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Children activities at Christmas in Budapest

Budapest Christmas Market by St Stephen's Basilica

Spending 29 December in Budapest can easily be fun with many interesting things to do.

Let us give you some ideas of the seasonal festivals, performances, special concerts and other holiday season events on how to spend this day in the capital city.

Thermal Baths in Budapest on 29 December

Szechenyi Baths Budapest in Winter

Szechenyi Baths Budapest in Winter

Want to get ready for the New Year’s Eve party and chill out before the big event? Maybe longing for a game of water chess? Or just want to relax after the busy Christmas holiday? Just take a dip in one of Budapest’s many famous spas.

Budapest has a number of great spas and outdoor pools worth visiting, but  Szechenyi Baths, Gellert Spa, Lukacs Baths, or Rudas Baths are the most known ones.

They are open every day, all year, opening hours might vary, please check the websites.

Hungarian Folk Show in Budapest on 29 December

Folk Cruise Dinner Budapest - Balancing Bottles

Folk Cruise Dinner Budapest – Balancing Bottles

One of the most prestigious folk ensemble, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, will perform in the beautiful Danube Palace (Duna Palota) by the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest on 29 December.

The Hungarian Folk Show events are extremely popular, booking in advance is highly suggested.

Would like to have more Hungarian folk experience?

Enjoy an amazing Hungarian Folk Music and Dance Show on a boat tour in Budapest while cruising on the Danube. The Folk Show on Dinner Cruise program includes an evening with either a Danube Cruise and 5 Drinks or a 4-Course Served Dinner. This evening offers a bit of fun too, with a bit of folk dance learning opportunity!

Concert at St. Stephen Basilica Budapest

Budapest Basilica Christmas Midnight Mass

Budapest Basilica – Neil Howard Photography

The magnificent St. Stephen’s Basilica hosts a very popular organ-concert series performed by some of Hungary’s most loved musicians.

The Concerts at St Stephen’s Basilica Budapest are all about classical music composed by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and Vivaldi.

River Danube Cruises on 29 December in Budapest

Go on a boat trip on the Danube and admire the top attractions of Budapest.

Night on Hungarian Folk Boat - Budapest Parliament

Night on Hungarian Folk Boat

If you are interested in a lunch cruise or a cruise with only drinks, maybe even with an audio guide, please choose from several day cruise options.

There is a wide range of dinner cruises with either either a la carte, served dinner, or buffet style with all kinds of live music on board.

Hungarian and international dishes, meat and vegetarian options await you on the Budapest Dinner Cruises.

Buda Castle Tours on 29 December

The Buda Castle District in Budapest attracts tourists every day, all year round. With different winter Castle tours in the Buda Castle District, or a 2h Budget Buda Castle Walking Tour, everyone finds the perfect option.

Segway Tours in Budapest on Dec 29 in Budapest

Winter Segway Tours Budapest

Winter Segway Tours Budapest

Have you tried a Segway tour before? If not, do not miss the 1 or 2 hour long guided Segway Tours in Budapest as they are fun for everybody.

You can choose from different Segway Tours in Budapest on December 29:

Christmas Markets on Dec 29 in Budapest

Spend some hours in one of Europe’s best Christmas markets while sipping mulled wine, buying authentic handmade souvenirs or listening free concerts.

Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market

Christmas Market at Vorosmarty Square Budapest

Christmas Market at Vorosmarty Square Budapest

Address: Vorosmarty Ter, District V

Opening hours on Dec 29: 10 am – 9 pm (merchant stalls until 8 pm)

St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market

Address: Szent Istvan Ter, in front of the Budapest Basilica building, District V

Opening hours on Dec 29: 10 am – 8 pm (food and handicraft stalls) with laser show every half an hour between 4.30 pm and 8 pm on the Basilica’s facade.

 

 

Looking for things to do once Christmas is out of the way? Not sure what is open between 26 December and New Year? Or just want to get out of the house? Here are some useful tips on where to go and what to visit on 27 December in Budapest.

