World Athletics Championships in Budapest (WAC)

August 19 – 27, 2023 – Witness The Wonder

Budapest, Hungary and as a matter of fact, Central Europe will host the World Athletics Championships for the first time in the history of this noble sport.

More than 2 000 athletes from more than 200 countries will be present to compete over the 9 days.

We will take an in-depth look at everything you need to know about the World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023, including the venue, dates, participating countries, events, and we’ll also give you some things to do and see recommendations.

About the Event

The World Athletics Championships is the most prestigious athletics competition that is held once every two years, where the world’s top athletes compete for gold medals and world records.

The 2023 edition of the World Athletics Championships is set to take place in Budapest, Hungary.

The event is scheduled to be held from August 19 to August 27, 2023, at the new National Athletics Centre.

The championships attract the world’s top athletes, including Olympic champions and world record holders, who compete in a range of track and field events, including sprints, middle and long-distance races, hurdles, relays, jumping, and throwing events.

Athletis Stadion outside
Langosh and Beer Cruise

Langosh & Beer Cruise

Departures: 16:00 / 18:00 / 20:00 / 22:00

Duration: 85 min. – Price32

Venue – Budapest as the host city of the 2023 World Athletics Championships

The spanking-new National Athletics Centre in the southern part of Budapest, Hungary, will serve as the host venue for the World Athletics Championships in 2023.

The state-of-the-art complex is the biggest such training and racing facility in Central Europe.

Location – Getting There

The newly built Athletic Stadium is located in Pest, on the bank of the Danube, close the the Rákóczi Brigde.

The entire area, including the center itself, will undergo regeneration and transformation into a public park with ample green spaces accessible to everyone.

During the 2023 championships, the arena will have an initial seating capacity of 35,000 spectators, which will later be reduced to 15,000.

It’s the largest athletic training and competition centre in central Europe.

Once the temporary upper tier is removed after the event, the stadium will feature a circular plateau that will be used as leisure areas available for everyone.

National Athletics Centre
National Athletics Centre
Pizza and Beer Cruise

Pizza & Beer Cruise

Departures: 16:00 / 18:00 / 20:00 / 22:00

Duration: 85 min. – Price32

How To Get There? Transportation To The WAC

Address of the Athletic Stadium: 1095 Budapest, Hajóállomás utca 1. (View On Google Maps)

Note: Budapest has an excellent and efficient, simple to use public transportation network so getting around during the World Athletics Championships will be easy and convenient. A scenic and comfortable way is to travel by boat to the premises.

The journey on the Danube takes only 15 minutes from Batthyány Square port in Buda. Boats depart every 30-40 minutes or more frequently if needed.

By Public Transport

The stadium is conveniently accessible by public transport from anywhere in the city centre within max. 15-20 min, including

  • Trams, the
  • Local railway (HÉV- H7 line from Boráros tér – trams 4 & 6 stop there),
  • Buses, and even
  • Boats on the Danube River.

The following means of public transport are the quickest options to get to the Athletic Stadium:

Athletis Stadion inside

Suburban Railway H7

The green train departs from Boráros tér (tram 4 and 6 both stop there) – get off at MüPa-Nemzeti Színház stop (Művészetek Palotája/Palace of Arts- National Theatre).

Trains depart cc. every 10 min and the journey takes only 2 minutes.

You’ll be able to see the Stadium from here that you can reach by walk in cc. 10 min (900 m)

Trams 2, 24

Tram 2 travels along the Danube river in Pest between Jászai Mari Square and Közvágóhíd terminis.

It operates quite frequently especially during the Athletics Championship.

Get off again at Közvágóhíd stop. The Stadium is cc. 10-11 min by walk.

Tram 1

Tram line 1 connects Kelenföld Railway Station and Óbuda, District III.

Get off at Közvágóhíd stop. From there you can get to the Athletic Centre in cc. 11 minutes on foot.

map - getting to the Budapest Athletic Stadium
Map Showing The Various Ways to Get To the Stadium (Click image to open the map in .pdf!)

