Buda Castle Wine Festival (2023)

Buda Castle hosts a captivating event every September that brings together wine enthusiasts, culture and local gastronomy: the Buda Castle Wine Festival. Also known as the Budapest Wine Festival, this annual extravaganza is held within the majestic walls of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It celebrates Hungary's rich winemaking heritage, offering visitors a unique way to immerse themselves in one of the country's oldest traditions.

Let’s dive into Budapest’s wine culture at the Buda Castle Wine Festival, an unmissable destination event for wine lovers when staying at a BudaHome Apartment.

The 32nd Budapest Wine Festival (2023)

Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
  • Dates: Sep 7, 2023 - Sep 10, 2023
  • Tickets: Prices start at 5800 HUF
  • Website: aborfesztival.hu/en

This year’s festival will feature four days of wine tasting from different cellars throughout Hungary and guests of honor representing Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, and other nations. It’s a great way to experience the local wine culture and the beauty and history of the Castle District.

The concert schedule will be released online closer to September and, as in years past, there will be a food hall with traditional Hungarian foods like sausage, goulash soup, and chimney cakes. If you want to soak in even more Hungarian culture during the festival, you should visit the National Gallery, conveniently located in the middle of the festival area.

The World of Hungarian Wine

At the heart of the Buda Castle Wine Festival lies an extensive selection of Hungarian wines, showcasing the country's winemaking traditions and diverse varietals. The pride of the region, Tokaji Aszú, should be on your must-try list.

From the crisp whites of Tokaj to the rich reds of Eger and Villány, visitors can sample a wide range of wines from renowned Hungarian wineries. Knowledgeable sommeliers and winemakers are on hand to share their expertise, guiding guests through tastings and providing fascinating insights into the characteristics of each wine.

Not only that, but there are concerts across two stages, cultural programs, and exhibitors ready to show you a true taste of Hungary! Of course, if you just enjoy sipping excellent wine in a beautiful locale, there is no better place!

A Crash Course in Hungarian Wine

Hungary is home to numerous indigenous grape varieties not widely grown elsewhere. These unique varietals, such as Furmint, Kadarka, and Kékfrankos, showcase Hungary's winemaking heritage and offer a sense of place and authenticity. It's no wonder that Hungarian wines have garnered numerous accolades at international wine competitions (including the Best European Wine Producer 2022!), attracting attention from wine enthusiasts, critics, and sommeliers worldwide.

Although French, Italian, and Spanish wines are renowned on the European stage, Hungary boasts an impressive variety of wine regions, each with unique characteristics and grape varietals. Below are the most prominent wine regions.


Photo Credit: Botond Horvath

Nestled in northeastern Hungary, Tokaj-Hegyalja is renowned for its luscious sweet wines, particularly the world-famous Tokaji Aszú. Its volcanic soil and microclimate are conducive to noble rot (botrytis) and contribute to producing exceptional dessert wines.


Photo Credit: Menno van der Haven

Located in the north of Hungary, the Eger wine region is famous for its full-bodied red wines, with the robust Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood) being a flagship wine. Eger's unique terroir, featuring limestone hills and cooler temperatures, lends distinctive characteristics to its wines.

A popular Eger activity is to spend the day sampling wines at the Szépasszonyvölgy (the Valley of Beautiful Women), a curved street packed with both mom-and-pop and high-end wine cellars.


Photo Credit: Adelaides

Situated in southern Hungary, Villány is known for producing premium red wines, including Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and the indigenous Portugieser. Its mild climate, rich soil, and favorable sun exposure make Villány a haven for red wine enthusiasts. Those who enjoy vineyard vacations flock to the renowned Gere Crocus or Bock Ermitage wine estates.


Photo Credit: StockLite

The smallest wine region in Hungary, Somló is a volcanic hill dotted with vineyards. It is acclaimed for its white wines, particularly the crisp and mineral-driven Juhfark grape variety. Somló's distinct terroir and steep slopes contribute to the unique character of its wines.

Exploring the Festival and Castle District

The Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, provides an enchanting backdrop for this illustrious festival. Perched atop Castle Hill, it offers panoramic views of the Danube River and the city of Budapest.

Steeped in history and architectural grandeur, the castle transports visitors to a bygone era as they immerse themselves in a celebration of wine and culture as they stroll through the immaculately restored courtyards. The castle houses the renowned National Gallery, and just a brief walk will deliver you to the equally jaw-dropping Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church.

While the main star of the four-day festival is undoubtedly wine, local food vendors also offer traditional Hungarian foods such as lángos (fried dough) or kürtöskalács (chimney cakes). These mouthwatering treats serve as the perfect accompaniment to the wine, further enhancing the sensory experience and showcasing Hungary's rich gastronomic heritage.

Tips for Enjoying the Festival

To make the most of your experience at the Buda Castle Wine Festival, consider the following tips:

  • Plan your visit: Check the festival's official website for the concert schedule and culinary events.
  • Purchase tickets in advance: To avoid long queues, purchasing tickets online in advance is advisable.
  • Pace yourself: With numerous wineries to explore, take your time to fully appreciate the offerings and avoid rushing. Be sure to stay hydrated between tastings!
  • Engage with experts: Don't hesitate to interact with winemakers, sommeliers, and food vendors to gain insights and recommendations.

Wine Bars in Budapest

Photo Credit: Oliver Huitson

Unable to make the Buda Castle Wine Festival but would still like to explore Hungarian wine? Budapest is full of cozy wine bars.


At the foot of Gellért Hill, you’ll find Palack, the perfect place to dip into for a glass of wine on your way to or from your accommodation. The bar boasts a cozy atmosphere with low lighting and comfortable seating, making it a great place to relax and enjoy quality vino.

Feel free to come with an empty stomach, as you can order from their Mediterranean-inspired tapas menu--or at the very least get the brownie with Bailey's-infused mousse!


Beloved by expats (the bar was founded by three friends from the US, UK, and Australia), Bortodoor is where people can appreciate and learn about wine without feeling intimidated.

Fueled by the desire to make wine accessible, the friendly staff are eager to give helpful recommendations, no matter your level of wine knowledge. For the extra curious, consider joining their blind wine-tasting event, Wine Mafia, every Wednesday at 8 PM. No previous wine experience or expertise is required. They also run wine tours to the nearby town of Etyek.


With its rustic exposed brick and classy upcycled decoration, Doblo remains a chic place to enjoy wine right in the heart of Budapest's downtown. Nestled firmly in the party district, you can pop into Doblo for wine once you're tired of exploring Budapest's classic ruin bars.

Other Budapest Wine Festivals

Photo Credit: Melinda Nagy

Depending on when you visit Budapest, you might coincide with other wine festivals.

Lovers of bubbles will appreciate the Wine and Champagne Festival which takes place every May in Liberty Park. Sample Hungarian peszgő and enjoy the vast array of food trucks, all just a stone's throw from Parliament!

Perfect for lovers of the pink drink, the Rosalia Wine Picnic takes place every June in City Park (Városliget) and is dedicated to all things rosé.

The Vingardium Wine Festival takes place every June on the outskirts of Budapest at the far-spreading Elizabeth Park. It's the perfect opportunity to mingle with locals as you sip your wine.

Explore the Winemaking Traditions of Hungary

Whether you are a wine lover or a traveler seeking to discover Hungary's rich heritage, the Buda Castle Wine Festival promises a chance to be a part of the growing recognition that Hungarian wines are receiving on the world stage.

Are you ready to line up your centrally located accommodations for the wine festival? BudaHomes Apartments is ready to host you!