2014 is promising to be an exciting year for Hungary. As well as the opening of an important new tourist attraction right at the heart of the capital city, there is a wealth of festivals and events.
The Festival season starts early with February's Buso Carnival, a great reason to visit Mohács in S Hungary. Local residents dressed in scary masks and animal pelts, made a fearful noise to drive the occupying Turkish forces from the town. Today's "Buso" carnival is more a festival to welcome the arrival of spring.
Here are actually many Spring festivals all over the country in March- notable ones for classical music include Sopron, Győr and of course Budapest. If modern music is more your style, there is also plenty of choice. Don't miss the Volt Festival in Sopron (July 2-5), Balaton Sound Festival of electronic music (July 10-13) and of course, the ever-popular Sziget Festival (11-18 August) in Budapest.
Other notable events of the year are the Easter festivities (with much egg-painting and throwing buckets of water at girls,) at Hollókő, The Budapest Grand Prix (July 27) for Sports fans at the end of July and a festival to mark the birthday of Franz Liszt on 22nd October, in Gödöllő.
In Spring 2014, a beautiful area of central Budapest will be reopened in its former glory. The Buda Castle Bazaar, the area from the Buda Castle walls to the Danube waterfront, was built by Miklós Ybl (architect of the State Opera House) in 1875-83. A favourite promenade of Queen Sissi, wife of the Hungarian Emperor, it was damaged in WWII and lapsed thereafter. It will now be brought up to date with renovated parks and buildings and will have new features added: underground parking, a conference hall, and tourist elevator. It will also have bicycle lanes and stops for every manner of public transport.