Lumina Christmas Park

Lumina Park is a fantastic place to be in Budapest. It first opened in October 2022 and remained open until March 2023. Since you see constructions with beautiful light decorations the concept only works during the winter months, meaning that it is only available in this period of the year. Due to the success, Lumina Park recently announced that it will return in the coming year(s). But, they will also come with even more, because as of 2023/24, a new addition is the Lumina Christmas Park.

Lumina Christmas Park will remind visitors of the original Lumina Park, only that the focus will be on Christmas and on bringing the Christmas atmosphere to the visitors. While Lumina Park is at Margaret Island in the Palatinus Bath, Lumina Christmas Park is in Romaifürdő, a little bit further outside the city center of Budapest (in the direction towards Szentendre).

In Lumina Christmas Park there will be a postal office, a Christmas village, an ice world, the Aurora Borealis (northern light), Christmas tree forests, Santa Clauses, and everything needed for people of all ages to have a good time.

Lumina Christmas Park 2023/24

Dates: November 15, 2023 – January 15, 2024
Location: Romaifürdő

How can I get to Lumina Christmas Park?

It isn’t very complicated. The easiest way is to travel by metro to Göncz Árpád Városközpont (blue metro) and then to travel by bus number 34 from there until the stop Rómaifürdő. The same method can be used to travel back to the city center of Budapest after you have visited the Christmas park.

How much does it cost to visit Lumina Christmas Park?

We don’t know yet, but it is expected to be a little bit cheaper than the normal Lumina Park. Until we get the exact information, our guess is that the entrance fee will be between 3000-4000 HUF per person.

Will there be a Christmas market in the Christmas Park?

Lumina Christmas Park is not a place for shopping. There will be some stalls where you can buy something to eat and drink, but it is not meant to be a Christmas market. If you want to do Christmas shopping or enjoy hot wine and all the things you can expect at a Christmas market, read about the traditional Christmas markets in Budapest instead.

Do you want to read more about other programs and activities in Budapest? Take a look at our Budapest calendar to find out what’s going on in the city.

Jesus brings the Christmas presents in Hungary!

Many Hollywood movies show families sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Suddenly they hear someone knocking on the door, and there he is, Santa Claus. He has a bag full of presents and Christmas is here. This normally happens on December 24th but in some places on December 25th. In other places, Santa Claus comes on his sleigh during the night, making sure that all presents are in place by the time everybody wakes up on December 25th. What’s going on in Hungary? It is actually very different!

Hungary has some similarities with the Netherlands because their Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) arrives with presents on December 5/6. In Hungary, all kids wash their shoes on December 5th, knowing that Santa Claus will arrive during the night with sweets and other nice things during the night (if the shoes are nice and clean). In other words, Santa Claus comes on December 6th in Hungary. For many people in the Netherlands, the big Christmas present thing ends on December 6th, but that isn’t so in Hungary.

Jesus brings the presents on December 24.

There are different traditions, but many add to the magic the fact that the angels bring the Christmas tree to the different houses. Then you have the interesting thing. If you visit Budapest on December 24 and walk up and down the streets between 12.00 and 15.00, you will see lots of parents and/or grandparents out walking with kids. Why is that? They need to leave the house around this time in order for Jesus to come to the houses with all the presents.

As the kids return, the tree is decorated, and hopefully, there are lots of presents beneath it.

What does it mean that Jesus brings the presents?

First of all, it isn’t a tradition among kids to tell their parents and family what they want to get from the different persons in their surroundings. They only prepare a list that they tell their parents about, who later tell Jesus about all those wishes. Under the Christmas tree, you will seldom see stickers saying “To Tom”, and “From Mum&Dad.” The reason is simple, Jesus brought the presents, so it would be “wrong” to add such name stickers to the presents.

As the children get older, they understand what is really going on, but most Hungarians love this tradition, and they speak with glimpses in their eyes about the time when they believed Jesus was the one actually bringing the presents.

That was a little article about how the Hungarians celebrate Christmas and what you can expect if you come to Budapest around Christmas. You can read more about Christmas in Budapest and about the popular Christmas markets in Budapest here.

Christmas markets 2024

The annual Christmas Markets in Budapest are turning more and more popular, and starting earlier and earlier every year. The most famous of the Christmas markets is the one located at Vörösmarty Tér in the heart of Budapest, but there are also several others, and on this page, you will find information on the different Christmas Markets.

