Things To Do in Budapest in May

Budapest in May is a blooming marvel. With spring in full swing, the city bursts into life. The weather is warm, parks are lush, and events are aplenty. May offers an array of activities, from cultural festivals to outdoor adventures. Ready to discover Budapest’s springtime charms?

Table of Contents

Festivals and Events

Things To Do in Budapest in May

  1. Budapest100. Every May, Budapest100 celebrates the city’s architectural heritage. This event opens the doors to century-old buildings, inviting you to explore their histories. Each year has a unique theme—this year, it’s the 1970s. Venues are scattered across the city, and admission is free. Check the official website for specific dates and participating locations.
  2. Rosalia Wine Festival. Held from May 31 to June 2, Rosalia Wine Festival is a haven for wine enthusiasts. Located in City Park, this event showcases Hungary’s best wines. Admission is free, but wine tastings typically require purchasing a tasting glass and tokens, which can be bought on-site. Enjoy wine tastings, live music, and gourmet food stalls. It’s a delightful way to spend a spring evening.
  3. OTP Bank Gourmet Food Festival. From May 24 to 26, head to Millenáris Park for the OTP Bank Gourmet Food Festival. This event features top chefs and restaurants from across Hungary. Tickets cost around 4,900 HUF for a daily pass. Savor creative dishes, enjoy cooking demos, and attend workshops. It’s a must-visit for food lovers!
  4. Budapest Beer Week. From May 20 to 26, immerse yourself in the world of craft beer. Budapest Beer Week offers tastings, workshops, and live music across several venues. Main events are held at Dürer Kert. A full festival pass costs around 30,000 HUF, including unlimited tastings. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or a casual drinker, this event is sure to please.
  5. Szekely Festival. Celebrate Hungarian culture at the Szekely Festival, held in early May at the Bálna Budapest. This event showcases the traditions of the Szekely people, with folk music, dance, and crafts. Admission is free. Enjoy traditional foods and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
  6. Taban Festival on May Day. On May 1, Taban Festival kicks off with music, dance, and local crafts. Held in Taban Park, this family-friendly event is perfect for a day out. Admission is free. Enjoy the lively performances and explore the craft stalls.
  7. Giro d’Italia Cycling Race. Budapest hosts a leg of the famous Giro d’Italia in May. Watch world-class cyclists race through the city’s streets. This year’s race will start at Heroes' Square and wind through the city, including notable landmarks like the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle. Find a good spot along the route and cheer them on as they pass iconic landmarks. Admission is free.
  8. Children’s Day Programs. May also brings Children’s Day, celebrated with various events around Budapest. From fun fairs in City Park to activities at the Hungarian Railway Museum, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained. These events are usually free or low-cost, making them accessible for families.

Cultural and Musical Events

Things To Do in Budapest in May

  1. Concerts in Budapest. May is rich with musical events. Enjoy classical concerts in Matthias Church, with ticket prices ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 HUF. The Basilica also hosts concerts, including organ performances. Prices vary, typically between 4,500 and 7,500 HUF. Organ concerts offer a sublime auditory experience.
  2. JazzFest Budapest. Jazz enthusiasts, rejoice! JazzFest Budapest runs until May 15, featuring renowned artists and intimate venues. Concerts are held at various locations, including the Budapest Jazz Club. Tickets usually cost between 2,000 and 5,000 HUF. Experience the city’s vibrant jazz scene and enjoy top-notch performances.
  3. Budapest International Organ Festival. This festival, from May 5 to June 30, celebrates organ music across the city. Concerts are held in historic churches like St. Stephen’s Basilica. Ticket prices range from 3,000 to 6,000 HUF. Attend these events to soak in the majestic sounds.
  4. Mozart’s Requiem in St. Stephen’s Basilica. Don’t miss Mozart’s Requiem on May 24 at 8 PM. Held in St. Stephen’s Basilica, this concert offers a profound musical experience in a stunning setting. Tickets are available online, costing between 4,000 and 8,000 HUF.
  5. Jazz World Photo Exhibition. Running until May 17, this exhibition showcases jazz photography at the Hungarian Museum of Photography. Admission is around 1,500 HUF. Visit to see striking images capturing the essence of jazz culture.
  6. Hungarian Press Photo Exhibit. This exhibit runs from April 12 to June 2, displaying the best of Hungarian photojournalism. Located at the Hungarian National Museum, it’s a visual feast of powerful imagery. Admission costs approximately 2,000 HUF.

