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Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival

November 11, 2016 - January 1, 2017

11. November 2016. – 01. January 2017.

Come and visit the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival if you want to buy something unique and original for your loved ones.from 11. November 2016. Vörösmarty Square, a lovely plaza in the heart of the city, turns into a festive market place.

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.

 

A novelty that this year the fair will be open on Christmas Day (25. December: 10.00-18.00) and Boxing Day (26. December: 10.00-18.00) as well as on 01. January (food and beverage vendors only: 11.00-22.00). See exact opening hours below.

Christmas Market & Other Festive Programs in Budapest, Updated for 2016

the Christmas tree with red globe ornaments during daytime in November

160 Programs – for Both Adults & Children

Jazz concert on the centre stage, on the Christmas fair, Vorosmarty sqr

Around 160 programs will entertain visitors during 1.5-month festival that take place on the main stage:

  • on weekends 11.00 till 21.00 then
  • from 05. December/Monday every weekday between 17.00 – 19.00
  • folk, jazz, blues, soul, crossover, world music concerts, dance house performances entertain visitors to the fair.

 

the wooden main stage of the Xmas fair at the north end of the square
The Main Stage to the Right of the Gerbeaud Coffee House

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 and pork stew at Lalibela Grill

  • stuffed cabbage served in bread
  • roasted goose thigh,
  • roasted pork knuckle,
  • grilled sausages and meat.

 

Culinary novelties you can treat yourself to include:

  • Rooster testicle stew (kakashere pörkölt) – many locals consider this simple dish a gourmet’s delight and happily have it any time of the day, others shudder at the thought of having a taste of it – you should try, it’s quite nice with a creamy texture in a spicey paprika sauce. A portion is 2 250 HUF.
steaming stuffed cabbage in a large metal pot
Serving Stuffed Cabbage (at some stalls it is served in bread)
  • Fishermen’s Soup (halászlé) and char-grilled pike perch
  • Whole pig roasted on skewer ove ropen fire
  • potato cake/rösti (tócsni in Hungarian) – served with sour cream and cheese: 800 – 1200 HUF
  • pulled pork sandwich
  • pumpkin braised in duck fat sprinkled with hot pumpkin seed or the
  • foie gras/duck sausage and
  • Sekler cake coated with dried raspeberry pieces (1 500 HUF)

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.

the wooden cottage playhouse on Vorosmarty Square
The Playhouse on the Fair in 2016

Children Programs on the Christmas Fair

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.

Craft Workshops in the Wooden Playhouse

Dates & Time: until 04. December  Friday, Saturday, Sunday at 10.00- 13.00, 14.00 – 18.00

The wooden train playhouse next to the Gerbeaud Cafe in 2015

After 04. December the workshops welcome kids twice every day between:

  • 10.00 – 13.00
  • 14.00 – 18.00

They can learn the ins and outs of candle making, beading, basketry, felting, and baking gingerbread.

Each workshop will be focusing on a different art & craft project helping kids and their parents preapring for the year-end festivities.

They’ll be making:

a natural fir wood Xmas tree installation, the white facade of Gerbeaud cafe in the background
The Place of Secret Wishes
  • Advent window and door ornaments
  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • greeting cards
  • toys from paper, wood, yarn, bulrush
  • scented candles, beeswax candles
  • fruit garlands and many more.

Santa Claus makes a visit on 6th December at 15.00-16.00 – welcomes little ones and their parents in his cottage.

 

New in 2016: Place of Secret Wishes: an unadorned wood Christmas tree installation stands in front of the Gerbeaud Cafe where children (and grown ups) can hide in and whisper there secret wishes to the angels.
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).

On Map

 

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

TIP: Many Budapest Hotels are situated nearby, so if you’re staying in one of them the Christmas Fair is just a short walk from your lodging.

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.

Date and Opening Hours

11. November 2016. – 01. January 2017., Craft Fair is Open till 29. December, Food & Bevearges till 01. January 2017.

Opening Hours
Food & Beverage Stalls
Merchant Stalls
Mon – Thurs
Fri – Sun
Mon – Thurs
Fri – Sun
11. November – 29. December
10.00 – 21.00
10.00 – 22.00
10.00 – 20.00
10.00 – 21.00
24. December
10.00 – 16.00
10.00 – 14.00
25 – 26. December
10.00 – 18.00
12.00 – 18.00
31. December 10.00 – 04.00 CLOSED
01. January 14.00 – 22.00 CLOSED

Stage Performances

11. – 27. November Friday: 17.00 – 21.00, Sat: 10.00 – 12.30 and 16.00 – 21.00, Sun: 10.00 – 12.30 and 16.00 – 20.00
28. Nov – 29. December weekdays: 17.00 – 20.00, Friday: 21.00, Sat: 10.00 – 12.30 and 16.00 – 21.00, Sun: 10.00 – 12.30 and 16.00 – 20.00

Playhouse

11. – 27. November Friday-Saturday-Sunday: 10.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 18.00
28. Nov – 29. December Every day: 10.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 18.00

Photo Gallery

Food on the Fair

Culinary Delights, Mulled Wine, Krampampuli and Other Hot Beverages

people Eating on the Christmas Market

On this year’s Christmas Fair you can taste a wider selection of traditional Hungarian foods and cakes.

