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11 Things to Do in Budapest in August

August is Budapest's party month. Give the A38 and Sgizet open-air festivals a try, and dive into the city's nighttime pools.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

11 Things to Do in Budapest in August

Budapest | ©Linda Gerbec

August is a very famous month for its festivals and concerts, which go in parallel with the summer atmosphere marked by the increased opening of swimming pools and water spaces to combat those temperature increases.

Highlights include the A38 open-air concerts, Sziget Festival, Dreher Festz and other festivals related to gastronomy and art.

1. Join the Arts and Crafts Festival WAMP

WAMP Arts and Crafts Festival| ©Top Budapest
WAMP Arts and Crafts Festival| ©Top Budapest

WAMP isa local design festival that takes place at least once a month, usually on Sundays in August, where young Hungarian designers and craftsmen showcase their creations. This is the perfect place to learn about Hungarian fashion, emerging Hungarian designers and buy unique and authentic gifts.

The best way to get to WAMP at Erzsebet tér (opposite Deák Tér metro station) is to take the blue metro line (M3) and get off at Deák tér Erzsebet tér station, right in front of Deák tér (an important square in Budapest, very close to the Anker Palace).

Book a guided tour of Budapest

2. Enjoy the Budapest Summer Festival on Margaret Island

Margaret Island| ©Cristian K
Margaret Island| ©Cristian K

Towards the northern end of Margarita Island, in the shadow of the Water Tower, an open-air concert hall hosts the Budapest Summer Festival in mid-August. Here you can enjoy some of the best concerts in the city, an open-air musical atmosphere worth visiting. For more information I recommend the official site of the event.

The green heart of the city, Margaret Island, is located in the middle of the Danube between the Margaret Bridge and the Árpád Bridge. This is the place for you if you visit Budapest in summer, thanks to the national sports pool Hajós Alfréd, the popular lido Palatinus, the petting zoo, the musical fountain and the Japanese garden. There is also an almost five-kilometer-long rubber jogging track, pedal bike rentals and bicycle tour services, not to mention numerous picnic spots.

Book a Budapest bike tour

3. Experience the popular St. Stephen's Day

St. Stephen's Day fireworks display| ©Florian Lehmuth
St. Stephen's Day fireworks display| ©Florian Lehmuth

August 20 is a national holiday in Hungary when the country honors its founding king, St. Stephen, who was crowned in 1000 AD, with fantastic festivities and spectacular fireworks that light up the night over the Danube shortly after sunset. The celebrations begin at 8:30 am at various locations and will continue throughout the day until 9 pm when spectacular fireworks will be displayed over the Danube River from different locations such as the Elizabeth Bridge.

A great way to spend the evening during the August 20 celebration is to dine on a Danube cruise while admiring the breathtaking night views of Budapest and the traditional colorful fireworks that close the celebration I assure you will have an unforgettable evening!

Book a Danube cruise

4. Don't miss the bathing parties at Szechenyi Bath

Szechenyi Bath party| ©bvi4092
Szechenyi Bath party| ©bvi4092

During the whole month of August you can enjoy different and varied bathing parties in Szechenyi Bath. Taking advantage of the natural features of the area, the city turns the thermal baths into the best places for parties. The aim of these parties is to combine the Hungarian baths with the party culture thus creating a unique musical and visual environment that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Szechenyi Bath parties take place on hot summer days and late at night after the official closing time; i.e. from 10:30 pm to 3:00 am. All you need to bring is a good swimsuit and your own towel.

Buy tickets for the Széchenyi Spa

5. German Beer Festival

Beer Festival| ©HungaroT
Beer Festival| ©HungaroT

Every hops fan's dream will come true for 4 days at the end of August, as Serföző organizes a Hungarian festival dedicated to German beers on Kőrösy József Street. During the four-day street festival, you can taste all kinds of alcoholic treats from Germany, as well as various types of beer, very different from those already tasted by local beer drinkers.

In addition to the liquid delicacies, you can also try all kinds of dishes related to German cuisine and food pairing culture - quite a gastronomic tour!

Book a tour of the ruin pubs

6. Folk Arts Festival at Buda Castle

View from Buda Castle| ©Chris Yunker
View from Buda Castle| ©Chris Yunker

On the third weekend of August, the most talented artisans from all over Hungary gather at Buda Castle to exhibit, share and show how they keep their folk art work and traditions alive. For more information on admission and schedules visit the official event site.

This festival is the most authentic exhibition of Hungarian folk art culture with interactive craft workshops, folk music performers, traditional Hungarian dance performances, traditional Hungarian cuisine and wine tasting booths are just a few of the many activities that will be held at the Festival.

