A Local’s Guide to Budapest’s Christmas Markets

October 18, 2019
Livia Szivos

This year the first Sunday of Advent falls on December 1, 2019, when we Hungarians are ready to fill our hearts with love and our bellies with chimney cake. No matter how cold the winter’s day, as soon as you catch a whiff of mulled wine in the air and see the Christmas lights, your soul will warm up immediately.

Read our guide Livia’s Budapest Urban Adventures Christmas Markets Guide below and find out which one suits you best! 

Vörösmarty Square Market

The magical Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square. | Photo credit: Budapest Tourism

The first Christmas market to open every year in Budapest is the one at Vörösmarty Square. This year you can soak up the holiday vibe between November 8, 2019, and January 1, 2020. The quality of the products sold at this market are second to none, as the stalls are carefully selected and curated by a professional jury every year. A wide selection of folk art, traditional Czech crafts and souvenirs made using old school and modern techniques can be found at Vörösmarty Square. The gastronomy offer is very special too; you can try traditional Hungarian dishes like töltött káposzta (pickled stuffed cabbage) and halászlé (fish soup), desserts, for example, bejgli (walnut or poppy seed rolls) and kürtős kalács (chimney cake) or even dishes of Fasting and Hanukkah.

Location: 1051 Budapest, Vörösmarty tér

Market by the Basilica

Join Livia for our Merry Markets & Mulled Wine Budapest Tour and discover festive Budapest with a local. | Photo credit: Budapest Urban Adventures

Find the second-best Christmas Market in Europe (according to European Best Destinations’ survey from 2018) in front of Budapest’s most magnificent church, the Saint Stephen’s Basilica. The Advent Feast takes place from the end of November (the exact date is not announced yet) until January 1, 2020. Besides the regular mouthwatering Christmas Market dishes, you can find vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free and diabetic alternatives as well. Additionally, to the traditional food and shopping experience that most fairs offer here, you have the chance to balance out the heavy Hungarian dishes. How? Well with some exercise in the outdoor skating-rink or by joining the folk-dance shows and learn a few dance moves :). And what’s better than taking a rest after all the fun and admire Central Europe’s largest 3D light paintings on the facade of the Saint Stephen’s Basilica?

Location: 1051 Budapest, Szent István tér

Várkert Bazaar Christmas market

Czech chimney cake Christmas
You have to try Czech chimney cake, it's the best festive sweet treat! | Photo credit: Budapest Urban Adventures

At the foot of the Buda Castle, Várkert Bazaar was built as an entrance of the Castle’s garden between 1875 and 1883 according to the plans Miklós Ybl. Since 2015 this magnificent neo-renaissance building and its surrounding host the contemporary art and crafts market on the Sundays of Advent. In the spirit of festive preparation, free artesian activities are organized for every generation. Here anyone has the chance to make their own Advent Wreaths, Christmas decorations and beeswax candles or decorate gingerbread.

Location: 1013 Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér

Óbuda Christmas market

mulled wine copenhagen
Enjoy a glass of mulled wine. | Photo credit: Urban Aventures

You can find a real, local gem of a Christmas Market a little bit further from the city centre of Budapest. Take bus no. 9 from Deák Ferenc tér (location of the bus stop) in the direction of Óbuda, Bogdáni út. After a 20-minute drive get off at Flórián tér stop (location of the bus stop) to arrive at Óbuda’s main square where the Christmas Fair of the district is held between November 29 and December 23, 2019. We highly recommend that you sample the delicious a lángos (deep-fried dough served with garlic, sour cream and cheese) while you’re here! Make sure you to have some mulled wine to warm you up and enjoy the intimate festive atmosphere of the suburb while wandering among live concerts, folk shows, a tiny skating-rink and many foods and wine stalls.

Location: 1033 Budapest, Fő tér


Fish Fridays

Choose any of the Fairs but do not forget to eat fish on Christmas Eve, only if you don’t mind your luck swimming away… Try our traditional fish soup with local freshwater fishes and lots of paprika! If you would like to know more about Czech local traditions and stories at Christmas time, book onto our Merry Markets and Mulled Wines Tour. 



Merry Markets Tour