Take one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. Add more than a thousand of cool urban cars and sprinkle with more party people than you thought imaginable. The result is not the opening night of an Ibizan nightclub, but one of the most special gatherings of car fans on the planet: smart times, coming to Budapest next weekend.

smart times is the annual gathering for owners and fans of smart cars. But don’t confuse it with an ordinary car show: As hard as you look, you won’t find any serious men in leather jackets talking about the size of their engines or why their exhaust pipe is not only better, but morally superior, to yours. smart times is different.

This year’s event, the 15th of its kind, takes place in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, on August 28-29 – and promises to be very special. The main exhibition happens on Hősök tere (“Heroes Square”) in central Budapest. It’s here that smart fans will gather to check out the most amazing array of smart cars on the planet, get their own vehicles tuned, and even take part in a giant organized dance event (for weeks, fans have been practicing their moves).

smart times 2014 in Cascais
In 2014, over 2,300 smart fans from 31 countries gathered on the beach in Portugal to celebrate the largest international smart event worldwide.

smart times parade, contest, and expert talks

For those up for expert insights, smart engineer Markus Riedel will be hosting a Q&A session while smart designer Kai Sieber talks about the development of the new smart 453 and its new features. Afterwards, they might join in with the dancing, too.

The fun isn’t just happening on Hősök tere only. Both centrally located for all of Europe and beautiful in itself, Budapest will play a huge role in smart times 15. From August 26 (i.e. two days before the event starts), there’ll be excursions to Lake Balaton, a drive around the castle, and, on the last day, the legendary smart times parade.

Leading from Hungaroring to the city center, it sees the world’s largest gathering of smart tour the city. Still, this is just foreplay for the smart times contest where everybody can vote for the greatest smart participating in the event.

smart parade at smart times 2014
Last year’s smart times parade in Cascais.

Budapest: Great destination for spa, shopping and food

Away from smart times, Budapest has plenty to offer. For smart drivers who want to get seriously clean and intensely relaxed, the Széchenyi spa is only seven minutes’ walk from the Heroes square. If you like to shop, the Várkert Bazár on the castle grounds will give your credit card a run for its money, while foodies can feast on Hungarian cuisine at the likes of the Klauzal Cafe, the Chef Café, and Kiskakukk Etterem. If you leave Hungary, er, hungry, then you haven’t been doing it right.

smart times crystallizes what smart is all about: cool cars completely at ease in a beautiful city with the onus on fun, movement, and communication. The 2.380 participants from 31 nations that made last year’s event in Cascais, Portugal, such a blast, just can’t be wrong. We’ll see you in Budapest.

For more information and registration, check out the smart times website.

All images, incl. the header image: Daimler AG