Budapest Gay Travel Guide & Map 2021

Upcoming Events in Budapest

|  31 December 2021
New Year's Eve in Budapest: with lots of concerts, races, parties, cruises and the fireworks along the Danube river.
|  10 – 15 August 2022
Sziget Festival 2022 – The Island of Freedom: big annual music and cultural festival on the Óbuda island in the north of Budapest. Rock, Pop, Indie, Electro and lots of fun activities. With over 1000 concerts, shows and performances across 60 stages and places it is one of the largest and most popular music festivals in Europe.
@ Hajógyári-sziget (Hajógyári Island/Óbuda Island)
|  20 August 2022
Szent István ünnepe – St. Stephan's Day: national holiday of Hungary, commemorating the foundation of the Hungarian state and named after the first king of Hungary. Festivities and activities all day long, culminating in the impressive fireworks over the Danube river at 21:00.

Accommodation Tip

Hotel. ***, from 60 €
New hotel in contemporary style in a historical building. Centrally located and within walking distance to the Parliament Building, the St. Stephen's Basilica, the Hungarian State Opera House and other sights of Budapest.
@ Teréz körút 62
Budapest 1066
Tram, bus, train: Nyugati

About Budapest and its gay life

The Hungarian capital Budapest, picturesquely situated on the Danube river and with a diverse architectural and cultural heritage of its centuries-old history, is one of the twenty most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Budapest's cityscape is marked by influences from many parts and eras of Europe: from Ottoman-era Turkey and Habsburg-era Vienna to industrial-era English engineering and post-communist Berlin's 'ruin chic'.

Among the many sights of Budapest are, for example, the Buda Castle Palace and the Parliament Building, Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and the Andrássy boulevard, the third oldest subway line in the world and, last but not least, the now trendy so-called 'ruin pubs'.

A special attraction for residents and tourists in Budapest are also the numerous thermal baths in historical architecture. Already the ancient Romans and later especially the Turks used the thermal springs, which are so numerous here because of the city's location on a tectonic fault.

Our ideas about queer life in Budapest today are shaped primarily by the rise of right-wing nationalist and far-right parties in Hungary since the late 1990s. Viktor Orbán and his openly homophobic and anti-liberal national-conservative party Fidesz have ruled the country since 2010, and populists and anti-queer elites from all over Europe are now streaming in and out here.

A closer look, however, reveals a somewhat more differentiated picture. Homosexual acts were decriminalized in Hungary as early as 1961, several years earlier than in many Western countries. In the 1980s, Budapest was a mecca for gay travelers from the GDR and other countries in East and West. The Budapest Gay Pride has been held annually since 1997. In 2012, Budapest hosted the EuroGames, the major European sports event of the LGBTQ community. Approval ratings among the Hungarian population for registered partnerships and same-sex marriage have risen significantly in recent years – despite the anti-queer propaganda from the government and right-wing parties. As Hungary's capital with a population of over 1.7 million, Budapest has a relatively small but active gay scene, which today ranges from bars and saunas to queer Pop parties and progressive Techno events.