A Christmas market by night
A Christmas market by night

Budapest Christmas Market


Budapest is a city of wonders and a great tourist attraction. The city is a perfect destination for people visiting from all around the world. The city of Budapest is known for its many tourist attractions that include great historical landmarks, sites, buildings, and museums. The city is also home to many entertainment centers and shopping hubs that are filled with locals and tourists alike. In addition to these tourist attractions, the city also houses some amazing food places including Michelin star restaurants, cafes, eateries, fining dining and casual places as well as many street food vendors and food courts. This is simply a city where you cannot feel bored even if you wanted to. There are so many fun local traditions and activities to take part in and indulge in all that Budapest can offer.

The Hungarian Parliament, one of the most iconic buildings of Budapest
The Hungarian Parliament, one of the most iconic buildings of Budapest

Christmas in Budapest

Christmas is not just a holiday but a season full of joy in each country of the world. Christmas festivity is widely celebrated and enjoyed across the globe including Budapest. The joys of Christmas are not restricted only to children but adults and people of all races, age, genders alike. Every winter, when the year comes to an end in December, Christmas festivities are brought to life and a special holiday spirit fills the air. It is simply a season of gifts, presents, jingles, snowfall, laughter, and much more.

Christmas in Budapest is nothing less. The city celebrates Christmas like any other place in the world. The seasonal holiday festivity combined with the local Hungarian festivity is somewhat of a unique experience overall and a sight to be seen. The city is lit up with lights, roads blanketed with snow and coffee shops crowded with customers enjoying their warm beverages. Joy and laughter fill up the city and the holiday spirit is higher than ever.

Stage at a Christmas market in Budapest
Stage at a Christmas market in Budapest

One of the best attractions in Budapest during the holiday season of Christmas is the Budapest Christmas Market. This is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime if given the opportunity. The Budapest Christmas Market simply boosts the annual Christmas spirit further.

Budapest is home not just to one but quite a few Christmas markets. Some are smaller and some Christmas Markets in the city of Budapest are bigger, which usually open around mid-November, somewhere after the time of Thanksgiving, and they close at the end of December each year, right before the New Year. Out of all the Christmas markets in Budapest, the two city central Christmas markets are the most popular and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and are the most spectacular and full of holiday joy. In case you are wondering about these pleasant Budapest Christmas Markets, here are some fun details about the local holiday festivity that they bring.

Christmas Fair Vorosmarty Square

This is, indeed, the most popular and extravagant holiday fair in Budapest with a central location on a plaza that is in front of the Gerbeaud Coffee House. The Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square is by far the most beautiful, oldest and internationally acknowledged Budapest Christmas fair and it sits in the heart of the city. It has been a grand part of the Holiday ever since it was first established in 1998. This Budapest Christmas market is located in Vorosmarty Square at District 5 of Budapest. This Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square has often been thought of as the single Christmas market in the city of Budapest because of its grand festivity and the huge crowd that it entertains each year. Obviously, it is not the only Christmas market in the city, and luckily so, however, the Christmas fair on Vörösmarty Square is, in fact, the oldest, richest and by far the most spectacular of all the Budapest Christmas markets in Hungary which is why it is so popular and such a fantastic tourist attraction during the seasonal holiday festivities.

This is, indeed, the best place for you to visit and get many of your Christmas gift shopping done from the Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square, and afterwards head over to the Christmas fair on St Stephen’s Square while holding onto your mulled wine in a festive gift mug. The Christmas fair is right in front of the Basilica and here you can get a chance to see all the lovely and exquisite handmade gifts that the locals of Budapest make in an attempt to keep the old trades and Hungarian traditions alive and passing them on to the next generations. When visiting this Christmas market make sure to buy crafts until Dec 24 on Vorosmarty Square Christmas market as the craft stalls are only open during the Advent period, contrary to St Stephen’s Square at the Basilica Christmas Fair. Around a hundred different stalls are set up around the slender Christmas tree that is decorated with different colored ornaments every year. On the 29th of December the Advent Candle on the man-sized Christmas wreath is lighted, this is followed by angelic choir songs and is a beautiful holiday experience to be a part of. The Budapest Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square is an absolutely amazing and extremely pleasant sensory experience overall. It is full of colors, festive sounds and choirs, and tempting smells.

The popular Christmas market and the fair that it holds make you feel like you have entered an old picture postcard, where everything around you is full of the holiday festivity and laughter along with street foods and choirs singing. The festive market stalls are ready to open in the mid of November and the square turns into an old folk tale from a Christmas storybook. This Budapest Christmas market is brought to life with its dozens of buzzing wooden market stalls, concert stage, thousands of locally handmade gifts, mulled wine, the lovely smell of cinnamon pastries, sausages, grilled vegetables, street snacks like Langos, dodolle (potato dumplings), etc. The lights of the Christmas market are not the typical commercial mall lights nor are there any exaggerated, hugely sized Santa Clauses around to be seen in the market. Instead, here in Budapest, the Budapest Christmas market décor includes lights and decors that are more toned down, which makes the experience of the Christmas fair of a nostalgic one. The nostalgia of the Budapest Christmas fair is, in fact, both complimented and contrasted by the surrounding buildings on Vorosmarty square and their architecture. It is simply a sight to be seen and adored. So next time you are planning to fly out to Europe for an amazing Christmas experience be sure to plan a trip here to the Budapest Christmas market at Vorosmarty square and enthrall in all the festivity that the locals offer.