7. Vibrate with the A38 Concerts

Concert at the A38| ©Juan D
Concert at the A38| ©Juan D

In August, dozens of cool concerts will rock the A38 Ship, a repurposed Ukrainian cargo ship that today is one of the most popular venues in Budapest. The parties on board are plentiful, although they usually follow an order: at the beginning of August you can enjoy alternative rock bands, while in the middle of the month the hardcore and punk genres predominate.

Of course, the peak of the event takes place at the end of August, usually on the 31st of the month itself, where legendary figures of one of the above genres are usually invited. It is an exclusive event of the month of August that you can not miss, as it promises a lot and always ends up bringing surprises. For more information, I advise you to visit the website of this great event.

8. Have a picnic on the Liberty Bridge

Budapest Freedom Bridge| ©Jose A.
Budapest Freedom Bridge| ©Jose A.

The weekends in August are very different from the other months, as a picnic event is held on the very Freedom Bridge. What a place! On those dates this historic bridge will be closed to car traffic for four week ends and the space will be totally free for your use.

The atmosphere is usually great here, with local bands, flamenco and swing dancers, zumba and yoga instructors and all kinds of aspiring artists entertaining the crowds. So bring your friends and have fun with a nice picnic on a sunset with spectacular views.

9. Enjoy the Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival| ©FamilyBusiness
Sziget Festival| ©FamilyBusiness

Revelers from all over the world flock to Budapest's Freedom Island every August for one of Europe's largest open-air music events, the Sziget Festival. International superstars and up-and-coming local artists of all genres take the stage, while various cultural acts and events can also be enjoyed on Budapest's Óbuda Island.

This is one of the largest open-air concerts in Europe, lasting a week and usually held in the middle of August. Explosive concerts, artistic acts and extravagant entertainment, along with plenty of relaxation areas and psychedelic surroundings. One of the best night plans in Budapest and an unforgettable experience for all kinds of music fans. No matter how old you are, where you come from or how many days you are in Budapest, if you come in August you should consider going to this festival. For more information, visit the event's website.

10. Attend the DreherFeszt

DreherFeszt| ©CarolinaC
DreherFeszt| ©CarolinaC

For two days at the end of August, Dreher's beer festival, DreherFeszt, will be organized with unique beer specialties (almost 140 beer taps) in Kőbánya and concerts on two stages. The list of performers includes folk-pop and rock bands.

Local Dreher breweries will be serving throughout the two-day program. If you find that the location is a bit out of your reach, don't worry: during the event, free buses run between Örs vezér square and the festival every 30 minutes. For more information, visit the following website.

11. Listen to all kinds of live music for free

At the Zenélő Budapest| ©Heracles Kritikos
At the Zenélő Budapest| ©Heracles Kritikos

Zenélő Budapest is a summer music initiative in Budapest, involving local virtuosos playing at 16 iconic venues in the city. If you stop by the Várkert Bazaar, the Hungarian National Museum or Millenáris Park at the right time you can expect live classical, jazz or rock music, all for free.

The series starts in mid-August and participants include the National Philharmonic, the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, folk performers, jazz bands, gypsy musicians and renowned choirs. You have all the details on the Zenélő Budapest website.

Budapest weather in August

Sunset at the Parliament| ©Jon Elbaz
Sunset at the Parliament| ©Jon Elbaz

One of the main reasons to visit Budapest in August is the pleasant weather. Unlike winters that turn cold during the night, the summer season in Budapest is the perfect time to see the city and make excursions from Budapest.

The average maximum temperature in Budapest is around 27 °C, and the average minimum is 15 °C. The overall average temperature ranges between 21 and 22 °C. In addition, the city witnesses an average rainfall of between 60-70 mm.

What to bring to Budapest in August

Luggage| ©nappy
Luggage| ©nappy

The first thing is to bring enough breathable clothing, lighter colors are also favorable. If you do a lot of walking, take comfortable sneakers and a small reusable water bottle. Sunscreen is also important, as it is not uncommon to feel high temperature peaks, in addition to radiation.

Swimming suits or beachwear are also recommended given the numerous swimming pools, and Lake Balaton itself. Also do not forget to take light jackets or spring clothes in case the weather does not accompany.

How to move around Budapest in August

Budapest Card| ©denhamgreen
Budapest Card| ©denhamgreen

One of the best aspects of Budapest is its public transportation options. There are several options to choose from, including metro, suburban railroads, boats, streetcars and buses.

There are two separate categories of public transport depending on the time of day. Daytime transportation is available from 04:30 AM to 11:50 PM and nighttime transportation is available from 11:50 PM to 4:30 AM. To make getting around the city easier, there are many travel cards such as the Budapest Card to save money on public transportation, including a 24-hour travel card, a 72-hour travel card and even a 7-day travel card.

Buy the Budapest Card