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Budapest’s Christmas Markets are still one of the Europe’s finest!
From the first Sunday of December, the Christmas season starts in Budapest and different fairs open all around the city. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Pest or Buda, you can easily find yourself lost in a crowded Christmas market, although the biggest ones remain in the city center.
Budapest Christmas Market: Vörösmarty square
The most famous one, which is also one of Europe’s largest, is in Vörösmarty sqare, in the heart of the city, at the end of Váci street, which is also counts as the city’s upper end shopping district. Since its opening in 1998 this counts as the oldest, and one of the most beautiful, and now internationally acclaimed market in Europe. The fair only attracts thousands of tourists each year.
You can find countless stalls and vendors where you can taste not only the traditional Hungarian cuisine but Hungary’s finest wines as well. The must-try Hungarian delicacies include the goulash soup, the Fisherman’s soup (halászlé), roasted pork, paprika-spiced broth, stuffed cabbage served in a bun and also grilled sausages and meat. You shouldn’t miss the mulled wine made from these famous wines: Bikavér (Bull’s Blood), Egri Csillag (Star of Eger) and Tokaji Aszú, also known as the “King of wines”. The other classic drinks are pálinka, a strong fruit brandy or the famous Zwack Unicum, made of more than 40 herbs. Apart from the cuisine and the wine-tasting, both fairs offer quality gifts and greatly selected handcrafts – not only traditional, but with contemporary designs – made by local artists. Bonus: This fair also has a stage as well since it offers free concerts, where various local bands and musicians play every day.
Budapest Christmas Market: St. Stephen’s Basilica market
Still in district V, about 500 meters from Budapest’s main Xmas market lies another one, in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Even though it’s a much smaller fair, it offers many new features and activities while you can still find the same types of vendors and food stalls.
This year the square design got a new feature where they project laser shows onto the facade of the Basilica building. This new 3D projection allows the visitors to view the show from any angle with 3D glasses. The show happens every day, between 4.30 PM to 10 PM in every 30 minutes. The square also features a small ice skating rink in front of the Christmas tree, especially suitable for children. What also great about these fairs is that you can easily reach many other attractions on foot, like the Chain Bridge or the bank of the Danube. Apart from the main ones, there are many other markets worth visiting: Várkert Bazaar or Castle Garden, located in the Castle district (I) where you can find the folk craft fair and also food trucks, concerts, a small ice rink and various programs for children.
Budapest Christmas Market: Városligeti lake (City park)
We also recommend visiting the biggest open-air ice skating rink, which is located on the city park’s lake. Surrounded by the Vajdahunyad castle, the Heroes’ square and many beautiful buildings, the architecture makes the place astonishing every hour of the day. Even though the vendors’ shops close in January, the ice skating rink stays open until late February.
You can visit easily all the Christmas markets in the city, especially if you stay at our hotel in the center of Budapest.