Below you can read about the most important Christmas markets in Budapest, find out where they are located, and what you should do if you decide to visit them while in Budapest.

The Christmas markets in Budapest in 2023 closed on January 1 (in 2024). Now we all have to wait for almost one more year before they will open again. This article gives you basic information about the Christmas markets in Budapest and we will publish the dates of the Christmas markets in Budapest in 2024 as soon as they are published (this normally happens in September or October, a few months before the opening of the Christmas markets). We have, however, made an estimation based on when the Christmas markets in Budapest have opened in the last years. If you want to find out when we believe the Christmas markets will open in 2024, scroll further down in the article.

Christmas Market at Vörösmarty Tér

The most famous and popular Christmas market in Budapest is the fair located at Vörösmarty Tér (Vörösmarty Square). This is located in the heart of Budapest, at the end stop of the yellow metro line sharing the name of the square, and at the end of the shopping street of Budapest, Váci Utca. Do not forget that all streets have two ends, and if you end up at the wrong end of the street you will find yourself walking inside the Grand Market Hall (not a bad place, but not the best if you would like to visit the Christmas market at the Vörösmarty square). If you live on the Buda side, you can simply walk across the Chain Bridge, turn right, and walk towards the white bridge (Elisabeth Bridge). As you reach the Vigadó tér, turn left, and you will be at the Vörösmarty tér within seconds!

Budapest Christmas Market
Christmas market at Vörösmarty square

At this Christmas fair, you will find traditional Hungarian handicrafts and lots of delicious food that tastes extremely well as you feel the smell get into your nose and your stomach orders you to sit down to grab a bite. And yes, there are many benches and tables at the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square, which is one of the qualities making this one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. If you want some simple food, then you should try the traditional Chimney cake with the cinnamon taste, yummy!

It has been a tradition to have a big stage at the square. At the stage, there have been daily concerts, folklore programs, and similar programs with cultural value. This was removed in 2022, and it is not sure whether it will return later or not. You will not be bored, however, as there are lots of stalls you should visit and a little train for kids at the square. The little train is cool for the youngest kids, and the best thing is that it is entirely free. The train was first introduced in 2022, and it was also at the Christmas market in 2023. We do hope it will return in 2024 as well.

A little train for the kids at the Vörösmarty square.
A little train for the kids at the Vörösmarty square.

The train only goes around a little round, but it is still an excellent experience for the children.

Map showing the two biggest Christmas markets in budapest
The location of the two biggest Christmas markets in Budapest on a map!

Christmas market in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica

Budapest’s newest Christmas market is in front of the Saint Stephens Basilica. This was opened for the first time in 2011, and it has an amazing atmosphere and great lights, and you can take nice pictures standing on the stairs of the basilica. You can buy mostly the same stuff as at the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square, but here you can also go ice skating as you can find a small ice skating rink in the middle of the Christmas market. This market is also especially known for the beautiful lights that you can see as you visit the square in the evenings, as the entire area is illuminated with lights, making it feel just like you are in the middle of a magic moment from your favorite Disney film or something like that! Absolutely worth visiting, especially because the market is only 600-700 meters from the market at Vörösmarty Square.

Christmas Market Stephens Basilica
The Christmas market in front of the St Stephens Basilica looks awesome at night!

There are also special light shows at the church’s facade regularly in the evenings, something that many people will enjoy in addition to all the other things you can see at the square.

Hotels near the Christmas markets.

Below you can see a map showing hotels near the Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square in Budapest. Look around, and you will for sure find one that suits you!

If you want to find even cheaper hotels and apartments, scroll out and you will see a much bigger selection of accommodation opportunities in Budapest.

Other Christmas markets

Gozsdu Udvar

There are some smaller markets located at different locations in Budapest. One can be found at Liszt Ferenc Square (near Októgon). Another can be found in the Gozsdu Udvar, located inside the former Jewish ghetto of Budapest. The main entrance is from Király Utca. If you can not find it, ask some locals or write a comment to this article, and we will add a Google map showing you where to go!

The Christmas market is open from 12:00 – 19:00 on weekdays, while it is open from 10:00 to 19:00 on weekends.

