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The very essence of art: the Budapest Jewish Cultural Festival

Dohany Street SynagogueBudapestGreater Budapest

If you’re looking for a high-quality cultural event, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Jewish Cultural Festival in Budapest, with its first-rate programmes and enchanting event venues. There’s no way you’ll be disappointed.

We hope the word ‘festival’ doesn’t just conjure up an image of a great crowd moving to music for you – because we know of a festival that is all about culture and art, and it’s the Jewish Cultural Festival, held in Budapest, Hungary’s capital. The event is the largest Jewish cultural event in Budapest, and it provides wonderful programmes, internationally acclaimed artists, and otherworldly, sacred locations for festival-goers looking for a little bit of culture. If you’re in Hungary during the festival, be sure not to miss it.

What can you expect at the Jewish Cultural Festival?

Aristotle believed that “The noblest art appeals to the intellect as well as to the feelings, and this intellectual pleasure is the highest form of joy to which a man can rise.” This is exactly what the Jewish Cultural Festival intends to support: to present high-quality art through the exceptionally rich culture of the Hungarian Jewish people. If you do decide to visit the festival, you’ll have your choice of folk music concerts, classical and popular music concerts, performances of literary works, improvisational skits and even special round-table discussions. You won’t need to decide which programme is the highest quality, because we can tell you right now: they are all top shelf. Just to mention a few of the performers from previous years (by no means a complete list): Singer Adrienn ‘Zséda’ Zsédenyi, composer Ferenc Darvas, pianist Dániel Villányi; Péter Sziámi Müller, the Sabbathsong Klezmer Band, the Malek Andrea Soulistic, and the Budapest Klezmer Band. One thing is for certain: if you’re looking for a programme that is both entertaining and culturally enriching, you will not be disappointed.

Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest

Magical sacred locations

While one of the noble aims of the Jewish Cultural Festival is to offer a glimpse of Jewish culture, another is to present a comprehensive overview of the related historical sites as possible. Accordingly, the event programmes are generally held in places of great significance to the everyday life of the Hungarian Jewish people, such as...


· the Dohány utca Synagogue, which is the second-largest synagogue in the world (and one of Budapest’s most popular tourist attractions to boot);


· the Hegedűs Gyula utca Synagogue, which bears the stylistic marks of eclecticism, Neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau;


· Goldmark Hall, which was known as the citadel of Jewish cultural life during the mid-20th century;


· the Frankel synagogue, which has been a mainstay of cultural and religious life since 1888;


· the Budapest Music Centre (BMC), which aims to present contemporary Hungarian musical treasures in a well-curated manner;


· Bálint House, which opened its doors after the Holocaust as the first cultural centre in Middle and Eastern Europe;


· Wesselényi17, which welcomes visitors interested in any aspect of culture all year round.

Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest

A festival with a great past

The Jewish Cultural Festival is being held for the 23rd time this year, and no wonder: these events are always hugely successful with festival-goers looking for a little culture, which is why it has been held again and again over the years. This art event was first held in 2015, as it was originally created as a successor to the Jewish Summer Festival, which was held in the previous 17 years. This many people can’t all be wrong: visit the Jewish Cultural Festival to see for yourself, and select from the many entertaining and edifying experiences for yourself. You can find the current programmes on this page.

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