The Savoyan terrace in the castle of Buda is probably the most beautiful spot in the whole of Budapest. And now you have another reason for climbing the winding streets to the top of the hill: from 8th until 11th of October the castle hosts the Palinka festival.
Palinka is a traditional Hungarian drink, a sort of fruit brandy; and it is only considered authentic if the alcohol percentage is at least 37.5 %. The most popular are ‘Korte Palinka’ made from pears and ‘Szilva Palinka’ made from plums. However, there is a popular Hungarian saying: if you can make marmalade out of it, you can use it to produce Palinka. A lot of older people, usually in small villages, still brew Palinka in their home, although it is forbidden and involves serious health risks.
During the festival, you can taste several hundred varieties of Palinka, coming from fifteen different distilleries. The festival is actually a Jewish tradition, and there will be a lot of experts present for those who want to find out more about the distillation process and traditions.
There are two stages on the site, Nagyszínpad and Kisszínpad. Concerts should start around 4pm, and the last ones start at 10PM. There will be traditional Jewish folk groups like the Vodku Band, as well as popular Hungarian artists like Zuboly, Empty Pubs, Heaven Street 7 (Who released a new album this year) and Takáts Eszter.
Since it is better not to drink on an empty stomach, be sure to visit the stalls of the sausage makers who will sell their homemade products, like Gyulai and Csabai (usually very spicy, with a lot of paparika). The festival is not for free, but one drink is included in the 7 euro entrance fee as well as a coupon to spend in one of the food stalls.
Ready to drink like real Hungarian men do? If you want to try all flavours and types, we recommend to come back next year instead of ending up in the gutter somewhere. After all, why not rent a nice apartment in Budapest? Cheers! Or like they say in Budapest… Egészségedre!