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Budapest free stuff and guideFacts, Figures & Free stuff!

Festivals

Festivals are HUGE in Budapest! We counted at least ten in August alone. And when it comes to the city's favourite pastimes, one celebration is never quite enough:

Beer Festivals:

Most cities in Europe dutifully supply locals and tourists alike with one big nod to the amber nectar each year but Budapest goes all out with not one, not two, or even three beer festivals... the capital manages to pack four into its yearly calendar! (The Budapest Craft Beer Fest, Buda Castle Beer Fest, the Belgian Beer Fest and the Czech Beer Fest)

Palinka Festivals:

Palinka (brandy) sounds tame enough when the list of common ingredients reads like a trip to the local grocers (think apples, apricots, plums, grapes, pears..) but when you hear names like the 'Whistling Palinka' and 'Fence Ripper' (really!) being bandied around, you realise it's not a drink for the faint-hearted! But it is the nation's top distilled tipple, with no less than 2 separate festivals in its honour:

  • Palinka Festival; which sees no fewer than 300 types of Palinka, a whole host of concerts and a multitude of food stalls (lining the stomach's a must!) land in Buda Castle for the four day event. Oh, and your entrance pass handily includes your (empty) tasting glass.
  • Palinka and Sausage Festival; maybe the name could use a little creativity(?) but October's nod to...well... Palinka and the traditional Hungarian food fare that is the humble sausage, sees the crowds returning once again to Buda Castle in their droves.

Spa Parties (or 'sparties' if you will...no?)

Budapest's famous spas become giant geothermal gatherings on regular dates throughout the year (usually Saturdays through Summer, Fall and Winter), when top DJs, lasers and some cracking tunes turn the thermal waters into the biggest water parties around. The top spa parties can be found at the Lukacs and Szechenyi baths.

More events to mention:

International Auto Motor Festival:

The auto extravaganza packs over 1000 vehicles, more than 200 exhibitors and over 35,000 petrol-heads into 5 pavilions for three days of freestyle motocross, speed trials and the Hungarian Stunt Riding Championship.

Buda Castle Beer Festival:

One of the ultimate festivals in the city, Buda's Beer Fest does exactly what it says on the tin with beer by the bucket-load and various concerts, shows, local delicacies and the rather impressive castle backdrop thrown in for good measure.

Budapest Fireworks (Hungary's birthday party):

Celebrations begin on Aug 19th when Buda's side of the Danube transforms into a giant street festival with live concerts, wine, beer and traditional food for the taking. But the main event undoubtedly occurs the following evening when hundreds of thousands head out to witness the spectacular fireworks finale.

Calendar Highlights

Mar - International Auto Motor Festival - Spring Festival - Budapest Restaurant Week

May - Palinka Festival - Budai Gourmet Festival

Jun - Buda Castle Beer Festival

Jul - F1 Grand Prix

Aug - Sziget - Szechenyi Bath Party Festival - Budapest Fireworks (Hungary's birthday celebrations)

Sept - Wine Festival - National Gallop

Oct - Palinka and Sausage Fest

Nov - Budapest Christmas Market

Attractions

  • Szechenyi Bath
  • St Stephen’s Basilica
  • Margaret Island
  • Heroes’ Square
  • Buda Castle Hill
  • Buda Castle
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • The Funicular
  • Matthias Church

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • The banks of the River Danube
  • The Buda Castle Quarter
  • Andrassy Ut (Avenue)
  • Heroes’ Square
  • Millennium Underground Railway

Getting there

Flying to Budapest is a cinch, with several UK airports offering direct and frequent services to the capital, and a journey time of a little over two and a half hours.

StagWeb can also organise your group transfers from Budapest Airport to your chosen accommodation, with a selection of vehicles, from mini-buses to limos, for you to choose from.

Average journey times from Liszt Ferenc International Airport:
City Centre - 24 minutes
Castle District - 33 minutes
Danube Promenade - 27 minutes

Getting around

  • Over-ground rail and the Metro, which runs as often as every two minutes at peak times and every 15 minutes in the evenings.
  • Buses, trolleybuses and trams, which run from 4:30am-11pm (with the trams running 24hrs a day).
  • The nightbus system has been recently upgraded to include 37 lines.

Public Transport payment/tickets:
Payment is simple – you punch one ticket for each ride, no matter how far you’re going.  This can be done at the little red or orange boxes on all buses and trams and at entrances to the Metro. Tickets can be purchased at machines (make sure you have coins) or at ticket windows in metro stations.

(Be warned though gents, if you’re caught without a ticket you have to pay a fine on the spot. In cash)



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