Hungary loves transformations—grandiose, colorful, and flavored. Every holiday or festival causes streets and squares to change their appearance. Though no other occasion but Christmas transforms the whole of Budapest. A cup of mulled wine and a delicious Christmas doughnut topped with apricot will keep you warm and cheerful, and afternoon concerts will keep you entertained even on weekdays.
Budapest Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square (November 17–January 1, 2024)
Starting from the last days of November several festive markets open their stands for visitors. The biggest one is the Budapest Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square (Vörösmarty tér). It is impossible to miss the aromas of traditional Hungarian food while shopping at Crafts Market stalls.
Festive lights on Cafe Gerbeaud
Besides, each day between December 1st and the 23rd a tiny miracle happens right next to the Vörösmarty Christmas Market. The facade of the Cafe Gerbeaud building transforms into a huge Advent calendar—a well-known favorite among European kids. Windows of the building are opened one by one, symbolizing the number of days left until Christmas, accompanied by music and light shows.
Advent Feast at the Basilica (November 17–January 1, 2024)
Once you grab a mug of mulled wine on Vörösmarty Square, you can walk over to the Christmas market in front of the Basilica on St Stephen’s Square (Szt. István tér). Here you will also find lots of adorable handmade gifts and see how the Hungarians keep the old trades and traditions alive.
Advent Óbudán or Óbuda Christmas Fair (November–December 1–23, 2023)
Lastly, those who'd love to skip crowds, may want to join locals' favorite Óbuda Advent. This Christmas market takes place in Fő Square (Fő tér), Óbuda's central square, which sits 13 miles (21 km) north of the capital. Besides less touristic atmosphere, the fair offers a skating rink, live performances, and a craft market.
For the tickets and latest updates, please check with the official websites (see External Resources below.) Also, take a look at the map suggesting the best accommodations nearby.