Some cities team up with winter and with the end-of-year festivities better than others. Budapest is definitely on the winning side. You can easily get into the festive spirit by walking the illuminated streets in the city centre. It is pretty hard not to bump into Christmas markets around downtown. In this blog post we give you some useful information about the two bigger ones.
Metropolitan Christmas market at Vorosmarty square
Vorosmarty square is the city’s heart the home of the metropolitan winter and Easter market, its famous confectionery Gerbaud and Szamos is also located here just like the Western terminus of the M1 (aka yellow) subway line.
The square is the gateway to the Danube promenade and also to the sort of tourist trap Vaci utca.
In 2019 after a relandscape and overhaul the statue of namesake poet regained its original sheen, a few new trees been planted and a new lighting installed.
Due to all these changes the well-known Christmas fair got a new layout. On the Western side of the square festive crowds are treated with spicy mulled wine, chimney cake and other festive street food.
Across the square from the food stalls dozens of craftsmen are selling wide range of locally made handicrafts.
As per our experience all vendors accept credit cards and English seems to be spoken by everyone.
What to eat:
- take a roll of chimney cake at Vitez
- flodni at Rachel’s flodni
What to drink
- spicey mulled wine at Nobilis
More information about the metropolitan Christmas market:
- Duration 8th of November – 1st of January
- Sunday – Thursday 10am – 8pm (food stalls till 9pm)
- Friday – Saturday 10am – 9pm (food stalls till 10pm)
Christmas fair at the St. Stephen’s Basilica
On the 23rd of November vendors set up their stands at Szent Istvan square where the centrepiece is a towering illuminated Christmas tree surrounded by an ice-skating rink for kids. During the past years the market grew bigger and bigger occupying the streets framing the basilica and the one leading to the river Danube. At this fair one can browse the wide selection of stalls offering local merchandise such as glass jewelry, ceramics, different kind of honeys, graphics, leather products while munching Hungarian festive delicacies. At this market the added bonus is facade of the Basilica that shines bright under light paintings in every half an hour from 4pm.
What to eat
- updates are coming soon – we didnt have the chance to munch our way through the fair.
What do buy:
- glass jewelry from Giranelli (on the corner of Szent Istvan ter and Sas utca, in front of 0.75 bistro)
- soaps and other beauty products from Tihany Lavender Manufactory
- postcards, posters from Urban Sidewalker, or from Citygraph Gallery (stall nr. 87)
- photographs from Mypix (Stall nr. 52 in close to the ice-skating rink), or from Otto Kaiser Photography (Stall nr. 95, also by the ice-skating rink)
What do drink
- mulled wine at Divino . Divion stalls can be found at multiple stalls at different locations across the market. Go for the one on the corner of Zichy and Nador to avoid crowds
- hot chocolat and punch at the Becherovka stall (on the corner of the Szent Istvan square and Sas utca)
More information about the Advent Fair at the St. Stephen’s Basilica:
- Duration 22nd of November – 1st of January
- Monday – Thursday 11am – 8pm
- Friday – Sunday 10am – 10pm
- if you decide to pay with a credit card make sure to double check the screen of the POS terminals. At some vendors the basic setting is 10% tip.
- there are hardly no parking places at neither of the two main Christmas markets. Take public transit, or use BOLT, or Taxim cabs
You can get further ideas about possible winter activities in Budapest here and here