
- folklore performances combined with a night boat excursion with dinner.
Have a wonderful evening sampling classic local dishes (including goulash) and wines to the tunes of a Hungarian folk ensemble who will also display their prowess at folk dancing.
A 4-course dinner with 3 glasses of wine, a welcome drink and a folklore performance in a stylish restaurant in the city centre for only 9 490 HUF.
Hungarian Sausage & Pig Slaughter Festival, 21 -23. October
Venue: Hungarian Railway Museum and Park, Tatai út 95., distr. XIV.
Opening Hours: Friday: 13.00-22.00, Sat: 09.00-22.00, Sun: 09.00-20.00
Tickets: adult: 2 400 HUF, children, retirees: 2 000 HUF, family (2 +2): 8 000 HUF, free for kids under 3
Lots of gastronomy and other programs in the Hungarian Railway Museum and Park:
- you can watch pig slaughter each day,
- drink and eat traditional pork dishes, sausages, salamis,
- folk playground,
- jumping castle,
- folk craft fair,
- craft workshops,
- old timer tractor and other agricultural machine exhibition,
- many concerts.
You can also view the exhibited steam engines, trains, rail model tables and try the activities (for a fee) of the museum.
This month offers a range of great exhibitions for both grown ups and kids. Besides the exhibitions of the Design Week and the Art Market Budapest, the Autumn Festival of Museums between 26. September and 13. November looks to be another event full of exciting programs.
Autumn Festival of Museums, 26. Sep – 13. Nov
1 500 programs await visitor in 150 museums in Hungary including the numerous museums of Budapest.
The theme of this year is Build a Bridge – A Bridge that Connects.
There are 9 main topics:
- tailored programs for the Autumn School Break – workshops, programs for children, autumn camps
- Travelling Museum,
- In the Footsteps of Crafts,
- Cultural Spaces Differently – special bike and walk tours
- Mystery in the Museum 16+ – for older teens and young adults, puzzle solving, interactive investigation
Most programs require pre-registration. Find out more on the event’s website.
World Press Photo Exhibition, Hungarian Ethnography Museum, end of September – mid-October
Venue: Hungarian Ethnography Museum, Kossuth tér 12., district V., opposite the Parliament
Opening Hours: Tue, Wed, Thurs, Sun: 10.00-18.00, Fri, Sat & 23rd Oct: 10.00-20.00
Tickets: full price: 2 100 HUF, discount (students, retirees): 1 000 HUF
The World Press Photo is the most significant press photo contest. The award winner photos are taken on a travelling exhibition around the world. In September-October Budapest gives home to the exhibit.
Among many others you can see the grand prize winner photo of this year’s exhibit: Hope for a New Life, a black and white photo by Warren Richardson taken on 28. August in 2015 at the border at Röszke.
Café Tip of the Month
Budapest is a cafe capital with a nicely growing number of 3rd wave cafes as well as several classic coffee houses and places in between.
Address: Veres Pálné utca 33., district V.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 7.30-19.00, Sat: 9.00-19.00
New wave coffee bars are popping up almost each month in Budapest. Mantra in a small street just off Váci utca in downtown opened in 2014 has quickly become a popular place for those who can’t start the day without proper coffee.
The place has the two essential ingredients for excellent espresso and other coffee drinks made with more gentle, pour-over methods (Chemex, Clever Dripper, AeroPress)-the best way to enjoy the terroir characteristics of an excellent single origin roasted to light brown:
- Expert baristas – two young guys Krisztián and Attila manage the cafe, who are passionate and educated about all things coffee.
- Freshly roasted, top-quality, farm-selected coffee beans supplied by an Italian artisan roaster Gardelli, and the local Casino Mocca micro roastery.
You can opt for espresso (single-420 HUF, double or naked), americano or filter coffee.
Milk-based drinks are naturally also on the menu made from the slightly darker roast of Gardelli Coffee: macchiato, cortado, flat white, latte.
Mantra is also known for the wide variety of cold brews and chilled coffee drinks (V60 Fretta, Iwaki, Mizudashi, Iced Aeropress- all between 640-890 HUF, Iced Double Americano: 590 HUF ) that are popular during the summer waves.
But with days getting colder and colder you’ll appreciate Mantra’s hot chocolate or tea selection as well. The chai latte is also exceptional here though I haven’t tried it yet.
The food selection includes quality bakery goods and cake. I had cocoa snail made supplied by Pékműhely)
Professional, coffee enthusiast and kind staff, great pastries and first and foremost good coffee. Highly recommended!
October 23. is a public holiday in Hungary when we commemorate the revolution of 1956 against the Russian-communist oppression.
Shops, services are closed, public transport services run according to holiday schedule.
Learn more about the historical background and programs on 23. October in Budapest.
Venue: many restaurants, cafes in Budapest – Reservation is required (see list of participating restaurants here!)
Around 100 first class restaurants offer special, 3-course menus at set price. 3 300 HUF (service charge is included). Many of them also offer a gratis drink or extra discount on drinks.
Some of the participating places:
- ARAZ restaurant – local and international cuisine within a 4-star hotel in the Jewish Quarter (Dohány utca 42, district VII.),
- Almárium Bistro (Horánszky út 5., district VIII.),
- Napfényes Étterem és Cukrászda – a vegan/vegetarian restaurant (Ferenciek tere 2., district V:),
- Trattoria Toscana – a rustic Italian place with good food, and pleasant terrace on the Danube Promenade (Belgrád rkp. 13-15., district V.),
- Pesti Disznó – contemporary Hungarian bistro food (Nagymező utca 19., district VI.)
