Here comes September, one of the nicest months to visit Budapest – the sunny days are still lingering on, but the city is definitely less packed with tourists than in July and August, except for the weekends when amazing Budapest festivals await locals and foreigners. If you come in September, do not only take a 1 day Budapest visit, as there are lots of great and cool things to do in Budapest. Have you seen our list of Ten things to do in Budapest? If not, take a look at it to get some more ideas for your September holiday.
Budapest Things to do in September
Budapest Wine Festival
Budapest International Wine Festival has had various names in recent years, but one thing is sure, it is about wines, wine drinking, wine culture, viticulture, wine tours in the Buda Castle on the Castle Hill, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and as such, a noble place for a noble drink. Festival days:
September 8 – 11, 2016
The Budapest International Wine Festival in the Buda Castle is a very lively event with lots of wines to try, foods, including Hungarian specialties to eat, jazz, world music, folk and dixie concerts to listen to, Hungarian folk dance shows to see, etc. There is usually free wifi at the wine festival, which also has its own smartphone application now. Children can take part in kids activities from 10 am to 4 pm. If the dates do not work for you, don’t despair, there are many nice wine tasting sessions in Budapest, even a Budapest Wine Cruise.
Budapest Chocolate Festival
Chocolate and Candy Festival is a 3 day gastro festival in September for those of you who have sweet tooth (and as Hungarian cakes and confectioneries are superb, it is hard to find a Hungarian who would say ‘no’ to good desserts and sweets). The venue is the scenic Buda Castle on the Castle Hill in 2016. Festival days:
September 16 – 18, 2016
Well known multinational sweets companies as well as lesser known Hungarian chocolate craftsmen will showcase their best artisan chocolate products at the Sweet Days Chocolate & Candy Festival to keep you chocolate focused. Besides the the “Gift of the Gods”, honey, coffee, vanilla, excellent wines, macarons, etc. will also be on offer by the numerous food stalls during the festival. There are interesting programmes for adults and kids too, and the entry is free for all!
Adults can take part in a chocolate tasting tour, and learn some fun facts about chocolate making, wrapping etc. (e.g. once the former editor of BBC Good Food Magazine gave some insights at the festival). Kids will be busy with all kinds of workshops not just gobbling chocolates. In the evenings you can listen to swing, jazz, funky live concerts. Hungarian themed chocolates sold at the festival can be excellent gifts to take home and enjoy.
Budapest National Gallop
National Gallop is a spectacular equestrian event on the historical Heroes’ Square in Budapest. The Gallop race is accompanied by a large scale food fair and cultural shows. The location is right near the City Park and Vajdahunyad Castle, so you can easily spend a day here at the festival and visit the nearby Budapest attractions. Festival days:
September 16 – 18, 2016
Not to be missed. In fact, schedule your trip for the days of the Hungarian National Gallop if you love horses, and you can afford a few days away to enjoy a Budapest visit in September (note: the National Gallop festival is not always in September – check the current date).
Concerts in Budapest in September 2016
Enjoy a beautiful concert in Budapest: there are great classical and light music concerts, as well as live concerts in some bars and restaurants in downtown Budapest.
The church concerts in Budapest are special with their unique atmosphere, and a nice cool air on warmer nights in September. Some of the outstanding foreign performers can be seen either in the Sports Arena in Budapest or in the Palace of Arts (MUPA).
For a light show and music on the Danube, you can instead listen to the singers of the Opera House and watch the dancers and artists of the Operetta Theatre in this beautiful but light hearted 2 hour cruise: Opera and Operetta Concert and Show on the Danube Cruise in Budapest
September Parties & Sparties in Budapest
In the course of September, as the weather is mostly warm, there are still lots of Budapest parties on outdoor terraces and party venues in the city. Two unique parties will offer a special Budapest experience, which are unlike the usual nightlife events: the pool parties in Budapest baths, and the river boat parties on the Danube.
September Bath Parties in Budapest feature amazing laser shows & bath discos in Szechenyi Bath for late night pool parties. Just get your swimwear and enjoy the night in this visual / tactile and all in all fun and sensual place. Yes, you can buy alcohol on the spot, and yes, you can bring your inflatable toys too. Modestly crazy, lovably fun.
September Boat Parties in Budapest are regular events in the month of September, you can even book a private boat party at an affordable price. Take the 11 pm boat ride on the Danube to warm up for the next Budapest bar (A38 club) where the boat ride ends.
Szecska Spa Parties are incredibly great pool parties in Szechenyi Bath: spa waters, music and party adding up as a ‘Sparty’. Definitely a must see and do for under 40 or so party goers visiting Budapest in September.
Shows in Budapest in September
The most spectacular show of the month of September is
Hungarian Opera State House re-opens for the autumn season with Billy Elliot – The Musical, West Side Story and Traviata. Other opera programs in Budapest are also available.
Show on the Danube: Some of the special September theatre shows in Budapest include the Cruise and Show on the Danube in Budapest and the Cruise with Folk Show, which are is a show during the boat tour.
Folk Shows in Budapest: Hungarian Folk Dance Shows can be viewed in the Danube Palace or in the Budai Vigado Concert Hall (folk dancer groups: Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, Danube Folk Ensemble, Rajko Gypsy Folk Ensemble)
SeptEmber Food Festival Budapest
Septemberfest (SzeptEmberFeszt) is a popular food and drink festival in Budapest. The festival is in a less fancy, less touristy part of the city called People’s Park (Nepliget).