Next to Allee Shopping Center

If you live on the Buda side, the market next to the Allee shopping mall is a nice one, and the same is true for the little Christmas market located at the Moricz Zsigmond Korter. These are not the biggest ones, but you can still find chimney cake to eat, some hot wine, and of course, bags, handicrafts, and other articles like these on these and all the other smaller markets located here and there in Budapest.

allee christmas market

The picture above shows the square in front of Allee used by the annual Christmas market. This isn’t a gigantic Christmas market, but you will find both hot wine and nice handmade products. If you combine it with some shopping in the shopping center, it is worth visiting. If you want to visit an authentic Hungarian market, you should enter the big market hall next to Allee (the Christmas market is separating the shopping center from the market). This is open from Monday to Saturday and is ideal for buying vegetables, fruits, meat, and other products.

Christmas market at Fö Square in Òbuda

If you live in Óbuda (old Buda), there is also a very nice Christmas market at the Fö Square in district one of Budapest. This is a market for the locals, meaning that you will barely meet tourists at this location, which also influences the market’s price level. There is an ice skating rink here, and if you try to find it on the map, it is located just on the Buda side of the Árpad bridge (the most northern Budapest bridge for cars).

The Christmas market at Fö Square in district 1 in Budapest. The picture was shared with us by one of our followers on Twitter. Thank you!

Once again, not the most central Christmas market in Budapest, but if you live nearby, then it is worth visiting as it is much more for locals than those downtown.

Christmas market at Etele Square by Etele Plaza (not open in 2023)

In the eleventh district of Budapest, next to the Etele mall at the Etele square (and the Kelenfoldi railway station and metro stop), you can also find a nice little market. Here you can enjoy an ice skating rink and buy hot wine, chimney cakes, and other things you often enjoy at such markets. There is also a stage here for different programs. It might not be the biggest market, but it has a nice atmosphere!

Corvin Hütte, a new Christmas market by Corvin Plaza.

A brand new Christmas market in 2023 is Corvin Hütte. This market is located on the beautiful square outside the Corvin Plaza in the eighth district of Budapest. This square is worth a visit all year round, but with the present Christmas market, it has become even more attractive.

Corvin hutte

This market has quite similar products as you will find elsewhere, but with the surrounding restaurants and the shopping center as its closest neighbor, this is a place worth visiting.

Christmas by the Matthias Church.

This is a very nice and cozy Christmas market without a lot of stalls, but it still has a great atmosphere due to the surroundings. Next to the Matthias Church, you can find this Christmas market, and it is beautifully decorated and if you come in the evenings, it is even more beautifully illuminated together with the Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion, and the panorama towards the Danube and the Parliament.

You might not travel to Budapest to visit this market, but if you first come to Budapest, you will definitely want to combine this little Christmas market with your visit to the Castle area on the Buda side.

What weather can I expect in this period?

The Christmas markets normally open around November 20th and last until December 24th, and some even until January 1st-2nd. If you are lucky, you can enjoy some sun and 5-10 Celsius during this period, but you should not be surprised if you experience some light snow and about 0 Celsius. Budapest typically has a very nice climate, but if the wind blows, make sure to bring a jacket, so as you prepare for your stay, check whether it is supposed to be windy or not. The average temperature in December is about 1 Celsius.

Budapest Christmas Market dates 2024

No dates have been published for the Christmas markets in Budapest in 2024 yet. But, if we should make an estimation based on the dates in previous years, we believe the main Christmas markets in Budapest will open on the third Friday of November which happens to be November 15, 2024.

  • Vörösmarty Square market: not official yet…
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica market: not official yet…
  • Ujbuda Christmas market (next to Allee shopping center): not official yet…
  • Óbuda Christmas market: not official yet…
  • Corvin Hütte: not official yet…
  • Gozsdu Udvar: not official yet…
  • Christmas by the Matthias Church: -> not official yet…

On December 28th, the stalls selling handicrafts at Vörösmarty Square will be replaced and the square will turn into a fantastic location for celebrating New Year’s Eve.

A Budapest Christmas market map

Here you can see a map with pins presenting the most important Christmas markets in Budapest.

