August is a month famous for its festivals and concerts, which go hand in hand with the summer atmosphere marked by the increased opening of swimming pools and water venues to combat the rising temperatures.
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
WAMPis a 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 get to know Hungarian fashion, emerging Hungarian designers and to 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).
2. Enjoy the Budapest Summer Festival on Margaret Island
Towards the northern end of Margaret 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 website 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 to be 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-kilometre-long rubber jogging track, pedalo rental and bicycle tour services, not to mention numerous picnic spots.
3. Experience the popular Boxing Day
August 20 is a bank holiday in Hungary when the country honours 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 various locations such as the Elizabeth Bridge.
A great way to spend the evening during the August 20th celebration is to dine on a Danube cruise while admiring the breathtaking night views of Budapest and the traditional colourful fireworks that close the celebration.
4. Don't miss the bathing parties at Szechenyi Bath
During the whole month of August you can enjoy different and varied bathing festivals 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 swimming costume and your own towel.
5. German Beer Festival
Every hops fan's dream will come true for 4 days at the end of August, as Serföző organises 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.
Besides the liquid delicacies, you can also try all kinds of dishes related to German cuisine and food pairing culture. Quite a gastronomic tour!
6. Folk Arts Festival at Buda Castle
On the third weekend in August, the most talented artisans from all over Hungary gather at Buda Castle to exhibit, share and show how they keep their folk art and traditions alive. For more information about entrance and opening hours visit the official event website. For more information on entry and opening hours visit the official event website.
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 stalls are just some of the many activities that will take place at the Festival.
7. Vibrate to the A38 Concerts
In August, dozens of great 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 tend to follow an order: in early August you can enjoy alternative rock bands, while the middle of the month is dominated by hardcore and punk genres.
However, the pinnacle of the event takes place at the end of August, usually on the 31st of the month itself, where legendary figures from one of the above genres are usually invited. It is an exclusive August event that you can't 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
The weekends in August are very different from the other months, as a picnic event is held on the Freedom Bridge itself. What a place! On these dates this historic bridge will be closed to car traffic for four week ends and the space will be completely free for use.
The atmosphere is usually great here, with local bands, flamenco and swing dancers, zumba and yoga instructors and all sorts 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
Revelers from all over the world flock to Budapest's Freedom Island every August for one of Europe's biggest open-air music events, the Sziget Festival. International superstars and up-and-coming local artists of all genres take to the stage, while various cultural acts and events can also be enjoyed on Budapest's Óbuda Island.
This is one of **Europe'**s largest open-air concerts, 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 nightlife 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
For two days at the end of August, Dreher's beer festival, DreherFeszt, will be organised with unique beer specialities (almost 140 beer taps) in Kőbánya and concerts on two stages. The list of artists includes folk-pop and rock bands.
Local Dreher breweries will be serving throughout the two-day programme. If you find the location 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
Zenélő Budapest is a summer music initiative in Budapest, involving local virtuosos playing at 16 iconic venues around the city. If you happen to pass 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. Full details can be found on the Zenélő Budapest website.
Budapest weather in August
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 get to know the city and make excursions from Budapest.
The average maximum temperature in Budapest is around 27 °C, and the average minimum temperature 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
The first thing to bring is plenty of breathable clothing, lighter colours are also favourable. If you do a lot of walking, take comfortable shoes and a small reusable water bottle. Sunscreen is also important, as it is not uncommon to experience high temperature peaks, as well as radiation.
Swimwear or beachwear is also advisable given the numerous swimming pools, and Lake Balaton itself. Don't forget to pack light jackets or spring clothes in case the weather is bad.
Getting around Budapest in August
One of the best aspects of Budapest is its public transport options. There are several options to choose from, including metro, suburban railways, boats, trams and buses.
There are two separate categories of public transport depending on the time of day. Daytime transport is available from 04:30 AM to 11:50 PM and night-time transport 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 transport, including a 24-hour travel card, a 72-hour travel card and even a 7-day travel card.