Christmas market Budapest Basilica 12 meters tall christmas tree
A Christmas market at Basilica by night

The best 11 Christmas markets in Budapest in 2023

Which is the best Christmas market in Budapest in 2023? How are the prices? How’s the mood? What experiences can we enrich ourselves with? I will answer everything!

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A lot of people have been asking me, “What’s the best Christmas market in Budapest in 2023?” as we near the end of the year. I decided to start exploring the city without any more delay! Two of the largest Christmas markets in Budapest are located in Vörösmarty Square and St. Stephen’s Basilica, which I shall discuss in great detail. And I won’t forget to include the smaller xmas marketplaces, either!

Christmas market at baslica with christmas gift
Special chrismtas gift from Xmas market

First, let me tell you about the fantastic things I discovered! I’ve gathered a lot of useful information, ideas, tips, and of course, took wonderful pictures. I’ve also taken care of the prices, so you can see the differences.

I’d like to start with a quick comparison: Let’s start with the Christmas market at St. Stephen’s Basilica, which I think is by far the most magical in Budapest. Here, you’re greeted by an Alice in Wonderland atmosphere, where the central element is the 12-meter-tall, light-drenched Christmas tree. Additionally, there’s a free skating rink for the little ones – but note, only up to 14 years old!

At Vörösmarty Square, we also arrive in Wonderland, where the Vörösmarty statue is gloriously encased in a transparent snow globe, and next to it stands a huge Christmas tree. Here, the little ones are awaited by a cute miniature train, which carries them around the market hustle for free.

In terms of payment, only card payments are accepted at Vörösmarty Square, while cash is also accepted at the Basilica. At both places, you can expect artisan exhibitors and traditional Christmas foods and drinks.

The Basilica offers even more programs: evening light projections, afternoon concerts, and even a magical Christmas journey among the programs. It’s no wonder that this market was voted Europe’s best Christmas market in 2019, 2021, and 2022!

Finally, not least importantly, both markets offer donation opportunities: at Vörösmarty Square, you can support the Heim Pál Children’s Hospital, and at the Basilica, the Ecumenical Aid Service.

1. Christmas market at St. Stephen’s Basilica

Cristmas market at St. Stephen’s Basilica

The market itself is spread out in front of the church, with the skating rink adorned by the 12-meter-tall Christmas tree in the center. Along the edges of the skating rink are numerous benches with tables where you can comfortably consume your chosen food and drink. If we look at the church from the front, on the right side, we can find pavilions with vendors, and on the left side, just the toilets.

If you want to take the perfect photo of the market, it’s worth going up to the panoramic lookout of the Basilica. If we go up before dusk, we can take both daytime and evening pictures.

Arrival:

By car, it’s almost an impossible mission as street parking spots are all taken, and even the residents suffer headaches from parking as the market has closed off the parking lot next to the church for the vendors’ cars, making the already difficult parking situation even worse.

If we arrive by taxi, we should tell the driver to go to the St. Stephen’s Square Christmas market. Depending on our exact destination, we can check Sas street, which is in front of the market, or the two sides of the market at Hercegprímás street 6 and Hercegprímás street 10.

The simplest way to get to the market is by public transport or on foot, getting off at Deák Square on the metro or at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky road on the yellow (No. 1) metro line. Once we come to the surface, we just have to find the huge church, which provides a perfect orientation point.

The Basilica Christmas market offers its most beautiful view after dark. The highlight of the market is the huge skating rink with the 12-meter-tall fantastically lit and decorated Christmas tree in the middle. There couldn’t be a more perfect spot for the ultimate Christmas selfie.

Christmas Selfie
Selfie front of the Christmas tree
Selfie front of the Cristmas tree
Selfie at Basilica Christmas market

I would like to highlight the most interesting programs:

The skating rink around the Christmas tree is only for children under 14. Own skates cannot be used; skates can be rented on site.

If you can’t skate, don’t worry, as there are skating lessons available on Saturdays and Sundays between 2:00 and 6:00 PM.

A completely surprising program that can be tried is none other than a virtual journey on a Santa Claus sleigh.