Outdoor Activities and Sightseeing

Things To Do in Budapest in May

  1. Relax in City Park (Városliget). City Park is perfect for a leisurely day out. Stroll around the lake, visit the Budapest Zoo, or enjoy a picnic. Don’t miss the stunning Vajdahunyad Castle within the park. Entry to the park is free, but attractions like the zoo have their own admission fees.
  2. Take a Walking Tour. Discover Budapest on foot with a walking tour. Explore historical sites, vibrant neighborhoods, and hidden gems. Tours typically last 2-3 hours and cost between 5,000 and 10,000 HUF. Walking tours offer insight into the city’s rich history and culture.
  3. Go on a Segway Tour. For a unique experience, try a Segway tour. Glide through the city’s streets and see major attractions without the hassle of walking. Tours usually last 1-2 hours and cost around 10,000 to 15,000 HUF. It’s fun and informative.
  4. Visit the Zoo. The Budapest Zoo, located in City Park, is a treat for families. With over 1,000 species, it’s both educational and entertaining. Admission costs approximately 3,300 HUF for adults and 2,200 HUF for children. Spend a day exploring and meet animals from around the world.
  5. Danube Embankment in Pest. Every weekend, the Danube embankment in Pest opens up for pedestrians and cyclists. Enjoy a scenic walk or bike ride along the river. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective. This activity is free.
  6. Budapest by Boat. Experience Budapest from the water with a Danube cruise. Choose from prosecco cruises, dinner cruises with folk shows, or simply a relaxing evening on the river. Prices range from 7,000 to 20,000 HUF, depending on the type of cruise. The views are spectacular, especially at sunset.

Food and Drink Experiences

Things To Do in Budapest in May

  1. Take a Food Tour of Budapest. Explore Budapest’s culinary scene with a food tour. Taste traditional dishes, visit local markets, and learn about Hungarian cuisine. Tours typically cost between 12,000 and 20,000 HUF. It’s a delicious way to discover the city.
  2. Pub Crawl Through Ruins. Budapest’s ruin pubs are legendary. Join a pub crawl to visit these unique venues. Each bar is housed in a formerly abandoned building, now transformed into a lively nightlife spot. Pub crawls usually cost around 6,000 to 10,000 HUF, including some drinks.
  3. Eat and Drink Alfresco. May is perfect for outdoor dining. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of terraced cafes and bars across the city. Try places like Kiosk Terasz on Március 15. Square for a memorable meal. Prices vary, but expect to spend around 3,000 to 6,000 HUF for a meal and drinks.

Special Recommendations

  1. Save Money with a Tourist Pass. A tourist pass can be a great way to save on attractions. It offers discounts and free entry to many sites. The Budapest Card is available for 24, 48, or 72 hours, with prices starting at around 6,000 HUF. Plan ahead to make the most of your visit.
  2. Guided Jewish Tours. Explore Budapest’s Jewish heritage with a guided tour. Visit synagogues, museums, and historical sites. Tours typically cost between 8,000 and 15,000 HUF. It’s a moving and educational experience.
  3. Vegan Budapest. Budapest has a growing vegan scene. Discover the best vegan restaurants and cafes. Enjoy innovative dishes that cater to all dietary preferences. Popular spots include Napfényes Restaurant and Great Bistro, with meals costing around 2,500 to 5,000 HUF.

Past Events in May

  1. May Day Festivals.Early May is full of festive events. May Day festivals feature music, dancing, and crafts. These events are free and provide a great opportunity to experience local culture.
  2. Corvin Beer Festival. This festival, held from May 8 to 12, celebrates craft beer. Located at Corvin Promenade, it’s a must-visit for beer lovers. Admission is free, but beer tastings require purchasing tokens.
  3. Pancake Picnic in Újbuda. From May 10 to 12, enjoy a pancake feast in Újbuda. Taste various types of pancakes and enjoy a relaxed picnic atmosphere. Admission is free, but food prices vary.
  4. Budapest Spring Festival. This festival, running until May 12, is a cultural highlight. It features concerts, theater performances, and art exhibitions. Ticket prices vary depending on the event.
  5. Europe Day Festival & Running Race. Held on May 12, this event celebrates European unity. Participate in a fun run and enjoy various activities and performances. Admission is free, but registration for the race may be required.
  6. Pentecost Weekend. Pentecost weekend from May 18 to 20 includes events like the Salvator Beer Fest and the Grand Beer Garden Festival. Enjoy beer tastings and live music. Admission is free, but beer tastings require purchasing tokens.

Conclusion

Budapest in May is a vibrant and dynamic destination. With a mix of festivals, cultural events, and outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone. Plan your visit and enjoy the best of what Budapest has to offer this spring!

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