First Time Sziget Festival? Tips for Your Road Trip to Budapest

sziget festival
The Sziget festival showcases popular artists every year, like Massive attack, Faithless or the Basement Jaxx, all for a reasonable price. Besides music, there are lots of cultural performances for you to enjoy and chances to meet Europeans from all over the continent.

Keeping your Sziget festival ticket close to your heart

Are you one of the lucky ones holding a Sziget ticket in your hand? Then, you should be celebrating as the festival is in 2014 for the first time ever sold-out. It has been nominated for and winning festival awards, for years. The famous Budapest festival keeps improving itself. For the discerning visitor VIP camping places – with access to a swimming pool and free wifi – are available. Festival-goers can even call each other free at the festival with Festfone. After the festival you may want to join in the official Sziget Detox: an after-party to close this special time in a positive and relaxing way.

Gab your car and make a road trip to Budapest

If you are traveling from the European mainland to Budapest, you only need little preparation time to go by car or camper. Make sure all seats are taken, this approach saves money – because you share your fuel bills – and going by road will ensure that you meet new people along the way. You can also jump out anytime to go sight seeing. Don’t forget to buy vignettes, for passing through Austria and Hungry. You will also need to buy a parking ticket from the festival organization. Be aware that these sell out, even quicker than the Sziget festival tickets themselves!

Park your Limo at McDonald’s

You can also park your car in Budapest city centre, although very much at your own risk. We placed our Limo – ok our car was a little less fancy – at McDonalds and this worked out just fine. Do remember where you put it though. Drop a pin on Google maps or find another creative way to remember before continuing on your way by tram, metro or bus. You may always ask for directions, the Magyars – we would call them Hungarians – speak English well.

Hitchhike if you need adventure

Other travel alternatives are either one of the special festival trains, busses or traveling by plane. This is one of the biggest music festivals in the world, therefore travel options are many. If you are on a student budget or looking for extra adventure, why not try hitchhiking? I’m sure you’ll manage to get to Budapest and you can always make use of public transport to get to the festival ground itself.

Go to Sziget early: aim for day –1 or day zero

Two days before Sziget festival officially starts, you may enjoy the first parties on the island. The Dutch in particular have a tradition of showing up early; so don’t be surprised if the only language you hear is Dutch during the first two nights. Don’t worry though; other Europeans will arrive soon enough! The pre-party nights are less crowed, though certainly not deserted, and therefore an ideal way to ease into the festival mood.

Security dogs are waiting at the gate

By going early you can avoid the long queues that form when the festival opens proper. Cars and backpacks are searched thoroughly though you might just avoid a search if you are very, very early. Cooking gear and alcohol will always be confiscated so the best tip I can give you: don’t even try to take this. Security has been practicing here for years and sniffer dogs are ready at the gate to welcome you.

In the next article, I’ll share with you some Sziget secrets: the best place for your tent or camper and tested methods on how to smuggle alcohol.

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