Hungary loves transformations—grandiose, colourful, and flavoured. Every holiday or festival causes streets and squares to change their appearance. Though no other occasion but Christmas transforms the whole of Budapest.
Budapest Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square (November 8 2019–January 1, 2020)
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. The Crafts Market stalls are open from November 8 to December 29, 2019, but food stalls keep their windows open until January 1, 2020.
Christmas Market by Basilica (November 20, 2020–January 1, 2021, TBC)
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.
Festive lights on Cafe Gerbeaud
Each day between December 1st and the 23rd a tiny miracle happens right next to the Christmas Market. The facade of the Cafe Gerbeaud building transforms into a huge Advent calendar—a well-known favourite among European kids. Windows of the building are opened one by one, symbolising the number of days left until Christmas, accompanied by music and light shows.
A cup of mulled wine and try a delicious Christmas doughnut topped with apricot will keep you warm and cheerful. Christmas markets in Budapest also offer a rich entertainment programme with several concerts in the afternoon, even on weekdays. Concerts feature a wide range of music genres from folk, jazz, crossover, and indie to blues, soul, and world music.