Old Favourites, New Delicacies

Besides old favourites like

  • stuffed cabbage,
  • goulash
  • lángos
  • strudel,
  • goulash soup in a large metal pot, round loaves of white bread next to itgrilled sausages and meat,
  • Christmas pastries, cake,
  • kürtös kalács (hollow, cylinder-shaped pastry from Transylvania in origin with different coatings: caramelized sugar, ground walnut, coconut or chocolate).

a white wood-fired stove with red flower painted on it , firewood stacked around it

Look for the open kitchens  to learn about some traditional culinary secrets:

  • 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 -2 500 HUF depending on topping).

Food & Beverage Prices at the Budapest Christmas Fair in 2016

  • roasted paprika sausages, chicken, pork and paellamulled wine: 2 dl: 600 HUF, 3 dl: 900 HUF, 0,5 dl: 1 500 HUF
  • Krampampuli is 450 HUF/dl
  • Blackcurrant/Raspberry Punch: 500 HUF/dl
  • pop drinks: 500 HUF/0,5 L
  • mineral water: 400 HUF/0,5 L
  • hot chocolate
  • coffee
  • hot tea:
  • lángos: with all imaginable toppings from sweet (Nutella, fruit jam) to savoury: (plain salted, sour cream, cheese, sausage bacon, vegetarian) Price varies between 900 – 2 000 HUF.
  • Stuffed cabbage in bread: from 1 800 HUF/portion
Serving Bread Pizza
All Things Sausage, Ham, Salami & Cheese
  • Roasted pork knuckles with onion, potato (Csülök pékné módra): 2 800 HUF
  • Roasted goose thigh with potato: 2 400 HUF/portion
  • Paella: 1 400 HUF/10 dkg
  • Hungarian layered potato casserole: 1 900 HUF
  • Salmon roasted on lava stone: 1 400 HUF/10 dkg
  • Foise gras with honeyed pear: 1 900 HUF/10 dkg
  • Grilled sausage: cc. 1 500 HUF
  • A slice of bread: 100 HUF
  • Pickles: 500 HUF/portion
  • Strudel: 600 HUF/piece
  • Kürtös kalács/Sekler cake: from: 1 200 HUF, the raspberry coated is 1 500 HUF

Flat Bread) – An All-Time Fair Favourite

Thie local street food, lángos a yeast-based round batter deep fried in oil is available at almost every corner of the fair.

You can even learn to make it at the Lángos/Hungarian Flat Bread Workshop & Store locate dat the Váci itca end of the fair.

around a dozen langos cooling on a trayIt comes with all imaginable toppings from sweet (Nutella, fruit jam – 1 000 HUF) to savoury:

  • plain with salt and a dash of garlic oil : 900 HUF,
  • sour cream: 900 HUF,
  • cheese:  900 HUF
  • the combination of the previous two: 900 HUF
  • sausage: 2 000 HUF,
  • bacon: 1 500 HUF,
  • grilled chicken + veggies: 2 000 HUF,
  • roasted pork knuckles + leeks: 2 000 HUF
  • vegetarian: 1 500 HUF
TIP: Krampampuli is a traditional Hungarian punch drink, here’s the recipe: put raisins, figs, dates, dried, plums, candied orange peel in a large bowl, place an iron crate over the bowl with a large loaf sugar on it.

Mulled Wine, Krampampuli, Punch 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.

Christmas Fair Mug

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 ask 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:

Festive Mug in red design

Drinks for Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Advent calendar in the windows of the Gerbeaud cafe
If you get tired of the bustle, have a cup of coffee with a delicious Hungarian cake in Gerbeaud Café.

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.

Christmas Crib on Vörösmarty Square

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, 06. December

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.

TIP: A couple of other holiday markets await visitors in the city see the most popular ones below.

More Christmas Markets

Xmas Market at St Stephen's Basilica

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.

Date of the Advent Festival on Szt. István Square: 27. November 2016 – 02. January 2017. The fair is open on December 24: 10.00-14.00 but closed on December 25. & 26.

A tall Christmas tree dominates the holiday fair in Deák Ferenc utca (also known as Fashion Street)

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 17. November – 29. December 2016.

Óbuda’s Main Square and the neighbouring arae alos turns into a festive whirl with craft fair, ice rink, gastronomy, drinks, concerts and family programs: Date: 25. November – 18. December 2016.

See our full overview of Christmas Markets in Budapest.

Preparing For Christmas – More Festive Events in Budapest

Here are some of the coolest Xmas programs taking place during the weeks preceding the holiday.

Light Trams & Trolleybuses

tram 2 in Christmas lightsEven 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 SeasonChristmas in BudapestHungarian Christmas RecipesNew Year’s Eve Party on the DanubeNew Year’s Eve in Budapest – More Programs in December 2016.

Details

Start:
November 11
End:
January 1, 2017

Venue

Vörösmarty Square
Vörösmarty tér
Budapest, 1051

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