A handy traffic and program guide for the August 20 long-weekend in Budapest
As the annual State Founding (August 20, Monday) celebrations commence, Index warns that the Hungarian capital city’s public transportation will undergo considerable changes: several roads and bridges will be closed. In this handy guide, we will present some of the major programs happening in Budapest and some tips on how to avoid a chaotic journey over the city.
Programs and the firework
Several concerts, fairs and other programs will be organised over the weekend in Budapest.
Between August 17th-20th
- The Street of Hungarian Flavours at the Castle Garden Bazaar (18th-19th: 10:00-00:00, 20th: 10:00-22:00), where you can try this year’s Cake of Hungary, the Little Girl from Komárom.
- The Festival of Folk Arts will take place at the Buda Castle at 10:00-23:00 on August 17th-19th, while on August 20 from 10:00 until 21:00.
- On Sunday evening, famous Hungarian bands (including Anna and the Barbies, the singer of which was attacked recently) will give concerts at the Castle Garden Bazaar and at the Buda end of Elizabeth bridge, near the Szent Gellért statue.
- The annual passing-out parade will take place at the Kossuth Lajos square on Monday morning between 8:30 and 9:30.
- The Holy Crown will be on display at the Parliament between 12:00 and 19:00.
- A Holy Mass will be held at the Saint Stephen Basilica from 17:00, which will be followed by the Procession of the Holy Right Hand of Saint Stephen at 18:00
- The fireworks start at 21:00, lasting for about 30 minutes. It can be best enjoyed from Buda, from between the Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge.
- You can donate blood on Alkotmány street between 11:30 and 17:30.
Transportation and traffic
It is advised to use trams and especially the metro lines over the weekend and on Monday. Metro line M3 will operate between the Lehel tér and Kőbánya-Kispest stops from Friday until Sunday. Another change in the metro schedule is that the lines M2, M3 and M4 will all follow an extended schedule: the last metro leaves at 1:30 on lines M2 and M4 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, line M3 will take up this change only on Sunday.
Out of safety reasons, some stations of metro lines M1 (Vörösmarty tér, Deák Ferenc tér), M2 (Deák Ferenc tér, Batthány tér), M3 (Ferenciek tere, Deák Ferenc tér) and stations of the suburban railway line H5 (Batthyány tér) might be closed after the fireworks.
All metro lines, HÉV lines, trams, buses and trolleys will follow a more frequent schedule right before and after the August 20 fireworks.
Trams 4 and 6 will operate again between Széll Kálmán tér M and Oktogon M stations from August 19th. However, the other frequently used tram line 2 will see some changes: over the weekend, the tram will only operate between Közvágóhíd H and Kossuth Lajos tér (Széchenyi rakpart) stations. On Monday, the tram will follow the same route until 9:00, from when it will only serve stations between Közvágóhíd H and Boráros tér H.
Over the weekend, the buses serving the Buda Castle will only commute on Buda, between the stations Széll Kálmán tér M and Dísz tér, but on Monday between 14:30 and 16:00 they will serve stations between Széll Kálmán tér M and Szentháromság tér.
On Monday boat D12 will start operating from 11:30. After 18:00 the boats will follow a shortened route, between Jászai Mari tér and Rómaifürdő stations.
Since several bus and tram lines will follow a shortened or modified route, it is advised to use the BKK FUTÁR mobile application when planning your journey.
The Chain Bridge will be closed from Friday (17th) dawn until Tuesday (21st) dawn to cars, and from Monday 17:00 until 22:30 to pedestrians too. Elizabeth bridge will be closed between August 19th 14:00 and August 20th dawn to car traffic, and to pedestrians from Monday 19:00. Margaret bridge will be closed from August 20th 19:00 to both cars and pedestrians. The Castle Garden pier will be closed from Saturday until Monday dawn because of the programmes. The piers on the Pest side will be closed on Monday.