The Christmas market dates in previous years


  • Vörösmarty Square market: November 17, 2023 – December 31, 2023
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica market: November 17, 2023 – January 1, 2024
  • Ujbuda Christmas market: December 1 – 24, 2023
  • Óbuda Christmas market: December 1 – December 23, 2023
  • Corvin Hütte: November 23 – December 24, 2023
  • Gozsdu Udvar: December 8 – December 24, 2023
  • Christmas by the Matthias Church: -> December 24, 2023


  • Vörösmarty Square market: November 18, 2022 – December 31, 2022
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica market: November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023

Would you like to eat a delicious meal near the Christmas markets in Budapest?

Where should you stay in Budapest in November and December?

What to eat at the Christmas markets in Budapest?

We touched on the topic of gastronomy earlier in this article. But what exactly should you eat as you come to Budapest and visit the Christmas markets? This is a perfect place to taste traditional Hungarian gastronomy. Let us take a closer look at what you should taste.


Above, you can see a picture of a very popular meal in Hungary, the lángos. This is a dough with yeast that is fried in oil. After it is fried, it is often served with sour cream and cheese or with garlic oil. This is extremely popular, and it has also been exported to several other countries. As a result, you can also find it at the Christmas markets in Vienna, Bratislava, and Prague. We have even heard that it is an extremely popular thing to eat at festivals in Sweden!

Chimney cake.
Chimney cake.

The Chimney cake (Kürtöskalács) is extremely popular, not only among adults but also among kids. This is a sweet dough with yeast that is formed as a long spaghetti. It is then placed around a tool as you can see in the image above, and grilled. Sugar is added to the outer layer before this process, making it shine and even sweeter. In the end, the chimney cake is dipped in either cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, or walnut and served. It is extremely delicious. You shouldn’t be surprised if you meet this on Christmas markets elsewhere in Europe because it becomes a big hit wherever it is sold. Several stores in Budapest are dedicated to the Kürtöskalács, meaning that it is possible to buy it all year round. You can even add cream, Nutella, and other snacks to the Kürtöskalács) in some places, but that isn’t really necessary!

Hock from pig and delicious sausages.
Hock from pig and delicious sausages.

Hungarians love meat, and they love to use every single part of the pig. The sausages are really tasty, and if you eat the biggest sausages served with bread and topping, you will not get hungry for the rest of the day. Another side-effect is that you will burp later in the day and feel the spices of the sausage for hours afterward. Don’t be afraid of this, though; it is part of the fun!

In the picture above, you can also see the hock from a pig. Hungarians like to use all parts of the animal, and this is a very tasty part. At some Christmas markets, you can also buy rooster-testicle stews and more, so make sure to look around and be open to tasting new things.

You can see a traditional Hungarian stew in the middle of the picture above.

The Hungarians love using a lot of onion and traditional paprika to prepare food. You can see a stew made from a cow in the middle of the picture above. This has a delicious taste, and it is often served with dumplings and sometimes with potatoes. You will often find similar stews (pörkölt) made from chicken and pork.


Do you have any clue about what you see in the picture above? It is very fun to buy something and taste it without actually knowing what it is. But, if you don’t want to take such risks, we can tell you that what you see is a so-called tócsni. It is yet another tasty Hungarian meal that is fried in oil. What is it made of? A tócsni is a meal based on potatoes, and later eggs, flour, salt, and pepper is added to the dough. In the end, you end up with something that looks like pancake dough. This is fried in oil, and a few minutes later, you will happily eat it at one of the Christmas markets in Budapest!

strudel at christmas markets in budapest
Rétes, also known as a strudel outside Hungary.

If you travel to Austria and Vienna, you will find the Strudel everywhere. This is an important part of the local gastronomy, and as you probably already understand, the Hungarian and the Austria kitchen have a lot in common. There is no wonder why the Hungarians consider the Wiener schnitzel to be their invention! As you visit the different Christmas markets in Budapest, you will find the rétes (strudel) everywhere. If you follow tradition, you will likely buy a strudel with either apples or cherries. But if you want a more local version, then you should buy a strudel with sweet cottage cheese or with poppy seeds inside. If you choose the latter (the poppy seeds) bring a little mirror to see how much is left between your teeth as you finish eating.

roasted chestnuts

One final thing that is worth eating while in Budapest is the roasted chestnuts. These are very tasty and will warm you up a little while eating them. You will find these at the different Christmas markets and sometimes elsewhere in the city in November and December.