- Japanika – a new sushi bar at the Basilica (see other Budapest restaurants offering Japanese dishes)
Venue: Millenáris Park, Kis Rókus utca 16-20., district II., Buda, close to Mammut Shopping Mall
Getting there: tram 4, 6: Széna tér stop, cc. 5-min. walk, M2 metro Széll Kálmán tér station, cc. 8-min walk
Opening Hours: 13. Oct/Thurs: 11.00-20.00, 14. Oct/Fri: 11.00-22.00, 15-16.Oct/Sat-Sun: 11.00-20.00
The Art Market is the Central European region’s biggest contemporary art fair and festival with nearly 100 exhibitors and art projects from more than 25 countries showcasing their works on 6 000 sqm.
Besides the exhibition, you can choose from around 50 programs:
- guided tour in English and Hungarian,
- book launches,
- 14. October/Friday: 16.00
- 15. October/Saturday: 14.00
- 16. October/Sunday: 14.00
This year Poland will be the guest of honour of the event and within the POLISH(ED) program you can view many artworks from Poland’s most outstanding galleries, visit the accompanying programs that include panel discussions, presentations and shows.
The Art Photo Budapest is a side event of the Art Market first organised in 2014. It’s the only international art photo fair in Central and Eastern Europe.
Visit the official website of the event for more information.
Venue: several cultural institutions in the city: MÜPA-Palace of Arts, Liszt Academy, Trafó, Bálna/Whale Building, exhibition centres, concerts halls, public areas in Budapest.
Tickets: at various prices depending on performance (usually a couple of 1000 forints), can be bought at the festival centre at 11., Liszt Ferenc tér, district VI.: Monday-Friday: 10.00-18.00 or online through the festival’s website
Fans of classical music, modern dance performances, theatre, jazz concerts, art exhibitions will have plenty of programs to choose from during the 17-day festival, previously known as the Budapest Autumn Festival.
See the detailed program here.
With nearly 20 000 participants the Budapest Marathon has evolved into a major sport event during its nearly 30 decades of history.
The 42 km route includes the most scenic part of the city (the Danube banks with the bridges, Castle Hill, Gellért Hill, Heroes’ Square) all part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage program.
Even the CNN felt that the Budapest Marathon is deserved to be included in its month-by month Running Calendar last year in which they recommend an exciting race from all over the world for each month.
See more details.
Venue: several places in the city
The 10-day event is organised for the 13th time and it brings the cream-of-the-crop of Hungarian and international designers to Budapest.
The programs will be focusing on the topic of Design Anatomy: the relationship between men and his environment.
Lots of programs to choose from, just to name a few of the main ones:
- Opening Exhibitions: Central Values – Common Heritage in Central European Contemporary Design Exhibition and Conference, 24. Sept – 20. Nov, Tue-Sun: 10.00-18.00 – in the Museum of Applied Arts (Üllői út 33-37.):
Creative Arts Fair in the Museum of Applied Arts (Üllői út 33-37.), 01. October, 10.00-18.00, entry to programs: 500 HUF (tickets to the exhibitions will be valid also for the programs): unique, high-quality jewelry, clothing, ceramics and accessories. In addition to the fair, a variety of programs await visitors, including a family day.
- Gastronomy programs:
- Design tours (pre-registration is required).
- Studio AADAAM (Hársfa utca 29., distr. VII.) – 25. September, 02. October, 13.0 -17.00 –
- Fabrika (Szondi utca 94/A) – 01-02. October, 12.00-18.00
- Ylka Design Studio (Ajtósi Dürer sor 31., II. em./5., distr. XIV.) – 01. October, 10.00-19.00.
Venue: City Hall Park (Városháza Park), city centre near Deák tér metro hub (M1, M2, M3 lines)
2017 Date has Not Been Announced Yet!
You can bake your own kürtös kalács, a traditional Transylvanian pastry in cylinder shape baked on open fire then coated with sugar, ground walnut, cinnamon or coconut flakes.
Transylvanian and Hungarian wines, pálinka, craft chocolate and other goodies make the 4th Sekler Cake Festival a great weekend program in October.DIY Sekler Cake: Make your own cake with the help of the bakers of Vitéz Kürtöskalács.
You’ll learn to roll the dough onto the bake roll then bake it on special Bake ‘n Roll party ovens. Two cakes will cost: 1 500 HUF.
Venue: 56-osok tere (Felvonulási tér), next to Heroes’ Sqr. district XIV.: M1 underground Hősök tere station, a short walk from there, or trolley buses No. 75 and 79: stop in front of the main entrance
2017 Date Has Not Been Announced Yet!
Tickets: daily: 1 990 HUF, 4-day pass: 3 990 HUF, tickets and the pass includes a Paulaner beer mug
Some of the programs:
- Two big tents: An original giant Paulaner beer tent brought straight from Munchen ensures an authentic feeling and there’ll be a Hacker Pschorr tent where live Bavarian-style music will entertain guests.
- In the Retro Party tent you can party to the music of Hungarian performers
- Great food: street food, local specialties
- Concerts every day
- Ferris wheel – 40 m high, fantastic view of the city: a ride is 5 minute long and costs 2 000 HUF/adult, 1 000 HUF/children under 12 years of age, family: 5 000 HUF (2 adults + 2 kids).
See detailed program at the event’s website.
Pumpkin Festival (Tök Jó Fesztivál), Vajdahunyad Castle, 30. Sept – 02. Oct
Venue: Vajdaunyad Vára/Városliget,
The City Park will host another festival besides the OktoberFest over the first weekend of October, this one will be focusing on pumpkins:
- fruit and vegetable carving,
- family activities,
- amusement park,
- food and drinks.
The event will take place at Vajdahunyad Castle and its area.