May is one of the best seasons to visit Budapest to avoid the crowds of summer tourists and to enjoy nice spring days in Budapest (although there is no guarantee for rain free days). There are many festivals, several of which moves to the breezy open-air all around Budapest.
Things to do in May – Spring Events in Budapest
May Day Budapest: May 1 is Labour Day, Hungarian National Holiday. Despite being a bank holiday all the museums and baths in Budapest, are open. To boot, there are various Majalis (May Day) Parties, open air concerts, etc. in the big parks of the city of Budapest. For a city central event go to Elisabeth square (by Deak square), or for bigger festivities join the crowds in the City Park or on Margaret Island.
Festivals in Budapest in May
Gourmet Festival Budapest
Foodies are not the only visitors of this gastro festival. Eating hand made cheeses, drinking quality house wines and craft beers, tasting jams and honeys made with love appeal to many visitors. Eat, drink and be merry in gourmet style in this open air event in Budapest.
Date: 18-21 May, 2017
Venue: Millenaris Park & Buildings, Budapest
Budapest Folk Fest
Date: May 24 -28, 2017
Venues: Varkert Bazar, Fono Budai Music Hall
Jewish Art Days
Date: May 6- 14, 2017
Venues: several venues in Budapest
WAMP Design Fair
Date: May 14 and May 28 in 2017
Venue: Elisabeth square (Erzsebet ter)
Green park, nice crafts, foods, occasional concerts and children’s activities. Buy and try the fine products of Hungarian applied artists.
After the bad weather and cold months, WAMP Design Fair moves out of its winter cave in Millenaris Park headquarters to sell the handmade crafts of Hungarian designers in the pleasant downtown square of Budapest.
Belgian Beer Festival
The Belgian Beer Festival is a smallish beer fest in the Budapest Balna (Whale). You can taste around 250 beers with the participation of about 45 Belgian breweries. An obligatory thing to do for beer lovers if you happen to stay in Budapest in May.
Date: May 19-21, 2017
Venue: Balna Budapest (Whale)
Antique and Modern Art Street Afternoon
Date: May 27, 2017
Venue: Falk Street
This art festival is called the Falk Art Forum and usually takes place in May. There are dozens of antique galleries and art galleries participating in this artsy event. Moreover, you can enjoy some concerts in the streets and galleries (jazz, blues, classical, etc.), presentations of art historians, guided art tours, etc. The Falk Art Forum festival is a real treat for high art lovers interested in the Eastern and Central European arts.
Date: May 4, 2017
Venue: Palace of Arts Budapest
Pricey entry to TedxDanubia could bring you together with forward thinkers in Hungary if you wish to have some business / science networking with Hungarian and Central Eastern European folks. TedxDanubia is usually an event which is easily sold out, so hurry up to get your entry to the talks.
International Comic Book Festival in Budapest (Kepregeny Fesztival)
The underground and alternative cartoon festival is in a cool venue in Budapest, Durer Kert Cafe near the City Park, attracting the fans of comics and comic novels.
Date: May 14, 2017
Venue: Durer Kert Cafe, Budapest
Szekler Festival in Budapest
Szekelys are visiting the Millenaris Park in Budapest to showcase their special cultural and culinary heritage. Enjoy the music, the tastes, the dances of Szeklerland (Szekelyfold) (on the map of Romania since 1920). The festival is focusing on the Szekelys’ heritage, as part of a Hungarian subgroup of the Magyar people living on in a mixed ethnic context of Hungarians and Romanians.
Venue: Millenaris Park, Buda side of Budapest
Date: May 12-14, 2017
May Festivals in Budapest: see more festivals going on in the city of Budapest in May. There are specialty festivals you may like, we have only picked a few of the most popular or unique festivals.
May Concerts in Budapest
Budapest in May will offer several classical concerts. Check them out on Budapest May Concerts.
May Concerts in Liszt Academy Budapest:
May 6, 2017: Kristof Barati & Nikolai Lugansky Concert
May 7, 2017: Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi & Liszt Academy Symphony Orchestra Concert
May 17, 2017: Piotr Anderszewski & Chamber Orchestra of Europe
May 29, 2017: Emmanuel Pahud & Eric Le Sage Concert
May Concerts in Palace of Arts Budapest:
May 12, 2017: Bartok Music Concert by Budapest Festival Orchestra & Ivan Fischer
May 19, 2017: Cameron Carpenter & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Concert
May 21, 2017: Bellini: I Puritani (semi staged)
May Parties in Budapest
Bath Parties in Budapest are special, really unique in the historical thermal bath palaces. Tickets are cheaper online, as there is a limited issue of regular pool party tickets or group discounts. Enjoy the spring waters, the electronic vibe and being young and happy. The event is open air, swim wear is a must, getting a big towel and flip flops is a good idea (but you can buy them on the spot too)
See the May schedule, booking info and general pool party FAQ for Szechenyi Bath Parties.
Venue: Szechenyi Baths
Date: every Saturday
Booze Cruise & Boat Party: why not enjoy the beautiful sights of the illuminated Budapest while having a great party with international party goers, live DJ and drinks? Check out the Budapest Boat Party Cruises.
Discover the nightlife of Budapest and the famous ruin bars on a Ruin Bar Crawl.
Budapest May Tours
Budapest Dinner Cruises & Sightseeing Cruises
Admire the sights of Budapest from the river Danube. Wide range of Budapest Dinner Cruises are available to book, don’t hesitate to reserve your places in advance! The Spring Cruise Calendar is also full of great cruises, should you wish to book a simple sightseeing cruise or a Cocktail Cruise or Wine Cruise, just to mention some of the most popular programs.
Budapest Sightseeing Tours
Budapest Market Hall Tours
The Great Market Hall of Budapest offers some nice programs in May on their May National Days of Great Market Hall. Are you interested in learning more about the traditional Hungarian foods and drinks, and do you wish to taste them? Why not book a Guided Budapest Market Hall Tour?
Other events in May that may or may not be scheduled:
Foie Gras Festival Budapest – Hungary is famous for its goose liver. Try the most flavoursome foie gras you will ever eat. The gastro festival is also a cultural event. Sometime in May or June in the Buda Castle Royal Palace atop the Castle Hill