Sziget Festival, Budapest

Experience one of central Europe's most anticipated festivals

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Helen Twigg

Helen Twigg
HomeAway travel expert


Festival scene

Hungary’s capital has emerged as one of central Europe’s cultural hotspots in recent years, perhaps owing to Budapest's pinpoint on the interrail map. Part of the thrill of venturing through central Europe is exploring smaller cities like Budapest, such as Bratislava, Split and Kiev. If you've travelled extensively across Europe, you'll be acquainted with Hungary's rich history, from its folkish and Roma roots, epic compositions by classical masters like Franz Liszt, and intriguing contribution to the electronica scene. Fitting, then, that Budapest has become a platform for an array of arts events. Sziget festival is Budapest’s most successful cultural week in summer - and one of its most anticipated events.

Budapest’s charm may rest on its contrast with other European cities: the culture, cuisine and distinctive architecture help mark the city’s uniqueness. Experience the festival during the day, or enjoy evening's headline acts, before retreating to a chic HomeAway apartment or a snug, bohemian holiday home in the heart of Budapest.


 

Sziget Festival: everything you need to know


   

Background Background

Sziget has developed since its premiere in the early 1990s. The festival's opening year, in 1993, welcomed throngs of avid Hungarian festival goers, namely students: a modest 43,000 young music lovers flocked onto the shores of the 'Island of Freedom'. In contrast, Sziget now welcomes over 360,000 globetrotters! The fesitval's location on the leafy Old Buda Island sets the scene: the idyllic Danube setting creates an enchanting atmosphere. Visitors can expect an internationally themed experience; this mixing of far-flung cultures has made Sziget a major fixture on the European festival scene.

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Headline acts Headline acts

Headline acts are often a decisive factor when planning a festival holiday. At Sziget this decision is made relatively straightforward thanks to its internationally renowned line-ups! Previous headline acts have included R.E.M., The Killers, Pulp, The Kaiser Chiefs and Prince. The festival promises diverse line-ups during the five night event and the raw energy around the world music and main stage is electrifying!

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Upcoming talent Upcoming talent

As one of the biggest multicultural events in Europe, Sziget welcomes thousands of music lovers with eclectic tastes! Boasting 60 venues and over 200 acts a day, Sziget hosts a wide variety of jazz, blues, alternative and classical acts! Moreover, festivalgoers can enjoy the onsite circus, theatre and art exhibitions. Visitors are encouraged to engage with local and promising new talent, and experience the global nature of the festival: wander through the various tents and stages that offer a more intimate vibe than the imposing main stage.

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Hungary's party capital Hungary's party capital

Sziget's organisers pride themselves on its ‘free and open-minded spirit’: a product of its origins as a post-Communist cultural celebration founded in the absence of summer socialist camps. This self-determined ethos has remained: experience the enthusiastic, youthful ambience and anticipate a weeklong fiesta as the festival site transforms into an international and open-minded site with a distinctive party-hearty edge.

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The city of Budapest The city of Budapest

Coined the ‘Paris of the East’, Budapest has become a major tourist destination. Its investment in the arts, Turkish spas, distinctive pub scene, and UNESCO World Heritage status confirm this. Panoramic views of the Hungarian parliament, Chain Bridge and Castle Hill from the banks of the River Danube make perfect backdrops for evening strolls. Circle the chic eateries, or cycle along the Danube; or, for a sense of the culture, watch a folklore or classical music performance at the stunning State Opera House.

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