As one of the longest festivals in Europe you can guarantee there are lots of things to do at Sziget Festival, but the trouble comes in deciding exactly what to do. The food, the music, the arts, even Budapest itself, are all totally amazing and totally distracting.
‘Join the love revolution‘ – this year’s slogan for the biggest festival in Hungary, the almighty Sziget Festival.
Located on Obuda – a small woodland island in the middle of the Budapest’s Danube River – Sziget takes place from August 8th to 15th this year. The islands banks transform into a hub of colour, creativity and of course, love. Kendrick Lamar, Mumford & Sons and Lana del Rey are already confirmed for 2018, but the musical acts aren’t the only thing to get excited about – here are a few of the other things you just have to do at Sziget.
Top 10 Things to Do at Sziget Festival
1. Get sporty
Burn off the beer calories by heading to the Summer Beach Sports venue where you can shake your tush at zumba, downward dog at yoga, whoop your friend at table tennis or slam dunk in a volleyball match. A quick game or exercise sesh and you’ll be refreshed and ready to return to the top musical acts.
2. Join the circus
Circus group, Cirque du Sziget, are a regular act at the festival wowing Szitezens with their crazy tricks and acrobatics. Lucky onlookers are sometimes invited to take part in the Hungarian group’s act and even when the curtain falls, you’ll still spot fire acrobats hotting things up around the festival grounds.
3. Test your ability
Ultra inclusive and encouraging people to experience what it’s like to live with a disability, Sziget’s Ability Park offers activities like blindfold walking and wheelchair basketball. Although addressing a serious topic, the park is still all about having fun and and is a great way to break up the day. Go on, check it out and learn something about yourself.
4. Listen up at the LGBT Center
Again, all about the inclusivity and spreading the love, Sziget has an LGBT Centre. This is where talks, debates and acts are performed by people from the community and as well as helping ensure that every festival goer feels the freedom to be themselves — totally on board with that — there’s lots to be learned as well.
5. Check out the art installations
Taking a leaf out of Burning Man’s book, Sziget hosts cool and quirky interactive art across the Island of Freedom. You can climb in works like the Tarot Labyrinth, where the route you take is determined by the fate of the tarot, and the Luminarium, where futuristic vibes and psychedelic designs make a relaxing inflatable chill out zone.
6. Do good on the NGO Island
Injecting a bit of goodwill into the Budapest fest and channeling more of those peace and love vibes, the organisers invite different NGOs each year to set up and run some activities on the NGO Island. All of these will either promote peace, a green planet or human rights – another chance to learn about the world!
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7. Don’t shy away from the shops
And here you were thinking you’d completed your festival shopping weeks ago. Turns out Sziget and its WAMP Design Market have other plans. Full of crafty items, eco friendly goods and unusual design pieces, you’ll want to save some of the beer money for a festival splurge. Go glitter, go sequins and go sparkles – it’s totally what festivals are for. You can pick up some great Budapest souvenirs!
8. Watch The Living Statue Championship
Between the 10th and 14th August from 4pm to 8pm, ten living statues showcase their stillness skills. You can check out the crazy designs and judge for yourself just how statue-like they really are. I’m not suggesting you spend long here by the way (doesn’t sound like the most fun in the world) but could be fun to look at?!
9. Set sail
This island party doesn’t have to stay on the sands. Expand your horizons and board the daily 10am boat party for just €24. A city tour with a twist, it’s a great way to tick off seeing top Budapest attractions like the Parliament Building and Fisherman’s Bastion all to a great soundtrack.
10. Get in some beach time
After ticking all of this off the list, it’s time for a rest. Exactly what Sziget Beach is there for. With beautiful views of the city, plenty of cushions and the option to take a quick dip, Sziget Beach will help you regain some of that festival energy. And you can even get a massage for your aching bones.