Thermal Baths in Budapest on 27 December

Budapest Szechenyi Baths in Winter Dec 26

Budapest Szechenyi Baths in Winter – Natalie Wilson Photography

Burn off those excess calories by visiting one of the main thermal baths of Budapest (Szechenyi Baths, Gellert Spa, Lukacs Baths, Rudas Baths) as they are open from 6 am to 9 pm, with small alterations are in the different thermal baths (the outdoor pools in Szechenyi and Rudas Baths are open until 10 pm, while Gellert Spa closes at 8 pm). Check-in for online reservations: 9 am – 6 pm.

Everyone wants to have a relaxed day at Szechenyi and Gellert Spa enjoying a nice massage or trying Gellert Spa’s private bath, therefore early booking is highly suggested.

River Danube Cruises in Budapest on 27 Dec

Enjoy the wonderful Budapest in winter on either a day cruise or admire the night lit river side attractions on a night river cruise.

River Danube Cruise Budapest in Winter

River Danube Cruise Budapest in Winter

The dinner cruises are either a la carte, served, or buffet style dinners with live music (from Bar Piano to gypsy music): Budapest Dinner Cruises

As many people are on holiday and not working between Christmas and the New Year, tickets to these cruises sell out in advance, so book early to avoid any disappointment.

Budapest Gala Concert in the Danube Palace Budapest on 27 December

With a very wide range of repertoire from gipsy music and operetta to classical music featuring a special Hungarian instrument, the cimbalom (hammered ducimel), this Budapest Gala Concert is for everyone. Performing the Danube Symphony Orchestra, the soloists of the world-famous Budapest Operetta Theatre and other great talents from the national “Virtuosos” talent show.

Budapest Gala Concerts

Budapest Gala Concerts

You can even enjoy an unforgettable cruise with dinner, drinks and great views of the city right after the concert.

Buda Castle Tours on Dec 27

Buda Castle and its District is one of the top attractions of Budapest. With different winter Castle tours in the Buda Castle District, you can choose the perfect one for you and the loved ones. Please, dress well for these outdoor tours, as the weather in Budapest can be really freezing on the last days of December.

Segway Tours on 27 December in Budapest

While walking tours are mainly for families or the elderly, a Segway Tour in Budapest is for the brave and open minded souls!

Book your Segway Tour in advance as its popularity is rising, even in the cold winter months.

Christmas Markets on 27 December

Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest

Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest

The Christmas Fairs are still open. Head there for food stalls (like you need any more food after Christmas), mulled wines, unique products and more. Free entry.

1, Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market on Dec 27

Address: Vorosmarty Ter, District V

Opening hours on Dec 27: 10 am – 9 pm (merchant stalls until 8 pm)

2, St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market on Dec 27

Address: Szent Istvan Ter, in front of the Budapest Basilica building, District V

Opening hours on Dec 27: 10 am – 8 pm (food and handicraft stalls) with laser show every half an hour between 4.30 pm and 8 pm on the Basilica’s facade.

 

Nutcracker is one of the most awaited shows every year in Budapest, whether you wish to see the classical ballet of Nutcracker story in the Hungarian Opera House and National Ballet Institute (the Opera House is home of both the operas and ballets), or the more contemporary ballet and theatre shows in the Palace of Arts in Budapest (MUPA for short).

Nutcracker Budapest Szeged Contemporary Ballet Dance

Nutcracker Budapest Szeged Contemporary Ballet Dance

The Palace of Arts has invited the renowned ballet company of Szeged town in Hungary to perform the ballet in a modern interpretation. Tickets are already on purchase on the official website of Mupa.hu.

Dates: Dec 22, 2017 and Dec 23, 2017

Pecs Contemporary Ballet: The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker Theatre Show in Palace of Arts Budapest

The Nutcracker Theatre Show in Palace of Arts Budapest

Nutcracker Puppet Show in the National Puppet Theater in Budapest: officially called the ‘Budapest Puppet Theater’ but it is a national institution with many of the best puppet performances in Hungary. The Nutcracker puppet show is a Christmas tradition, and has been running for many decades with great success. To boot, the ticket prices are ridiculously low for a foreign family (HUF 1,300 per ticket), so it is one of the best deals you can get at Xmas in Budapest if you are visiting the city with children in winter. Besides the Nutcracker, there are several more puppet shows running all through November, December and January, so do check the event calendar of the Puppet Theater for more shows, and details.

