Ten advises if you come to Budapest for the Christmas markets!

Nothing can compare to the atmosphere in Budapest before Christmas. The city is illuminated with fantastic lights, and the famous Christmas markets are there to be enjoyed.

In this article, we would love to share some ideas and recommendations to you, that we believe will make your visit to Budapest and the Christmas markets even better. Read through the entire article, and we are sure you will get some good ideas, be inspired and maybe learn some things that might come handy during your stay in the Hungarian capital.

Christmas market in Budapest recommendations
Do not miss out on the delicious chimney cake as you visit the Christmas markets in Budapest!

The ideas in this list are ideal for those coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets, but lots of these recommendations are also valid throughout the year. You should, therefore, read through the list no matter when you come, because you will probably learn something anyhow!

Ten tips to those coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets

1) Do not forget to bring warm clothes

This might sound silly, but it is so important. It can get quite cold in Budapest in November and December. The average temperature in this period is around 0 and 5 Celsius, but if the sun comes forth, it will often feel much warmer. But, the most significant enemy when you come to Budapest isn’t the minus degrees, but the wind. It is much better to stay in Budapest on a sunny day with 0 Celsius than a windy day with +5. Bring warm clothes, and some nice and warm shoes should also come along in your suitcase.

Some ladies might forget about warm clothes on purpose, as that will give them an excuse to do some extra shopping. That is fine for them, but those who want to avoid such extra shopping, bring along warm clothes from home.

2) Dare to taste new things

This is one of the most important advises when you come to the Christmas markets in Budapest. At the markets you will find lots of food stands, and they are great. The food is kind of pricy (be prepared), but what they serve you is delicious and will give you a taste of Hungary. When you see a Hungarian sausage (kolbasz), taste it! If you see other stuff you do not even understand what is, taste it! When you smell cinnamon from the chimney cakes, buy one! This is for sure one of the most exciting things about coming to Budapest before Christmas to visit the Christmas markets.

3) Do not forget about the Danube

Even though you come to Budapest to check out the Christmas markets, you should not forget about the beautiful Danube. The river that flows through Budapest is spectacular, and a walk along the Danube in the evening is fantastic. But, even more enjoyable than a walk along the Danube, is a river cruise on the Danube. There are lots of cruises to choose from, but from our point of perspective, the most enjoyable is a river cruise in the evening combined with dinner. You can read more about river cruises on the Danube right here.

Do not forget about a river cruise on the Danube
Do not forget about a river cruise on the Danube – By Luciano Mortula / Shutterstock

4) Find an ATM and get some HUF

You can pay with Euro at almost all stands at the different Christmas markets in Budapest, but you are better off paying with the local currency, Hungarian Forint (HUF). The best way to get the local currency is using the different ATMs located all around Budapest. You can also visit an exchange office, but do not use the ones very close to the Christmas market. Look around and compare the exchange rates at 2-3 places, and pick the one with the best rates.

5) Get to know the city in an efficient way

You come to Budapest to visit the Christmas markets, but if you first visit our beautiful city, make sure to discover the rest of it as well. On a cold winter day you do not want to walk around for hours, so why not discover Budapest in a much more efficient way. What are we speaking about? Why not see Budapest on a private guided tour with one of our guides? We pick you up at your hotel and within 2,5-3 hours you have seen all the most famous spots in Budapest, you have walked at the Gellert Hill, seen the Fishermen’s Bastion from close (and taken some pictures there), you have seen the heroes located at the Heroes Square, and you have will have a guide who can answer (hopefully) all the questions you have about Budapest. Once you are finished with the tour you can continue your shopping at one of the Christmas markets. If you a freezing then our guides would love to give you advises on shopping malls where you can continue your shopping inside!

