Christmas Fairs in Budapest
As you are reluctantly dragging yourself out of the pumpkin spice-haze of autumn, you may discover that festive decorations are starting to appear on the streets in preparation for the upcoming holidays. The perfect way to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit is none other than visiting at least one of Budapest’s many Christmas fairs – below we are presenting two of the otherwise quite wide selection.
Advent and Christmas Fair on Vörösmarty Square
The Budapest Advent and Christmas Fair awaits its visitors with a rich gastronomy selection, a jury-selected array of handicrafts and applied arts products, as well as festive events from 10 November to 31 December 2017 on Vörösmarty Square, one of the most beautiful main squares in the capital. The Budapest Advent and Christmas Fair on Vörösmarty Square, which is listed among the 10 most beautiful fairs in Europe, offers high-quality products and highly rated cultural and children’s programs.
The event, which attracts 800 thousand tourists each year, is pleased to provide an opportunity for high-quality entertainment to guests from abroad and inhabitants of the city as well. The fair will feature objects of applied art and folk art, in both the traditional and a modern, re-thought format, as well as creations from various designers. The secret to excellent quality is that the highest-quality products are selected by a traditionally independent professional jury. These products, whether handicrafts, gifts or fashionable and sophisticated gastronomic specialties, can then be presented and sold at the event.
Here, the selection of traditional Hungarian market cuisine is complemented by special, delicious dishes made from local, carefully selected ingredients, as well as hand-crafted sweets and drinks. On Vörösmarty Square, the sellers behind the counters have been acknowledged for decades in Hungary and abroad as well, so they represent the gastronomical and cultural values of the Carpathian Basin and the traditions surrounding the Christmas holiday cycle with mission consciousness and authenticity. Visitors can enjoy gastronomy shows and tastings in the fair’s “Hütte”. During the fair, topic-based gastronomy, which will last for several weeks, will tempt visitors with an attractive selection of dishes: goose, stuffed cabbage, wild game and fish, as well as not-to-miss dishes connected to Lent and Hanukkah. And you can taste all this!
The matching drinks can also be selected from the offers of the Hungarian wine regions. Hungarian wine is authentic and accessible, so it is an exciting experience for foreign and Hungarian tourists to visit a Hungarian wine region – but during the fair, wine regions will pay a visit to Vörösmarty Square. In addition to the traditional kürtöskalács (chimney cake), oven-baked flat breads, and roast chestnuts, as well as artisanal chocolates and marzipan treats, the multi-layered “flódni”, beigli, strudel and ginger bread will also be on sale.
During the fair, guests can take part in nearly 160 high-quality programs. On the weekdays and during the weekend, the stage will host folk music, jazz, crossover, alternative, blues and soul concerts. On the weekends, children can enjoy puppet, dance and musical performances. Children with their families or in groups can prepare items for advent: Starting in early December, the handicrafts playhouse is open from Friday to Sunday, and later in the month all day on weekdays as well (in the morning and in the afternoon). It offers children a chance to try out candle-making, baking gingerbread, beading, felt-making and basket-weaving in a heated wooden house.
The spirit of advent will be evoked by several other events as well: candles will be lit on the giant wreath within the framework of a festive ceremony, and visitors can learn about the secrets of various professions in open workshops.
Advent festivities by the Basilica
Be part of a miracle! St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest awaits visitors during the Advent season with the most elaborate and spectacular visual experience nationwide. Light-painting projections start every hour after dark.
This year the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica will be transformed for the tenth time into the most spectacular and experience-filled meeting place of the Advent season. The opening ceremony will feature the lighting of the first candle, and this is when the decorative Christmas lights installed downtown will be turned on as well. At night the monumental façade of the Basilica will be covered in Christmas-themed light painting. For the first time, Zrínyi Street will host rows of booths selling hot and fragrant delicacies. The angels of the bazaar will distribute presents among the visitors, and neat gifts, an ice rink, entertainment, and charity events will help to get you in a festive mood.
To the delight of kids, a 200-square-meter free ice rink and a giant Christmas tree decked out in lights will serve as the centerpiece of the market, just like in previous years. Weekend programs will include handcrafting workshops for the little ones. The festive lights of the square and downtown provide a magical backdrop for a winter walk: evoking images of the Alpine landscape, the Hütte awaits everyone looking for somewhere to get warm or relax for a while, while the light gate at the square’s entrance, which is more spectacular than ever, is the perfect spot for group photos and making new memories with friends and family.
Visitors to the bazaar can browse among the wares of around 60 vendors: the high-quality handmade gifts, the most popular Christmas delicacies, spicy hot drinks, and new street-food creations. Along with the fairy-tale wooden houses of the square, Zrínyi Street also has steaming, delicious dishes and drinks in store for families and groups of friends. Everyone can get a little love and a gingerbread heart here; it is the place to experience the lovingly caring and attentive nature of the Advent period.