Budapest has become a popular winter vacation destination since it offers one of Europe’s top Christmas markets. Although most people only stay 3 or 4 days, there are more than enough activities to keep you busy for a longer stay.
Budapest Christmas Market, which opens in November and remains open through New Year’s Day, is a wintertime highlight.
1. 5 Best Christmas Markets in Budapest
Budapest has several beautiful Christmas markets, most of which are in Pest, the city core. The Christmas market in Budapest, a real institution in Hungary, adds a festive atmosphere to the city’s architecture and creates a magical ambiance on Christmas Eve.
1.1 Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market
The fair in Vörösmarty Tér (Vörösmarty square) is the most well-known and beautiful Christmas market in Budapest. This is situated near the terminus of Budapest’s main shopping strip, Váci Utca, and the end of the yellow metro line that shares the square’s name.
- Traditional Hungarian handicrafts and an abundance of mouthwatering cuisine are available at this Christmas market.
- One feature that makes the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square one of the best in Europe is the abundance of benches and tables.
- If you prefer some easy cuisine, you should try the traditional chimney cake with its delicious cinnamon flavor.
- A large stage has always been present in the square. Daily performances of concerts, folklore shows, and other culturally significant events.
- For the smallest children, the miniature train is fun, and the best part is that it is completely free.
1.2 St. Stephens Basilica Christmas Market
In front of Saint Stephen’s Basilica, there is a brand-new Christmas market in Budapest. You can snap beautiful shots while standing on the basilica’s stairs, and it was originally inaugurated in 2011.
- It offers a fantastic ambiance and lighting. This market is particularly well-known for the stunning lights that you can see as you visit the square at night.
- The area is completely lit up, giving you the impression that you are in the center of a magical scene from a Disney movie or something similar.
- You can also go ice skating here, as the market has a tiny rink.
Worth going to, especially given how close it is to the market at Vörösmarty Square (just 600–700 meters away). In addition to everything else you can see in the square, there are also frequent evening special light shows at the church’s facade that a lot of people will love.
1.3 Erzsébet Square Christmas Market
Erzsébet Square, also called Elizabeth Square, has a lively Christmas market of its own despite being close to the Vorosmarty Square market.
- It is one of Budapest’s best-known event locations, and exciting things frequently occur.
- Several food trucks and outdoor pubs offer a wide selection of delectable street food that comes alive at night.
- In addition, a Ferris wheel on the square provides a breathtaking aerial perspective of Budapest.
1.4 Buda Christmas Market
Budapest’s Buda neighborhood hosts a modest winter market.
- Christmas-themed vendors sell presents, food, and beverages like mulled wine.
- Visitors to this region will find Buda Castle to be an intriguing place to visit.
- The Castle District and the base of Castle Hill along the banks of the Danube frequently host markets and festivals.
- The occasional changes to these events make it worthwhile to visit and explore Buda’s winding streets, which are extremely different from Pest’s open-air neighborhoods.
1.5 Deak ‘Fashion Street’ – Christmas Market
After viewing the Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market, proceed to Deák Ferenc Street, which is only 100 meters away.
- After Váci utca, Deák Ferenc, sometimes known as Fashion Street, is likely the busiest shopping street in Budapest.
- In contrast to Budapest’s other Christmas markets, this one focuses primarily on inside shopping.
- It’s a street lined with opulent shops and boutiques that are tastefully designed.
- There are lights and decorations wherever you turn, including a big Christmas tree installation in front of the Hotel Kempinski Corvinus.
2. Special Food and Drinks at Christmas Markets in Budapest
Any Christmas market’s food is one of its most crucial components! To everyone’s relief, there are plenty of mouthwatering alternatives at Budapest Christmas markets. These foods are a must-try while visiting Budapest Christmas markets.
The lángos is a beloved dish in Hungary. The dough is made with yeast and is fried in oil. It is frequently served with sour cream, cheese, or garlic oil after it has been fried. It has also been exported to several other nations due to its enormous popularity.
Due to this, it is also sold at the Christmas fair in Vienna, Bratislava, and Prague. Even at Swedish festivals, it seems to be a well-liked food item!