Discover Budapest on a Guided tour

6) Make your reservations as soon as possible

The period before Christmas (the Christmas market period) is a time with lots of tourists coming to town. As a consequence, you will often visit a restaurant only to discover that it is packed. If you don’t care, then it doesn’t matter, but if you have a particular restaurant in Budapest that you want to visit during this period, then hurry up and make your reservation today. The same goes for river cruises and other activities. Other popular activities in this time that should be booked early are wine dinners and brewery visits.

book your Budapest table
Want to visit a certain restaurant? Book your table today! By Stepanek Photography / Shutterstock

7) Book a hotel near the Christmas markets

If you have come to Budapest to enjoy the Christmas markets, do not book a hotel far away from them. This might be cruel, but do not book a hotel at the Margaret Island (for example). You do not want to spend 30-60 minutes every day just getting from your hotel to the different Christmas markets in the center of Budapest. Book a central hotel in Budapest instead, and spend your time at the Christmas markets instead of spending your time getting to the Christmas markets. Some hotels in Budapest that can be recommended for this purpose are: Mercure City Center, La Prima Fashion Hotel, Eurostars Budapest Center and 7Seasons Apartments.

8) Take care of your valuables

This is an advise we do not really like to give, but we write it down, just to have it on the list. Budapest is a very safe city with few problems. There are some pick-pockets here and there, but they are few, and most people never see them, nor experience them. The best way to stay secure is to use common sense and to protect your valuables.

9) Do not use the taxies waiting next to the Christmas markets

Small problems might destroy a fantastic atmosphere. A cab driver who forces you to pay an unfair fare, a driver who gives you back money in the wrong currency (or the wrong amount of money), or someone treating you in an unfair way, can easily destroy your joy and happiness. For that reason, the taxies standing next to the Christmas markets should be avoided. In fact, most cabs waiting for you on the streets of Budapest should be avoided. If you need a cab, speak to the people in the reception of your hotel, in the restaurant you are at, or use your phone and call a taxi for yourself. You can read more about the problems we have with taxi drivers in Budapest right here.

Another good advice is to let us take care of your airport transfer. You will then have a driver waiting for you in the arrival hall at the airport, and he will take you directly to your hotel for a set price. That is very convenient and will help you get to discover the Christmas markets in Budapest even faster.

10) Make space in your suitcase for what you are going to bring with you home!

Our first advice was to bring warm clothes. That does not mean that you should arrive in Budapest with your suitcase filled up. At the Christmas markets, you will find lots of stuff that you want to buy to bring with you home. You will taste lots of fantastic Hungarian wine, and once you fall in love with the sweet Tokaj wine, you will buy a couple of bottles to bring home. It is essential that you come to Budapest with space in your suitcase because by the time you leave town, it will be full anyway!

11) Do you have any good advice to share with people coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets?

We would love to hear your advises! Do you have a question related to the Christmas markets? Ask your question in the comment field beneath!

Christmas market by St. Stephens Basilica 2017

The dates for the annual Christmas market by the St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest are official. This Christmas market will be arranged for the sixth time in 2017.

The Christmas market at Vörösmarty square will open already on November 10th, but those who want to go shopping at the Christmas market in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica will have to wait two more weeks.

Christmas market by the basilica

From November 24th until January 1st the Christmas market at the beautiful square will stay open, and there will be several programs available daily at the market.

Christmas market by the St. Stephen’s Basilica

November 24th – January 1

More information about the Christmas markets in Budapest can be found here.

How to visit a brewery in Budapest?

Would you like to visit a brewery while in Budapest? Does it sound good with some fresh beer, made on the spot? Here is the information you need.

Budapest is not known especially well for its beer production. When people travel to the Czech Republic, they all go to taste their local beer. When they come to Hungary and Budapest, most people rather think about Tokaj wines and maybe the Hungarian palinka. But, what’s up with Hungarian beer production?

Visit a brewery in Budapest

Beer production in Hungary

Hungary might not be famous for its beer, but that doesn’t mean that the local beer is bad. It might be just as much a question of marketing. After all, the locals not only know how to produce beer, they are also terribly good at drinking it. As a result, you should do your uttermost to taste as much local beer as possible when you come to Budapest. But, where can you taste local beer? Which are the best places to do so? Are there any breweries you can visit?

The most famous breweries in Hungary

  • Dreher – They produce Dreher Classic, Arany Aszok and Kobanyai.
  • Borsodi – They produce all the different Borsodi beers.
  • Soproni – They produce the different Soproni beers and some smaller brands.

The Dreher, Arany Aszok, Soproni and Borsodi are the four most typical beers you will meet in a grocery store in Hungary. Heineken has a brewery in Hungary where they produce Heineken, Steffl, Amstel, Zlaty Bazant and some more beers under license (though these are not original Hungarian beers).

