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10 Things to Do in Budapest in October

Enjoy a month of October full of history and culture: from the Oktoberfest to the commemoration of the Hungarian revolution and deer watching.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

10 Things to Do in Budapest in October

Budapest, Hungary | ©Bram van Geerenstein

The month of October is known for being the peak of the autumn season. A season in which multiple activities are carried out such as tours with deer or tours in the Central Market in international version.

It is also a month in which the people's revolution against the conservative regime of the Soviet Union is remembered every October 23. Let's see what this month brings us.

1. Taste the best beer at the Oktoberfest

At the Oktoberfest| ©Danilo Castañeda
At the Oktoberfest| ©Danilo Castañeda

Oktoberfest, an exciting, fun-filled festival, is held at the beginning of October. The event features contemporary music, theater and dance performances, exhibitions, city tours, literary events, workshops and markets. In other words, it is an event on a grand scale. Highlights include an exhibition of vintage photos related to the before and after of the city.

More than 100 national and international breweries participate in the festival, as well as various Budapest restaurants leaving visitors with plenty of options to choose from. Attendance is free; however, consumption and participation in some activities require your ticket. For more information visit the event's website.

And if you want to experience Oktoberfest in style, I recommend booking a party tour of the ruin pubs, as many locals do a celebration of this international event in their own style.

Book a party tour through the ruin pubs

2. Commemorate the Hungarian Revolution of 1956

Hungarian Parliament| ©Godot13
Hungarian Parliament| ©Godot13

October 23 is a Hungarian national holiday commemorating the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and is marked by a series of national events. Events commemorating the day from free exhibitions to an open day to some of the most important buildings in the city. For this day I recommend you book a guided tour of the Hungarian Parliament- it's the perfect occasion!

This holiday commemorates the date when Hungarians began to rise up against the Soviet occupation, a bloody weeks-long struggle for freedom in which thousands of people died. In the end, in early November, the revolution was crushed and Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest.

Despite this, the 1956 revolution is an important event in Hungarian history and an important milestone for Budapest; hence, as sad as the cause may seem, the celebration is a joyous one.

Book a guided tour of the Parliament

3. Test your artistic side at the Contemporary Art Festival

People participating in the Art Festival| ©Attila Volgyi
People participating in the Art Festival| ©Attila Volgyi

The Contemporary Art Festival is an event that takes place at various venues in the city (theaters, cinemas and galleries) and is held at the beginning of October.

From contemporary music to theatrical premieres, from popular music and jazz to dance and visual art. For two weeks you can enjoy a series of events held in cooperation with Müpa Budapest, the Budapest Tourist Center and the Hungarian Tourist Agency.

The places that have the most prominence on this date are:

Book a tour to Gödöllo Palace from Budapest

4. Taste the typical dishes at the sausage and pálinka festival

Sausage and Pálinka Festival| ©Agoda
Sausage and Pálinka Festival| ©Agoda

This Sausage and Pálinka Festival takes place at the beginning of October at the Buda Castle itself. It is an ideal plan for fans of good food and drink and authentic folklore. In fact, the combination of pálinka and sausages is very much part of Hungarian culture.

During the three days of the festival, more than twenty pálinka distilleries join the festival with their best products. In Budapest, it is sometimes difficult to separate the music from the food, so the ear also enjoys!

A tip: if the festival has fulfilled your expectations and you still want to learn more about this traditional spirit, do not hesitate to book a guided tour of the Pálinka Museum, where you can learn first-hand all the details, as well as enjoy a tasting.

Book a guided tour of the Pálinka Museum

5. Experience the Liszt Fest International Cultural Festival

Liszt Fest participants| ©JJ Thompson
Liszt Fest participants| ©JJ Thompson

Musical concerts, premieres, legendary ensembles and young talents - all this makes up what is known as the International Liszt Fest Cultural Festival! It lasts two weeks, from the second to the fourth week of October, and in addition to classical music concerts, there are also opera and dance performances, industry conferences, organ recitals and contemporary music evenings, along with jazz, international and regional music performances.

The location of the event fluctuates widely, so check the Festival's website for more details. The venues include the large Esztergom Basilica and the Svábhegy Observatory area.

To complete this plan suitable for both music lovers and those who like to enjoy, I recommend that you book tickets for the organ concert at St. Stephen's Basilica.

Book an organ concert in Budapest

6. Don't miss the Chimney Cake Festival

Chimney Cake| ©BellaBudapest
Chimney Cake| ©BellaBudapest

In the middle of October the Chimney Cake Festival takes place, a fun and creative event. Here you can learn all about chimney cake, a very popular traditional Hungarian cake. The festival offers a wide variety of chimney cakes, prepared over charcoal or fried in oil, plain or rolled in various ingredients. If you are looking for a gastronomic tour of Budapest, you can start with this one.

You can try dozens of varieties of this cake and enjoy a stroll through the City Park, the venue of the celebration, with activities for everyone. There will also be drawing contests for children, magic shows, baking contests and lots of live music. For more information on schedules and prices visit the event's website.