2.2 Chimney Cake
Both adults and children favor the Chimney cake (Kürtöskalács). This dough is sweet and contains yeast; it takes the shape of a long spaghetti. After that, it is grilled while being positioned around a tool. Before this procedure, sugar is applied to the outer layer to make it shine and taste even sweeter.
The chimney cake is ultimately covered in chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, or walnuts before being served. It tastes incredibly good. It becomes a tremendous hit wherever it is offered, so don’t be shocked if you see this at the Christmas fair in other parts of Europe.
The love of meat in Hungary extends to the use of the entire pig. The sausages are quite delicious, and if you eat the largest sausages that are given with bread and topping, you won’t feel hungry for the rest of the day.
The hock from a pig This is a really tasty portion of the animal, and Hungarians enjoy using all parts of the animal. Make sure to look around and be open-minded because you can get hen-testicle stews and more at various Christmas markets.
2.4 Hungarian Stew
The Hungarians enjoy cooking with traditional paprika and lots of onions. You will see a stew prepared from cows in every Budapest Christmas market.
It has a delectable flavor and is frequently served with dumplings and occasionally with potatoes. Similar stews (pörkölt) made with chicken and pork are common.
It’s yet another delicious fried dish from Hungary. What is it composed of? A meal called a tócsni is made with potatoes as the base, and the dough is then made with eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. In the end, you have a substance that resembles pancake dough.
You can cheerfully eat this at one of Budapest’s Christmas fairs after it has been fried in oil for a short while.
2.6 Rétes or a Strudel
The strudel may be found all around Austria and Vienna if you vacation there. This is a significant aspect of the regional cuisine, and as you are surely aware, the Austrian and Hungarian kitchens are very similar. It is understandable why the Hungarians believe they invented the Wiener schnitzel.
The rétes may be seen all across Budapest as you explore the various Christmas markets. If you want to stick to tradition, you’ll probably get an apple or cherry strudel. But, if you like a more regional variation, you should choose a strudel that has sweet cottage cheese or poppy seeds.
2.7 Roasted Chestnuts
Roasted chestnuts are one more delectable food to try in Budapest. They are delicious and will somewhat warm you when you eat them.
In November and December, you can get these in the many Budapest’s Christmas markets and occasionally elsewhere in the city.
2.8 Hot Wine, Glühwein or “forralt bor“
The hot wine, also known as glühwein or “forralt bor,” as it is known locally, is undoubtedly the most significant beverage. Cinnamon and other holiday spices are frequently added to this warm wine. Adults adore it because it simultaneously warms their bodies and souls, especially when it’s freezing outdoors.
Whether or not they add spices to the drinks, different vendors have distinct offerings. You can also witness the Budapest Christmas market cup, which is the most traditional cup to use for sipping hot wine.
2.9 Palinka (Fruit Spirit)
If you’re looking for something different to drink, the Hungarians love their palinka (fruit spirit), especially in the chilly months of November and December. In Hungary, there are numerous Palinka varieties to choose from.
While some contain a variety of fruits, most are made of a single fruit (such as apricots or plums). Palinka typically contains between 40% and 45% alcohol, although there are also variations of this well-known beverage with higher alcohol content.
3. What to Buy at Christmas Markets in Budapest?
Certain products are available every year, while others are only available for a short time before fading the next year. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that handicraft goods, or those created by people using their hands, are intended to be found at markets. These are handcrafted goods from throughout Hungary.
1) Handmade sweets with a variety of fillings are available. They are extremely expensive, costing around 1000 HUF per piece. If you’re looking for some delicious and unique candies for Christmas, they can be a perfect choice.
2) It’s customary to consume gingerbread treats throughout the Christmas season, and Hungary is no exception. They come in a variety of colours and shapes and are fully adorned. When you get home, they might make a lovely decoration for the Christmas tree, or you might just eat them and sip some hot wine.
3) At the Christmas markets, you may find a large selection of ceramics in all colours and shapes. The gorgeous items you can use to brighten, cozy up, and decorate your home are displayed above.
4) At one of Budapest’s many Christmas markets, purchase a handmade lamp. These are really well-liked items that frequently feature lovely images of well-known Budapest locations and attractions.
Here are some of the best Christmas markets in Budapest. Hungary’s history and cultural traditions are extensive and varied. To experience these and learn about its past and present, Budapest is a fascinating city.