Buses 54, 56, 224

You can also get to the venue using the above public transport bus lines. Get off at Közvágóhíd stop, from there you reach the stadium by walk (takes roughly 10 minutes).

What Type Of Public Transport Ticket You Should Buy?

TIP: The Budapest Card is a tourist pass available for 1, 2, 3 4 or 5 days that besides discounted and free entry to attractions, baths, 30+ museums and tours, it includes FREE unlimited travel on the city’s public transport lines with the exception of the 100E Airport Express bus shuttle that’s FREE only with the 72-Hour Plus Card. See more about the card here!

Budapest Airport Express Bus 100E – Requires Purchase Of A Separate Single Ticket (2 200 HUF)

If you come to the WAC by plane first you’ll need to get to your accommodation, probably somewhere in the city centre.

The 100E Airport Express is a shuttle bus service that will take you right to the heart of Budapest from the airport in 40 minutes 24/7.

The direct bus line connects Liszt Ferenc Airport with Deák Ferenc tér in downtown, with two stops along the way: Kálvin tér (M3 metro) and Astoria (M2 metro).

It runs quite frequently cc. every 6-7 minues during the day in summer, 10-15 minues at night. See the Airport Express bus’ timetable here.

Deák Ferenc Square is a major transportation hub with three of Budapest four metrolines (M1, M2, M3) meeting there and several tram and bus lines having a stop there.

the blue 100E Airport Express shuttle bus in front of Budapest Airport terminal 2A
100E Airport Express Bus

Airport Express Ticket On Board the Bus – Budapest Pay & Go

You need to buy a single ticket to travel on the Airport bus (the Budapest Card and other passes aren’t valid for this service).

It costs 2 200 HUF and you can purchase it in digital form on board through the yellow and black Budapest Pay & Go devices, with a bankcard or smart watch or phone.

Your ticket purchase also validates your ticket.

In case a ticket inspector comes and asks for your ticket just touch your bankcard/smartwatch/smartphone you used to pay with to the back of the handheld gadget the controller has with her/him.

picture showing how to use the Budapest Pay & Go ticket purchase device for the 100E Airport Shuttle Bus
Cocktail Cruise

Sunset Cocktail Cruise

Departures: 16:00 / 18:00 / 20:00 / 22:00

Duration: 85 min. – Price32

Note: Public transport tickets and passes aren’t valid for the boat service operating during the championships.

#boatserviceIf you want to get to the venue by boat you have to buy a day ticket for 1500 HUF. You can travel with it unlimited times on the that day you bought the boat tick

You have two options

  • Go the traditional way and buy and use paper tickets and travel cards (24-hour or 72-hour, or if you are comfortable with using apps
  • Download the BudapestGO public transport application to buy single tickets, time based tickets (for 30-minute or 90-minute duration) and 24/72-hour travel cards. The app is also a great help in planning your route providing real-time travel information as well as route and service recommendations including the BuBi public bike rental points.

You can buy paper tickets and travel cards from the ticket vending machines with bankcard (or cash). You The purple colored ticket automats are placed at main public transport stations (metro entrance), as well as at the airport.

The airport also has BKK Customer Sales Points where you can get your ticket/travel card from a real person.

Buy Travel Cards or Pack of 10 Single Tickets

If you come for 1-3 days and plan on using public transport extensively then we recommend that you buy

  • A 24-hour (2 500 HUF) or a
  • 72-hour travel card (5 500 HUF). You don’t need to validate these – neither in paper nor in digital form -, just present to the ticket inspector if she/he asks for tickets/passes.

Both travel cards are available in digital form through the BudapestGO App.

Your other option is to use single tickets (you can byu as many as you need via the BudapestGo app). If purchased individually one single ticket costs 350 HUF. (450 HUF on board the bus, from the driver, but not on trams. Please have the exact amount ready in cash becuse the driver doesn’t have change to give back.