Nutcracker Puppet Show in Budapest Puppet Theater

Nutcracker Puppet Show in Budapest Puppet Theater

Venue: Puppet Theater (Budapest Bábszínház) at 69 Andrassy Avenue, Budapest, District VI (post code: 1062, Andrássy út 69.)

Dates of the Nutcracker Puppet Show

Friday, December 1 2017 10:00
Tuesday, December 12 2017 10:00 and 15:00
Wednesday, December 13 2017 10:00 and 15:00
Sunday, December 24 2017 10:30 and 14:00
Monday, December 25 2017 10:30

There will be puppet shows on Dec 26 too, although not the Nutcracker. The shows are in Hungarian language, which may not bother your little one at all, so it might be worth giving a try:
December 26
10:30 am Misi Mokus vandoruton at Budapest Bábszínház – Színházterem

Tickets to the Nutcracker Puppet Show

Tickets can be purchased online or on the premises at the Budapest Puppet Theater on Andrassy Avenue. You can book your tickets in advance for the puppet show online. The official ticket vendor of the Budapest Puppet Theater is Jegy.hu.

Booking

 

Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market is the most popular of the Xmas markets in the city of Budapest, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Krampampuli at Budapest Christmas Market

Krampampuli at Budapest Christmas Market

See some of the photos of the 2012 Budapest Christmas Market here. It is downtown, beautiful, merry and special, a sensation indeed with its many concerts (on 2 stages), and about a hundred gift and food stalls. In 2012, the Christmas market will open on Nov 16. This is an early opening, before the Advent period, so the Xmas market will only reach its full beauty on the evening of November 30, 2012. This is the day when the Christmas city lights will be switched on by the mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos (on Nov 30, 2012). The Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty ter will be open until Dec 31, 2012. The market is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm, except for the Christmas holidays:

Opening hours of the 2012 Budapest Christmas Market, on Vorosmarty Square

  • November 16 – December 23: 8am – 8pm
  • December 24: 8am – 2pm
  • December 25: Closed
  • December 26: Closed
  • December 27 – 31: 8am -8pm (NOTE: only the food and drink stalls are open after the Christmas holiday)
  • Opening hours of the heated playhouse for kids: 2pm-6pm from Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm on Saturday and Sunday from Nov 16 to Dec 23
Hungarian Foods at Budapest Xmas Fair

Hungarian Foods at Budapest Xmas Fair

True, if you are a shopping mall fan, Vorosmarty Christmas Fair may not be your style, but if you like traditional lovely things, and authentic places, come and enjoy the Christmas market with us. Just bring a warm coat and some warm boots. What will you see in 2012 at the Christmas fair on Vorosmarty ter? Let us guide you through.
The Christmas festival in Budapest is one of the best things to do in the capital of Hungary in December, even if you are not much of a Christmas gift shopper. We promise.

Foods and Drinks at the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market

If you like trying local foods and drinks, you will get some decently priced nice dishes and traditional Hungarian pastries from the vendors at the Christmas market. You can see how the pastries are made, smell the wonderful spices of mulled wine or krampampuli (festive flaming drink, sweet and spicy), as well as Hungarian fruit brandies, which will surely keep you warm in the cold December of Budapest.

What should you try?

Drinks: mulled wine, krampampuli flaming drink, Hungarian spirits (Palinka), and Hungarian herbal bitters (Unicum)

Street Foods: langos (round flat snack with toppings), roasted chestnut, d0dolle (potato dumplings), sausages

Desserts & Sweets: kurtoskalacs (Chimney cake, a cinnamon pastry ideal for walking and nimbling), beigli (a rolled pastry with nuts or poppy seed cream), szaloncukor (traditional Hungarian Christmas candy, often covered with chocolate and put on the Christmas tree to entice)

Drinking mulled wine, local spirits to keep you warm while sitting by the wooden benches, and listening to the live music (folk music and Christmas songs), or walking about the hundred wooden stalls and little Xmas houses is part of a pleasant Christmas trip in a city, which lives and breathes, even in cold winter time, Budapest.

