Looking for the best music and cultural festivals in Budapest & Hungary in 2023!? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
There’s a reason Budapest is on everyone’s lips – whether they are planning their next Euro trip, or returning from beating the well-worn backpacker trail from West to East. It’s everyone’s favorite European city of the moment, partly because it’s super budget-friendly, but mostly because it’s incredible! It’s as simple as that.
Whether you’re soaking it up in the famous thermal spas around the city, bar crawling through the famous ruins pubs, or taking in the sights from one of the cities main vantage points – there’s no denying that Budapest is a city everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime!
This is especially true for party addicts (such as myself), because Budapest festivals are definitely bucket-list worthy! During the peak summer months, Hungary is filled with amazing music festival and traditional cultural events that will keep just about everyone happy.
1) Sziget Festival 2023
When: August 10-15, 2023
“Sziget Festival is one of the biggest multi-genre music festivals in the world, taking place in Budapest. Born out of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the festival has been going steady since 1993.
One of the true bucket list festivals, Sziget transforms Obuda Island into a fully functioning musical haven that welcomes over 550,000 people each year to witness a lineup that includes the biggest names in music. Recent past headliners have included the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar, Muse, and Rihanna.
What makes this festival so special is the plethora of other activities that compliment the music, such as dance stages, a cinema, theatre, contemporary circus shows, sporting events, and even a beach where you can take a dip in the Danube.”
2) Telekom VOLT Festival 2023
When: June 2023
Where: Sopron, Hungary
“VOLT Festival is one of Hungary’s biggest music festivals, taking place in Sopron. Getting its title from the pop culture magazine of the same name, the festival has been running annually since 1993.
Teaming up with Sziget to become sibling festivals, VOLT presents a multi-genre lineup featuring artists for electronic, rock, pop, jazz, and urban genres. But of course any world class festival is about more than music, and Volt is no different, offering theatre performances, visual art exhibitions, film screenings, sporting events and more.”
3) Balaton Sound Festival 2023
When: June 28 – July 1, 2023
Where: Lake Balaton, Zamárdi, Hungary (90 minutes from Budapest)
One of my personal favorite festivals in the world!!
“Balaton Sound takes place at the idyllic Lake Balaton, in Hungary. The sibling festival to Sziget is now in its second decade, and has put Hungary on the map in regards to being a key destination for the premium summer beach festival experience.
With impressive lineups featuring the world’s best in EDM, house, and hip-hop artists over nine stages, what better soundtrack do you need when you can spend your days either dancing on boat parties, chilling out at the nearby food and drink spots, or sunbathing lakeside and truly making the most of the blissful weather.
People flock to Balaton Sound from all corners of Europe, and when the party is this great, why wouldn’t you?”
Read my Review: Balaton Sound 2016 | The Best Music Festival I’ve Ever Attended
4) Bánkitó Festival 2023
When: July 13-15, 2023
Where: Bánk, Hungary
“Hungary’s largest small festival”
“Bánkitó Festival is an alternative music festival in Bánk, Hungary. Fiercely independent, the festival is a bastion of creativity and free thought. Curating a lineup of musical acts across a range of genres that share a devotion to the role of the artist in a society, Bánkitó attracts an informed and enthusiastic crowd. Every year the festival a tackles a topic and offers discussions and arts centred around a specific theme.”
5) EFOTT Festival 2023
When: July 7-16, 2023
Where: Velence, Hungary
“EFOTT, the biggest student party in the country”.
“EFOTT Festival is a multi-genre music festival in Velence, Hungary. A classic summer getaway experience, the festival takes place at Lake Velence. The Hungarian equivalent of Spring Break in the States, every year the festival gathers over 100,000 students together to celebrate getting through another round of exams. Putting together a massive lineup, the festival presents an eclectic lineup of chart toppers across seven stages for four days straight.
“However, EFOTT is not just a party, since for years the organizers of the festival have been putting a lot of emphasis on boosting the cultural and sports life of the students in addition to the musical events, continuously breaking attendance records. Thanks to these, the daytime programs are expanding almost every year, not only in terms of number of staff, but also in terms of quality. One of the main goals of EFOTT is to provide festival-goers with the opportunity to enjoy a waterfront vacation in addition to cloudless entertainment.”
6) Veszprém Fest 2023
When: July 12-16, 2023
Where: Veszprém, Hungary
“Veszprémfest is 15 years old, dynamically developing, large-scale cultural event creating true values for lovers of art and quality music from Veszprém and from the whole country. For several days of every summer the event offers the most accomplished, world-class performers from various musical genres, be it classical music, world music, opera, jazz or pop music.
Some names from among the premium category performers of the recent years are: Emeli Sandé, Roger Hodgson, Kool the Gang, Katie Melua, Vaya Con Dios, Diana Krall, José Cura, Nigel Kennedy, Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucia, Zoltán Kocsis, Richard Bona, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Jan Garbarek, Andrea Rost, Erika Miklósa, The Gypsy Kings, Candy Dulfer, Gilberto Gil, George Benson, Buena Vista Social Club feat. Omara Portuondo, Craig David, and the list goes on.”
7) Campus Fesztival 2023
When: July 19-23, 2023
Where: Debrecen, Hungary
“Campus Fesztival 2023 is the multi-genre music festival in Hungary. This edition’s lineup will feature sets from Willy William, Alan Walker, Tankcsapda and many more. The celebrated artists will take over Hungary to heat up the atmosphere and bring alive their mixed instruments to the music fans.”
8) STRAND Festival
When: August 24-26, 2023
Where: Zamárdi Beach, Zamárdi, Hungary
“What an amazing way to finish off the summer festival season! Strand Festival ended summer parties properly. It was truly the rhythm of our beloved Lake Balaton, where everybody could find something for their musical taste in a splendid environment. The performers rocked the stage during four summery days and brought about that real festival feeling.
The Strand Festival (strand means beach in Hungarian) is part of the MOL Nagyon Balaton (Much Balaton) programme series, held on the Zamárdi public beach with the B.my.Lake festival on its side. Zamárdi and its beach is a popular destination and the perfect location for the festival.”
9) Toxic Weekend Festival
When: July 6-8, 2023
Where: Dunaújváros, Hungary.
“The most popular domestic and international hardcore punk bands will take over Orfű in Baranya on the second weekend of July, as part of the three-day TOXIC Weekend”
10) O.Z.O.R.A Festival
When: July 31 – August 6, 2023
Where: Ozora, Hungary
Genre: Psychedelic Trance / Electronic
“The Ozora Festival, stylised as O.Z.O.R.A., is an annual psychedelic trance and arts festival in the Hungarian village of Ozora. The Ozora Festival is one of the two sizeable psytrance festivals in Hungary (the other being Solar United Natives festival), and is one of the largest psychedelic trance festivals in the world.
As of 2022, it annually attracts close to 60,000 people, similar to Boom Festival in Portugal and Antaris Project in Germany who also reach more than 40,000 visitors every year.”
11) Festival of Folk Arts Budapest 2023
When: August 2023
Where: Castle District, Budapest
“Visit the Festival of Folk Arts in Budapest’s Castle District if you want to find out more about Hungary’s and other nations’ rich folklore and crafts straight from the horse’s mouth. Organized for the 32nd time, the Festival is the most significant forum for living folk culture in Hungary.
The most renowned local artists and craftsmen from different regions of the country will introduce their skills handed down from many generations.”
12) B my Lake goes to Balaton Sound 2023
When: June 28 – July 1, 2023
Where: Zamárdi, Hungary
https://balatonsound.com/en/ | https://bmylake.hu/
“B.my.Lake is an electronic music festival in Keszthely, Hungary. The country’s number one dance music destination, the festival is anchored by its prolific techno lineup.
Delving into other electronic genres as well, B.my.Lake takes place on the shores of the serene Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe. Winning best new festival in Europe in 2013, B.my.Lake has since been nominated for a number of awards and is dream experience for party animals.”
In 2023, there will be no official B My Lake Festival, but instead they are joining forces with Balaton Sound (which I’ve personally attended and it’s an AMAZING festival).
B my Lake goes to Balaton Sound 2023 // Official Event
13) Kolorádó Fesztivál
When: June 28 – July 1, 2023
Where: Nagykovácsi, Hungary
Kolorádó is a beautiful, green and free-spirited festival at the border between Budapest and nature.
“For the seventh year now, we create our own world in the hills of Buda. We would love to be there.”
“In 2023 we go again on vacation to Kolorado Festival. On the border of Budapest and mother nature, in a forest that is only 30 minutes away from the city center.
Several stages with special energies, fresh international artists, carefully selected Hungarian bands and DJs, cultural happenings, sports, techno in the barn and delicious food stands, just to make sure that there is life beyond music too. In Kolorado we are together, we are free, we are one with our own laws around the blazing bonfire.”
