City of culture
Traditional and contemporary, highbrow and popular, timeless and seasonal - Budapest means culture, throughout the year and for the whole family.
Summer is peak festival season and tens of thousands of visitors flock to the wide range of music festivals that are on offer in Hungary. Sziget is one of the largest and most loved popular music festivals in Europe and is unique because it takes place on an island within Budapest. It allows festival-goers not only to live in world unto itself for the duration, but to engage with the city at large and take advantage of its attractions. Budapest Spring Festival and the Jewish Summer Festival bring the best of international classical music and jazz to Budapest. Festivals are not just for music though, they appeal to all the senses. In Budapest one can find a festival dedicated to almost every food group, wine, pálinka, artisanal beer, Belgian beer, mangalica and bread festivals abound. While Budapest embraces innovation and new talent, traditions and legacy is still cherished and nurtured.
The café culture of Budapest stretches from the fin du siècle gilded splendour of the New York Palace and Centrál Café, once the regular meeting place of writers and journalists, to the new wave barista heavens that offer a selection of single plantation beans to go with the free Wi-Fi. Mesterségek Ünnepe, an arts and crafts festival, introduces modern audiences to the tactile pleasure of handicrafts and folk art. The Palace of Arts (Művészetek Palotája) is a bold architectural statement on the bank of the Danube, serving as the home base of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, counted among the world's best classical orchestras. It is also home of the Ludwig Museum, curating one of the most significant contemporary art collections in Central-Europe. Beside traditional bastions of culture like the National Museum, the National Museum of Fine Arts and Műcsarnok, the National Dance Theatre and Hungarian Heritage House, countless independent galleries, exhibition spaces, workshops and incubator houses keep artistic pulse of the city racing.