The Consummate Traveler: Festival Fun

BY Michele Goncalves TIMEOctober 10, 2013 PRINT

I am currently in Budapest on a business trip, and despite having been here two years ago, this trip is different and better. Why you may ask? It is better because the timing of my visit coincides with many different events and festivals taking place. This has allowed me to appreciate this enchanting city from a whole different perspective.

For instance, the first weekend of our arrival there happened to be a huge wine festival that was held on the grounds of the former royal palace. Many impressive vendors offering samples attended, making the whole scene very chic and elegant. It also allowed me to learn that Hungary has a fairly large wine region located near the lovely Lake Balaton (about 2 hours away), which I understand is well worth a visit.

As for my second weekend, the town was buzzing with so many different things going on it was hard to decide what to do! There was a chocolate festival in one of the parks on the outskirts of town, a national horse racing event at Hero’s Square, opening night at the opera house, and a huge street fair stretching several miles where pedestrians take over the streets to celebrate “Auto Free” day in the European Union.

My colleague and I walked all across the city to partake in every one of these events. Besides getting incredible exercise, we were also able to explore parts of the city we had never been to before. It was just wonderful. Not to mention, there was a vibe and air of excitement going on in the city that was contagious and added to the joy of the whole experience.

After seeing the dramatic difference festivals can make to a city’s personality and spirit, I am going to make it a point in the future to do a bit of research online to find out about festivals and events before finalizing vacation plans. I would highly recommend you consider doing the same if you have any flexibility in the timing of your trip. It could really make your next adventure even more special.

As always, I wish you all the happiest of travels!

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