Map of Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market 2012

The square is small and cosy, but to give you an idea about the Christmas market on Vorosmarty tér, we are sharing the map of the fair with you. You can click on the map to zoom in.

Budapest Christmas Market Map 2012

Budapest Christmas Market Map 2012 (click to enlarge)

Concerts at the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market 2012

There are several concerts during Advent and Christmas in Budapest. Usually traditional music (classical and folk music), but you will definitely find more modern music in the city around Christmas time too: world music, hiphop, house, punk, metal, rock are always present in this cosmopolitan city with hundreds of clubs, bars, discos, etc. The other day we heard Edith Piaf sang by a Hungarian singer in a very nice rendition.

On Vorosmarty Square you will only hear folk music, world music or traditional Christmas songs from the dozens of Hungarian bands playing for free on the Christmas stage.

The bands playing at the fair will be enlisted in the annual Christmas programme put out on a board at the Christmas Market.

Kids love dancing to the lively folk music, which is really fun if you are visiting the Budapest Christmas Market with your children. (Of course some adults also join the dance troupe).

Gifts at the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market 2012

Quality hand made crafts are abundant, whether you are looking for small gifts or unique high quality Christmas presents: jewellery, shoes, bags, mugs, plates, clothes, toys, etc. are all on the stalls. But how do we know that they are of good quality? Only vendors well rated by the Hungarian Folk Association can sell their goods and gifts on the Christmas market on Vorosmarty ter. No kitchy plastic souvenirs, no led lit cheap gifts, no lame wise cracks on T-shirts.

There is also a guest town selling its traditional and authentic goods at the Budapest Christmas market on Vorosmarty ter. The guest town in 2012 is Kalocsa, which is famous for its colorful and rich Hungarian embroidery, so you can buy gifts like traditional Hungarian tablecloths, kitchen towels, garments, etc. decorated with the folk motifs of Kalocsa. Kalocsa is also famous for its Hungarian paprika (the best Hungarian paprika comes from Szeged and Kalocsa).

Christmas Light Painting at the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market 2012

The 14th Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square will feature light painting: from November 30 till December 23, the facade of the Cafe Gerbeaud, a 19th century cafe and pastry shop on Vorosmarty Square, will be painted in the evenings with light rays.

When will be the light painting show on Vorosmarty Square at the Budapest Christmas Market?

In a given period within the Christmas market, every day, after sunset, at the following hours:

  • 5pm on November 30 to December 23, 2012
  • 6pm on November 30 to December 23, 2012
  • 7pm on November 30 to December 23, 2012
  • 8pm on November 30 to December 23, 2012

Wifi at Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty ter 2012

The Christmas fair on Vörösmarty tér is not only free, but there is free wifi too.

Prices at the Budapest Christmas Market 2012

Mulled wines go by mostly HUF 250 per dl, which is really cheap and nice. You can buy mulled wine in a plastic cup or in the official annual mug of the Budapest Christmas market (there is a small fee for the mug, in 2012 the price of the Budapest Christmas mug is HUF 600). The Christmas mug is a nice souvenir, you can choose from 2 colors and 3 designs in 2012. Mulled wine  is also sold in plastic cups, but it is so much better to take a mug around, isn’t it?

Budapest Christmas Market mug 2012

Budapest Christmas Market mug 2012

Szamos also sells mulled wine, which we liked a lot (their Szamos marzipan and mulled wine stall is at the corner of Vaci street, right of the Xmas stage).

Mulled wine Budapest Christmas market

Mulled wine Budapest Christmas market (Szamos mulled wine)

The Christmas fair on Vorosmarty ter is organised by the official Budapest Tourism office, its website is budapestinfo.hu: