Do you know what the whole world celebrates on 21 March? Of course, World Poetry Day, which has been commemorated since 1999 when UNESCO declared 21 March the official day for worldwide poetry celebrations, reports The original idea was to invigorate poetry and promote the linguistic diversity of humankind, and on this occasion, cultural organisations, libraries and schools all around the world try to draw attention to the preservation of this heritage. In fact, Hungary is no exception to it. collects the list of cafés and restaurants in Budapest where you can pay for a coffee with a poem on this day.

The campaign called Fizess verssel (Pay with a poem) has been a popular initiative worldwide when customers entering into a café or a restaurant can bring their favourite poem or write one on the spot and pay with it for a coffee. On the one hand, this initiative is about being creative and using one’s ideas and skills, but on the other hand, it is much more than that.

This gesture on this special day encourages a return to the oral tradition of poetry recital that is very easy to forget in the materialistic world. This is a day that every country can celebrate in its own way with the participation of non-governmental organisations.

However, it is important to note that this day is not identical with the Hungarian Day of Poetry, celebrated on 11 April, on the birthday of Attila József.

This is another excellent celebration held since 1964 on the occasion of which literary performances, book launches and competitions are organised in Hungary to honour the Hungarian poetry and celebrate the achievements of the greatest literary figures of the country.

This year, the Pay with a poem campaign of Julies Meinl brings some novelty proving that poetry is the soul of music. In fact, music is a universal language which also helps to incorporate poetry into our everyday life through lyrics. Therefore, the internationally-acknowledged musician and songwriter, JP Cooper, wrote a song for the campaign paying tribute to the world’s poets.

Besides getting a free coffee in exchange for a poem, you can also win a ticket to JP Cooper’s concert. What you need to do in order to try your luck is writing a poem and taking a photo of it that you have to upload to the website of If you are one of the 10 lucky aspiring poets who is chosen, you can participate in one of JP Cooper’s concerts.

The list of the participating cafés and restaurants located in Budapest can be found here. Check them out and enjoy this special day with a good coffee and a poem! 🙂

  • Akvárium, 1051 Erzsébet Square 12
  • Anker Club, 1062 Anker Alley 1-3
  • Átrium Park Restaurant, 1138 Váci Street 45
  • Café Park, 1117 Irinyi József Street 4-20
  • Cziniel Confectionery and Café House, 1031 Nánási Street 55
  • Dunapark Café House, 1137 Pozsonyi Street 38
  • Első Pesti Rétesház, 1051 6 October Street 22
  • Európa Café House, 1055 Szt. István Bouleard 7-9
  • Gerbeaud Café House, 1051 Vörösmarty Square 7-8
  • Jókenyér, 1126 Istenhegyi Street 23
  • Kiosk, 1052 Piarista Alley 2
  • Lipóti Pékség, 1053 Egyetem Square 5
  • MKB Pepperhouse, 1134 Kassák Lajos Street 18
  • MKB Pepperhouse, 1056 Váci Street 38
  • Nem adom fel Café, 1082 Baross Street 86
  • Office Garden Restaurant, 1117 Alíz Street 2
  • Platz Restaurant, 1051 Szt. István Square 4-5
  • Rózsavölgyi Salon, 1052 Szervita Square 5
  • Science Park Restaurant, 1117 Irinyi József Street 4-20
  • SE Nagyvárad Téri Elméleti Tömb Restaurant, 1089 Nagyvárad Square 3
  • Sis Cafe, 1027 Budapest, Henger Street 2 building A
  • Szecesszio, 1054 Honvéd Street 3
  • T.G.I. Fridays Restaurant, 1062 Oktogon Square 3
  • T.G.I. Fridays Restaurant, 1062 Váci Street 1./Westend City Center
  • Urban Betyár, 1051 6 October Street 16-18
  • Vian Café Bisztró Bazilika, 1051 Hercegprímás Street 15
  • Vian Café Gozsdu Courtyard, 1061 Király Street 13/C
  • Vian Café Liszt Ferenc Square, 1061 Liszt Ferenc Square 9


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