What to drink at the Christmas markets in Budapest?

We have written a lot about what you should eat at the Christmas markets in Budapest. But, what should you drink? You will normally find lots of local drinks at markets such as these, and the same is true in Budapest.

The most important drink is obviously the hot wine, glühwein or “forralt bor as the locals call it. This warm wine is often spiced up with cinnamon and other Christmas spices. Kids normally don’t like it, simply because it tastes like wine. Adults, however, lover it, especially if it is cold outside, as it warms your soul and your body at the same time.

hot wine in budapest

Above you can also see that there it is possible to taste hot white wine and hot red wine. In other words, there are differences between the different stalls, and also whether or not they add spices to the drinks or not. If you pay attention closely, you can also see the Budapest Christmas market cup which is the most authentic cup to use for drinking hot wine.

If you want to drink something else, then Hungarians love their palinka (fruit spirit), especially in cold weather like you can expect in November and December. There are lots of different Palinkas available in Hungary. Most of them are made of one specific fruit (like apricots or plums), while some are mixed fruits. A normal palinka has an alcohol level of between 40%-45%, but you can also find stronger versions of this popular drink.

What to buy at the Christmas markets in Budapest?

We have told you a lot about what to eat and drink at the Christmas markets in Budapest. But, what you should you buy as visit the different stalls? There are a couple of products you can buy every single year, and then there are products you only find one year but then it is gone the next year. The most important thing to remember is that the markets are meant to be found handicraft products, that is, products made by people with their hands. These are not mass-produced products from a factory, but products made with love and sweat all around Hungary.


Above, you can see something that tends to return for the Christmas markets yearly in Budapest. These are hand-made sweets with all sorts of fillings. These are really exclusive, and the price per piece is approximately 1000 HUF. But these might be a great pick if you want some delicious and exclusive sweets for Christmas!

cinnamon cakes

Christmas is a time for eating gingerbread cakes, and that is a tradition in Hungary as well. In Hungary, the most important ingredient is honey. That is why they call it honey-sweet-bread (mézeskalács) if you translate the Hungarian word. You will find them fully decorated and in all sorts of colors and shapes. There isn’t anything really revolutionary about these cakes, but they might become a nice decoration on a Christmas tree when you travel home or just eat it while drinking some hot wine.

ceramics at the christmas markets

Hungarians are creative and good with their hands. As a result, you can find lots of ceramics of all sorts and in all shapes at the Christmas markets. Above, you can see different beautiful objects that you can use to make your home nicer, warmer, and more colorful. These are popular among adults and kids, and it can remain a memory from Budapest that lives with you for the rest of your life.


You end up buying some things in Budapest because you need it there and then. An example of such an object might be a warm hat. But it is nice to know that you will be the coolest man at home when you walk into the office using one of these hats that will make you look like a pilot from the Second World War (or something like that). At the left, you can also see all sorts of gloves, something many will find useful as well when the temperatures go below 0 Celsius in Budapest in December.

light up your day

Want to travel home with another souvenir that will remind you of Budapest for many years? Buy a handmade lamp at the different Christmas markets in Budapest. These are very popular objects and often have very nice pictures of famous Budapest attractions and locations.

Some other Christmas market pictures

Budapest Christmas Market 2014 2
Lots of nice stuff to be bought at the market
Beautiful decorations and lights
Beautiful decorations and lights
The most popular market at Vörösmarty square
The most popular market at Vörösmarty square
Christmas fair in Budapest
Christmas fair in Budapest

Christmas in Budapest

Many people come to Budapest because of the Christmas Market, but most people go home in good time before December 24. In this section, we will focus in on activities for those stuck in Budapest between December 22 and December 26 and give some information about programs available in that Christmas period. It is useful to know that most shops are open until 13.00 on December 24th, and then they stay closed until 10.00 on December 27th. So this is not a good time for shopping. Cinemas are open every day except from December 24th. If you want to enjoy  Danube Cruise that can be done every day at 14.00 and 19.00, even on December 24th. But, if you want to be on the dinner cruise with live gipsy music on December 24th, you better hurry up and reserve it, because this will also get packed soon!

