"Beautiful healthy woman with natural makeup and wreath" (Photo © armina - Fotolia.com)
May 1st is an occasion for Hungarian people to welcome spring in style. They party in the streets, in parks, they gather together for a barbeque or for a picnic, they sing and celebrate for days. For our guests staying at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest and Mamaison Residence Izabella Budapest, we have several suggestions of venues and events that will allow them to experience May Day like and with the locals.
Peter Besenyei of Hungary flies during a demo flight to announce the return of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2014 in Putrajaya, Malaysia on October 7, 2013.
Most of the events and festivals on May Day are free to attend. If you walk on the Danube bank in Pest, head towards the Chain Bridge in front of the Hungarian National Academy around 13:30. The folks gathering there are waiting for the Air & Race Car Show, the “live” part of the programme, which begins at 08:00 in the morning with a race car exhibition in front of the Hungarian National Academy. The acrobatics show, featuring the famous Hungarian aerobatics pilot and world champion air racer, begins at 13:45 at the Danube embankment in front of the Parliament. The performance will be followed by the Flying Bulls old timer aeroplanes at 14:30.
Formula 1 & WTCC Touring Cars can be seen on the route Erzsébet tér – Chain Bridge – Clark Adam tér from 14:00 to 17:00.
Don’t miss the Danube regatta, a spectacular event, with rowing and dragon boat racing, open air cinema on the lower quay, DJ programmes in the evening, live music, as well as contests and surprises for young and old.
As usual, Budapest’s largest park, the City Park (Városliget), will host a large open air festival, with music, crafts, competitions, fair and children’s programs. Outdoors events will take place on the superb Margaret Island as well. The third outdoor area to celebrate Labor Day is in the 1st district of Budapest, in Tabán, between Buda Castle and the Gellért Hill. The festival here is filled with live concerts from early afternoon till late night.
In fact, Budapest celebrates the entire month, with its Urbitális Majális festival, which kicks off tomorrow, and lasts till May 31st. This year’s theme is “Budapest as a Creative City.” Numerous venues around Budapest, including the Holnemvolt Park (the former Amusement Park), will participate, an occasion for visitors to admire, and buy, local arts and crafts. Don’t miss the concerts at Secessio Cafe in the Szecessziós Múzeum (Art Nouveau Museum).
Gellért Fürdő and Dagály Strandfürdő are open on May 1st too, although some of their services may not be available. Both sites are very popular with the locals.
Tandemugrás "Millennium Tandem Team" Tandem Skydiving Hungary
Budapest is a city of outstanding beauty, with remarkable architecture, and important tourist landmarks, well advertised in travel brochures, and guides of all kinds. Besides its over-mediatized baths and spas, music festivals, cuisine, and cultural events, Budapest offers visitors a wealth of other attractions, not many people know about. Although the city is not seen as a Mecca for adrenaline junkies, Budapest does offer a lot to those who enjoy more “extreme” activities.
Aquaworld Budapest – Ramada Resort
Already famous with locals and tourists, Budapest’s Aquaworld offers the ultimate family experience, but it is also a must for thrill seekers. Strip down to your swimsuit, and book a lesson at the surf school – yes, you can learn how to ride the waves in one of Europe’s most romantic inland cities. Those in search of treetop thrills will find enough to challenge their skills at the Adventure Park, part of the same Ramada Aquaworld.
Location: Íves út 16.
Phone: +36 1 231 3760
Challengeland Kalandpálya is closer to nature, in a real Hungarian forest, and offers a richer experience for all ages, including nighttime climbing, individual rope course for all ages; dual rope course, for adults and children to race together; racing rope course; an earthy obstacle course known as the Giant Labyrinth; a log castle, ideal for family fun; and so much more.
Location: Konkoly Thege M. Út 21.
Phone: +36 20 599 8501
Similar to Ramada’s Adventure Park, and the Challengeland Kalandpálya, the Orczy Kalandpark is especially recommended for younger thrill seekers. It has several racing courses designed exclusively for children, as well as activities for adults, including camping, laser tag, and even go-karting.
