Boredom isn’t in Budapest’s vocabulary. Hungarian culture and Budapest’s art scene is so vibrant and diverse that even the pickiest tourist will be overwhelmed with activities to fill their days and nights. The city is jam-packed with museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, movie theatres, and nightclubs, not to mention the many Budapest festivals and events that consume the city year-round.
Budapest Museums & Galleries
Take your pick from over 100 museums and galleries showcasing Budapest arts and culture – there’s the Museum of Fine Arts, boasting the second largest Spanish art collection outside Spain; the Stamp Museum, home to the biggest stamp collection in the world; Statue Park, the first Communism-theme outdoor museum of its kind; Kogart Gallery, endorsing contemporary art; and so much more.
If you’re craving some culture, Budapest has more than enough to satisfy your appetite. Try a stroll through Statue Park and walk amongst stony reminders of Budapest’s communist past, soak up exciting new art in one of the city’s art galleries, or watch your kids ‘moonwalk’ in the Palace of Miracles. Whether you’re looking to discover new talent, or want to learn more about Hungarian art and culture, Budapest has a museum that’s sure to suit your fancy.
Budapest Theatres & Concert Halls
Don’t miss catching a concert in one of Europe’s major music centers. Hungary’s musical roots lie in traditional Hungarian folk, and the work of prominent composers such as Liszt, Bartók and Kodály. Understanding the country’s language will broaden your scope of entertainment options, since most theatre productions are performed in Hungarian.
Drama buffs won’t be disappointed in Budapest’s entertainment options, as the theatre arts and classical music are highly valued in Hungary. You’ll have your pick from a number of concerts held throughout the year, most abundant during festivals.
Speak the language? Those who understand Hungarian will find an even wider selection of productions to choose from, since most mainstream shows are performed in the country’s language.
Budapest Movie Theatres
You can get your Hollywood fix in Budapest, as the city’s mainstream cinemas always have a vast selection of blockbusters playing. Although a host of multiplex cinemas has appeared, Budapest also has its own chain of “art cinemas” which specialize in the latest releases and obscure films from Eastern and Western Europe. If it’s Hungarian film you are interested in, you will appreciate the Hungarian film scene. The best time to catch a Hungarian movie is during the three major film festivals in Budapest, the Hungarian Film Week, held in February, the Titanic International Filmfest, held in April and the Budapest International Film Festival, held in the fall.
Movies aren’t the only thing you’ll want to see in Budapest’s theatres – the architecture of the theatres themselves is stunning. Check out the Moorish interior of the Uránia, a showcase for Hungarian film, or the coffered ceiling of the turn-of-the-20th-century Puskin.
Catching a flick in Budapest won’t strain your vacation budget – tickets run from HUF 800 (US $4.50) in the smaller cinemas to around HUF 1800 (US $10) in the multiplexes. Consult the Budapest Sun for the best source of movie listings (www.budapestsun.com). Below, you’ll find a selection of the most popular art cinemas and multiplexes in Budapest playing movies in English
When nighttime rolls around, Budapest is transformed into a socialite’s heaven. There’s no specific entertainment district, as the diverse nightlife is spread all through the city – choose from pubs, dance clubs, jazz bars, cocktail bars or casinos. The new wave of entertainment is represented by the many ‘Ruin Pubs’. Live music, charming retro décor, unique atmosphere and late opening hours make these places popular. The summer brings an even greater wealth of options, when Budapest expands its nightlife into several outdoor venues. Hungary is also home to a number of radiant jazz players, some of whom play at local clubs. Casinos in Budapest are not exactly ‘Vegas-style’ but if you are itching to try your luck while enjoying a Budapest vacation, visit one of the casinos located in a luxury hotel. With a little bit of luck you may break even for the trip.
Budapest is a city for all seasons. There is always something happening: concerts, exhibitions, festivals, fairs, national celebrations and several sporting events offer year round entertainment.
Budapest offers year-round entertainment in the form of festivals, cultural events, concerts, exhibitions, fairs, sporting events, and national celebrations. Search our calendar of Budapest events to find out what’s happening in the city and plan your trip around major acclaimed events like the Budapest Spring Festival, Sziget Festival, or the Budapest International Wine Festival.