This Sziget, Budapest travel guide will hopefully explain how to perfectly enjoy Sziget festival and answer any of your questions. It’s also a travel guide on visiting Budapest, so even if you’re not here for the festival you can find some ideas of things to do here.
We’ve been to Sziget festival twice and now we can’t imagine a summer without it. What’s not to love about this festival? Easily accessible, amazing weather, cheap alcohol, world famous artists providing a range of genres.
There is something for everyone at this festival. They have whacky traditions born in Hungary on show, a circus, a rodeo. The list is actually endless and you will discover something new each visit which will make you fall in love with this place.
How to get there
Hopefully this Sziget festival, Budapest guide will answer some of your questions. The festival is based in the city of Budapest, further north on the Óbuda Island, which is on the river Danube. The festival is usually the 1st week of August starting on the Wednesday, this usually falls in the middle of our summer travels so it depends where we currently are in Europe on how we get there.
Budapest has a huge airport, which has flight connections with many major cities so it is easy to get to, however we also like to work out the cheapest option. We don’t always fly direct to Budapest or fly to our next destination after the festival from there, if it saves us a lot of cash. Therefore, check other nearby airports such as Vienna, Bratislava as you can get a Flix bus from these cities to Budapest for much cheaper. If you don’t mind a long ride on the bus, then you can even check further cities such as Belgrade and Zagreb which takes around 4-5 hours on a flixbus. Omio is another useful bus company which you can use to get to Budapest. Last year we visited Lake Bled in Slovenia and got a bus from Ljubljana straight to the festival.
Where to stay In Budapest
As part of this Sziget, Budapest guide we hope to give you the perfect location of where to stay. The festival runs for 7 days (Wednesday – Tuesday) and offers camping, however in a near average temperature of 35 degrees daily, that sounds like torture to me.
The first time we stayed here we were a bit out of town for the festival but still had an amazing time. It required a couple of metro/bus rides and usually a ferry which wasn’t ideal. The year after, we were much wiser and made sure our stay was close to Oktogon (a main area of the city) for convenience.
We had a nice central location and only had to get a 5-minute metro to Jászi Mari Tér, where we could then get a 30-minute ferry to the festival. Be wary though, the queues for the ferry can be enormous which can leave you baking in the sun, sometimes there is no escape on the ferry either with not all of them having AC.
Back to the fun…
The festival itself is amazing. Purchasing drinks at the festival is much cheaper than UK festivals (around £1 a pint), which means no need to pre-drink. There is so much quality food choice to keep you filled up throughout the day, you won’t know where to start. Our personal favourite was Burrito del Diablo. The layout of the festival, makes it easy for you to work out where you need to go. We can’t recommend this festival enough.
You’ll find that a lot of Budapest is shaded from the buildings which makes walking around okay despite temperatures being 30+ degrees each day. We bought a city pass from the Sziget festival website which was brilliant as we had access to all public transport whenever we needed, swell as access to transport to the festival and back. The city pass access also gives access to use one of the famous thermal spas for free.
We used the Széchenyi thermal spa. We had no idea what we were doing when arriving and the queues were very busy. Thankfully, after some time we managed to get in, however there was no chance of a sun bed and the place was very busy. This didn’t affect our experience, we found a place to dump our stuff and get in the spa. We definitely recommend going here for a time of relaxation, get there early if you want a sun lounger.
Other areas of interest
We find our energy to explore the city whilst the festival is on limited, but if you do want to explore this beautiful city then there is plenty of choice. You can visit historic building such as Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, Parliament House. These look especially nice at night alongside the Chain Bridge which stand out when lit up.
Furthermore, there are also many Ruin Pubs scattered around the city in what look like deserted buildings. These unusual bars offer an edgy vibe with comfortable but worn out furniture. Popular ones include Instant, Fogas Ház, Kuplung and Szimpla. If you get the chance to visit Budapest then definitely go, ideally go during Sziget festival.
Finally, Hungary is located in Central Europe which means there are many countries and cities located nearby. Budapest is perfect to travel to if visiting a nearby city or if you want to visit another city after it. Check out our Travel Routes page to see where we visited before and after our trip here.