Visiting a brewery in Budapest

To visit a brewery can be a nice Budapest activity on any day of the year. It is a popular activity for stag parties, hen parties, but also for companies and friends who want to taste the local brew. The biggest and most famous brewery within the borders of Budapest is known as Dreher Sörgyár.

Visit the Dreher Sörgyár

The Dreher brewery is the only big brewery in Budapest that it is possible to visit. The trip lasts for about 1,5-2 hours. During the tour you get to learn more about the beer production, visit the beautiful Brew House, walk the Dreher museum, and taste two glasses of beer. The price for this program is 2500 HUF per person from September 1st, 2017. For a trip to be arranged a minimum of 15 participants are required. You can read more about the program, and register for a tour at the following site. The site is by default in Hungarian, but there is a little button where you can press English just where the article starts.

The address of the Dreher brewery is 1106 Budapest, Jászberényi út 7-11.

Drink beer in Hungary

Travel to the Fóti brewery

Just 20km outside Budapest you can find the city of Fót. Here they have a long tradition of brewing beer, and at the Fóti brewery, they produce ale, dark ale, and lager beer. They also have specialties such as ginger-beer, and if you go there, you can also taste the unfiltered beer. The place is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 16.30. You can find the website of the brewery right here.

The address of the brewery is 2151 Fót, Fáy sétány 34.

Visit a micro-brewery

While it can feel kind of complicated to visit the Dreher brewery, it is much easier to visit a smaller brewery. In our Budapest Guide, we have a cooperation with a place name Kaltenberg, one of the few places that got a license to brew beer during Communism in Hungary. They still brew beer in their restaurant, and we offer programs here where you taste four beers brewed on the spot, combined with Hungarian fruit spirits and food. This can be done daily between 12.00 and 22.00, from Monday till Saturday. The only requirement is that there are four participants or more coming with your group. You can read more about our brewery visit in Budapest right here.

The micro-brewery you visit is located not from the Museum of Applied Arts, one block away from the restaurant street Raday utca, and a ten-minute walk from the Grand Market Hall (located in the shopping street Vaci utca).

Visit a ruin-pub

You can taste a nice mixture of famous Hungarian beers and beer from smaller breweries in the different ruin-pubs in Budapest. The most famous pubs are Szimpla Kert, Fogashaz, Instant, and Kuplung. The most famous of these are Szimpla Kert, a place worth visiting no matter if you like beer or not. It is kind of an attraction on the “must-see-in-Budapest” list. These ruin-pubs are all located within the seventh district of Budapest. That makes them easy to visit, and you can without much effort visit 2-3 of them within a few hours if you want to check out several of them.

Are you ready to visit a brewery in Budapest?

We hope this article has helped you out, and maybe you know more about what to do during your stay in Budapest right now. If you have further questions, comments or ideas, just use the comment field beneath.


Christmas markets in Budapest 2016

Autumn is here and the Christmas market is approaching. But, when will the Christmas markets in Budapest open? Here are the dates for the Christmas markets in Budapest in 2016.

There are two big and famous Christmas markets in Budapest. One is located at the Vorosmarty square in the center of Budapest, while the other market is located about 400 metres away from there, in front of the St. Stephens Basilica. Both markets are beautiful and you can taste local Hungarian cuisine, drink real Hungarian hot wine and of course taste sweets and other Hungarian desserts. We almost forgot, but this is of course the best place to buy all sorts of souvenirs and presents as well. But, when will the Christmas markets be arranged in Budapest in 2016?

Christmas fair in Budapest
Christmas fair in Budapest

Budapest Christmas markets in 2016

The dates are not 100% official yet, but based on rumors these are the dates you can expect:

Christmas market at Vorosmarty square: November 11th -January 1st
Christmas market by the Stephens Basilica: not announced yet

We hope you will have a fantastic stay in Budapest before Christmas. You can find more information about the Christmas markets here. If you would like to enjoy a guided tour in Budapest while in town just press the link for more information, or if you would rather drink some local wine check our different winetasting and wine-dinner options.