14) Budapest Christmas Markets Festival
When: November – January 1
Where: Vörösmarty Sqr, Budapest
Genre: Cultural / Christmas
“Visit the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival on Vörösmarty Square if you want to buy something unique and original for your loved ones. The lovely plaza in the heart of the city turns into a festive market place from early November till January.
The location is ideal; the Square is in the heart of the city at the end of Váci utca, right in front of the prestigious Gerbeaud Coffee House. Cottage-style wooden stalls and two outdoor stages take over one of Budapest’s most attractive spots during the couple of weeks preceding the end-of-the-year holidays.”
15) Budapest Spring Festival
When: March / April 2023
Where: Various locations, Budapest
Genre: Cultural / Musical
“The Spring Festival in Budapest is a nearly 4-week long cultural festival with 120 programs at 40 Budapest venues. The varied program offers orchestra and chamber concerts, opera performances, ballet, jazz, exhibitions including many free events. It’s one of Europe’s largest cultural festival featuring numerous international artists year by year”
“The 39th Budapest Spring Festival awaits visitors with a programme that involves many of the arts, with events in classical music, opera, jazz, world music, dance, contemporary circus, theatre and the visual arts. With the best Hungarian performers and real world stars, the Budapest Spring Festival is a truly special occasion, presenting premieres and co-productions with partner institutions.”
16) Jewish Summer Festival
Where: Various locations, Budapest
Genre: Cultural / Religious
“The Jewish Summer Festival is centered on the Continent’s grandest synagogue, in a city whose European Jewish heritage runs deep. All week long, participants can enjoy concerts of Jewish music — ranging from klezmer and string quartets to fusion jazz, cabaret and pipe organ — at the Great Synagogue on Dohány Street, the second largest in the world, and at the Rumbach Street Synagogue.
Or sit in the seats of your ancestors at the historic Goldmark Hall, which was the citadel of Jewish cultural life before and even after World War II; during the war itself, the hall was packed every night, since it was the only venue where Jews were permitted to take in opera and theater.”
17) Budapest Summer Festival
When: June – August 2023
Where: Various locations, Budapest
“The ongoing summer cultural festival in Budapest offers many open air summer evening programs, from classical concerts through circus shows to opera performances or puppet shows.
The venues are varied, mainly on breezier parts of the city where the summer nights offer some cool entertaining options in greener settings, such as the scenic Margaret Island or the nice Varosmajor Park on the Buda side of Budapest.”
Festivals in Hungary That May Return in 2023-2024
There are a few festivals that haven’t posted anything in awhile, but I still wanted to give them some recognition in case they decide to organize another festival.
Where: Lake Balaton, Zamárdi, Hungary
Genre: Psychedelic / Electronic / Transformational
Veszprém Street Music Festival
“Every street in downtown Veszprém will be filled with music till the morning from July 18 to July 21, thanks to MOL Nagyon Balaton: musicians will arrive from all across the world to play at Veszprém Street Music Festival. Besides street musicians, famous performers will also play free gigs. This is an experience that you could hardly get at any other festival.”
Night of Baths
Where: Various locations, Budapest
“The Night of Baths is a one night Spa Baths Festival – or better to think of it as a night party series slash ‘bath crawling’ – all over Budapest, Hungary. It is a special night for several reasons. First of all, you can buy tickets very favourably to take a relaxing thermal bath. Secondly, your ticket will be valid to be used at most Budapest thermal baths which are open in winter time (note, the temperature at nights is in minuses in Budapest).
Thirdly, there are some special events, programmes, concerts, DJs, fire jugglers, 3D building mapping at some baths. The night programme usually starts at 10 pm late in the evening and finishes at around 3am at night. Sounds fun right? It is. Budapest Night of Baths is duly popular amongst locals and tourists alike. All in all, taking part in the Night of Baths in Budapest is one of the best programmes you can choose in November.”
Am I Missing Any Epic Budapest Festivals that should be on this list…?
I know there are tons of amazing different events, concerts, and festivals in Budapest/ around Hungary, so please feel free to reach out to me and let me know about any ones I am missing! I haven’t been back to Budapest since 2016, but really hoping I get the opportunity to return for a couple of these summer festivals! After compiling this list, I realized that Hungary during the summer is festival heaven!!
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You must include Zsolnay Fenyfesztival in Pécs, it’s absolutely amazing!