Geared more towards the locals, Septemberfest is a free festival, much less promoted and elegant. Try versions of homemade stews in the Hungarian Stew Cooking Contest. To make the culinary pleasures even better, live concerts will be performed of all styles (rock, jazz, folk, etc.) at the September Festival (SzeptemberFeszt). Sorry, the festival is not scheduled in 2016.
Ujbuda Jazz Festival Budapest
Ujbuda Jazz Festival has become a very popular jazz fest with growing international recognition and reputation with performances of jazz musicians from all over the world.
There are more events besides music, like the jazz themed photo exhibitions. The venue may change (A38 Music Ship, MU Theatre), but the Ujbuda Jazz Festival date is usually in September.
Ujbuda Jazz Festival leans towards the more modern jazz trends with alternative inspirations rather than the classic jazz. Foreign jazz stars may also participate in the event.
September 02 – 04, 2016
Budapest Jazz Forum
JazzForum Budapest: the mainstream jazz event performances take place mostly in the Palace of Arts, Trafo and the Budapest Jazz Club in Budapest.
There will be several free jazz concerts in IF Cafe (a jazz cafe and bar called Cafe If), also in Jedermann Cafe and on Raday street (just under the Goethe Institute in Budapest). The jazz bars are in the pedestrian only Raday Street which is also one of the major restaurant quarters in the city, packed with about a dozen of various restaurants (close to Kalvin square M1 metro stop and the Central Market Hall at the Liberty Bridge).
The JazzForum is organized between September 07-10, 2016.
Design Week Budapest
Budapest Design Week is an excellent thing to see for those who love design and wish to visit Budapest in autumn.
September 23 – October 2, 2016
The design week is a regular event, often at the end of September, and the beginning of October (about ten days in a stretch).
Budapest Design Week is a very popular art and design festival in Central Eastern Europe attracting many foreign visitors from the region and abroad.
The Budapest Design Week has a multi-layered programme from exhibiting the works of designers in the Hungarian Design Awards, through fashion shows, tours given by art historians, presentations, conferences to inviting a star designer as a festival lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. The theme of the Budapest Design Week changes from year to year. Throughout the Budapest Design Week you can buy design items for sale at a discounted price (about 72 shops and galleries offer reductions), and participate in design gastro tours (Rozsavolgyi Csokolade and Sugar! stand out as a chocolate and sweets designer)
Baroque Music Festival Budapest
Budapest Baroque Music Festival: the Budapest Baroque Music Festival is a small scale music event, a recommended thing to do in Budapest if you love Baroque music from Bach, Purcell, Vivaldi, Pachelbel or Handel, to mention but a few of the most favoured at this classical music festival, which takes place in a baroque St Michael Church in the city centre (Belvarosi Szent Mihaly templom). The entrance fee to the Budapest Baroque Music Festival is very reasonable. The 2 week long baroque festival is scheduled sometime in September or October. The church is located on Vaci utca shopping street in the city centre in Budapest.
In 2016 the festival has not been scheduled.
International Half Marathon in Budapest
September is a pleasure for runners in Budapest. The International running event, which attracts thousands of runners, is almost 30 years old. Go and get your running gear to have a good run in a scenic city.
Join the International Half Marathon on September 11, 2016 (The International Marathon event – full marathon – is in October in Budapest).
Budapest Jewish Summer Festival
Jewish Summer Festival in Budapest: Budapest has a strong and vibrant Jewish community despite all the unforgivable losses in WW2.
The festival used to be held in late summer- early autumn, but from 2016 it’s scheduled to be in spring (May-June) under the new name of Jewish Arts Days. Despite this, they keep on organizing concerts throughout the year.
The Budapest Jewish Festival is accordingly a rich and varied event with Jewish music, classical music concerts in the Dohany Street Great Synagogue, fantastic Klezmer concerts, contemporary dance performances, fine art exhibitions, film screenings at the beautiful Urania Cinema.
Mind you, there are more Budapest Jewish festivals throughout the year, especially in Kiraly street, but probably this one is the most promoted. The festival is in Budapest in the old Jewish district (including the orthodox Rumbach street synagogue, Gozsdu Court, Puskin Cinema, Goldmark Hall, etc.).
Concerts in September: World Hits in the Synagogue (operetta, musical and movie soundtracks, Jewish, Italian, French, American and Spanish evergreens) on Sep 04, 2016.
Belgian Beer Festival is a smallish beer fest in the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture (in Vajdahunyad Castle by the Heroes square, Budapest). The festival is new, with the participation of about 24 breweries offering more than a hundred Belgian beers to try. An obligatory thing to do for beer lovers if you happen to stay in Budapest in September.
Unfortunately, only scheduled in May in 2015.
L1 Dance Festival in Budapest
Contemporary dance festival in MU Theatre in Budapest (the 14th festival in a row). If you love modern dance and quirky programs with not so mainstream performances from Hungary and elsewhere, do not miss this artistic series of dance communications. Check out a tasting video of the L1 Dance festival
September 13 – 22, 2016
Top Budapest Event Calendar / Event Guide to the current September events in Budapest, Hungary: click to see the currently highlighted events in Budapest in September this year.