More places to watch Euro 2016 in Budapest

We have already written an article telling you where to watch Euro 2016 in Budapest, but since then we have even more suggestions for you, so keep on reading!

If you have not read our former article yet then go ahead and read that first. We still believe that the Szabadsag square in the heart of Budapest will be a fantastic place to watch all Euro 2016 matches, but here we want to add two more places that might interest you!

Euro 2016 in Szechenyi
Watch Euro 2016 in the Szechenyi Thermal Bath

  1. Watch Euro 2016 in the pool
    Can you imagine something that would be nicer than to watch Euro 2016 while lying in a hot thermal bath? That will be possible if you visit the Szechenyi thermal bath during Euro 2016 because big screens will be setup inside the thermal bath (inside outside), meaning that you can watch the matches on big screens while enjoying the hot springs. Fantastic!
  2. Watch Euro 2016 at the roof of West End
    One of the most popular shopping malls in Budapest is the WestEnd Citycenter and if you want to watch Euro 2016 on the roof of this mall then you can simply walk towards the top of it and there you will find space for more than 1000 people who can watch the matches together and enjoy tasty drinks as they do so.

Where will you watch Euro 2016 in Budapest? It sounds fantastic with the Szechenyi thermal bath, but WestEnd ain’t that bad either. If you want to watch it on your Windows computer then you can find out how to watch Euro 2016 in Windows all across Hungary and across the world as well, but why watch Euro 2016 on a computer when you can watch it in hot springs in Budapest?

Where to watch Euro 2016 in Budapest?

Are you going to visit Budapest between June 10th and July 10th? Or maybe for a few days, but you just have to watch your favorite team. This is where you can watch Euro 2016 in Budapest!

Let us first assure you that it will be very easy to watch Euro 2016 in Budapest. First of all because Hungarians love football and secondly because Hungary will actually play in Euro 2016. This will be their first time playing in an international tournament like this in over 30 years. But, where you can watch the matches, starting with the Euro 2016 opening matches between France and Romania on June 10th.

watch euro 2016 in budapest

Watch Euro 2016 in Budapest

In general it can be said that you can watch the matches everywhere. During Euro 2016 you can expect almost all restaurants to have big screens available or you can simply visit a cafe and watch the matches on their screens. But, if you want to watch the European Championship matches at a place where you will be together with lots of other football fans, then you should probably want to visit one of the following places:

1) Watch Euro 2016 outdoors

The coolest place to watch Euro 2016 will be at Szabadsag ter, a beautiful square located in between the Hungarian Parliament and the St. Stephens Basilica. Here you will have a fantastic big screen, lots of places where you can buy snacks and drinks and it will be packed with people who love football. We would go here!

2) Watch Euro 2016 indoors

If you want to watch Euro 2016 indoors (maybe it will be to warm outside), then you can of course visit a sports pub in Budapest. Here you will find the name and addresses of some popular sports bars:

– Champs: Dohany Utca 20
– John Bull Pub: Apáczai Csere János u. 17
– Beckkets: Liszt Ferenc tér 11.

3) Watch Euro 2016 in your hotel room

All matches during Euro 2016 will be broadcasted on the Hungarian national TV, meaning that you probably have the channels you need in your hotel room. Look for M4 as you swap between the channels and you should be able to watch the Euro 2016 matches there.

4) Watch Euro 2016 online

If you want to watch the Euro 2016 online while in Budapest, then there are several ways in which you can do that. You can read more about watching Euro 2016 online and also find full schedule and venue information at euro2016.one. To watch it at Hungarian TV online while in Hungary visit mediaklikk.hu.

Now all you have to do is cheer for Hungary!

A new era has started with shops closed on Sundays!

For a long time people in Hungary have enjoyed the liberty to go shopping whatever they want to, also on Sundays. That is why even the Austrians would cross the borders and come to Hungary on Sundays to go shopping, while all shops in Vienna and elsewhere in Austria are closed on Sundays. But, a new era has started in Hungary, because now shops will stay closed on Sundays here as well!

Shops closed on Sundays
Shops closed on Sundays

This sounds terrifying to many, both locals and tourists. In other words, if you plan on visit a shopping mall on Sundays in Budapest you will find mostly everything to be closed, except from some coffee houses and cinemas. The only place you can actually go shopping as of know is in the shopping street of Budapest, where shops are supposed to be allowed to keep open because it is a World Heritage site, and there are some exceptions if the actual owner of the shop actually works in the shop on that day.

