Budapest has been attracting more and more curious visitors not only during summer, but also all year round. The beauty of nature creates wonderful backdrops all around the city and in the countryside. When winter arrives with its fast fallen frosty nights the festive season still gravitates visitors to experience the Christmas markets in BUDAPEST.
At this time of the year many twinkling festive villages popping up in various locations in the city, but two of them stand out from all.
1; Vorosmarty Square
In the heart of the city, at Vorosmarty Square the Christmas market is spectacular and vibrant with its unique charm season with Hungarian folklore and tradition. Jolly food stall owners offer traditional Hungarian dishes and a never-ending drink supply such as schnapps (Palinka), wine-based drinks, flavoured hot teas and punch. In Budapest, you definitely quench your thirst with some hearty alcoholic beverages. Beautiful hand crafted products from jewellery, ceramics, embroidery, tiny music boxes, Christmas decorations, wooden toys to exquisite stationary items ~ all made by Hungarian artisans, so they are tempting one by one. Some of these items not only handmade, but packed with years of history and mastery.
The hustle and bustle of Christmas markets are incredible. A magical 3D video projection appears on the wall of Cafe Gerbeaud every half an hour adding and additional festive vibe to the square.
2; St Stephen’s Basilica
Slightly smaller market compared to the Vorosmarty Square’s Christmas fair with similar selection of food to indulge in and artisan items to search for as gifts. Explore first the Vorosmarty Square, then head to the St Stephen’s Basilica to carry on soaking up the charm of Christmas.
A cute light and sound 3D illuminated show appears on the front facade of St Stephen’s Basilica, that you might want to watch too.
I particularly find the family-friendly atmosphere a nice touch to the Christmas markets in Budapest. They delight young and old. There is also a small ice skating ring for children, which is a thoughtful addition to the Christmas market at the basilica.
You might want to check the ‘3 Must-Try Typical Treats at the Christmas Markets in Budapest’ to get a better picture what you should try in Budapest.
Many travel guides highly recommend the Christmas markets in Budapest for their cheerful spirit thanks to the delicious Hungarian spirits and of course it’s wonderful selection of winter activities. Both markets are like buzzing villages filled with laughter and fun. I am a regular visitor to these Christmas markets and I am fascinated about Budapest itself ~ (I used to live and study there, so I know the city quite well).
What also you could do in Budapest:
1; Spa treatments at Szechenyi Bath and Gellert Bath
Don’t leave without having a spa afternoon in one of the quintessential hot spring baths. Szechenyi Bath is spectacular when winter spreads its angle-white snow carpet over the city, while you relaxing outside in the steaming hot water. It is an experience, not just a spa day!
Well-worth taking some ‘me time’ and enjoy a spa treatment in the Gellert Bath. Me time is good time every now and then not only to the body, but also to the mind and soul.
2; Romantic River Cruise on the Danube
I experienced twice this River Cruise on the Danube and I was never disappointed. On the contrary, I was even more satisfied with the quality and service the second time.
3; Take a trip on the funicular up to the Buda Castle and admire Budapest from the Buda side
4; Ice skating at the City Park
5; Get mesmerised by the beauty of the Hungarian Parliament
The Hungarian Parliament is like a treasure box ~ elaborately detailed not only outside, but also inside.
6; Relax in one of the most impressive historical cafes after exploring the Christmas markets
One of my favourite cafes, that I always recommend to everybody is the New York Cafe. It’s elegant and stylish with an eclectic Italian Renaissance interior.
7; Lunch or dinner in the stunning Gundel Restaurant
I also share with you my favourite restaurant in Budapest. The Gundel Restaurant is the most historic and elegant from all in the city. I recommend to try the Gulyas Soup and Gundel Pancake. (If you have nut allergy you might need to choose something else, as it contains walnuts.)
The paintings on the wall are original from well-known Hungarian masters.
Location: It is right next to the Zoo in the City Park. (at Hero’s Square) 1146 Gundel K. ut 4.
Telefon: +36 1 8898111
Audrey Hepburn said: “Paris is always a good idea.” ~ I would say, Budapest as good as well.
You MUST know before you go:
- Schnapps, called Palinka in Hungarian. It contains at least 37.5% alcohol. ~ Just bear in mind!
- You must try Gulyas Soup and Chimney Cakes. If you wish to visit the Hungarian Parliament you need to book your tickets in advance online.
- The public transport is great within the city ~ take the ‘Kisfoldalatti’ from the Vorosmarty Square to the City Park (Szechenyi Bath, Gundel Resaurant are located there too). The ‘Kisfoldalatti’ is the oldest underground on Europe’s mainland.
- Pack warm clothes – winter can be chilly in Hungary.