All posts in Budapest Christmas

Budapest Christmas: places, events, markets, festivals, etc.

If you are enjoying a Christmas break in Budapest, Hungary, you may wish to do some shopping too. The Budapest Christmas markets will offer handmade design gifts, the shopping streets of Budapest (Vaci utca and the Fashion Street near Deak Square) will have loads of international brands (usually of the lower end), while Andrassy Avenue will have lots of luxury boutiques with high end, high brand products. But what about shops and shopping malls in Budapest?

Budapest Christmas Shopping

Budapest Mammut Christmas 2012

Budapest Mammut Shopping mall Christmas

The shops in Budapest are regularly open from Monday to Saturday noon in Budapest, but during the Advent period, until Dec 24 many of them are open all week from 9am to 6pm. Shopping mall shops and boutiques are usually open all week from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 8pm.

December 24 is a special day, and by law, standard shops can only be open until 2pm. The exception to this rule are the many little 24/7 so called nonstop shops, shops by tourist attractions, petrol station convenience stores and florists. Shopping malls on Dec 24 are typically open between 8-9am and 2pm in the afternoon.

The Real Christmas Sales in Budapest

On Dec 25 and 26, the shopping malls are open, but only the entertainment facilities are permitted to stay open through the Christmas holiday, i.e. movies and cinemas, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, but not the shops. From December 27 everything goes back to the regular opening hours, and most people do their Christmas exchanges and sales shopping after the Christmas holidays until the end of January (this is the period when you get the best winter sales in Budapest, Hungary).
On Dec 24 the Christmas markets in Budapest are only open until 2pm, and this is the last day of the markets (until Dec 31 only the food stalls and gastronomy vendors of the Xmas fairs remain open, the wooden booth selling handcrafts are gone once the Advent is over).

The shops and the markets, market halls, shopping malls re-open on December 27, so expect to find closed doors of shops on Dec 25 and Dec 26 in Budapest, and schedule something else for these two days. See what is on in Budapest on Dec 25 and Dec 26:

Budapest Westend Shopping Mall Christmas

Budapest Westend Shopping Mall Christmas

The Hungarian Museum of Applied Arts (Iparmuveszeti Muzeum) holds its annual Christmas market in December. The date of the Xmas Fair changes from year to year, but to cater for more visitors, the Christmas Market is usually held at one or two of the weekends during the Advent.

Museum of Applied Arts Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts Budapest – Phil Calvert Photography

Christmas Market at the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest:

first weekend of December 

The Christmas fair is simultaneous with an Advent Family Weekend at the Museum, with workshops and many programs for the children.

The program of the event and some photos will come soon. Please check back later.

Until then, take a look at some of the fantastic displays from the exhibitions of the Museum of Applied Arts (Iparművészeti Múzeum) on Ulloi Way, Budapest, District IX.

Hopp Ferenc Eastern Asian Museum (also managed by the Museum of Applied Arts) features beautiful objects from the Asian continent, like ceramics from China, Japanese wooden carvings

The museum will also have some Christmas decoration workshops (date not finalized yet). Some of the previous programmes

  • making Korean Christmas decors (yes, in Budapest, did we mention that Budapest is a cosmopolitan city?)
  • Origami girlands
  • and other Christmas decor with an Asian infusion

December 1 – 30 at the Nagyteteny Castle in Budapest

Budapest Museum of Applied Arts Christmas Fair

Budapest Museum of Applied Arts Christmas Fair

Another smaller museum in Nagyteteny Palace is also under the management of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. This nice 19th century palace on the outskirts of Budapest is in Nagyteteny district (District XXII, 9-11 Kastelypark Street). Each year in the Advent period, the Nagyteteny Castle gets a range of beautiful Christmas decor, plus you can see the old 19th century furniture and interior decor of Hungary (at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian empire)

In the month of December, from Tuesday to Sunday (except Christmas holidays), you can see the Christmas trees of designers, made or decorated by Hungarian designers.

On one of the weekends, you can also participate at a very children and family friendly program in Budapest, where the kids can also make Christmas tree decorations, you can buy some little gifts, etc.

This Christmas event is absolutely not touristy, as the castle itself is about an hour’s ride from the city center of Budapest with public transport (about 35 min by taxi)

See more info about Budapest Museums and Budapest Attractions.

Exhibits at the Museum of Applied Arts

Exhibits at the Museum of Applied Arts

The location of the Museum of Applied Arts on Budapest Tourist Map: in the center of the map, you can see the yellow M symbol for the museum.


View Budapest Tourist Map in a larger map

The Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is one of the hotels of the Kempinski chain, and almost all of them are close to some Christmas market. The Kempinski Hotel in Budapest is literally a few steps away from one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe, the Xmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest.

You can also visit the Kempinski Christmas Terrace on Fashion Street from December to January. The Kempinski Christmas Terrace is usually open from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 8 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundasy from noon to 8 pm. You can enjoy signature drinks, like hot mojito and Glühwein Rosé (mulled rosé wine) and try the savoury and sweet crêpes made by the kitchen of Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest.

In the promotional video you can also see the Budapest Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square (square is ‘tér’ in Hungarian, so the square goes in Hungarian: virr-ersh-morty tay-r). The Christmas fair on Vorosmary ter is usually open from mid November to early January, & there will be an Advent Market on St. Stephen’s Square by the Basilica from December 1 to December 31, every day from 10 am to 8 pm.