Budapest restaurants around Christmas

Most restaurants are closed on December 24, and several restaurants are closed on December 25 and 26 as well. Below you can see a list with information:

 December 24December 25December 26
Sir LancelotClosedOpenOpen
Trófea GrillClosedClosedOpen
Pampas SteakhouseClosedClosedClosed

If you want a table reservation, please visit our table reservation page. Be aware of the fact that tables are gone very fast both at Rezkakas and Aszu, so if you want a reservation made by us in one of these, please hurry up!

restaurants in budapest on christmas eve

Thermal Baths

 December 24December 25December 26December 31January 1
Gellért FürdõOpen until 14.0010.00-19.009.00-20.009.00-18.0010.00-20.00
Széchényi FürdõOpen until 14.0010.00-18.009.00-20.009.00-18.0010.00-20.00

All museums in Budapest (almost) are closed on December 24th and 25th, but on December 26th they are open again (more info here). Some of the museums only have the temporary exhibitions available on December 26th, but you should visit the exact webpage of your requested museum if you want more exact information. But, the most popular museum in Budapest, the Museum of Fine Arts, can for example safely be visited from December 26th. The museum is closed on December 31st, but open from 12.00 on January 1st. (this information is valid for 2012)

Pictures from the Christmas markets in Budapest in 2019

Are you coming to Budapest to visit the Christmas markets this year? Or are you sad that you cannot visit the Christmas markets in 2019? Take a look at these pictures from the Christmas markets and get a taste of the atmosphere.

The Christmas markets will remain open until January 1st. The market at the Vörösmarty square is amazing, and so is the market in front of the Stephen’s Basilica.

Are you getting eager to visit the Christmas markets yourself? That is easy to understand.

Do not forget to plan your stay in Budapest! There are lots of tourists coming, meaning that many restaurants are fully booked, and we are doing more guided tours in December than any other month of the year. In other words, if you want to enjoy a guided tour, an airport transfer, a winetasting, or maybe a dinner in a brewery, book it as quickly as possible!

Merry Christmas to everyone from Budapest!

The Christmas Markets in Budapest in 2019

The 2018 Christmas markets are barely over, and already people are preparing for the upcoming Christmas markets in Budapest. But, when will the Christmas markets in Budapest be arranged in 2019?

One of the questions we received most throughout the entire year, is whether or not we have the final dates for this year’s Christmas markets in Budapest. And guess what? We have the dates.

You can start planning your trip to the Christmas markets in Budapest in 2019 already, because the biggest Christmas market at the Vorosmarty square will open on November 8th and be open until the first day of 2020, January 1st.

If you have seen the video beneath which we made in January 2019, you can see that our main guess was an opening on November 8th (or 15th), and the guess on November 8th was a success!

What about the Christmas market by the Basilica?

Budapest doesn’t have only one big Christmas market, the city has two. So, what about the Christmas market in front of St. Stephen’s basilica?

The Christmas market by St. Stephen’s Basilica will open on November 22nd and it will remain open until January 1st in 2020.


It is time to get ready for this year’s Christmas markets already. You can read more about the Christmas markets in Budapest right here. We can also recommend our article with some useful pieces of advice to everyone coming to Budapest for the Christmas markets.

If you should have any comments or questions, please write them down! Would you like to enjoy other programs while in Budapest? You can read more about wine-tasting programs, brewery visits with lots of food, guided tours, river cruises, private airport transfers and more here in our Budapest Guide!

Christmas market by St. Stephens Basilica 2018

We have known the dates for the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square for a long time, but just recently, the dates for the Christmas market in front for the St. Stephen’s Basilica was published as well.

The Christmas market in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica is getting better and better for every year. In 2017, it didn’t only make the square fantastic, but also Zrinyi utca (the street connecting the Danube and the Chain Bridge with the St. Stephen’s Basilica). It is a fantastic market and every afternoon from 16.30 there will be light shows at the church building every 30 minutes.

The Christmas market will open on November 24th (some places it says November 23rd) and it will remain open until January 1st, 2019. The market is open from 10.00 (or 11.00) until 22.00 in the evening, except for December 24th, on which it will close at 14.00.

christmas market by st stephens basilica
The Christmas market by the St. Stephens Basilica – Source

At the Christmas market, you can find an ice skating rink, a big Christmas tree, and lots of small tree houses where you can buy souvenirs, presents, and lots of hot drinks and traditional food. The ice skating rink is free to use for kids under 14 years, but you need to rent the skates you will actually use on the ice.

