September in Budapest: Chocolate Festival, Cultural Heritage Days
You’re coming to Budapest in the best season: not only is weather the best, and the trees the most beautiful in color, but with our help you can also add seasonal specialties to your visit. Follow our expert advice on what to do to have the best chocolate, find off the beaten track treasures, and make the most out of your September trip.
Sweet Days Chocolate Festival (September 22-24.)
Sweet teeth of the world unite! Welcome to one of the biggest outdoor chocolate fairs in Europe, with free entry for all. All this in bonbon-loving Budapest. Édes Napok (or Sweet Days) drew a massive crowd last year, who all came for a good reason: Hungarian chocolatiers have been bringing home the most coveted gastronomy prizes for long years, which you can translate roughly as stands packed with amazing chocolate and candy varieties as long as you can see.
Taste, learn and shop
The recipe for any decent chocolate festival is simple: the best chocolate makers and pastry shops set up camp outside St. Stephen’s Basilica in the heart of the Budapest downtown. The cream of pastry chefs holds sessions for wannabe colleagues. And, as usual, all this with the background music of quality jazz and classical music in the evening for the perfect atmosphere. Sweet Days is highly recommended for those who know about kürtőskalács (chimney cake) and other Hungarian local delicacies, but are ready to see how expert chefs are experimenting with cakes, donuts, candies, sweet pizza, caramel, hazelnut custard… Not to mention the fine drinks you can try besides the great chocolates, such as pálinka, wine or fresh fruit smoothies. And now if you’re already in Budapest, why don’t you go for the city’s best street food bars?
St. Stephen’s Basilica is on the M1 line (near Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út), or also close to the M3 stop Arany János utca. Accommodation tip: Maverick Hostel or City Lodge (both within walking distance of the venue)
Cultural Heritage Days in Budapest (September 16-17.)
Visiting Budapest in September? Lucky you, you can do your sightseeing in places most tourists don’t even dream of going. A lot of the venues are only open for the public on this special weekend, or offer tours or sights that they usually don’t have on their venue. This is the weekend when you can wander into the most enchanted of places easily all over Budapest and beyond, for example to the Hungarian Parliament, the Fiumei street Cemetary, or even at the Conti street prison!
Hungarian Parliament, Fiumei street Cemetary, Conti street prison and more.
A weekend with open gates – the idea of the Cultural Heritage Days is that a bunch of really interesting buildings stay open so you can wander around freely and explore what you wouldn’t normally see. It’s really cool because this not only means the National Museums and the other big museums/churches, but also the Hungarian Parliament, the Fiumei street Cemetery and even the Conti street prison has open doors! Moreover, you can join walking tours around the Várkert Bazár, to receive more information about the surrounding historical buildings. Plus much-much more – for example, if you’re willing to go beyond Budapest, the Palace of Bishop in Sümeg, or the Cifraház of Szaporca are good choices to get to know the real Hungarian Culture. If you are into castles, you can visit now the Wenkcheim-castle in Szabadkígyós, the Prónay-castle in Acsa, and the Pipo Fort-castle in Ozora. The event is part of the European Heritage Days, and happens every September in Budapest.
What else to do while you’re in Hungary
Instead of a cultural heritage overkill, here’s what I suggest: pick your favorite 1 or 2, and give them quality time and attention. This way in the rest of your time, you can still be a regular tourist. September in Budapest is the best season for strolls by the Danube or the Castle district in Buda, be it a guided tour or just a casual walk around. Kossuth tér (the square on which the Parliament stands), the fasor (tree-lined promenade) by the City Park, wine tasting in the old Jewish quarter (reinvented as the party district), classical or jazz/pop concerts at amazing venues – so many opportunities to complete the all Budapest attractions routes Date: September 16-17 Venue: Cool buildings of all kinds around Budapest Accommodation: Maverick Hostel or City Lodge in the city center