7. Taste the best gastronomy at Restaurant Week in Budapest

Enjoying Restaurant Week| ©CSILLA ZELKO
Enjoying Restaurant Week| ©CSILLA ZELKO

During the second week of October you can enjoy the best of Budapest's gastronomy at very reasonable, not to say bargain, prices. During this period, you can enjoy a fixed-price meal in the best restaurants of the city.

Usually there will be an exclusive three-course menu. Half of the participating restaurants offer their menus for only 3,900 HUF (approx. 13 €), and the other half offer premium menus for 4,900 HUF (approx. 16 €) and exclusive menus for 5,900 HUF (approx. 19 €).

The service charge is always included in the menu price. Restaurants serving premium or exclusive menus are marked with a red "DiningCity Star" icon (you can find this icon in the list of restaurants on the Restaurant Week website). Reservations for Restaurant Week can only be made from the event page.

8. Experience interculturality at the Central Market Hall

At the top of the Central Market Hall| ©Steve Knight
At the top of the Central Market Hall| ©Steve Knight

The Central Market Hall is an event held at the Central Market, the largest indoor market in Budapest, in order to showcase products belonging to different countries, we could call it as a macro-event of cultural exchange. This seven-day event is held in mid-October.

The Central Market usually focuses on typical Hungarian products:

  • The second floor corresponds to the food hall with vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables, Hungarian sausages and Hungarian paprika to Hungarian wines.
  • The second floor is filled with vendors selling traditional Hungarian souvenirs and embroidery.

The only difference is that, with this event, there will be room for every country that wants to participate. At each stall there will be a flag in order to better identify the origin of each product.

9. Immerse yourself in nature on the deer tour in October

Deer at Budakeszi Wildlife Park| ©antonfotobuy
Deer at Budakeszi Wildlife Park| ©antonfotobuy

With the onset of October (sometimes even at the end of September) the Pilis Park Forest authorities organize tours in five separate locations, including Budakeszi Wildlife Park, Szentendre and Gödöllő, for visitors to hear the roar and beauty of the deer, as autumn is the season when these creatures are most appreciated.

If you are a fan of these animals and want to see them up close in their natural habitat, you cannot miss this vento. Tours usually start at 5:30 pm. However, for more information, prices...

10. Enter the Budapest Art Market

Art Market Budapest| ©Art Today Kft
Art Market Budapest| ©Art Today Kft

Art Market Budapest held in the second week of October is an art exhibition and fair that aims to bring attention and awareness to contemporary art and artists from Central and Eastern Europe. Art Market and its programs are designed to help bring the public and artists closer together. In addition to the exhibition, special programs and art presentations help highlight the uniqueness of art in Central and Eastern Europe.

Art Market Budapest will be held at Millenáris, a 'Europa Nostra' award-winning complex and one of the best-equipped cultural centers in Central and Eastern Europe. Art Market Budapest coincides with Budapest Art Week where there will be a series of events, programs and workshops related to art and culture. For more information visit the event's website.


October weather in Budapest

Autumn in Budapest| ©Marcin Monko
Autumn in Budapest| ©Marcin Monko

Autumn in Budapest manifests itself with cool weather and cloudy days, breaking into showers from time to time. Sunrise is around 6:30 am and sunset is around 5:30 pm. It gets colder throughout the month and colder as November approaches.

The average temperature is around 16 ° C with afternoon highs of 19 ° C. You can expect cooler weather at night with an average minimum of just 7°C. So if you are looking for skiing it is best to visit the city in December or January. On the other hand, there is a little less sunshine compared to the previous months. However, you will still have at least ten hours of sunlight to explore the city. Precipitation has decreased compared to September, dropping to 60 millimeters in 12 days of the month.

As autumn is in full swing, the days get shorter and shorter throughout the month. October 1 is the longest day with 11:40 hours of daylight, while October 31 is the shortest with 10 hours of daylight.

Book the Budapest bike tour

What to bring to Budapest in October

Luggage| ©nappy
Luggage| ©nappy

Budapest in autumn is similar to most European cities; the temperature fluctuates from cool and pleasant during the day to chilly in the evenings. It is advisable to bring cold weather clothing including thin sweaters, leather jackets, waterproof jackets, scarves and gloves (especially if you are one of those affected by cold weather). Ankle-high boots intended for walking will also come in handy.

Book the Budapest Card

Is October a good time to visit Budapest?

Touring Budapest| ©pfatterüberalles
Touring Budapest| ©pfatterüberalles

Yes, it is a month with less traffic than you would see if you visit the city in summer. While it is true that there are fewer events of a festive nature, you will be able to enjoy multiple local and artistic events.

The high temperatures of the summer months drop somewhat in October, but early October is still a perfect time to take a trip to Budapest and tours from Budapest. Both average daytime and nighttime temperatures drop over the course of the month.

Book the Budapest Big Bus sightseeing bus