Christmas Market by Basilica

The second Budapest Christmas market that is the most popular and one of the main holiday attractions in the city is the Budapest Christmas Market by the Basilica. Here you will find beautiful quality local handicrafts and some special festive Hungarian delicacies like the famous and delicious chimney cake.  This Budapest Christmas market is located at the St Stephen’s Square in District 5 of Budapest. Some of the main and exciting highlights of the Budapest Christmas Market by the Basilica include food stalls, handicraft shops, and the Christmas laser projection on the Basilica which is all very fun and exciting events for tourists and locals to enthrall in during the holiday season of joy and festivity. This Budapest Christmas market on St Stephen’s Square is located right in front of the beautiful St Stephen’s Basilica which is locally known as the Szent István Bazilika.

The Basilica is one of the tallest buildings on the Pest side of Budapest, and it is one of the biggest churches in Hungary. The first ever Advent Fair by the St Stephen’s Basilica was held in 2011 and it was proudly organized by the National Association of Folk Artists in Budapest. The extremely talented members of the Association of Hungarian Folk Artist proudly sell their distinctive and high quality local Hungarian traditional crafts that are rated by a panel of some of the best Hungarian folk artists in town in the wooden market stalls of the Basilica Christmas Market. Once you enter the huge Advent gate, you will find yourself among a hundred local handcrafts stalls and a large skating rink that is set up on St Istvan Square which is locally known as the “Szent István tér”, located in the heart of the city of Budapest. The Basilica Budapest Christmas Market is, in fact, a huge winter festival, which annually takes place in late November and typically ends on New Year’s Day. Similar to the latest years, St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas market of Budapest will remain open throughout the entire month of December.

This Budapest Christmas Market hosts some extremely exciting events including some festive winter dance ensembles; various different school groups from all around the country of Hungary come together at the capital city of Budapest and display authentic Christmas traditions and characteristics of the local area that they live in and come from. Other amazing and thrilling events of the festival include concerts, festive theatrical performances, several charity events, and other programs as well that are staged in the theatre tent. The St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas marked proudly hosts one of the country’s tallest Christmas tree which is about 16 m tall and is erected in the center of the entire festival. In the grand Christmas festival of this Budapest Christmas market, the Goncol Folk Dance Ensemble give extremely entertaining and fun, festive twenty-minute performances as they aim to keep the local traditions alive and show its beauty to each generation. They either improvise a ‘dance-house’ that all the visitors (locals and tourists alike) of the fair may join or surprise the audience by gaudy flash mobs. So make sure next time you are in town at the time of this holiday festivity, you will take part in the traditional dance and enjoy the cultural Hungarian Christmas celebrations to the max by being a part of this local folk dance.

So if you plan to travel and enjoy the Christmas festivities in Budapest then make sure to be a part of this festive merriment. If you want to experience one of the best traditional Christmas joys in Europe then visit Budapest and listen to the amazing concerts in the Basilica which include choirs, Advent Organ concerts, charity concerts, etc. You can even attend the masses, light a candle, and be filled with the warmth of Christmas in the festive streets of Budapest and feel its true holiday spirit.

Other Christmas markets

There are a few other Budapest Christmas markets as well in the city that are simply amazing and full of the holiday joy. If you are in town during the festive time of Christmas make sure to make the most of it and experience the holiday joys of this time of the year in Budapest in the Hungarian way. Be sure to visit as many local Budapest Christmas markets and enthrall in their festivals and all that they offer. As all of the Christmas markets in the city of Budapest are unique and special in their own way, make sure to visit as many of them as you possibly can and enjoy the overall experience that winter city streets of the city of Budapest offer. Out of all the grand and beautiful Budapest Christmas markets, the two mentioned here are the most popular and largest Christmas markets in the city.

So even if you are unable to visit all of the city’s amazing Christmas markets due to some reason, make sure to be a part of these two festivals and make the most of your holiday in the beautiful traditional city that is the proud Hungarian capital, Budapest. These Budapest Christmas markets are known to attract several tourists along with the hundreds of thousands of locals not just from the city of Budapest itself but from all around the country of Hungary that are eager to be a part of the local festivity, fun, and excitement. The best thing here is that both of these Budapest Christmas markets are one of the biggest holiday tourist attractions. They are located very close to each other so you can easily be part of both of these festive events and indulge in as much of the local traditions and Christmas celebrations in a Hungarian style.

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