This year the Christmas market calls itself an eco-fair. All exhibitors will have to use environmental-friendly packaging, resulting in less garbage and better for the environment.

If you want to read more about the different Christmas markets in Budapest, check this site.

Would you like to enjoy a wine dinner in Budapest during this period, or maybe a river cruise at the Danube River? Make sure to arrange your booking as soon as possible, because it gets crowded and fully booked quite regularly in December!

Welcome to the Budapest Christmas markets in 2018

One of the most popular events in Budapest every year is the Christmas markets. They attract tens of thousands of visitors every single day, and they are getting more and more popular for every year.

Every year, already in January, we get the question: “When will the Christmas markets be arranged in Budapest this year?” The same question has been asked in 2018, and finally, we are able to give an answer to the question.

Christmas markets in Budapest
The Christmas market at Vörösmarty square – Source

It should be noted that Budapest is making the Christmas season a very long season, and the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square in the center of Budapest is set to open already on November 9th (if everything happens according to plan). That is one week earlier than the opening of the Christmas markets in Vienna, and three weeks earlier than the opening of the Christmas markets in Prague.

Tourists will for sure consider it a great thing that the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square will open this early, as they can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, the delicious food and the beautiful lights already in the middle of November.

There will also be a big Christmas market in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica, but we do not have the dates for that market yet. We will update our main article about the Christmas markets in Budapest as soon as we get the dates for that market.

Budapest Christmas market dates in 2018

Opening: November 9th, 2018
Last day: January 1st, 2019

The source of this information and the picture earlier in the article is the official Tourist office of Budapest.

Christmas presents to buy in Budapest

What is the ideal present to buy your loved ones in Budapest for Christmas? In this article we will give you some nice tips on buying the best souvenirs and gifts for Christmas.

There are several opportunities to choose from, many stores and even Christmas markets where you can get the nicest and most unique presents for Christmas. Read on, and get some ideas for what to bring home after a visit to Budapest before Christmas. If you simply want to know more about shopping in Budapest, then we recommend this article.


Hungary has a traditional candy for Christmas called szaloncukor which you can hang on the Christmas tree as decoration. It comes in several flavours such as marzipan, coconut, caramel, different flavoured jelly and so on which is covered in a thin layer of chocolate. You can get this at very low prices (with very low quality), so if you plan to bring this home with you, buy with higher quality, be it Milka, Szamos, Stuhmer or some other a bit more expensive version.

Szaloncukor as a Christmas present

Erős Pista

The other popular gifts from Hungary is Erős Pista (Strong Stephen) which is one of the most popular hot sauce in Hungary. It is an ideal gift for everyone who is into cooking. Erős Pista is made of minced hot paprika and salt and it could not be more Hungarian for sure. Hungarians use it in the different national dishes such as gulyás (goulash), lecsó and paprikás csirke. It can be really useful if you want to give some spiciness to your dish, and it is perfect to give some nice Hungarian taste to food lacking taste or in need of some more spice. This can be bought almost everywhere, in the market hall, in grocery stores and so on!

Erős pista
Erős Pista is the one to the right with the red top! (the other is called sweet Anna).

Hungarian wine

If you have some friends who like a good wine, and especially sweet white wine, then you should buy them a sweet Tokaj wine and bring it home to them for Christmas. This is a magnificent present that will make them happy, and especially women often enjoy this wine. Some sommeliers in Hungary call the sweet Tokaj wine Viagra for women. That might be a small exaggeration, but it for sure tastes good! If you are more into full bodied red wines, then the more expensive wines from the region of Villany is to be recommended. If you want some really Hungarian taste on the wine, and not follow the typical trends from abroad, then the red wines from the Szekszard region can be recommended, these are often light bodied and has a very nice spicy taste to them.

Sweet White Wine
Sweet white wine from Tokaj

Souvenirs from the Christmas markets

If you would like to buy other type of presents such as bags, different Christmas decorations and similar products you can find them on the Christmas markets in Budapest. At the markets there are plenty of handmade gifts such as the most beautiful lamps, different bags, scarfs, hats, gloves and all kind of accessories, toys for children, mugs and kitchen accessories as well such as wooden cheese boards and serving platters.