The two markets are very close to each other, and besides shopping some gifts, eating and drinking, and listening to concerts, you can also peek into the workrooms of craftsmen and cooks, see how the Hungarian sausages are sizzling, how the cinnamon pastry, the Chimney cake (Kurtoskalacs) is baked over open fire, how ironwork is made by old fashioned smiths, etc. This is the time to taste a wide range of spicy winter drinks, eat and buy traditional Hungarian Christmas foods. In front of St.Stephen’s Basilica, you or your children can enjoy ice-skating on the make shift artifical rink in the snow in a beautiful environment. Last but not least, you can admire the ray light painting – on the Cafe Gerbeaud on Vorosmarty Square and on the Basilica on St Stephen’s Square.

There are more than a hundred little Christmas stalls on the market, little traditional wooden stalls contrasted with the beautiful Cafe Gerbeaud in the background, the Hard Rock Cafe on the side, etc. It is a bit of time travel, away from the commercialised Christmas markets and streets. Something traditional, somewhere to feel the warmth of the Christmas festivities despite all hardships and uncertainties. Come to Budapest and enjoy the Christmas with all its warm lights, home made foods, nice smells and sights.

You can see the Advent Calendar in the windows of Cafe Gerbeaud, which these days are painted with lights, but sometimes you can see the Advent windows revealing a nice painting on the facade of Cafe Gerbeaud, one of the oldest confectioneries in Budapest, dating back to the 19th century.

Boldog karácsonyt! Merry Christmas

Hotel Zara Budapest Christmas decor

In its 2013 Christmas dining calendar of Hotel Zara Budapest the hotel’s restaurant called ARAZ Restaurant is offering a Christmas dinner menu on December 24, and Christmas Brunch on December 25.

The Christmas Eve menu in 2013 is as follows:

Christmas Eve Menu in Araz Restaurant

Welcome drink: One glass Prosecco

Salmon tartlet with sour cream texture
Gál Viognier 2007

Fish soup made from carp and catfish with matchstick pasta
Dúzsi Kadarka 2011

Catfish fillet with sweet potato rolls and chestnut ragout
Takler Kékfrankos 2009

Chocolate pumpkin soufflé with truffle ice cream
Bujdosó Sirocco 2008

 

Christmas Brunch Menu in Araz Restaurant

Soups:

❖Farm chicken soup with home-made vermicelli
❖Morel cream soup

Appetisers:
❖Prune turkey galantine with blueberry sauce
❖Salad buffet with the necessary ingredients
❖Duck rillette
❖Marinated prawn salad

Main dishes:
❖Baby turkey, spinach with pine nuts
❖Red wine beef ragout with pearl onions
❖Veal rolls with Dijon mustard, truffle sauce
❖Cod and lobster in velouté (spectacular)

Side dishes:
❖Potato doughnut with olives
❖Ember-baked potatoes with rosemary
❖Brussels sprouts with smoked ham
❖Ewe cheese corn polenta

Desserts:
❖French apple tart
❖Chocolate mousse trilogy
❖Semolina pudding with plum chutney
❖Fruit platter

Here is a lovely video showing how one of the best hotels in Budapest is preparing for the Xmas festivities, what the hotel Christmas decor looks like, etc.

The whole atmosphere is welcoming, especially around Christmas time, when you also have a chance to see the Budapest Christmas markets, visit the Opera House for a festive Nutcracker ballet or an opera, spend a Christmas river cruise on the Danube in Budapest, attend beautiful choir and organ concerts at the St Stephen’s Basilica, party at the numerous bars, clubs and ruin pubs of Budapest, and in general just have a fantastic time at Christmas in the capital of Hungary, Budapest.

Gold decor just comes so naturally to the gilded Art Nouveau building, the former Hungarian Furdo (Hungaria Bath) turned into Hotel Continental Zara Budapest. Beautiful architecture, tasteful Christmas interior and wonderful Christmas meals paired with excellent service.

Hotel Zara Budapest Christmas decor

Hotel Zara Budapest Christmas decor

Add the favourable prices and cheap deals make  the four star superior Hotel Zara stand out amongst the hotels of Budapest.

If your read Zara backward you will get the name of the hotel restaurant, the Araz, which is also preparing for Christmas with special menus.

Merry Christmas!

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Budapest WAMP Fair at Christmas

Budapest is full of very nice Christmas fairs and markets, including the contemporary design fair called WAMP, which is a regular monthly event with special Christmas editions for each Advent week.

WAMP Advent Design Market Budapest

WAMP Advent Design Market Budapest

Dates of WAMP Design Fair in Budapest at Christmas and during the Advent period: each Sunday before Christmas you can sample of the thousands of unique hand made designs, leather bags, home made jams, handcrafted lovely dolls and characters, crafted chocolates, etc.

Entry: HUF 500 (approx. 1.7 Euro)

Opening Hours of  WAMP Design Market

4 December 2016: Millenaris Park Budapest, D Hall WAMP Christmas Market 10.00-18.00

11 December 2016: Millenaris Park Budapest, D Hall WAMP Christmas Market 10.00-18.00

18 December 2016: Millenaris Park Budapest, D Hall WAMP Christmas Market 10.00-18.00

We have picked a few photos from the flickr photostream of Budapest WAMP Design Fair

 

Budapest WAMP Market at Christmas

Budapest WAMP Market at Christmas