Every evening from 5:30 PM, every half hour, we can admire the light show projected onto the façade of the Basilica. On some days, the light show starts only at 6:00 PM due to numerous concerts and performances.

I have collected the concerts you can expect: Basilica Christmas Market 2023 programs:

• December 20, 2023, Wednesday: 16:30-17:00 Song Factory Budapest concert

• December 21, 2023, Thursday: 16:30-17:00 Pálferis Chamber Choir concert

• December 22, 2023, Friday: 16:30-17:00 Circus-KA concert

• December 23, 2023, Saturday: 15:00-15:30 Portéka Stage – interactive and puppet play for children, 16:30-17:00 Together Gospel Singers concert

• December 28, 2023, Thursday: 16:30-17:00 Tibi and the Otters concert – soul, funk, and folk music program

• December 29, 2023, Friday: 16:30-17:00 Szappanos Janka concert

• December 30, 2023, Saturday: 16:30-17:00 Ossó Balázs concert

• December 31, 2023, Sunday: 15:00-15:30 Some PPL concert – acoustic music, 16:30-17:00 Jeff Joyner concert

Basilica Xmas market food
Food in Christmas Market at Basilica

Foods and Drinks:

At the Christmas market, we can taste traditional Hungarian foods. Unfortunately, the prices are quite high, and mostly, the same foods are available in the vicinity for half the price.

Due to the high prices, a minimum menu has been introduced, consisting of a sausage, mustard, and bread for 1500 HUF. Or we can get a Brassói, depending on the restaurant. Both are filling, the Brassói probably being a more generous portion. Unfortunately, the restaurants don’t really advertise this, and I’ve also heard that it’s only available to Hungarians. In any case, it’s worth asking about, as it’s a perfect solution for satisfying hunger.

Christmas Market food Sausage 1500HUF Menu
1500HUF (4EUR) Menu Sausage
Christmas market food brassoi 1500HUF Menu
1500HUF (4EUR) Menu Brassoi

Foods, and some prices:

Some price table:

Traditional dishes include lángos, with several varieties available to taste. I’ve attached the prices in the pictures.

Basilica christmas market food Langos
Langos
Basilica christmas market food Langos with extras
Langos with extras
Basilica christmas market food make langos
How to made the Langos
Basilica christmas market food Langos price table
Langos With prices

One of my favorites is strudel, which fortunately comes in several flavors

Christmas market strudel
Strudel
Christmas market strudel s prices
Strudel’s prices
Basilica xmas market food strudels, and seets
Strudel and sweets
Strudels
Apple 1800 Huf
Poppy seeds 1800 Huf
Sour cherry 1800 Huf
Sour cherry – chocolate 1800 Huf
Sour cherry – poppy seeds 1800 Huf
Cottage cheese 1800 Huf
Cottage cheese – sour cherry 1800 Huf
Cottage cheese – chocolate 1800 Huf
Cottage cheese – apricot 1800 Huf
Hungarian sweets
Flodni 1900 Huf
Gerbeaud 1800 Huf
Dobos slice 1800 Huf
Lekváros bukta 1400 Huf
Baklava 1300 Huf
Linzer 900 Huf
The Hungarian table staple beigli should not be missed either:
The Hungarian table staple beigli should not be missed either.

For gourmets and those feeling cold, I highly recommend roasted chestnuts, which not only warm the stomach but also the hands:

Christmas food: Rasted Chesnut
Rosted Chesnut

Among the sweets, you can’t miss out on chimney cake, available in various sizes and flavors at several places.

If you’re in Hungary, you should definitely try one of the locals’ favorite and special desserts, the chimney cake. The chimney cake of Budapest is one of the most delicious treats which is available in many flavors -it is definitely a must try!

Xmax market food, Chimney cake
Chimney cake
Xmax market food, Chimney cake prices
Chimney cake prices
Xmax market food, Chimney cake full
Chimney cake prices
Xmax market food, Chimney cake price list
How they keep the chimney cake
Xmax market food, Chimney cake how made it
How to make the chimney cake

My childhood favorite, meringue, and macarons of various flavors can also be tasted.

