It’s that spooky time of the year again! As Halloween is near, tourists as well as locals are in frantic search of an eerily beautiful event that will give them their annual dose of goosebumps. In our list of the best Halloween-themed parties and programs, we have also taken into account the youngest pumpkin lovers, so we’re pretty sure you’ll quickly find something that matches your taste – so you’ll have more time to prepare that scary costume.
Halloween Party Boat
Although having a Halloween party is quite an American thing to do, why not add some authentic Budapest influences to it, for example by combining it with a Danube cruise? On the 1st of November, the Halloween Party Boat will take bold passengers on a scenic ride along the river, on which they do not only get to see Budapest’s most important sights at night, but also have the bash of their lives in a creepy ambience – pumpkins included. The party begins at 10 PM, the river ride itself starts an hour later. After two hours of groovy music, spritzy drinks and excessive dancing, the boat will anchor at the docks, from where the high-spirited party people will be escorted to one of the most famous clubs in town. Sounds like an event to your liking? Then get yourself a ticket!
Paddy and the Rats Halloween Party
Who needs a traditional costume ball if you can cut up the floor to the sounds of folkish punk rock? On the 31st of October, Barba Negra Music Club hosts a very special Halloween party featuring Paddy and the Rats, a Celtic punk band from Miskolc, Hungary. Since their foundation in 2008, Paddy and the Rats have already published five albums, their first one, Rats on Board, being a success even outside of Hungary. At the Halloween Party, they will entertain the crowds once again with their violins and horns. The whole event starts at 8 PM and requires an entrance ticket. Dressing up is optional, but hey, it’s Halloween!
Creepy-looking creatures that crawl around on Halloween? Could be zombies, could also be participants of the legendary Halloween PubCrawl! During this bar tour that needs to be booked in advance you’ll get to visit three of the notorious ruin pubs in Budapest before ending up in a hip club where you can dance the night away to catchy music. Of course, the whole experience will be in keeping with the haunted night, thus free make-up and almost unlimited candy supply are included, just like the entrance to the club and one hour of free drinks. Naturally, the Halloween PubCrawl takes place on the night of Halloween itself, starting at 9.30 PM. If you feel like going on a pub crawl after your fancy, you can simply plan it all by yourself, as the most famous ruin bars, such as Szimpla Kert and Instant, and clubs like Ötkert and Story host Halloween parties as well.
Pumpkin Festival in the Downtown Market
There’s no such thing as a Halloween without pumpkins – it would just be unthinkable! To celebrate the round orange vegetable adequately, there’s gonna be an entire festival dedicated to it on the 26th of October in the Downtown Market in Hold Street. Visitors can savor several delicacies made from the iconic Halloween symbol, such as pumpkin cream soup, pumpkin burgers, or even strudel with pumpkin filling. Besides, they also get the opportunity to create their own pumpkin lantern with the help of talented professionals to make sure the face on it looks awful instead of awfully bad.
Pumpkin Lantern Charity Festival
Halloween is not only a reason to get all spooky and wild, it can also give occasion to be generous. Take the Budapest Pumpkin Lantern Charity Festival, for example. On the 26th of October, everyone who feels like doing a good deed gathers at 7 PM at Heroes’ Square, bringing a carved pumpkin lantern and one to three cans or boxes of non-perishable food with them. The pumpkins will be placed around the monument in the middle of the square, thus creating an authentic Halloween atmosphere. The food will be donated to the Child Nutrition Foundation, a non-profit organization taking care of children in need.
For those who are a little more active than the average tourist, Budapest has an especially sporty Halloween event in store, the Halloween Run! Organized by the BBU, this race consists of seven individual runs of varying distance, so that even the youngest athletes can readily participate. And where is the creepiness in all of this? Every run leads through the dimly lit and cold tunnels of the Kőbánya cellar system, a place you wouldn’t want to explore on your own in the dark! The event takes place on the 3rd of November with the first race starting at 12.30 AM. Check out their website for further information.
If you consider yourself to be among the most hard-boiled people who aren’t easily scared, you should test your nerves of steel in the haunted house Nightmare in Budapest. From the 29th until the 31st of October, this horror theater offers a special interactive Halloween Nightmare tour that will make your blood run cold. During these 30 minutes, you’ll have to face your worst fears, running into various dreadful creatures that look so realistic that you wish you were dreaming!
For the Tiniest Hobgoblins
Halloween at Ráday Street
What makes Halloween especially appealing to children is the well-known and beloved custom of trick-or-treating, which allows kids (and their parents) to dress up in scary costumes and ask their neighbors for candy of all kinds. This child-tested and parent-approved practice had been taken onto the next level in Budapest, as there’s an organized trick-or-treat session on Ráday Street! To participate, you need to buy a low-priced online ticket in advance, which you show on the day of the event, the 26th of October. In return, you’ll get a Halloween bag and are allowed to collect as much candy as possible, which are generously provided by the organizers. Starting at 4 PM, you’ll have three hours in total to make that bag overflow with sweets. As the main target group of this event are kids, you should know that you need to buy a bag ticket for every child who wants to go trick or treating, not for yourself if you’re just supervising the tiny ones.
Halloween in Holnemvolt Castle
As kids tend to love being surrounded by animals, there’s probably nothing better for them than a Halloween event in a zoo, which is why the Budapest Zoo organizes a truly magical program on the 31st of October. From 6 to 11 PM, the Holnemvolt Castle park will be bustling with life, since there are countless entertaining attractions and activities for the young and the old. Among them are rides on camels and ponies, Halloween-related handicraft workshops, face painting, and a witch kitchen providing creepily tasty meals. Kids under 14 get free admission, others can enter for a fee of 2.000 HUF.