The Ultimate Guide to the Hungarian Music Scene – 48 Bands and Musicians You Need to Hear

Hungary is famous for goulash, pálinka and paprika, but not necessarily for their music (besides the world famous Csárdás). That’s a real pity, because there is an abundance of great Hungarian bands and songs worth listening to!


In order to fill this gaping hole, we sat down to compile a “history book” of the Hungarian music scene for you which will give you a great overview of the diversity and variety of the Hungarian band scene. The selection of songs and bands is undoubtedly subjective, but we tried to cover all different kinds of genres, eras and styles. We have to admit that we tried to avoid the common top radio hits, though.


The sequence of the compiled bands is in anti-chronological order (based on the release date of the featured song), so consider this list as a brief backwards journey of the Hungarian music history. What makes this kind of backwards time travel even more interesting is, that you’ll notice how the music often refers to the events of the current era.


We also compiled an exhaustive Youtube-playlist for you which includes even more great Hungarian songs and bands that didn’t make it to the selection below.


And now lay back and enjoy listening and reading about the wide range of the Hungarian sounds of music!





The Latest Bests of the Hungarian Music Scene – The 10s


Platon Karataev



Our pick: Elevator (released 2017)


Because: We saw them recently in Kuplung (great concert!) and this song in particular caught our attention.


Genre: indie-folk


Years active: 2016 – present


Summary: Up and coming Budapest-based indie folk band influenced by Mumford and Sons and The National with a melancholic touch but a bright future.


See more: youtube, facebook, bandcamp




Middlemist Red



Our pick: Illuminair (released 2017)


Because: Really cool video with a bunch of mystic and psychedelic elements. Just as the song. See and hear for yourself!


Genre: psychedelic-rock


Years active: 2012 – present


Summary: Psych-rock band from Budapest inspired by the new wave of psychedelic rock like The Horrors, The Black Angels or Tame Impala, as well as bands from the late 60s, such as The Doors.


See more: youtube, facebook, bandcamp




Mary PopKids



Our pick: Goodbye (released 2015)


Because: A real good-mood song with a genius video filmed from a truly unique perspective.


Genre: pop, soul, funk, electronic


Years active: 2010 – present


Summary:  Mary PopKids are mixing soul, funk and electronic music to an extraordinary feel good pop experience and often wrap their songs in funny and innovative music videos.


See more: youtube, facebook







Our pick: Balance (released 2015)


Because: You need to watch this video of male Mary Poppins doing amazing stuff on Budapest’s main landmarks.


Genre: electronic


Years active: 1994 – present


Summary: Brains will slash your eardrums, but in a good way! If you can, see them live at least once; their concerts are a dynamic spectacle full of energy.


See more: youtube, facebook




Kelemen Kabátban



Our pick: Maradjatok Gyerekek feat. Eckü (released 2014)


Because: It’s an amazing song about unconcern and staying forever young. Preferably at Lake Balaton.


Genre: comedy-trash-hip-hop-country-r&b-electro-pop


Years active: 2013 – present


Summary: By mixing different music genres from hip-hop to country to R&B and electro and combining it with characteristic, ironic, and sometimes trashy lyrics Kelemen Kabátban represents a truly unique style. With the chosen song “Maradjatok Gyerekek” they wrote one of the best Lake Balaton anthems ever. Never gets boring!


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick:  Apuveddmeg (released 2014)


Because: It’s a hilarious song and video about rich kids.


Genre: pop, pop-rock


Years active: 2014 – present


Summary: Allstar-duo Wellhello are a pop-phenomenon in Hungary. Somehow, everyone seems to like them and so you will find people of all ages – think kids and teenagers, adults, grandparents and grandchildren, hipsters and even rockers – dance to their many hits and screaming their lyrics on one of their numerous concerts.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Ivan & The Parazol



Our pick: Take My Hand (released 2012)


Because: It’s one of their big hits and a great introduction to this great band.


Genre: garage rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock


Years active: 2010 – present


Summary:  Indie-garage rock band successfully on the track of Franz Ferdinand, The Hives and The Vines.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




The Carbonfools



Our pick: Birthday feat. Quantum XXL (released 2012)


Because: The refrain will break with all your expectations.


Genre:  electronic, rock, pop


Years active: 2001 – present


Summary: The Carbonfools created their unique sound mixing all kinds of genres such as rock, blues, reggae, dub, disco, folk, darkwave and ethno. According to Magyar Rádió, the Carbonfools were the most popular pop band of the 2000s in Hungary.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Punnany Massif



Our pick: Élvezd (released 2011)


Because: It’s a super uplifting ode to living life to the fullest and not worrying too much.


Genre: hip-hop / rap


Years active: 2003- present


Summary:  Very popular Hungarian hip-hop / rap band spreading an awesome feel-good atmosphere and witty lyrics. With “Élvezd” they wrote something like the unofficial Balaton anthem and caught the youthful Hungarian lifestyle in a 4-minute song.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Akkezdet Phiai



Our pick: Budapestmód (released 2010)


Because: The lyrics are unbeatable and paint a beautiful but really dark and sad picture of Budapest.


Genre:  rap, underground hip hop


Years active: 1997 – present


Summary: Akkezdet Phiai will take you deep into the Hungarian underground music scene and won’t let go of you anymore.


See more: youtube, facebook




Anima Sound System (sometimes just Anima)



Our pick: Tedd a napfényt be a számba (released 2010)


Because: It’s sweet and dark at the same time.


Genre:  electronic


Years active: 1993 – present


Summary: Anima is one of the trailblazers of the Hungarian electronic scene. Their songs are a unique fusion of Eastern-European folk music and modern electro.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage



Next Page – Hungarian Music around the Turn of the Millenium – The 00s



3 replies
  1. Joyce says:

    Could you post the names of the songs in the Muzsikás video? I know the first one is “Nem úgy van most mint volt régen.” And I know the last song, “Betyárnóta.” I would love to know what the 2nd, 3rd and 4th songs are. Thank you!

    • catchbudapest says:

      Hi Joyce,

      the songs in the Muzsikás video are:

      00:00 Nem úgy van most mint volt régen
      04:37 Adjon Isten minden jót
      07:51 Tudod-e édesem
      11:59 Vonat
      15:33 Hulljatok levelek

      Enjoy 🙂

      • Joyce says:

        Thank you! I realized after I posted that the last one wasn’t Betyárnótá. That was another Muzsikás song that I learned at the same time.


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