Christmas foos macaron
Macaron
Christmas foos Habcsok
Habcsok

Among the drinks, mulled wine is of course the most popular, warming not only the body but also the hands. Of course, beer and other alcoholic and soft drinks can also be purchased.

“My favorite is mulled red wine with fruit”

Christmas market drink mulled red wine with fruits
Mulled red wine with fruits at Basilica Xmas

In the small wooden huts, you can buy Hungarian handicraft products. Perhaps the most ingenious vendor sold warm hats and gloves, as it was very cold when I was there, and a strong wind was blowing.

It’s a great help that there is a toilet at this Christmas market (for 400 HUF) next to the Basilica.

St. Stephen’s Basilica christmas market toalet next to the church
Toalet next to the Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica christmas market toalet
Toalet 400HUF
Charity shop at Basilica christams market
Let’s not forget about the needy either, visit the donation shop where we can help poorer children!

General opening hours:

• Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

• Friday-Saturday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

• Sunday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Special opening hours on the following days: Christmas:

• December 24, 2023: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

• December 25-26, 2023: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2023): 11:00 AM – 3:00 AM

New Year’s Day (January 1, 2024): 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Summary of
St. Stephen’s Basilica

Price Range
$$$$
Address
Budapest, Szent István Bazilika, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Magyarország

2. Chistmas Market at Vörösmarty Square

The location is in Budapest at Vörösmarty Square (in front of Gerbued confectionery) and continues on Deák Ferenc Street, also known as Fashion Street. Naturally, since this is also the heart of the city, a Christmas atmosphere prevails in the surrounding streets. Váci Street, Budapest’s most famous and spectacular pedestrian street, welcomes visitors in a Christmas mood and opens right from Vörösmarty Square.

Access:

The simplest way to reach the fair is by public transport, get off at the terminal station of the yellow metro (Vörösmarty Square), and for those coming by metro, emerge at Deák Square.

Parking by car is almost impossible in the area due to the space taken up by the fair’s cars and equipment. It is advisable to try parking in underground garages. I recommend the newly opened József Nádor Square underground garage, which has plenty of space due to its lesser-known status. If arriving by taxi, ask the driver to go to the Vörösmarty Square Christmas fair. Since there are many one-way streets in the area, Erzsébet Square (unmistakable due to the huge Budapest EYE) can also be a perfect

For Children: There is a miniature train that is entirely free to use. The Lion Fountain is decorated with huge gift packages around which the train circles.

Christmas market at Vorosmarty Square with children train
Free train for children
Christmas market at Vorosmarty Square with children train next to the gifts
Small Circle
Christmas market at Vorosmarty Square snow globe
The Christmas fair is themed around Alice in Wonderland, with the Vörösmarty statue encased in a transparent snow globe and a large Christmas tree nearby.

It’s important to note that only electronic payment methods are accepted at the fair, cash is not accepted by vendors.

Christmas market at Vorosmarty Square no cash, only card accepted!
It’s important to note that only electronic payment methods are accepted at the fair, cash is not accepted by vendors!

The Vörösmarty Square christmas fair is similar in size to the basilica christmas fair, but it is not overcrowded. Stalls of artisans selling their crafts are scattered around.

Chiristmas fair at Vörösmarty square at night
Chiristmas fair at Vörösmarty square at night
Chiristmas fair at Vörösmarty square at night next to the underground entry
Chiristmas fair at Vörösmarty square at night, next to undreground stop

At the fair, you can try traditional Hungarian chocolate bonbons. Those craving more sweets can satisfy their desires at the famous Zserbó Confectionery located alongside the Christmas fair. Chimney cake and other traditional sweets are available around the fair.

Bonbonier (chocolate) at Vörösmarty christmas market in Budapest
Bonbonier (chocolate) at Vörösmarty christmas market

You certainly won’t go hungry at the fair; half of it is a huge restaurant offering Hungarian cuisine specialties and traditional dishes. Prices are quite high, but don’t forget the mandatory basic menu, consisting of sausage, mustard, and bread for 1500 Ft.

