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Festivals & Events
From music and theater to folk art and film, Hungarians milk every occasion possible to host a celebration.
Budapest International Wine & Champagne Festival. In mid-September, a wine exhibition in the Buda castle features the country's best wine producers, including a wine auction. The arts component includes classical and jazz concerts each evening. 1/203–8507. www.winefestival.hu.
Budapest Spring Festival. The most popular of Hungarian festivals is held for two weeks beginning in mid-March, and is the pride of Hungarian classical music. Spread across 50 to 60 venues around the city, the festival hosts renowned musicians, performers, and orchestras from across Europe and beyond, and also includes various theater productions, performances, and film screenings. Tickets to its events go fast, so check out the festival's Web site and order online if you plan to be in Budapest in March. 1/486–3300. www.festivalcity.hu.
Danube Carnival International Cultural Festival. Folk dancing, classical music, wind bands, world music, and contemporary dance performances are held at a variety of venues across the capital city for two weeks in mid-June. 1/240–5553 or 06–20/314–2062. www.dunaart.com.
Danube Water Carnival. On the weekend in mid-June closest to the anniversary of the construction of Hungary's Lánchíd (Chain Bridge), the oldest and most stunning of the five bridges connecting Buda and Pest, a variety of aquatic events, competitions, and air shows take place along and above the Danube. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the Chain Bridge at night, when it's lit up in all its splendor. Check with Tourinform for details.
Parliament Dome Concerts. On about six occasions annually, the Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, founded by graduates of the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy, gives performances in the Dome Hall of the Hungarian Parliament. Concerts start at 6 pm, with the option of a Parliament tour beginning at 5:15 pm. Tickets and dates are available at most ticket agencies in Budapest, including Ticket Express and the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy itself.
Sziget Festival. For one week in early to mid-August, one of Europe's biggest music festivals, hosting hundreds of local and international artists, is staged on the northern reaches of Óbuda Island, north of the Árpád Bridge. Some 15 stages and numerous venues host nearly every musical genre as well as theater, film, art exhibitions, and sports competitions. Tickets are available at numerous ticket offices in Budapest, at Tesco megastores, and online. 1/372–0684. www.sziget.hu.
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