The first Sunday where this will actually be taken into action is this upcoming Sunday (March 22nd). If you plan on doing a trip to Szentendre this will probably be causing no problems, because shops there will stay open as in most cases the actual owners actually work in their own shops, and because to keep closed on Sundays would make them loose so much money, most owners will actually do the work themselves, if that is what it takes to be allowed to open their small and cute shops!

So be aware of this when you come to do shopping in Budapest!

Macaron Day in Budapest 2015

Macaron Day in BudapestThe annual Macaron Day will be held again in Budapest in March 2015. This will be the fourth time the Macaron Day will take place in Budapest which is inspired by the Jour du Macaron that takes place in Paris and the Macaron Day which is held in New York.

What is macaron exactly? Macaron is a French sweet meringue based confection which is usually filled with buttercream, jam or ganache and it comes in many variety of colours and flavours. So at the Macaron Day in Budapest visitors will have the chance to try the best macarons and they can even learn how to make the most delicious macarons as well. Apart from this the Macaron Day also hosts various programs for adults and for children including a Macaron Fare, a Macaron Competition and countless other programs, children’s activities and tempting sweets will be also available during this special day. The Macaron Day will be held in Budapest at Akvàrium Klub in the heart of the city and it will take place on the 20th March 2015. The programs starts at 2pm and tickets are already available for the event.

Akvárium Klub
Budapest, Erzsébet tér 2, 1051

For more information on the Macaron Day please visit the official site. For more information on what is going on in Budapest, click the link.

Budapest Spring Fair 2015

The Budapest Spring Festival and Spring Fair or in Hungarian the Budapesti Tavaszi Fesztivál ès Tavaszi Vásár will open its gates again in the capital city of Hungary in Budapest from the middle of April to the end of April in 2015.

Spring Fair Budapest

The Budapest Spring Festival and Spring Fair is one of the most popular as well as the most awaited programs in the life of the city. Each year the festival offers the best programs for the visitors and this will not be any different in 2015 either. This year in 2015 the Budapest Spring Festival and Spring Fair will host more than 140 programs and various concerts during the festival. The majority of the programs and the concerts will take place at different spots in the city including MÜPA (Place of Arts), the recently reopened Pest Vigadó Concert Hall, Liszt Academy and the BÁLNA Cultural Centre as well and the Spring Fair will be held at Vörösmarty Square in the centre of the city. Lets celebrate spring together in 2015 in Budapest at the Budapest Spring Festival and Spring Fair.

This year the Budapest Spring Festival will be held from 10th April 2015 until 26th April 2015 and the Spring Fair will be from 27th March 2015 to 26th April 2015.7

The Spring Fair is quite similar to the Christmas market, except from the fact that it is not arranged during Christmas time, but in the spring!

The most romantic places in Budapest

Budapest is truly one of the most romantic cities in Europe which has the most beautiful and romantic spots and has countless programs for the love couples during a holiday. So in this article we will list some of the nicest place in Budapest.

Halászbástya (Fisherman’s Bastion) which is located on the Castle hill and it is one of the nicest spot in the city which was built in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style. From the Fisherman’s Bastion there is a breathtaking panoramic view over the city, the Danube, the bridges and the Parliament as well.

Fishermens Bastion
Fishermens Bastion

Another charming place in Budapest is the Feneketlen-tó which is located on the Buda side nearby to one of the centres Móricz Zsigmond körtèr. What can be more romantic than walking by the lake where ducks and other animals gather!?

Our other favourite is Füvèszkert which is located in the heart of the city. It is especially recommended for the lovers of flowers and different plants. Apart from the various beautiful plants and flowers Füvèszkert has a nice cafe house and a restaurant which is a perfect place to finish your romantic day.

If you are into baths then you most visit one of the baths Budapest has. Probably one of the most popular one is the Szèchenyi bath which is located on the Pest side in the City Park. The bath has 9 pools of different temperatures and the bath also offers various massages as well.

Apart from these Budapest has thousands of other places, restaurants and hotels for a perfect romantic holiday.