Basic menu for 1500HUF (4EUR) at Vörösmarty sqare's christmas market
Basic menu for 1500HUF (4EUR) at Vörösmarty sqare’s christmas market

General Opening Hours at Vörösmarty Square:

  • Monday-Thursday: 11:00 – 21:00
  • Friday-Saturday: 11:00 – 22:00
  • Sunday: 11:00 – 21:00

Miniature Train Opening Hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 14:00 – 20:00
  • Saturday-Sunday: 11:00 – 20:00

Special Opening Hours:

  • December 24, 2023: 10:00 – 14:00
  • December 24, 2023, Miniature Train: 12:00 – 18:00
  • December 25-26, 2023: 12:00 – 18:00
  • December 26, 2023, Miniature Train opens at 14:00
  • December 29-30, 2023: 11:00 – 22:00
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2023): 11:00 – 03:00 (morning)

Summary of
Location name

Price Range
$$$$
Address
Budapest, Budapest Hercegprímás utca 21, III. emelet, 1051 Magyarország

3. Christmas Fair at Erzsébet Square

Christmas fair at Elisabeth square
Christmas fair at Elisabeth square

This fair was not yet operational at the time of writing the article, but every year vendors set up here too, creating a Christmas atmosphere highlighted by the Budapest EYE. This fair connects the two biggest Christmas fairs in Budapest, the Basilica and Vörösmarty Square fairs, giving the impression that the entire downtown is one big Christmas market. As every year, chimney cake dominates this fair, along with many local vendors.

Summary of
Location name

Price Range
$$$$
Address
Budapest, Budapest, Budapest, Budapest Erzsébet tér Mélygarázs, 1051 Magyarország

4. Christmas Fair In Gozsdu Court

This fair was not accessible at the time of writing, so no recent photos are available. It has a unique atmosphere, located in a narrow alley between buildings, mostly offering products from local vendors. However, no food or drinks are available for purchase here, as this fair is in the famous Gozsdu courtyard, known for its restaurants. Likely, the fair will be open from December 6 to 24, and it’s easily accessible on foot from Deák Square.

Summary of
Location name

Price Range
$$$
Address
Budapest, Király u. 9, 1075 Magyarország

5. Allee shoping center

Allee Christmas market
Alle Advent

In December, Christmas fairs will be available in the Allee shopping center on the Buda side of Budapest, featuring local vendors and artisans.

Summary of
Allee Shoping center

Price Range
$$$
Web Address
Address
1117 Budapest, Október huszonharmadika u. 8–10.

6.WestEnd City Center

Christmas in Westend City Center
Westend City Center Christmas

Budapest’s largest shopping center on the Pest side, even has an ice rink on its roof. It is easily accessible by the blue metro, with the stop at Nyugati Square.

The ice rink on the roof is open from November 17 to December 31

Summary of
Westend City Center

Opening hours
Every Day
Price Range
$$$
Web Address
Address
Budapest, Westend, Vu00e1ci u00fat, Magyarorszu00e1g

7. Corvin Plaza

Exterior shot of the Corvin Plaza shopping mall in Budapest
Exterior shot of the Corvin Plaza shopping mall in Budapest

Corvin Plaza also turns into a Christmas fair every year, easily accessible by the blue metro or the famous tram lines 4 and 6.

Summary of
Corvin Plaza

Opening hours
0-24h Open
Price Range
$$$
Web Address

8. Várkert Bazaar in Buda side

Varkert Bazaar in Buda side Front of the Castle
Várkert Bazaar

Várkert Bazaar, directly in front of the castle, strengthens the Buda side’s Christmas fairs, an excellent program when combined with a castle visit. This fair is typically open only on Sundays.

Summary of
Várkert Bazaar

Price Range
$$$
Address
Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér 2-6, 1013 Magyarország

9. Óbuda Christams market

Obuda Christmas Market
Óbuda Cristmas market

Óbuda Christmas fair on the main square is perhaps one of the largest fairs on the Buda side, known for its fantastic decorations and Christmas atmosphere. Although it is quite far from the center of Budapest, it is not impossible to reach.

Obuda advent fair will be open: 2023.12.01-2023.12.23.


