The Christmas market on St Stephen’s Square is right in front of the beautiful St Stephen’s Basilica (St Istvan Bazilika), one of the tallest buildings on the Pest side of Budapest, and one of the biggest churches in Hungary.
The first Advent Fair by the St Stephen’s Basilica was held in 2011, organized by the National Association of Folk Artists. The skillful members of the Association of Hungarian Folk Artist are selling their unique and high quality traditional crafts (rated by the panel of the best Hungarian folk artists) in the wooden market stalls of the Basilica Christmas Market.
Entering the giant Advent gate, you will find yourself among a hundred handcrafts stalls, and a sizeable skating rink set up on St Istvan Square (Szent István tér) in the heart of the city of Budapest.
Where is the Budapest Basilica Christmas Market?
Luckily, the location of the Basilica Christmas Fair is very close to the oldest and most well known Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, so you can easily visit two of the biggest and most popular Xmas fairs of Budapest during the Christmas holidays.
When is the Budapest Basilica Christmas Market?
November 27, 2015 – January 2, 2016
The Budapest Basilica Xmas Market is in fact a winter festival, which starts in late November, and ends in the New Year. The Christmas Market by the St Stephen’s Basilica opened late November in 2011 (its very first year, started in 2011), a bit later than the fair on Vorosmarty Square (running since 1998).
Similarly to the latest years, the St Stephen’s Basilica Xmas market will be open throughout December.
As for the daily opening Hours of the Christmas Market on St Stephen’s Square:
The Opening ceremony is on 27 November, 2015
Opening times between Nov 27 2015 and Jan 2, 2016:
Monday – Thursday: 11:30 – 20:00
Friday: 11:30 – 22:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00
Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00
Drinking mulled wine, eating some roasted chestnuts or filling Hungarian snacks attracts hundreds of thousands in Hungary and tourists from many countries.
Video Mapping – Christmas Laser Projection on the Basilica
Schedule of Light Painting:
Every half an hour, every day between 4.30 pm and 8 pm you can see the Basilica’s facade turning into a beautiful Christmas visual narrative.
Skating Rink at the Budapest Basilica Christmas Market
Enjoy the artificial skating rink right in the middle of the Christmas Market at the Basilica in Budapest downtown. Skating courses also available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The age range of the course is 4-14 year old children. The price is not a question: they may join the free skating training on the nicely decorated rink at the center of the market.
Size of Skating Rink: 200 square metres
Entry Fee: Free of Charge for Kids aged 4 – 14
Opening Hours: daily (weekend skating classes scheduled, see below)
From the beginning of the Basilica Advent market, you can use the skating rink.
Skating Class Hours: Friday from 2-8 pm, Saturday from 10-6 pm and Sunday from 10-13 pm.
Free Skating Classes for children aged 4 – 14 years old. Wrap them up in warm clothes and let them enjoy the Advent Market in Budapest!
Folk Dance at the Budapest Basilica Advent Market
Every Friday and Saturday from 5 pm (starting 29th of November), the Goncol Folk Dance Ensemble, who aim to keep traditions alive and show its beauty to each generation, will give twenty minute shows. They either improvise a ‘dance house’ that all the guests of the fair may join or surprise the audience by vivid flash mobs.
Do join the dancers at 5 pm on Fri and Sat to try your legs at Hungarian folk dance. Or enjoy a festive Hungarian Folk Dance Show in Budapest in the winter season.
Budapest, the Perfect Christmas Destination
In fact, Budapest has often been chosen as one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe, and the Christmas markets are warmly recommended by many of the travel books about Europe and (Central) Eastern Europe.
Don’t worry, although some places are closed on Dec24-26, many places remain open, and many of the best places: restaurants, brunches, baths, sightseeing river cruises, etc. There is a lot to do in our cosmopolitan city.
You can be the part of this festive merriment. Come and visit Budapest and listen to the beautiful concerts in the Basilica (Advent Organ concerts, choirs, charity concerts, etc.). You can also attend the masses, light a candle, and be filled with the warmth of Christmas.
Past Christmas markets by the Basilica in Budapest
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In 2011, the St Stephen Christmas Market was open from Nov 27 to Jan 2. On weekdays, from Monday to Friday the market was open from 11 am, while on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 10 am.
The Advent fair closed at about 9-10 pm.