To save money buy a pack of 10 single tickets that is 3 000 HUF. It is only available in paper form from vending machines or at sales points.

Validate Your Ticket To Avoid Getting Fined!

Simply purchasing a ticket is not sufficient, you need to validate both the digital and paper forms, right after boarding a vehicle or before going down to the metro.

In case of digital tickets you validate your ticket before boarding a bus, tram or suburban railyway by swiping your mobile in front of the QR code sticker placed next to the doors on the exterior of the vehicle.

Here’s how to validate different types of tickets:

  • If you have a paper ticket just insert it in the validating machine’s slot (usually orange or bright yellow colored rectangle gadgets mounted close to the doors) or if it’s an old red punching tool (usually on the suburban railway called HÉV) just stick the ticket through the opening onthe top and pull the black lever towards you. It will make holes in the ticket.
  • In case of a digital ticket, scan the QR code stickers with your phone or other smart device. The stickers are placed at the entrance of the metro, on the front of paper ticket validating gadgets, and in case of buses and the suburban railway on the exterior of the vehicle right next to the door.

24-hour or 72-hour passes don’t need validation!

an infograph shwoing how to validate public transport tickets in Budapest
Ticket Validation
Unlimited Booze Cruise

Unlimited Booze Cruise

Departures: 16:00 / 18:00 / 20:00 / 22:00

Duration: 85 min. – Price32

To Sum Up:

Paper tickets: use the validating machine, which will either stamp a code on the ticket or make holes in it.

Digital Tickets in the BudapestGO App: Scan the code stickers located at the entrance of the metro, positioned on the front of the paper-ticket validators, or outside near the doors of street-level transport (buses, trolleys, suburban train/HÉV). If you use a time-based ticket (30-minute or 90-minute durations), ensure you validate it whenever you board a different vehicle.

Daily travel cards and passes: No validation is required for these types of tickets.

Remember, public transport tickets and passes aren’t valid for the boat service between Batthyány Square and MüPa/Palace of Arts ports.

Getting There By Boat

Since the stadium lies on the bank of the Danube river, getting there by boat is an obvious way of transportation.

An efficient and frequent boat service will be operating between Batthyány Square (Buda side) and MüPa/Palace of Arts ports during the championships. From MüPA the Athletic Stadium is just a short walk (cc. 8-10 min)

A daily boat ticket costs 1 500 HUF and you can use it as many times as you want during that day you purchased the ticket for.

Getting to the WAC by boat
Cruise The Danube To Get to The Stadium

There are morning and evening boat schedules aligned with the specific daily events of the WAC. The first boat departs at around 07.00- 08.00 from Batthyány Square in the morning the last one in the afternoon around 14.30 – 16.00, from MüPa/Palace of Arts port, depending on the championship’s events.

Note: Boats won’t operate on the evening of August 20, due to the fireworks.

You can find the boat schedule in downloadable form (.pdf) here.

Getting To The Athletic Centre By Taxi

Budapest taxis offer convenient and budget-friendly transportation options, with fares that are below the average in European capitals. Taxis are obliged to operate according to strict legislative framework regarding tarriff and the compulsory distinctive yellow colour and taxi sign.

So if you pay attention and use common sense you will be fine to travel by taxi.

Taxi Fare in Budapest Consists Of The Following Items In 2023

  • Pick-up Cost: The initial base charge for a taxi ride is 1100 HUF (approximately 2.9 EUR).
  • Price per Kilometer: For each kilometer traveled, the fare amounts to 440 HUF (less than 1.18 EUR)
  • Waiting Time Per Minute: When your taxi is stationary, the charge is 100 HUF per minute (cc. 0.29 EUR)
  • No Extra Charges: No any additional costs will be added based on the number of passengers or pieces of luggage you have.
  • Uniform Pricing 24/7: The taxi fares are the same throughout the day, regardless of whether it’s daytime or nighttime.