Location: Orczy út 1.(Nagyvárad tér)
Phone: +36 20 236 1214
eXbox Adventure Park, is the largest extreme indoor adventure park in Budapest, so you can enjoy adrenaline rush rain or shine. It’s not the same as flying along the wires in nature, but you are still suspended far above the ground, and you have 20 obstacles challenging your completion of the course. If a ropes course is not enough, you can test your climbing technique, conditioning, and technical skills at the climbing wall. Inside the same park, the Lab Skatepark challenges BMX, roller skaters, and skateboarders. You will discover many other adventures for young and old.
Location: Hunyadi János út 4.
Phone: +36 30 232 5108
Nothing quite compares with the intense rush provided by a 200 km/h free fall and parachute descent from 3500 metres, and yes, Budapest can accommodate cloud riders too! Tandem Skydiving offers the closest skydiving location to Budapest, at Dunaújváros (Kisapostag) Airport, about an hour drive from the city center. The company offers transfer to customers, plus excellent prices, and even your own tandem skydive video if you want to keep the memory alive.
Location: Dunaújváros Airport Highway no. 6 – at 76th km (close to Kisapostag)
Phone: +36 20 341 2704
One of the newest attractions for active pursuits in Budapest is the G1 Kart Center, a facility designed for experienced drivers, who can test their skills driving GT5 go karts in a sound proof, safe environment. Drivers wear professional racing overalls and helmets for safety, but also for a complete, professional experience.
Location: Róbert Károly körút 54-58.
Phone: +36 30 2390743
Budapest offers many other opportunities for active travelers who enjoy nature. There are several companies that offer canoeing and kayaking tours on the Danube, wakeboarding, bicycle tours of the city, and especially hiking on the Buda side of the Danube River. No matter who you are, no matter what outdoor pursuits you like, there are thousands of different ways to discover this noble city.
The Budapest Spring Festival celebrates its 34th anniversary this year. It is the largest cultural festival in the city, and counts among the most prestigious in this part of Europe.
Held from 21st March to 6th April 2014, the festival invites visitors to enjoy excellent programmes, and show, by acclaimed Hungarian and international performers. Among the stellar performers of the festival, we’d like to count the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian Radio Symphonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and many individual performers, like Leila Josefowicz, Piotr Sałajczyk, Alison Balsom, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Andreas Scholl, to mention just a few.
The festival counts concerts, dance, folk music, and theater performances on its schedule, and employs over 50 venues, including the Palace of Arts – Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, the new Budapest Music Center, Centrál Theatre, Radnóti Theatre, the St. Francis Parish Church, the Palace of Arts – Festival Theatre, and many others.
Among the programmes for young audiences, the most interesting are offered on the World Puppetry Day, with many free performances at several spots in the city.
For lovers of art, there are several exhibitions during the Budapest Spring Festival:
- SPRING – Contemporary Arts Exhibition
Venue: Balassi Institute, Budapest Somlói út 51. district I., Tel: (+36 1) 381-5124
Date: 16th March – 30th April
- Muses on Theatre Square
The Pest German Theatre (1812-1849) was founded 200 years ago
Venue: Budapest History Museum, Buda Castle, Szent György tér 2., building “E”
Tel: (+36 1) 487-8800
- 30th Hungarian Exhibition of Press Photography
Venue: Hungarian National Museum, Múzeum krt. 14-16., district VIII.,
Tel: (+36 1) 327-7773
Date: 24th March – 6th May
- Art Deco and Modernism, Interior design in Hungary 1920–1940
Venue: Museum of Applied Arts, Üllői út 33-37. district IX:,
Tel: (+36 1) 456-5107
Date: 16th March – 30th September
There are two Mamaison hotels in Budapest, which offer excellent conditions for travellers visiting Budapest during the festival: Hotel Andrassy and Mamaison Residence Izabella.