With its post-socialist charm and impressive architecture, Budapest is beautiful all year long. But if you are looking for a truly magical setting, visit the Hungarian capital in Advent time. From the end of November, countless Christmas markets open up all over the city. Stalls are stuffed with handcrafted goods and mouth-watering treats. The aroma of gingerbread and roasted chestnut wafts through the air. And all you need is just a mug of mulled wine to warm yourself up in the cold. In the below article, we’ve collected the best Budapest Christmas markets.
The biggest, most famous one – Budapest Advent and Christmas fair at Vörösmarty Square
High-quality products and exciting cultural and children’s programs await visitors at Budapest’s oldest Christmas market in Vörösmarty Square. More than 100 selected craftsmen will be selling their handcrafted goods from decorative German-style chalets. There’ll be plenty of chances to taste the Hungarian cuisine as well. Renowned restaurateurs will be standing behind the counters, introducing the gastronomical values and local Christmas traditions. The market hosts thematic gastro-weeks with an appealing array of cuisine: goose, stuffed cabbage and fish, fasting dishes and Hanukkah flavors. Apart from the gastronomical adventures, visitors will be attracted by colorful programs featuring folk music, world music, jazz, street musicians and puppet shows.
When: 8th of November, 2019 – 1st of January, 2020
MON-THURS: 10 AM – 8 PM, FRI-SAT: 10 AM – 9 PM
Where: Vörösmarty Square
The most beautiful one – Christmas fair at the Basilica
With its gigantic Christmas tree and open-air skating ring in front of Budapest’s largest catholic church, the Christmas fair at the Basilica is one of the most beautiful one in Europe. Visitors will be treated to nearly 200 different programs. Stalls selling handmade gifts such as ceramics, glassware, natural cosmetics, design jewelry, fine leather accessories as well as festive food and drinks are bringing the Nordic feel to the heart of Budapest. The colorful, 3D-animated Christmas light play projected on the facade of the Basilica will surely take your breath away. The few-minute screenings begin every half hour, always telling a different story, and are clearly visible from every corner of the square.
When: 22 November, 2019 – 1 January, 2020
MON-THURS: 10 AM – 8 PM, FRI-SAT-SUN: 10 AM – 10 PM
Where: Szent István Square
The most family-friendly one – Winter festival & Christmas fair at City Hall Park
The Winter Festival and Christmas Fair at City Hall Park opens its doors to the public on 29 November this year. Visitors can take a look at Budapest’s largest Advent wreath as well as the special, environment-conscious Christmas tree installations made by school children. The annual tribute to festive fun includes full-day family programs, Christmas-themed concerts, singing, Bible tales, puppet theater performances, and various craft activities. On Advent Sundays at 5 PM, an advent candle will be lit together in a festive ceremony.
When: 29th of November, 2019 – 29th of December, 2019
Where: Városháza Park
The most royal one – Christmas market at the Castle Garden Bazaar
A jewel of Budapest, the 19th century Castle Garden Bazaar gives home to an amazing advent program series on every Advent Sunday from 1 to 22 December. The first Sunday focuses on children, the main topic being fairy tales and the magical time of Christmas. The second one concentrates on climate change and discusses ideas on how we can have an eco-friendly, “Green Christmas”. The third Advent Sunday is about charity. Representatives of UNICEF will be teaching children about the importance of giving. The last Sunday of Advent celebrates the approaching holiday with an extraordinary, festive concert to help make this Christmas unforgettable for children and adults alike. On all four days, programs will be joined by a solemn candle lighting ceremony. Don’t miss the contemporary art fair with jewelry designers, ceramic artists and craftsmen.
When: 1-8-15-22 December, 2019
Where: Várkert Bazár
The most artistic one – Christmas Craft Fair at Gozsdu Court
The Gozsdu Court street market at the very heart of Budapest transforms into a Budapest Christmas market from 5-23 of December. At this cozy, yet very creative event series anyone can find a program to their liking. Surprise your loved ones with unique handmade design gift while munching on Christmas delights and enjoying the colorful programs. Those who visit the fair at Gozsdu court will get a free book from the place’s thousands of volumes, while children will be awaited with suitcases full of toys. To increase the festive mood and bring back old times, every day between 4 PM and 5 PM the mulled wine will cost only 5 HUF (!) at the entrance.
When: 5-23 December, 2019
Where: Gozsdu Udvar
The coziest one – Christmas Market at Jókai Square
Have yourself a merry little Christmas with mulled wine, candlelight and festive music at the Jókai Square Christmas fair near Oktogon. Whether you’re after artwork, cards or handmade toys, you’re sure to find something special for everyone here. It’s also worth to visit the fair if you want to taste the Advent flavors of Hungarian gastronomy as there will be plenty food stalls selling delicious street food as well. The area is also known as the Budapest Broadway and is famous for its theatres and cultural venues, while the nearby Andrássy Avenue is a World Heritage site known for its upscale shops and National Opera House.
When: 29 November, 2019 – 23 December, 2019
Where: Jókai Square
The most hidden one – Christmas Market at Óbuda’s Main Square
Even the Grinch couldn’t steal all the Christmas from Óbuda’s Christmas fair. Visitors will be awaited with concerts, funding raising events, a festive candle lighting ceremony, and plenty of Christmas themed programs for children. In addition to the craft stalls, open-air ovens will attract food enthusiasts with the smell of chimney cake, lángos, strudels and other delicacies. The sight of old buildings together with the Christmas tree, the dozens of twinkle lights, the skating rink and the carousel will make sure everyone gets into a magical mood.
When: 30 November 2019 – 23 December, 2020
Where: Óbuda, Fő Square
Five iconic Budapest streets joined together to provide a different kind of Christmas experience. Instead of getting stressed out at busy shopping malls, they invite you to slow down and join their authentic, peaceful Christmas celebration. The streets include Falk Art & Antique Street (Falk Miksa utca), Bartók Béla Boulevard (Bartók Béla út), Fashion Street (Deák Ferenc utca), KultUnio (the multicultural quarter of 7th district) and Ráday Soho (Ráday utca), Their program, like an Advent calendar, promises something new for every day: daily concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances, literary talks, children’s programs, workshops and Christmas markets offering art & crafts.
Where: 30 November, 2019 – 24 December, 2019
Where: Falk Miksa Street, Deák Ferenc Street, Bartók Béla Rd., Ráday Street