Enjoying the Palinka and Sausage Festival 2022

Autumn's chilly weather and abundant harvest time result in multiple fall festivals in Budapest. Every October, Buda Castle plays host to one of the most popular ones: the Budapest Sausage and Pálinka Festival. Just a short walk from your vacation rental home, you can easily enjoy all that the festival has to offer.

Don't miss out on this chance to pick up some souvenirs and try iconic Hungarian flavors in one of the most beautifully breathtaking locations in the city!

What is Pálinka, Anyways?

Before we get into festival specifics, we should know what it's all about: pálinka. So what is pálinka? This classic fruit brandy is one of Hungary's most popular exports. Well-made pálinka goes down smoothly with an enjoyable fruity taste, but take care! With an alcohol content of 40%-70%, it sure can pack a punch.

Some popular flavors that the distilleries are sure to offer are:

  • Álma (apple)
  • Körte (pear)
  • Meggyes (sour cherry)
  • Szilva (plum)

Now that we know what pálinka is, the question is: where can you try pálinka? After trying this delicious drink at the festival, it wouldn't be a surprise if you wanted to learn more about it.

Visiting the Budapest Pálinka Experience takes you on a deep dive into the history of the famous drink, as well as lets you "make" it yourself! Of course, you're able to book a pálinka tasting as well so that you can experience it with all of your senses.

About the Sausage and Pálinka Festival

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The Sausage and Pálinka Festival gives you the chance to chase away autumn's chill by filling your belly with one of Hungary's heartiest delicacies. The gastronomical festival has been taking place in Budapest since 2009, and is a resounding hit among locals and internationals alike.

Over the course of the festival, you can sample the wares of over 20 pálinka distillers and artisan sausage makers. Hungarian sausage can be quite heavy, so our suggestion? Make sure you end your visit with a shot of pálinka to settle your stomach and wash it all down.

The dates of the 2022 festival are still TBD, but the festival normally takes place in October. Check the Buda Castle website for updates. Be prepared for live music, traditional Hungarian food, and plenty of reasons to raise your glass of pálinka high!

A Quick Guide to Hungarian Sausage

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Any list worth its salt about classic Hungarian food will include kolbász, or, sausage. This beloved culinary staple can differ by region and is a way to travel Hungary merely by taste. These fat, succulent sausages are stuffed with meat, salt, and a variety of spices. Not sure where to start? For a sausage crash-course, some sausages you should dig your teeth into are:

  • Debrecener: This sausage is easily recognizable by its famous orange hue. It's named after its city of origin, Debrecen. The pork or beef sausage is colored by generous portions of paprika and marjoram, and can be broiled, baked, or fried.
  • Budapesti Téliszalámi: This is recognizable by its white model, known as noble mold. Its name, "Winter Salami", comes from the fact that it used to exclusively be prepared in the colder months. This cylindrically-shaped smoked salami is flavored with white pepper and allspice. The sausage is traditionally prepared from Mangalica pork, a breed of Hungarian pig that's become famous for its succulent taste.
  • Szalonna: Szalonna is like bacon on steroids. An eyeful to look at, it's made from cured and smoked pork fat with an attached rind. After being sautéed and generously seasoned with paprika, it's a popular additive to soups. Or perhaps you'll be lucky enough to try it spit roasted over an open flame. Either way, make room in your stomach for this fatty and robust sausage.
  • Virsli: This might look the most familiar, as this frankfurter-variety sausage resembles a long, skinny hotdog. It doesn't require a bun, however. You'll often see this sausage cut up and served in a vegetable stew, or even at breakfast. But one thing is non-negotiable--don't forget the mustard!

How to Get to the Sausage and Pálinka Festival

Spend any amount of time in Budapest and you'll know that Buda Castle is hard to miss. Perched at the top of Castle Hill on the Buda side, its majestic facade overlooks the city. Once you see it up close and personally, it's hard not to be overcome by the beauty of its courtyards, sculptures, and of course, its unrivaled panoramic view of Budapest.

When you stay with us at BudaHome, we’ll provide you with a special map that’ll walk you through a less touristy neighborhood to get from your vacation rental home to Buda Castle. This map will take you on a self-guided walking tour and highlights places of interest, the best dining options along the route, and showcases some of the best photo opps of the castle.

While Budapest's public transportation is extensive, the charmingly winding roads of Castle Hill are only accessible by bus or walking.

If coming from the Buda side, taking tram #19 or #41 to Clark Ádám square will take you to the picturesque base of Castle Hill. From here you have two options:

  • Take the 15-minute walk up the steep stairs and trail (there are longer paths with a gentler incline)
  • Combine your trip with a piece of history and take the Buda Castle Funicular, which opened in 1870 . A roundtrip ticket costs 3000 HUF (~$7.50).

Other Popular Budapest Festivals

Budapest Wine Festival

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Perhaps the most famous festival to take place in the courtyards of Buda Castle, the Budapest Wine Festival takes place every September. Stroll the courtyards and try wine and champagne from the farthest reaches of Hungary.

Festival of Folk Arts

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The Festival of Folk arts, Hungary's most significant folk art festival, takes place over the weekend of St. Stephen's Day (Hungary's "birthday" on August 20th). The streets and squares of the Buda Castle district are filled with over 800 Hungarian artisans, giving visitors the chance to view and purchase authentic crafts and Hungarian handiwork. Expect folk music and performances as well. The experience is colorful, educational, and not to be missed!

Gourmet Festival

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Foodies look forward to this spring festival all year long. Every year sometime in May, the Gourmet Festival takes over Millenaris Park, bringing local and international delicacies to the heart of the city. Feast your eyes and your stomach on delightful culinary creations while experiencing the gastronomy of Hungary.

Enjoy All The Flavors of Budapest

The Budapest Sausage and Pálinka Festival is your chance to try some exquisite pálinka and explore different, juicy sausage varieties, all while at a castle. Come hungry, wander the stands, and delight in Hungary's best flavors!