For the second time in history the Chocolate and Sweets festival was arranged in Budapest this year, and this year I finally got the chance to visit the festival. Since this is a family friendly festival I went together with my wife and my 1 ½ year old boy to check it out. A general advice is that the area near the Castle of Buda is not very found of baby cars (strollers); it is a real challenge to push the stroller on all the cobblestone. But, that has nothing to do with the festival, only with the area itself!
- Chocolate festival in Budapest 2012
After buying the entrance ticket of 2000 HUF per person we walked into the Hunyadi courtyard and started our visit to the festival there. I am not sure what I expected before I arrived, but as we entered the festival area I soon got the picture of what the festival was like. The Chocolate and Sweets festival is of course about sweets and chocolate, and here you can get to buy lots of different kinds of chocolate and you can also find stands from local confectioneries where you can buy cakes and Hungarian specialties. Here you could taste and buy the national cake of 2011, the traditional chimney cake was available at two spots inside the area and at some stands you can find different pralines and chocolate bars with different ingredients and special touch to them.
According to the official brochure there were to be some stands in the Lion courtyard, but nothing was there, except from the main entrance to the Budapest History Museum (entrance to the historical museum and the National Gallery is included in the entrance fee). No problem, it was anyway a nightmare to push the stroller around in the area.
On the Savoyan terrace there were lots of other stands and also a stage with live music. There were quite some places where you could take a seat and drink some wine, buy cheese and some food, which felt very nice in between all the sweet stuff.
After walking around at the festival area looking towards the Danube for a while we felt finished, and walked back to where he had entered into the festival area, found the parking lot and our car, and went home…
Chocolate and Sweets Festival judgment
This was the first time I have visited the festival, and I got kind of what I expected. Lots of chocolates, sweets, macarons and some cakes here and there. I guess I should not compare the festival with the Beer festival and the Wine festival, but since I recently visited both places the memories are still strong in my head. This is a family festival where you can bring children and have fun together, which is very good. At the wine and the beer festival it was easy to spend hours, and even return on some other day to keep enjoying the festival. It is not so with the Chocolate and Sweets festival. After some hours at the festival you have kind of been there and done that, and it is hard to eat only sweet stuff for more than 1-2 hours. You get very full, and if you stay even longer at the festival and keep on eating, your stomach might get angry.
The Chocolate and Sweets festival is more the place you come to look around, taste one-two cakes and some chocolate, and then you buy whatever you like and enjoy the chocolate bar, macarons and cake at home. Most of the confectioneries, restaurants and chocolate makers presented are from the Budapest area, making most of the products easily available on a later time. Therefore it is a good place to taste, find a favorite, and then get the name of the place which will supply you with your favorite bites throughout the entire year afterwards.
The Chocolate and Sweets festival is ideal if you look for some special kind of chocolate. Maybe you have diabetes and look for chocolate without any sugar, or you might look for a special praline, spicy chocolate or a cake formed as a Coke… you have it all in the festival area. If you are into sweets and would like a small energy kick, this is the festival to visit. The Chocolate and Sweets festival is not my new favorite festival in Budapest, but I am glad to have visited it, and hope they will keep it going in the future years. Yesterday evening it was crowded with grown ups and children in the area, and there were also quite a lot of tourists around. When speaking to people they generally like the sound of a festival specialized on chocolate and sweets, so I think this is a good project and a festival with a positive function on the cultural life in Budapest and also the rumor of the city among foreigners. Go for it and see you again in 2013!