Are you planning a holiday visit to the capital of Hungary, Budapest and enjoy the Christmas spirit? You are on the right place! Budapest is one of the prettiest European capitals and their Christmas markets are truly amazing. If you are visiting Budapest in December, you should not leave Budapest without visiting at least one of them. I really love Christmas markets, the cute wooden houses, sparkling lights, the smell of mulled wine and the festive spirit. If you love Christmas markets as much as I do and you are ready to explore Budapest in all of its glory, read along to find the best Christmas market locations in Budapest.
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Depending on how much time you are spending in the city, you might be interested in remarkable places to visit in Budapest or the best non-touristy things to do in Budapest. Check out my ultimate Budapest guide for food recommendations, information about public transport and places to visit.
And now let’s get to the point – straight to the Budapest Christmas Markets. You can find many Christmas markets in Budapest. The most famous ones are located in the city centre and they are pretty close to each other, which makes it very easy to walk from one to another.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
18 November 2022 – 01 January 2023
Location – in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica – Szent Istvan tér
The St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas market is one of the most popular in Budapest. A fairy-tale advent fair and festival with tasty food, a wide range of drinks, small ice rink and a 3D Christmas projection on the facade of the church every evening. The Christmas projection is displayed every half hour and it is totally worth putting on your bucket list, because it is a masterpiece. It is the largest in Central Europe! The small ice rink is a great fun for all ages.
You can also go up to the Basilica panorama viewpoint and get a special view of the Christmas market and also the rest of Budapest. Basilica is located right in the centre of Budapest, so there are many cafés and restaurants in the area.
Without a doubt, it is the most atmospheric Advent event in Budapest. With fine food and drinks you will also enjoy in wide selection of handmade products.
Szent Istvan tér is just a short walk (about 10 minutes) from Vörösmarty square, the location of the main Christmas market. You can easily combine visiting the two markets.
18 November 2022 – 31 December 2022
Location – Vörösmarty Square
How to get there? Metro line M1 stops directly at the Vörösmarty Square. Second option is line M2 ; you get off at the Deak Ferenc tér and walk to the square)
This is the most biggest advent fair in Budapest with a central location on a square in front of the Gerbeaud café, which is one of the best cafés in Budapest. During this period the Vörösmarty square turns into a festive marketplace where you can try the best of Hungarian cuisine and buy some gifts for your beloved ones.
You will find the cute wooden houses and a huge Christmas tree there. There is even bigger food choice than in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica.
The square is the starting point of Vaci utca, main touristy shopping street which leads all the way to the Great Market Hall. Vaci Utca isn’t really worth the hype most of the year, but during Christmas time the street becomes a magical street, full of lights and Christmas decoration.
Vaci Utca – Fashion Street
18 November 2022 – 01 January 2023
Location – Vaci Utca
If you are looking for the Christmas lights, this street is the it-place for you. You will find the best Christmas lights on Vaci street, also known as fashion street. The street is packed with shops and during the festive time is more about the lights than the food and handmade products. It is worth to stroll this street and admire all the lights. It is just where the Vörösmarty Square Christmas market is, so you will be able to find it very easily.
Those are top 3 locations to visit in Budapest during Christmas time, but there are also other locations worth the visit.
One of them is certainly Vajdahunyad Castle, the picturesque castle in the City Park. One of the most popular winter attractions is ice skating. If you are interested in this, you should definitely visit the Vajdahunyad Castle. There is ice skating ring located at the foot of this baroque style castle. If you feel the need to warm yourself up, just head to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath. They are located less than 5 minutes from there.
If you are not that much into Christmas markets, but you still love pretty festive decorations, you can explore Budapest without visiting markets. You will still see the lights everywhere and you can enjoy on your own, without crowds. Fisherman’s Bastion on the Buda side of Budapest is really worth the visit in every season and Christmas time is no different. It is beautifully illuminated and it looks pretty amazing.
Budapest Parliament is the prettiest building in Budapest in my opinion. During this period there is no Christmas market located there. There is a big Christmas tree and nativity scene in front of the Parliament. I suggest you to go there too if you enough time to do so.
The easiest way is to take the M2 metro and hop-off at the Kossuth Lajos tér. The second option is to take the well-known tram number 2 to Jázsai Mari tér. If you prefer to walk, you can also walk there. It is very close to the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Budapest is very walkable city and you will be able to visit all those Christmas markets on foot.
FOOD & DRINKS ON BUDAPEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS
The country’s best food trucks and street food vendors offer delicious food. There is a wide selection of different foods (most of this selection isn’t vegan friendly, but you can also find at least something for yourself). Here is what you can eat – lángos (with vairous toppings), chimney cake/kürtös kalács (the iconic must-try pastry), BBQ meats, sausages, stuffed cabbage, goulash, strudel and some other things too.
You can warm up with mulled wine, tea or hot chocolate. If you don’t mind cold drinks, you can also drink beer, wine and all kinds of spirits, including pálinka (fruit spirit).
I haven’t eaten at the markets, because I am not a huge fan of Hungarian cuisine and because the weather was not on my side and it was raining for two days straight. I have only tried the chimney cake and it was delicious. The food prices on the markets are higher than prices in the restaurants. If you are traveling on a budget, you will probably be interested in eating somewhere else. Luckily, the food choice in Budapest is huge. The price of this chimney cake was 3.000 HUF – it was bigger than average one, but you can also try this Hungarian pastry for 700 HUF once you get away from the markets. The same goes for langos and other food. But there is a festive vibe that has its price.
Have you visited Budapest during the Christmas time already? Have you visited Budapest in any other season? Let me know which Budapest Christmas market is your favourite one and save it for your Budapest visit.
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