If there’s one day in the year where Hungary puts on its biggest show, it’s Saint Stephen Day on August 20th, the one and only night where the skies are bombarded with incredible fireworks for all to see! While there’s a heap of activities to get involved in during the day, the jewel in the crown is definitely the fireworks display along the Danube and this year organisers have promised it will be the biggest one yet! Make sure to get the best seat in the house by checking out our list of best spots to witness Hungary’s own 4th of July spectacle!
If you want to stay on the Pest side, the best option is to aim for the lower embankment. You can choose the Jane Haining Embankment, along the Danube between the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge, or you can go to the Antall József Embankment, the section between Parliament and Margaret Bridge. Bring some blankets to sit on, grab a bottle of champagne and get comfy for an amazing show!
Since the fireworks are blasted from ships along the Danube, the city’s bridges are the perfect location to watch the show and luckily for pedestrians Liberty Bridge and Margaret Bridge are usually blocked off from vehicles, allowing revelers a special view over the water. Keep in mind, the bridges get pretty crowded so only choose this option if you don’t mind sharing the experience with many others.
Without a doubt, the best seat in the house is literally on the water. Typical boat cruises can be super expensive and are usually only for the elite, but lucky for you our Saint Stephen’s Fireworks Party Cruise is in full swing! This year, Budapest Boat Party is going to put you right at the heart of the magic, with a front-row seat to watch the projections on castle hill from our prime location in the city centre, and an up-close and exclusive spot to revel at the eye-popping fireworks setting off along the river. To make it even better, your ticket will also include 4 hours of unlimited beer, wine, long drinks and snacks until midnight, and an afterparty to keep you dancing until the morning hours!
Probably the most iconic place where you can watch the St Stephen’s Day fireworks is the Castle District on the Buda side. If you are not in a mood for hiking, try Várkert Bazár, located close to the embankment on the Buda side. This restored neo-Renaissance complex is a great location for the event and has a very unique vibe, so it’s a full experience.
If you are willing to walk a little, check out the Fisherman’s Bastion. It’s such a pretty location up in the Castle District, with a complete view of the entire spectacle where you can take some incredible photos. Because of this, it does get pretty crowded, so try to arrive early and make an evening out of it!
Because of its height and an array of observation spots, Gellért Hill is the most popular firework watching location in the city. Along its windy track you’ll find plenty of chillout places to take in the show and the crowds aren’t as jammed as the more open areas in town. You can try the Garden of Philosophers, the Duna side of the Citadel (probably the busiest), Mansfeld Péter Park or the Tomb of Gül Baba.
If you prefer a little more exclusivity and social butterflying, check out the rooftop bars of Budapest. There are usually different events and parties with cocktails, DJs, music and fireworks – what else do you need? One very important thing: definitely book a table in advance! These events on Saint Stephen’s Day are super popular, so it’s best to get a headstart and ensure your place!