May is one of my favorite months in Budapest. The sun is shining most of the time, the temperatures are nice, the streets are crowded with people and the summer holiday is just around the corner. May is also a month when there is quite a lot going on in Budapest, so if you are headed to Budapest in May, keep on reading!
If you look for a great festival or activity in Budapest in May, then you might find some of the following programs interesting.
This is not really a festival, but it is worth knowing that this is a day of in Hungary, meaning that families use this day to do programs with their children, meaning that you can expect activities like the zoo to be packed with people. There are some demonstrations arranged on this day, but in general you will not really be influenced much by this day-off.
Cinco de Mayo
May 5th is the day when Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, and this is the day of the Mexicans and everyone who love a good street party in Budapest. Normally this party is arranged on May 5th, but sometimes the celebration is moved to a nearby date if that suits the locals and the visitors better. For example in 2013 May 5th happens to be on a Sunday, which is a bad day to party all day and all night long, and therefore the real street party in Budapest will be arranged on May 4th instead in 2013. If you want to take part in this celebration packed with food, tequila and food, visit Iguana in Zoltan utca 16 (near the Hungarian Parliament) where the party starts at 15.00 May 4th and lasts until the morning of May 5th.
Cinco de Mayo 2013: May 4th
Do not confuse this with the Palinka and Sausage festival, but as you know all good products need different festivals, and that is true for the Hungarian Palinka as well. On the Erzsebet square in Budapest, in the very center of our city with 2 million inhabitants (almost), the Palinka festival is arranged. It has an entrance fee, and once on the inside you can taste way to much Palinka and other drinks with and without alcohol. In addition to drinks you can taste traditional festival food like sausages, chimney cake and other snacks. If you want to get to know the Hungarian fruit spirit, this is the place to do so.
Palinka festival dates 2013: May 16th – 19th
What to do in Budapest in May?
In addition to festival and specials gigs in town there are some other programs which are specially suitable to do and enjoy for those coming in May to Budapest. Some of those are for example:
Open air bars and clubs
Ankert: If you miss the beaches when coming to Budapest you could visit Ankert, a club in the middle of the city with its own sandy beach. The water where you can take a swim is missing, but this is a place with cool atmosphere in Paulay Ede utca 33 (Ankert).
Topart and Szaft: The Vajdahunyad castle is a real treasure in Budapest that most people do not really have time to enjoy. However, if you decide to take a drink in Topart & Szaft you will get the chance to enjoy your drinks while enjoying the beauties of this castle in the City Park. You can find this place at Olof Palme setany 5.
Akvarium: At the Erzsebet square, where the Palinka festival is arranged, you can find the Akvarium club. Here it is crowded with people on any evening and it is possible to simply grab something to drink outside or enjoy some cool concerts on the inside. Take the metro to Deak Ferenc ter, get out of the metro system and you should be able to find, hear and see Akvarium easily. A great option if you want to eat and drink outside on a hot May-day.
Weather in May
As you pack your suitcase and prepare for your days in Budapest in May you should in general prepare for nice weathers around 20 Celsius or warmer. On really hot days the temperatures may rise above 30 Celsius, but the normal temperatures during daytime are between 20 and 30 Celsius. There are a few rainy days in May, so check the weather forecast before arriving, but most days in May are dry, warm and ideal for those who want to take a look at the best attractions and sights in Budapest. If you are among those who can not fall asleep in a room with temperatures higher than 20 Celsius, you should book a room in a hotel with air-condition (which most 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in Budapest has.)
Some general May advices
- Do not forget to bring sun lotion, you might need it!
- Find nice outdoor restaurants where you can eat your lunch
- If it gets to hot it you can always cool down in the St. Stephens Basilica
- Drink enough water and other liquids
- Visit the outdoor thermal baths early morning and afternoon and not during the warmest hours of the day.
- The river cruises on the Danube are nicest after sunset.
- If you want are very thirsty and want to drink wine without getting drunk ask for splash (froccs) which is a mixture of wine and sparkling water.