Budapest Nightlife

Budapest Nightlife and Entertainment

If you are coming to this beautiful city specifically for the exciting Budapest nightlife then you won’t be disappointed! If you have come for the full package then I only hope you bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm with you as there are tonnes of things to do during the day and in the evening (or even into the early hours).

Budapest nightlife is entertaining and exciting. Bars, nightclubs, Jazz Clubs, sports bars, restaurants, Live Music Pubs, the Opera and a host of lively festivals run throughout the year. There is no wonder why Budapest is such a popular destination for a wide array of people and their interests – this thriving city has it all when it comes to entertainment.

Budapest Bars and Nightclubs

Nightlife in Budapest is ranked high in Europe and it is a top destination to be when the sun goes down! The bars and nightclubs are becoming an increasingly important factor to the nightlife in Budapest and even though numbers are growing – quality is not being compromised.

Some of the best clubs will have the largest appeal to a younger and hedonistic crowd – with more and more Westerners venturing over just to throw themselves in the exciting bar scene.

Summer is the best time to be here as lots of special events take place and the music filters into the open air.

Budapest Nightlife Quick Links:

Budapest Live Music Pubs l Budapest Jazz Clubs l Budapest Sport Pubs l Budapest Dance Clubs l Budapest Movie Theaters

Budapest Nightlife Warnings – Tourist Traps

-One word of warning when bar or club hopping – the bouncers/doormen are tough guys not to be messed with and so display your best behavior.

-If you want to arrive home confidently then I would advise you to book a taxi through means of telephone – you could take one from the street but be prepared to pay higher rates.

-When taking a taxi from the street make sure the taxi displays widely a taxi company name and a telephone number and not just a taxi sign on top of the car’s roof.

-Another warning when it comes to visiting clubs (specifically strip bars) is to be careful when in large groups who can be a target to money scams and in the worst case scenario – physical intimidation.

Sadly, some nightclubs have been reported as tourists traps, so be cautious in touristy areas such as Vaci utca when local girls approach you pretending they are looking for a certain address.

These girls usually ask tourists to help them to find the place, then to accompany them, and once in the place they ask the victims to have some drinks together and when the bill comes they pretend they have no money to pay.

In the end tourists almost always, intimidated by the dishonest business owner, end up having to pay a huge unreasonable bill. In conclusion, avoid any nightclub in the vicinity of Vaci utca.

Budapest Nightlife and Restaurants

Eating and drinking is a major part to Budapest nightlife and despite the majority of restaurants being based on Magyar cuisine, you can also find culinary delights from Chinese, Indian, Japanese and also French, German and Italian.

Booking is recommendable if you want to visit a popular restaurant but in any case – if you don’t find a seat there is plenty of choice for a plan B!

Overcharging has been an issue in some restaurants so don’t be afraid to double check your bill and ask to see a menu with prices (including the wine list). Restaurants around touristy areas such as Vaci utca and the Castle Hill keep absurd high prices and there is not really a good value for money.

-Restaurants usually open from noon until 11 pm or midnight.

Tipping is a common practice in Budapest. You are expected to add 10 % of the bill to the amount you pay. Some places include the 10% tip in the bill, but most of them don’t, so double check to avoid any inconvenience.

Opera and Festivals

Before I draw the curtains on Budapest nightlife I would like to have a quick word on the opera and festivals. Perhaps the biggest and most anticipated of Budapest festivals are the Spring festival and Autumn festival (in March and September respectively).

These wonderful events are full of cheer and plenty of live music, drama and dance performances. Other festivals that I can recommend are:

  • Budapest Spring Festival – April
  • Budapest Film Festival – February (usually)
  • Hungarian Grand Prix – August
  • Gay Pride Budapest – June/July
  • Sziget Festival – August
  • Budapest Summer Festival – September
  • BudaFest Opera Festival – Summer months
  • Jewish Festival – August
  • Wine Festival – September
  • Budapest Autumn Festival – September-October

Take a look at our Budapest Event Calendar in Things to do in Budapest page to get current information on concerts, opera performances and festivals.

I have to say that one of the best entertainment activities in Hungary is its opera and this is a country who has given us some of the best composers the world has known.

The Hungarian State Opera House is the best venue to attend a performance and you can expect anything from the more classical Mozart to modern contemporary.

Have Fun!

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