Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival
November 11, 2016 - January 6, 2017
Mid-November 2016. – 06. January 2017.
The location is ideal; the Square is in the heart of the city at the end of Váci utca, right in front of the prestigious Gerbeaud Coffee House.
Cottage-style wooden stalls and two outdoor stages take over one of Budapest’s most attractive spots during the couple of weeks preceding the end-of-the-year holidays.
You can smell the scent of traditional honey cookies, mulled wine, cinnamon and fir from afar. The rich fragrant simply lures you to the market.
Christmas Market & Other Festive Programs in Budapest
Around 200 programs will entertain visitors during 1.5-month festival that take place on the main stage every weekday from 17.00 till 20.00 and from 11.00 till 21.00 on the weekends: folk, jazz, blues, soul, crossover, world music concerts, dance house performances entertain visitors to the fair.
On weekends puppet show will be on stage; sure to delight families with children.
122 stalls offer high-quality products (selected and approved by special a jury of folk art experts). Entry is free to all programs.
Gastronomy – On a 1 200 Sqm Terrace
Besides the usual fair delicacies (kürtös kalács/Sekler cake, strudels, flódni – a traditional Jewish cake layered cake with walnut, poppy seed and plum preserve filling, bread pizza baked in clay oven, roasted chestnut) you can taste traditional Hungarian Christmas dishes:
- stuffed cabbage,
- roasted goose thigh,
- roasted pork knuckle,
- grilled sausages and meat.
Culinary novelties you can treat yourself to include:
- goulash soup with prunes
- Jerusalem artichoke cake/rösti
- pulled pork burger
- lamb sandwich with roasted red pepper paste
- pumpkin braised in duck fat sprinkled with hot pumpkin seed or the
- foie gras sausage.
The official Christmas mug of the fair features 3 new designs each year:a combination of red and white colours this year.
You can buy the mug at every stall that sells mulled wine or hot tea. It costs 600 HUF. You can collect all three if you wish.
The Lighting of the Candles on the Advent Wreath accompanied with choral singing will take place on Sundays in the Advent period at 16.00.
Kids won’t be bored either -rich and varied program awaits them almost every day.
On the weeekends between 11.00-16.00: puppet theatre, music and dance perfromance, craft workshops.
Carft workshops in the wooden playhouse – until 04. December between Friday and Sunday, then every day.
On weekdays between: 14.00-18.00, on weekends in the morning between 10.00-13.00 and afternoon 16.00-19.00 – they can learn the ins and outs of candle making, basketry, felting, and baking gingerbread,
Santa Claus makes a visit on 6th December at 15.00-16.00 – welcomes little ones and their parents in his cottage.
A special playground welcomes children in the center of the square named Sledge Caravan Pulled by Piglets (Malacok húzta szánkókaraván): a locomotive with three train cars with a wide array of interactive plays and games (eco-TV, eco-telephone, treasure hunting, 3D periscope) inside.TIP: See also our 2015 photo album about the fair on our Facebook page.
Toilets – Where to Find them?
There are a good number of heated toilets in the northwest corner of the square, behind the centre stage (at the beginning of Harmincad utca).
Getting there: M1, M2, M3 metro lines Deák tér station (a short walk from there), M1 metro (yellow line) Vörösmarty tér station, tram 2 Vigadó tér stop (a couple of minutes walk form there), trams 47, 49 Deák tér stop
Find a good Budapest hotel within walking distance of Vörösmarty Square to conveniently explore the festive market.
Includes luxury, 5-star hotels should you wish to indulge during your city break, and quality budget accommodations if you want to save on your travel.
Food & Beverage Stalls
Mon – Thurs
Fri – Sun
Mon – Thurs
Fri – Sun
November – 29. December
10.00 – 22.00
10.00 – 23.00
10.00 – 20.00
10.00 – 21.00
10.00 – 15.00
10.00 – 18.00
30. Dec – 06. Jan
10.00 – 22.00
|10.00 – 23.00||
11.00 – 22.00
Food on the Fair
On this year’s Christmas Fair you can taste a wider selection of traditional Hungarian foods and cakes: e. g. stuffed cab
bage, strudel, grilled sausages and meat, Christmas cookies, kürtös kalács (hollow, cylinder-shaped pastry from Transylvania in origin with different coatings: caramelized sugar, ground walnut, coconut or chocolate).
Look for the open kitchens set up around the Vörösmarty Statue to learn about some traditional culinary secrets:
- making strudel (stretching the pastry is a sight to see), or
- baking kürtös kalács – a cylinder shape pastry baked over open fire then coated in ground walnut, coconut, sugar, or chocolate.
Try the bread pizza – called lepény – (a square shaped, flat bread baked in clay oven or traditional stove, topped with sour cream, bacon or sausage and cheese) if you do not want to have a full meal (it costs 900 HUF).
