Being a foreigner in Budapest: English-speaking media, cinemas, theatres, programs

Budapest is the business and cultural hub of Central-Eastern Europe, so it is expected to have a constant flow of foreigners to the city. All international TV channels are available on cable. The Internet is accessible for everyone and not blocked in any way. The international English newspapers are also available in newsstands in the center, and there are some mediums published in Budapest on Budapest and Hungary in English. Some theatres have English-speaking shows, and most of the signs and explanations are displayed in English and German as well especially in the central areas.



Cinemas and theatres

There are more than 30 cinemas around the city and many small local movie clubs. Traditional multiplex cinemas can be found in shopping malls which are located in the central areas, not on the outskirts. These cinemas offer the same experience as you would walk into a multiplex anywhere in the world and most of them usually have English shows with Hungarian subtitles or just the original sound. The Cinema City at MOM Park shopping mall has the largest canvas, and they show most of the blockbuster hits in original sound or with subtitles.

Art cinemas, movie clubs, and one-off movie experiences are also popular. Art cinemas can be found on the high streets in the central areas, and they favor subtitled, or original sound shows but as they are art cinemas, don’t expect blockbuster hits. There are tons of movie clubs as well, and their shows vary a lot. In recent years, independent one-off movie experiences became trendy. There are rooftop cinemas all over the city during the summer, where popular clubs on a top of their terraces show movies.

Theatres are extremely popular among locals, usually focusing on dramas and classic stage performances instead show. Although, English-language theatres are not as many there are some. The Budapest English Theatre opened in 2012. They run one show at a time that can be seen in various venues. Theatres on the roofs are also famous, and they also have one play at a time on different sites. Several theatres have their shows with Hungarian voice and English subtitles as well, check Katona Jozsef Theatre (Katona József Színház), Madach Theatre (Madách Színház) and the National Theatre (Nemzeti Színház). Operas are also can be spotted with English subtitles. There are several festivals in the city: at the Budapest Spring Festival a lot of cultural venues have English performances, check for the local listings.

Media and literature

Hungarians are avid news readers. Street vendors and kiosks in the central areas are selling a few amounts of international magazines and newspapers as well, especially close to embassies and government buildings.

For programs, lifestyle tips in Budapest, surviving the city and to see what’s going on check This site features upcoming shows, programs, tips, and tricks and it is entirely in English. There’s also a printed free program book circulated in pubs and cafés from Funzine.

There are a few magazines printed in Hungary about Hungary in English. These are The Budapest Times, The Budapest Business Journal, and The Daily News Hungary. Some local media sites have an English version as well, check for business news.

Tips on English-speaking media, programs, and shows in Budapest

1. Check for blockbuster movies and see where they play original sound or subtitled films

2. Check to find programs in the city, unfortunately,, it is currently available only in Hungarian

3. Deak Ferenc Square (Deák Ferenc tér) is the hub of the town, it is entirely sure that you can find international newspapers and magazines there

4. All multiplex cinemas show movies in subtitles, but Cinema City MOM Park has the best 2D canvas and the highest variety of subtitled film

5. 3D and IMAX experience is also available in original sound, but there are only a few IMAX theatres in the city, check Arena Plaza for listings



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