SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2020
If you’ve looked much into visiting Budapest this summer, chances are you’ve heard about Hungary’s behemoth of a festival; Sziget. 2016 saw a record breaking attendance of a whopping 496,000 festival goers from all over the planet.
Now with the sheer amount of people camping on Sziget’s “Island of Freedom”, you would imagine getting there to set up camp as early as possible on the opening day would be pretty important in getting a good spot. Think again! Arriving even at 4:30 in the morning on the first day (we tried it) will see you getting in after a long queue, and a sudden realisation that already, thousands of people have taken the good and more importantly, shady spots under the trees. BUT, as luck would have it, the festival offers a 3 day early move in ticket where you can pay an extra 30 euros and set up camp before the festival actually begins! It is more than likely to get very hot on some days during the festival, and trust us when we say 30 euros is well worth the money in return for a shady home for the week. Head to their website to find out more about your 3 day early move in ticket!
Going on a summer eurotrip doesn’t always mean you’re gonna have a working phone with you. Either it was lost to the black hole of the hostel or maybe you just can’t be bothered to pay for data while you’re saving every last penny for beer. Even if you do have data (and some extra battery packs), chances are you’ll phone will die during the first day and not get charged until you’re off the island. That means if you and your friends can’t call or text each other, you need to make meeting points! The festival is held on Óbuda Island, just outside of the city, and its huge. Once you lose your friends you might not seem them until the next day. So set times and places to meet if you and your friends are tragically parted! That tree near the Colosseum stage! Or the circular bar near the Budapest Park stage where you’ll find all those Budapest Party Hostel guys dressed in bright “Let’s Sziget F**ked” shirts. You’ll never be alone at Sziget, but if you want to experience this festival with your friends, take our advice!
Sziget Festival is a completely cashless event. To pay for anything on the island you need to keep your cash card or wristband topped up! Topping up little bits at a time is a good way to ensure that if you happen to loose it, you don’t lose an insane amount of money. That being said, they have an even better system to protect your money in worst case scenarios. Take advantage of registering your cash card or wristband! This will give you a PIN that you can use in case you lose your card, and they can cancel it (if you do it before someone spends all your money) and get the money back! Your card going missing is not completely unlikely, and if you use this service, you might not be broke for the week if your drunk ass drops your card in the toilet.
You can also top up your wristband or card through the Sziget app on your phone! So no waiting in long queues to put money on your account. But make sure to bring a portable charger - it's difficult to find free charging stations.
Day to day life at Sziget often includes finding ways to combat the heat. Budapest is no stranger to days of 35 degrees celcius and higher. Sometimes there’s really nothing you can do about a scorching hot day on the island, but if you do it right, you can give yourself short moments of relief. A favorite of ours is to go and chill out at the Sziget Beach area! Psychedelic in decor and pleasantly reminiscent of childhood picnics at the beach, this area of the island is a popular destination for heat relief. This spot is definitely a hub of relaxation, hosting yoga workshops and live musical performances. The best part - you can swim in the river! Another way you can cool off at the festival, as well as a cheeky way of making new friends, is to buy water guns! Shoot your friends when it's getting hot, and shoot strangers as they walk by. Everyone is very open to fun and games at this festival and you’re more likely to make a new friend than an enemy!
The showers can often be busy at Sziget, and you might not want to wait in line. Best thing to do? Find an empty cocktail bucket, fill it with the cold water at the water station, and poor it on your head. It sounds silly, and you’ll get some weird looks, but there’s nothing quite like the cooling sensation of a bucket of water on your steaming hot body. Give it a try, we promise you’ll like it.
Sziget is a full 7 day, party camping experience. That’s a long ass bender. But if you really want to enjoy all 7 days, and not just the first 3, you’re going to have to learn to pace yourself, otherwise by day 4 you’ll feel like you’ve got the plague and you’ll have no energy to party on! But what are you going to do if not drinking? We know that’s a difficult question of life, but there are things to do on the island that don’t involve getting trashed. Head to the arts and crafts area! Some of you may think that sounds lame, but everyone over there is always having a great time. Whether you’re just chilling on the grass watching on, or building a new chair for your campsite, you’ll feel the friendly harmony this place creates and probably meet some interesting people along the way. The festival is also home to a circus, a medieval carnival with games, and rides and sports areas where you can play beach ball, football and even rock climb! Obviously having a beer while you do this stuff is gonna be fine, we don’t want to tell you “don’t drink til 9pm!”. But pacing yourself and taking advantage of all the island has to offer, will extend your energy and improve your week overall!
Before you get tired of reading this article and decide whether or not you should listen to any of the stuff we have mentioned, (who are these guys anyway right?!) make sure you make time to explore the city you’re partying in. One thing so many people do, is miss actually seeing the beautiful city of Budapest! You have a full week on the island to experience the festival and you shouldn’t miss seeing Hungary’s capital. Now if you really can’t bring yourself away from the party there are a few options! One of them is to jump on the Sziget Boat Party! This way you don’t have to stop the party and you’ll get a panoramic booze cruise down the Danube and into the city.
You can also do pub crawls, walking tours, boat parties, party buses on any free time you have in the city. They are the best way to explore and meet new friends, who are probably also going to the festival.
Sziget Festival is always gonna be the time of your life. But using these tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your week at this amazing festival. If you’re interested in anything we have mentioned here today, or just want to come party with us, send us a message! We are here to party and here to stay. Sziget is just around the corner, are you brave enough to try?