Kürtöskalács (Chimney Cake) Festival

One of the most popular sweets at any festival in Budapest is the Kürtöskalács, also known as the Chimney Cake or the Seklér Cake. But why should this delight only be eaten at other festivals? Now you have the chance to taste it in all sorts of versions at its very own Chimney Cake festival in Budapest.

There have been different festivals for the Kürtöskalács in Budapest for a long time. Different companies have arranged them and have been at all sorts of locations. Then came COVID, and all festivals were canceled for a couple of years. But now things are back to normal, which means that the Chimney Cake festival has returned to Budapest once again.

Chimney Cake Festival 2023 / Kürtöskalács Festival 2023

Dates: October 13-15.
Location: Budapest Zoo

As you can see, the festival is arranged in the zoo. As a result, you need to buy an entrance ticket to the zoo to visit the festival area. That might not be an ideal solution, considering that the entrance fee is 4500 HUF for adults and 3200 HUF for kids. Families coming together can buy discounted tickets, but it is still an expensive entrance fee considering that you need to spend a lot of money buying the Chimney Cakes that you want to taste on the inside later.

What is happening at the festival?

The festival area will have different programs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are concerts, programs, and quizzes at a stage in the area, and there will be puppet shows combined with all the normal interesting programs available in Budapest zoo (feeding of sharks and more).

sekler cake

What is a Chimney Cake (Seklar Cake)?

The basic Chimney Cake is a sweet dough rolled out as a long sausage. It is then rolled around a wooden cylinder and dipped in sugar. When this is done, it should be placed above coal (grilled) until the sugar has been caramelized. The final step is then to dip it in either vanilla, nuts, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or some other tasty ingredient. This is the basic version of the Chimney Cake.

A new and more modern version follows the basic steps but later adds Nutella, vanilla ice, Snickers, Twix, and all sorts of other tastes and calories to make it look even better and more packed with calories. Which version is the best? That is entirely up to you to find out!

Chinese lights in Budapest Zoo

It has been on for quite a while, but everything good has to end. The Chinese lights in the Budapest Zoo will be available until May 22nd. Here you can see some pictures.

If you visit Budapest Zoo in the evenings then you can now enjoy beautiful lights inside animals and sculptures. It is a really creative kind of exhibition available every evening between 19.00 and 22.00. Since there are only three evenings left it is worth noticing that if you arrive at 19.00 there is still not dark in Budapest, so you will not really be able to enjoy the Chinese lights, but around 20.30 its starting to get dark and the experience is fantastic. Be aware of the fact that this is a super popular program, so there are long lines that you need to stand in before you can get hold of your ticket.

The entrance fee for this program is 1900 HUF for adults and 1500 HUF for children under 14 years. Here you can see some pictures to give you a little taste of what you can expect if you visit the Zoo in Budapest in one of the coming three days in the evening.

Sculptures in Budapest Zoo
It looks cool, doesn’t it?

Beautiful lights in Budapest Zoo in the evening
Beautiful lights in Budapest Zoo in the evening

Colorful and impressive in Budapest Zoo
Colorful and impressive in Budapest Zoo

If you want to do something completely different tonight in Budapest instead, or maybe before you visit the zoo, then you can of course consider going to Groupama Arena instead where Hungary will play an international friendly match against Ivory Coast. This is the first of several friendly matches Hungary will play to prepare for Euro 2016 where they will have their opening match against Austria on June 14th. For more information on where you can watch Euro 2016 in Budapest, read this article.

Ten spring activities in Budapest

Szechenyi Thermal Bath
Szechenyi Thermal Bath

The sun is shining, it’s 15-20 degrees and you are in Budapest. It is a normal spring day in the capital of Hungary. Here follows some advices on how to spend such a day in Budapest. This might be a real top 10 list of activities, but rather a list with ideas for different nice activities that can be done on a sunny spring day in Budapest.

Ten nice spring activities in Budapest

1) Cross the Elisabeth Bridge and walk to the top of the Gellert Hill. Make some marvelous pictures!

2) Go to Raday Utca or Liszt Ferenc Tér and buy something to drink in one of the outdoor cafes/restaurants

3)  Budapest Zoo! Great place to be when the sun is shining.

4) Travel with the Libegő (chairlift) between Zugliget and John Hill (János hegy). Get there using bus 291 from Nyugati Pályaudvar. Afterwards enjoy the fresh air and the view from the Elisabeth tower.

5) Buy some sun lotion and swim in the outdoor pools of the Szechényi Thermal Bath

6) Do a half-day trip to Szentendre with shopping, wine, marcipan and food

7) See Budapest from the Danube while on a dinner cruise

8) Sit down somewhere and try to learn some useful Hungarian phrases. Below you can find some suggestions.

9) Get more knowledge about the different special drinks from Hungary in our „Drinks of Hungary” program

10) Smile to the people around you, simply because life is good and Budapest is beautiful!

Some useful and some useless Hungarian phrases:
–         Süt a nap (the sun is shining)
–         Kérek egy hosszú kávét (a long coffee please)
–         Hol van McDonalds? (where is McDonalds)
–         A nevem Bill Clinton (my name is Bill Clinton)
–         Nagyon szépek a jegesmedvek (the polar bears are really nice)

Zoo expanding into Vidam Park

Zoo Budapest
Zoo Budapest
November 12th, 2008, we wrote about the fact that Budapest Zoo will expand into Vidám Park (the Amusement Park), and because of this the Vidám Park will be moved to another location. Since then not so much has happened, but now we can start to see the start of this process taking place. Parts of the Vidám Park are currently used by the Zoo and the expansion is probably to continue until the entire area is used by the zoo.

One of the reasons for this is the fact that the Vidám Park is doing terrible (it has big financial problems), so the question is then only if it will be able to reopen somewhere else alter, or if it is headed towards a final end!

Activities in Budapest