- 1 dl mulled wine costs 300 HUF
- Krampampuli is 300 HUF/dl
- Blackcurrant/Raspberry Punch: 500 HUF/dl
- Stuffed cabbage in bread: from 1 800 HUF/portion
Transylvanian cabbage (Székelykáposzta): 1 200 HUF/portion
- Roasted goose thigh with potato: 2 400 HUF/portion
- Chicken paprikas with pasta or potato pie: 2 000 HUF/portion
- Grilled sausage: 500 HUF/10 dkg
- A slice of bread: 100 HUF
- Pickles: 500 HUF/portion
- Strudel: 600 HUF/piece
- Kürtös kalács: from: 800-900 HUF
Sprinkle the loaf sugar with cane rum (around 0.5 litre). Light the alcoholic sugar then wait until all the alcohol content burns and the melted sugar drips in the bowl.
Then pour around 2 litres spicy mulled white wine, 1 liter tea, and the juice of two oranges and lemons into the bowl. Cheers!
One of the 6 Various Mugs of the Christmas Fair if you a
sk to have your drink in the mug you have to buy it, it costs 600 HUF
Besides mulled wine and krampampuli, other alcoholic beverages are also available to warm you up: grog, craft cherry beer served warm, grog
You can sip spicy mulled wine or other hot drinks from special mugs different in design every year. This year you can chose from two colors (red and white) and three designs:
The famous Gerbeaud Confectionery used to have an Advent Calendar in its windows.
The pages turned over day by day, each day a decorated window opens at 17.00.
Do you want to surprise your relatives and friends with something special at Christmas? The Fair is the best place to buy Exclusive Christmas Gifts:
- quality folk and craft products,
- decorations made from natural, traditional materials and with authentic techniques
All products are hand-made and selected by a professional jury (its members come from several organizations and funds) to guarantee their quality.
You can watch many cultural programs and listen to folk music while you’re looking for gifts.
As in previous years a small Bethlehem will come alive on the square with a crib and live animals. You can take part in a Christmas tree decorating competition, as well.
Besides the 15-m high Christmas fir, the light of the Flame of Peace brought by scouts from the Church of Nativity in Betlehem greets visitors of the festive market.
In the Advent period a new candle will be lighted every Sunday till Christmas to mark the approach of the holiday.
Santa Claus is Coming
Santa Claus welcomes children on 6th December.
Joulupukki, the real Santa from Finland, awaits kids from 15.00 till 16.00 in his little cottage at the stage in front of the Gerbeaud Cafe.
The Budapest Christmas Fair at Vörösmarty tér is one of our favourite event in winter.
Even if I don’t intend to buy anything, I like to stroll among the stalls, have a glass of mulled wine and view some of the cultural programs on the outdoor stage.
I usually end up buying something special for one of my loved ones.
St Stephen’s Square, Deák Ferenc Utca (Fashion Str.), in Óbuda and other venues.
The city centre has a few other festive markets during the Christmas holiday period.
The one in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica was first organised in 2011.
A slender 8 m high Christmas tree, tasty nibbles, a free 200 sqrm ice-skating rink and a wide range of gifts are the main attractions of this Xmas bazaar.
The event usually starts on a Friday in mid-November (exact date is not finalized yet) and welcomes visitors till 06. January next year.
The Picanter deli shop next to the tree offers delicious food to nibble on the spot or a selection of cheese, sausages and salamis to take home.
There are also kürtös kalács, strudels, mangalica products (mangalica is a unique breed of pig indigenous to Hungary) and a variety of other souvenirs to choose from.
The street is packed with big name designer shops: Furla, Massimo Dutti, Boss, Nanushka, Mexx, Lacoste so you have lots of shopping options.
The street ends with a Starbucks cafe if you wish to have a hot cup of Gingerbread latte.
More Festive Markets in December 2016.
You’ll find similar Holiday Markets in Gozsdu Court (district VII./Jewish Quarter), Liszt Ferenc tér (just off Andrássy Boulevard in Pest, near Oktogon), Bakáts tér (Ráday Street in District IX.), but this one, at Vörösmarty Square represents the sort of Advent atmosphere that we most long for.
The Advent Festival in Városháza park in downtown Budapest (close to Deák F. Sqr. metro hub) will have lots of family programs, children activities – the Snow slide will surely be popular -, charity events, a craft fair, food and drink, as well as the tallest Xmas tree of the city. The event is held between cc. 19. November – 31. December 2016 (date is not finalized yet)
See our full overview of Christmas Markets in Budapest.
Here are some of the coolest Xmas programs taking place during the weeks preceding the holiday.
Light Trams & Trolleybuses
Even the trams take on a dazzling holiday costume in December – not all of them only tram 2 (runs in Pest along the Danube riverbank between Közvágóhíd and Jászai mari tér and 4 (between Újbuda Központ and Széll Kálmán tér).
The services run from 04. December till 06. January 2016.
You can view the exact departure times at the public transport company’s website.Related: Budapest Season by Season – Christmas in Budapest – Hungarian Christmas Recipes – New Year’s Eve Party on the Danube – New Year’s Eve in Budapest – More Programs in December 2016.