Túró Rúdi, Sport szelet, ischler and more

If you want to bring some of the basics of Hungarian chocolate and sweets with you home, then the number one favorite to bring home is the Túró Rúdi. This is a piece of cottage cheese (sweet) covered with dark chocolate in the standard version. This is served cold, so if you plan on bringing it home with you, then make sure to put it in the fridge as soon as you get back home again. Another famous chocolate is the Sport szelet. The paper almost looks like a chewing gum, but beyond the paper you will find a piece of dark chocolate with rum among its ingredients. For those in love with cakes the Ischler is ideal, because you can bring it with you home, at least if you get it packed in a piece of paper. This is a kind of biscuit cake with jam on the inside and covered with chocolate on the outside.

Ischler Sport Szelet Turo Rudi
Here you can see an Ischler, a Sport Szelet and a Túró Rúdi

These are some ideas and thoughts for what to bring home from Budapest with the goal of giving them away as Christmas presents. But, do not forget to buy double portions of everything, because you will for sure want to keep a bottle of Hungarian wine and some Erős Pista yourself.

Christmas activities in Budapest

Christmas is approaching and if you are looking for some Christmas activities in Budapest, here are suggestions!

Christmas activities in Budapest

The most important Christmas activity is the Christmas market. In 2013 it will open on November 27th and be open until December 31st (the Christmas market at Vörösmarty tér). Here you can eat Hungarian sausage, drink som hot wine and shop all kinds of Christmas presents.

Another place worth visiting is the Andrassy út. This avenue connecting the Elisabeth square (Deak Ferenc square) to the Heroes Square is beautiful lightened up in the time before Christmas, so take a walk here one evening, it is worth it. As you walk you can either do some exclusive shopping in shops like Max Mara, Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Burberry, or maybe just grab a cake somewhere or eat some more serious food in one of the restaurants at the Liszt Ferenc square.

These activities you can easily arrange for yourself. But, there are some Budapest Christmas activities that is harder to arrange all by yourself. Here are some activities that we would love to help you with, if any of them sounds interesting.

If you wonder what to do on December 24th, why not enjoy a river cruise on the Danube?

Christmas activities in Budapest arranged by us!

Christmas dinner by a family

Merry Christmas

Would you like to eat a traditional Hungarian Christmas dinner in a normal Hungarian home? Then you should try this program. Here you will actually come home to a family and taste the traditional Hungarian Christmas food as they prepare it. They will gladly show you their home, answer all sorts of questions, and simply let you get a close look at what life is like for a Hungarian. You want get any closer to the reality than this. The program is gift-based, meaning that you give to the family what you feel they deserve as the program is finished. It normally last for 2 – 2 1/2 hours and we can of course arrange with transportation to the home if required.

Christmas trip to Vienna

Let us arrange a day trip to Vienna for you. The Austrian capital has beautiful Christmas markets, especially the one in front of the city hall. Spend 7-8 hours walking around, eating some Austrian food and getting a sip of the Christmas atmosphere in Vienna. You can read more about this program at the following page.

Christmas in Szentendre

Come join us on an excursion to Szentendre. The city has a cosy little Christmas market, and in addition to time for shopping, you will also be able to visit the marcipan museum, taste seven Hungarian wines in a wine cellar and enjoy a three course lunch. The program lasts a total of about 5 hours. Read more about the program here.

Big dinners in Budapest

Would you like to enjoy a lot of food and drinks? Then we can warmly suggest one of the following dinners!

  • Five course dinner with six glasses of wine (13,000 HUF per person)
    This dinner takes place in a wine restaurant in the very center of Budapest. It is not a gourmet dinner, but the quality of the food and the wine is more than enough for most people.
  • Brewery visit with lots of food (10,000 HUF per person)
    This might not sound like a Christmas program, but for many Christmas is about eating and drinking a lot, and if that is so, this program is ideal. At the brewery visit you will taste 4 different beers produced at the spot, you get the chance to taste 4 Hungarian fruit-spirits (Palinka) and last, but not least, you will get four courses of traditional Hungarian food.

Does any of the programs sound interesting to you? If the answer is yes, just fill in the forms and contact us today, and we will do our best to help you out!

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