The Ultimate Guide to Sziget Music Festival

by Alex

Sziget... Europe's hippest music festival!

Sziget Festival was started in 1993 as Diáksziget, meaning Student Island. The festival originally launched as a response to the fall of the USSR and a sense of nostalgia for Woodstock and the “hippie days” of the 1960s and 1970s. 

Today, Sziget is arguably the hottest music festival in Europe.  

Headliners and bands include all the most popular international groups, and there’s definitely something for everyone. Held on Óbudai-sziget, an beautiful island on the Danube, it’s a super fun summer activity to participate in at least once if you can!

For a really neat look-back on the Festival, check out this Crack Magazine photo archive feature.

Sziget is without a doubt a blast, but we wanted to provide you with some tips to keep in mind to make sure you have the best experience. 

Top 10 Tips for the Best Experience at Sziget

  1. Find a good place to camp ASAP if you are going to stay on the island. Scope out the areas you can camp and try to camp in a less transited area. You are going to be exhausted, so putting your tent in a place that is somewhat quiet is essential. We cannot stress this enough! We have also heard really good things about the camping upgrade, if you have the budget for it– it comes with real toilets/showers and security at the entrance for your belongings. Relatedly, you don’t need to camp! There are tons and tons of great places to stay for cheap in Budapest proper, if the idea of sleeping (or trying to) surrounded by 100,000 people feels a bit much. Some people even recommend coming to the island a few days before the festival to scope out the best place to camp.

  2. Pack smart and light. Take as little as you can with you so you don’t have to worry about it, but the weather can vary, so be prepared. Definitely bring a light rain-jacket with you! It’s not a bad idea to take closed-toe/waterproof shoes, as it can get super, super muddy. If you’re camping, bring noise-cancelling headphones or sturdy earplugs.

  3. Plan what shows you want to see and be strategic about your day. It’s best to plan out ahead of time by priority. What shows can you absolutely not miss? Which are you a little less committed to attending? Make sure you add in a few bands you haven’t heard of! 

  4. Don’t miss the non-musical events around the island. There are some really cool art exhibits, cultural tents, and other intriguing attractions. 

  5. Take naps, and pace yourself. You are going to need to build in some time to recuperate if you want to take full advantage of the festival. 

  6. Try out the different cuisine options available as you may be surprised how much you liked a particular dish.  Since there is so much variety of food at Sziget, definitely broaden your horizons! 

  7. Explore Budapest. While you obviously came to a music festival to see the top-tier bands and shows, you will want to go into Budapest at least once to see what the city has to offer. For our Best of Budapest city guide, see here.

  8. Drink lots of water. This may seem like a simple one… but when you are partying non-stop all day and night, you may forget to drink water in favor of alcoholic beverages. With how hot it gets at the festival, water is essential to keep you going.

  9. Spend some time at the beach. Because, why not? 

  10. Be safe and have fun. Sziget is a really special event, but it is important to be safe and stay healthy, so you can ensure that you have the best time!  

Have you been to Sziget? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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