Payment For Taxi Ride

According to legislation, all Budapest taxis must accept payment by bank or credit card. You can pay in cash as well.

TIP: While most taxis accept payment in euros, we recommend to pay in Hungarian forint to avoid unfavorable conversion rates. It’s a good idea to ask the driver for an estimated cost of your ride beforehand.

Getting There By Bike or Electric Scooter

Ride On A Public Bike

Rent a public bike through the BuBi bike sharing network and ride to theto the Athletic Center on dedicated bike lanes.

BuBi has 197 pick up and drop off stations all over Budapest making it easy to combine biking with other forms of public transportation for a personalized travel experience.

Although a bit heavy, the light green bikes are an environmental friendly way to get to the Athletic Centre.

Lime Electric Scooters

In Budapest, the electric scooter-sharing system called Lime is also available. To use the scooters, simply download the app on your phone.

With the app, you can locate the nearest scooter, scan the QR code, and you’re ready to go.

The shared micro-mobility devices and vehicles are available at designated parking points.

Look for the Micro-Mobility Points marked with bright green signs, which can be found at public transportation stops and other densely populated areas. These points serve not only shared devices but also private bicycles and scooters.

Budapest Card – Should You Get One or Not?

Current Prices 2023:

  • 24-Hour Card: 33 EUR
  • 48-Hour Card: 49 EUR
  • 72-Hour Card: 63 EUR
  • 72-Hour Plus Card: 96 EUR
  • 96-Hour Card: 77 EUR
  • 120-Hour Card: 92 EUR
Budapest card

Timetable of Competitions

The World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023 will be held from August 19 to August 27.

The Championships will take place over nine days, with athletes from all over the world competing in various track and field events.

Each race day is divided into a Morning and an Evening Sessions with various races scheduled.

Day 1 for example strats with the men’s Final of the 20 km Race Walk at 8.50 am in the morning. Women’s final will take place next day, August 20., starting at 7.15 am.

On Day 1 you can also view the

  • Final of the women’s 10 000 m running at 20.55,
  • Followed buy the 4 x 400 m relay race final.
World Athletics Championships Timetable
World Athletics Championships Timetable from worldathletics.org

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony officially kicks off the championships on Day 1, August 19., starting at 18.30.

The evening session on Day 2, August 20. will see a serie sof finals including the

  • Long jump/women starting at 16.55
  • Hammer throw/men at 17.50
  • 800 m heptathlon/women at 18.00
  • 10 000 m run for men, and the
  • ever popular 100 spint for men at 19.10.

Marathon Finals on Aug 26 and Aug 27

The Championships will culminate in the highly anticipated men’s and women’s marathons:

  • Women’s marathon final will be on Day 8, August 26. starting at 7.00 am
  • Men’s maraton final takes place on the last day of the championships, August 27. at 7.00 am.

TIP: You can cheer along the marathon runners along the 42,1 km route that covers some of the most beloved parts of Budapest including many top sights and historic landmarks.

You can find the detailed program, in downloadable form here

Participating Countries

Over 2 000 comptetitors from 200 countries are expected to participate in the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

The Championships are open to all countries that are members of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and each country can send a maximum of three athletes per event.

The World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023 will feature a wide range of track and field events, including

  • Sprints,
  • Middle and long-distance races,
  • Hurdles,
  • Relays,
  • Jumps,
  • Throws, and
  • Combined events.

The Championships will also feature the men’s and women’s marathons, which will take place on the final day of the event covering a spectular route within the city.

hardless run race
70 minutes 1 drink cruise

70 minutes – 1 Drink & Cruise

Departures: 11:00 / 13:00 / 15:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 18:30

Duration: 70 min. – Price €10

Tickets To The World Athletics Championships Budapest

Tickets for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest will go on sale closer to the event.

You can purchase tickets through the official website of the Championships or through authorized ticket sellers.

Prices for tickets will vary depending on the event and the seating location.

