From gingerbread to bubblegum marzipan, music boxes to blackcurrant rum punch, Hungary’s capital is a great festive shopping destination. You can also feast on some mulled wine, cinnamon-pastry chimney cakes (kurtoskalacs), hollowed-out bread roll, pigs’ knuckles with potato dumplings and sauerkraut, or fresh bread lathered in garlic sauce, sour cream and grated cheese and toki pompos, a Hungarian-style pizza topped with bacon, onion and cream. Be sure to sip a glass of Hungarian sparkling wine in Varosliget café, overlooking the ice rink.
There are 12 food and drink stalls in the middle of the centrally located Vörösmarty Square, flanked by 28 craft stalls selling artisanal products and crafts. Budapest may be a thriving city with pop-up cafes, craft beer bars and vintage stores, but the Christmas market, now in its 18th year, is resolutely traditional. There’s a craft-making crèche at weekends, where children aged 10+ can be left and, on Sundays at 4pm, a ceremonial lighting of an advent candle, followed by marzipan candies with Santa on the stage.
There’s also ice skating by the illuminated St Stephen’s Basilica nearby, whose smaller Christmas market opens this weekend and features a laser show on its neoclassical facade.
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.
When? From 11th November 2016 to 1st January 2017