From Friday to Sunday, we can get into the holiday spirit with world music and light music concerts reminiscent of Christmas. Sports enthusiasts can once again ice skate for free at two locations in the district this year. It’s great fun to glide on the ice in the light-filled Main Square and the Békásmegyer Market Community Square! And speaking of ice: on December 3rd, the Ice Skating Santa will visit the Main Square again, and on December 7th and 9th, there will be a retro ice disco with DJ Bebé! For the first time this year, there will be a Christmas House on the Main Square. In the cheerful red house, next to the fireplace, children can meet Santa and also have the opportunity to make their own Christmas decorations. A romantic Christmas photo? No problem! Fantastic photos can be taken at the selfie point on the Main Square, in the glittering, shining sleigh pulled by reindeer. Last year, the Main Square Christmas market was judged one of the best in Budapest! This year will be no different!

Ice rinks at the main square and the békásmegyer market community square

When are they open?

During Advent and January, free ice rinks await ice skating enthusiasts in Óbuda at two locations. From Monday to Thursday at both locations: 08:00 – 20:00, from Friday to Sunday at the Main Square 08:00 – 22:00, and at the Békásmegyer Market Community Square 08:00 — 20:00 for those who wish to skate!

Where?

At the Main Square and the Békásmegyer Market Community Square

Is there an opportunity to change clothes?

Yes!

There will be a 4×15 meter dressing cabin on the Main Square, and a 6×3 meter dressing tent in Békásmegyer.

Can you rent skates?

Yes!

Skate rental will be available at both locations:

Sizes up to 35 for 1000 Ft/pair Sizes above 35 for 1500 Ft/pair Discounted rental for district schoolchildren and preschoolers (organized in groups of more than 3 during school hours (8:00-16:00 on weekdays)): 500 Ft/pair Skate sharpening: 1500 Ft/pair – only at the Main Square!

Is there an entrance fee?

No! The use of both the Main Square rink and the rink at the Békásmegyer market is free.

Summary of
Advent Obuda

Price Range
$$$
Web Address
Address
Budapest, 3 kerület, Fő tér, 1033 Magyarország

10. Klauzál Square Market (Green market)

Klauzal Fair
Klauzal Square fair

Mostly, every district in Budapest hosts these occasional Christmas fairs, usually open on weekends. These are characterized by local residents selling their goods, with food and drink prices typically a fraction of those at the large Christmas markets. Klauzál Square Market.

The Green Market Christmas Fair is open for 4 weekends from November 25: here you can find everything you need to prepare for Christmas.

Summary of
Green Market

Price Range
$$
Address
Budapest, Klauzál tér, Magyarország

11. Bálna christmas Fair

A larger seasonal market is located in the Bálna building, usually with an ice rink. Fővám Square Market is directly next to the Great Market at Fővám Square, worth a visit if you are in the area.

WHALE ICE TERRACE OPENING:
December 28/29/30 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m
December 31 / from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m
January 1. CLOSED
From 2 JANUARY 10 a.m. to 10 p.m

Summary of
Bálna

Price Range
$
Social Media
Address
Budapest, Bálna Terasz, Fővám tér, Magyarország

11+1 Városligeti Christmas fair

The most popular ice rink in Budapest

City Park The Városligeti Christmas fair is located right next to Heroes’ Square, where Budapest’s largest and most popular ice rink is also found, offering not just winter recreation but also an evening filled with Christmas atmosphere. The easiest way to get there is by the yellow metro, getting off at the Heroes’ Square stop.

Summary of
Városliget

Price Range
$$
Address
Budapest, Kós Károly stny. 1, 1146 Magyarország

Budapest Christmas markets are fun for all ages. The lights, music, fragrances, handcrafted crafts, and traditional Hungarian meals and beverages create a unique atmosphere. Budapest’s Christmas markets are exciting for families, couples, and friends. Take in Budapest’s holiday-decorated streets and parks for a spectacular experience. Cities become bustling yet cozy during celebrations. Discover the Christmas enchantment in Budapest, Hungary’s capital, and experience the city’s unique Christmas atmosphere.

More interesting and useful tips

If you’re looking for a pleasant stroll around the famous Heroes Square, you should first read our article on the subject to truly appreciate this endlessly beautiful architectural masterpiece.

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