Price for individual ticket – on weekdays:

  • Category 1: 47 USD
  • Category 2: 35 USD
  • Category 3: 22 USD
  • Category 4: 17 USD

Price for individual ticket – on weekends:

  • Category 1: 57 USD
  • Category 2: 45 USD
  • Category 3: 32 USD
  • Category 4: 22 USD

Flying start – opening weekender package (19-20 Aug, Total Price for 2 days)

  • Category 1:116 USD
  • Category 2:94 USD
  • Category 3: 71 USD
  • Category 4: 53 USD

Final weekend – Cheer them home package (25-26-27 Aug, Total Price for 3 days)

  • Category 1: 168 USD
  • Category 2: 134 USD
  • Category 3: 100 USD
  • Category 4: 73 USD

Ticket Discounts and Special Types

  • Children under 4 can sit in a parent’s lap without a ticket, free of charge.
  • Juniors (4-17 years old) and seniors (65 and above) enjoy a 25% discount.
  • Families with two adults and two kids (4-17 years old) receive a 25% discount. Additional kids pay 50% of the regular price.
  • Guests in wheelchairs can attend for free but need to register in advance with the ticketing operator. They must be accompanied at all times, and the accompanying person needs to purchase a ticket next to the wheelchair guest (priced at the lowest category).
  • These discounts apply to session tickets and packages in categories 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • Eligibility for discounted tickets is checked at the entrance gates.

All in – Superheroes package (19-27 Aug, Price for full 9 days)

  • Category 1: 410 USD
  • Category 2:320 USD
  • Category 3:230 USD
  • Category 4: 174 USD
WA2023 Seating Map
WA2023 Seating Map

Accommodation – Where To Stay In Budapest?

Budapest offers a wide range of accommodation options for visitors to the World Athletics Championships. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for everyone in Budapest.

You can book ypur accommodation through the official website of the Championships or through other booking websites.

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Safety and Security During The WAC

Safety and security are a top priority for the organizers of the World Athletics Championships.

The event will have a robust security plan in place, with measures to ensure the safety of athletes, spectators, and staff.

Visitors are advised to follow the event’s safety guidelines.

Weather – Expect Sweltering Summer Days!

Hungary and its capital Budapest has a temperate continental climate, with hot, dry summers and cold winters.

August is the second hottest month after July.

Daily temperatures in August can go well above 30°C and during a hot spell it won’t get much cooler during the night (20-22°C).

UV radiation is extremely high during the sunniest hours between 11.00 and 15.00.

TIP: Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses and a hat, light clothes and make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!

happy couple in summer budapest
Happy Couple in Summer Budapest

See also our guide to how to cope with a heatwave when visiting Budapest!

Food and Drinks – What & Where To Eat in Budapest?

Hungary is famous for its culinary delights, and visitors to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest will have plenty of options to choose from.

Hungarian cuisine is a unique blend of traditional Eastern European and Mediterranean flavors, and we absolutely recommend that you try local specialties like goulash, lángos, and a sweet pastry the chimney cake (kürtös kalács)

Budapest is also known for its excellent specialty coffee shops and quaint cafes, where you can relax and unwind after a day of watching the Championships.

For ammazing views and and chilling by a delicious cocktail drop by one of the handful of rooftop bars, like the

  • Duchess (address: Matild Palace, Váci u 36, Budapest 1056 or
  • White Raven in Buda Castle (address: Hess András tér 1-3, Budapest 1014.
4 pieces of fried potato pancakes served with sour cream
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Things to Do in Budapest During The WAC

The Hungarian capital is a vibrant and exciting city, with plenty of things to see and do. If you come to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest make sure you set aside time to explore the city’s top attractions and historic landmarks, including the

Budapest: Book A Jewish Heritage Tour

synagogue tour

Tours starts: 10:00 / Duration: 120 / 240 min. – From €49

Budapest: Street Art Walking Tour

Street art

Tours starts: in June / Duration:  120 min. – From €20

Budapest: Jewish Cuisine and Culture Walk

Jewish Cuisine

Tours starts: everyday / Duration:  240 min. – From €102

#TIP: As Your Local Guide we have some tips on how to spend a few days in Budapest to bring out more your visit during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

TIP: If you don’t feel like walking in the heat go on a river cruise to explore Budapest in comfort on an air-conditioned sighseeing boat.

Book A Danube Cruise – Secure Yor Place In Advance, No-Risk, Free Cancellation!

During the Championships tickets will sell out quickly so make sure you buy yours in advance!

Cruise With 7 Local Wines or Tokaji & Folk Show

wine cruise budapest

Departure: 18:30 or 21:30 / Duration: 120 min. – From €27

Evening Cruise with Folk Show and Hungarian/International Dinner

hungarian folklore dance

Departure: 19:00 / Duration: 120 min. – From €55

Read more details

Wine & Dine – Cruise with 5 Local Wines & Hungarian Appetizer/Cheese Plate

Wine & Dine night cruise

Departure: 20:30 / Duration: 80 min. – From €49

Festivals, Events During The World Athletic Championships

August offers many exciting events and festivals in Budapest. We recommend that you schedule some of them in your travel plans to get insight in local culture and gastronomy.

St. Stephen’s Day Festivities – August 20.

August 20. is the most prominent state holiday in Hungray. Celebrations commemorate the foundation of the Hungarian state more than a thousand years ago, and the nation’s 1st Christian king, St. Stephen. The day ends with spactacular fireworks show over the Danube near the Parliament and Buda Castle.

Street of Hungarian Flavours, August 18-20.

A 3-day foodie event showcasing the best of Hungarian and Central European gastronomy. Find out more about the Street Of Hungarian Flavours in Budapest!

vendors and exhibitors at the folk art & craft festival in Buda Castle
Folk Craft Festival & Fair, Buad Castle
food vendors offering local dishes to visitors of the Hungarian Flavours festival
Street Of Hungarian Flavours/Castle Bazaar (Buda)

Festival of Folk Arts, August 18-20

The international art and craft festival takes place in Buda Castle and as part of the August 20. state ceremonies it’s free to visit. So to kill to birds with one stone you can explore the historic castle area while attending the festival.

The event offers concerts, dance performances, a craft fair, tasty local food and drinks. Here’s our detailed guide to the Festival of Folk Arts in Buda Castle!

Do not miss it! 20. August Fireworks on the Danube

The August 20th celebrations are crowned with a grandiose fireworks display that is most enjoyable from the riverbanks or a boat on the Danube. There are river cruises organised specifically for the event which is extremely popular with both tourists and locals.

Tickets to fireworks cruises tend to sell out so if you want to witness the show you’d better book your place now!

Sights, Attractions To See During Your Stay

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FAQs

Where will the World Athletics Championships in 2023 be held?

The World Athletics Championships in 2023 will be held in Budapest, Hungary in the newly constructed Athletic Stadium.

Address: 1095 Budapest, Hajóállomás utca 1., next to the Rákóczi Brigde in the Pest side.

How to get to the Athletic Stadium where the WAC will be held?

The simplest and quickest way to get there is by public transport: local train service (HÉV from Boráros Square, get off at MüPa/Palace of Arts station), trams 2, 24 (get off at Közvágóhíd stop) are your best options.

There’s also boat service to MüPa/Palace of Arts port right nex to Rákóczi Bridge, for 1 500 HUF daily ticket. See more details on getting to the WAC venue here!

When will the World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023 take place?

The World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023 will take place from August 19 to August 27.

Where can I buy tickets for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023?

Tickets for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023 can be purchased through the official website of the Championships or through authorized ticket sellers.

Are there safety lockers/Lugagge storage available at the Championships?

locker/luggage storage tents at the Athletic Stadium

Yes, you can store your luggage, other belongings that aren’t allowed to be taken with you in the stadium in safety lockers.

They are located in tents at the easter side of the stadium.

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