All posts in Xmas Events

Budapest Xmas Events: shows, concerts, markets, etc.

Skating Rink Budapest
Parliament in winter Budapest

Parliament in winter Budapest – Neil Howard Photography

Budapest will be still festive on Boxing Day at Christmas. Many activities and places, like thermal baths, cruise ships, restaurants, bars, clubs are already back on track with weekend or normal opening hours on 26 Dec in Budapest, but most museums, and many shops are still typically closed on this day.

Never mind, Budapest is a place worth being explored even on a relaxed Christmas Day.

Christmas Markets on Dec 26 in Budapest

Even though, 2 days of the Christmas holidays are already behind us, it is never too late to spend a couple of hours in one of Europe’s best Christmas fairs while sipping a cup of wonderful, hot mulled wine, and admire authentic handmade souvenirs. Heart warming drinks and delicious hot meals will be served at both of the city’s major Christmas Markets, on Vorosmarty Square in the city centre and at St Stephen’s Basilica. 26 December will also feature the festive Xmas laser shows at the Basilica.

Budapest Christmas Market Night Winter Sights Hargittai

Budapest Christmas Market Night Winter Sights – Eszter Hargittai

If you are still looking for unique one-of-a-kind presents, these are the perfect places to find them.

1, Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market on Dec 26

Address: Vorosmarty Ter, District V

Opening hours on Dec 26: 12 pm – 6 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 6 pm (food stalls)

2, St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market on Dec 26

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

Budapest Christmas Market Basilica

Budapest Christmas Market Basilica – photo by MPeti

Opening hours on Dec 26: 10 am – 10 pm (food and handicraft stalls) with laser show every half an hour between 4.30 pm and 8 pm on the Basilica’s facade.

Thermal Baths in Budapest on Dec 26

The main thermal baths of Budapest (Szechenyi Baths, Gellert Spa, Lukacs Baths, Rudas Baths and all their facilities are open during the Christmas Boxing Day, mostly from 6 am to 8 pm, small alterations are in various thermal baths. Check-in for online reservations: 9 am – 6 pm.

Szechenyi Bath

As you can imagine massage appointments and private baths are absolutely booked up days or even weeks before the Dec 24 – 26 period, so if you want to make sure that you get a nice treatment, do book in advance.

Gellert Spa

Szechenyi Bath at Christmas

Szechenyi Bath – photo by Leon de Nemea

Should you wish to enjoy a nice and relaxing massage or to dip in the private bath of Gellert Spa during the Christmas holidays, we advise you to book it well in advance.

Dec 26 Danube Cruises in Budapest

Enjoy a Budapest Boxing Day Cruises on the Danube on Dec 26, and admire the wonderful winter panorama of Pest and Buda on the riverbanks. Do book your cruise seats as the boats are full house every year at Christmas.

On all dinner cruises, you can choose from several kinds of meals (meat dishes, vegetarian options, soups, salads, desserts), some are served, while others are all inclusive buffet dinner. While enjoying the dinner, you can take in the wonderful vista or you can listen to live music too.

Budapest Sightseeing Cruise by Matthias Church

Budapest Sightseeing Cruise by Matthias Church

Should you prefer to go on a daytime boat tour check out the Boxing Day Cruises with boat tours on the Danube that are available on Dec 26 on heated boats providing cozy seats.

Many of the cruises sell out well before December, so if you want to go for a cruise, try to book in advance.

Hungarian Folk Shows – 26 Dec Budapest

Enjoy a spectacular Hungarian Folk performance, and catch a glimpse of the country’s rich folklore traditions and passion for music and dance in a historical concert hall. The folk dance show is from 8 pm to 9:30 pm, performed in 2 shows with a break.

Hungarian folk show December

Hungarian folk show December

You can reserve the performance together with a lovely late night cruise starting at 22.00 at a discount price. This way you not only have a great program for a full evening but you pay less!

Buda Castle Tours on Dec 26

The Buda Castle District in Budapest hosts some of the most popular sites in Budapest, which inevitably attracts tourists all year round. There are various winter Castle tours in the Buda Castle District, so you can check availability for a booking. It can be really cold during the Christmas

Buda Castle in winter snow

Buda Castle in winter – Neil Howard Photography

holidays, so get well dressed for a winter sightseeing walking tour. But as Budapest is known as the city of baths and spas,after a 2-hour long Budget Buda Castle Walking Tour what could feel better than relaxing in the pools of natural steaming hot water?

Public Transport in Budapest on 26th Dec

Christmas Streetcar Tram Fenyvillamos Budapest 2015

Christmas Tram Budapest Tibor Illyes / MTI Photo

On 26th December vehicles still run according to holiday schedule.

Tram 2, and some other trams are dressed in decorative lights during the Holiday Season with thousands of little led lights elevating the festive feelings in the city of Budapest.

The special holiday services normally operate between 4th December and 6th January (except for December 24, 25, 26 and 31). Please check the exact dates for the upcoming Christmas holiday with the Budapest Public Transport schedules (posted at metro stations or shared in little booklets / leaflets at the ticket offices at metro stations).

Gellert Spa Pool Budapest Winter Holiday

Gellert Spa – Miroslav Petrasko Photography

Opening Hours of Shops on 26 December

On Boxing Day all shops, supermarkets are closed. If you want to do some shopping, there are some groceries that operate 24/7 and have a special permit to stay open during the Christmas holidays.

Also, the food stalls, and several of the gift vendors at the Christmas markets are usually open.

The Russian Dance in Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

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 invites various companies to put up an annual Nutcracker Show, or stages an in house production. In recent years Budapest MUPA has presented a vast array of Nutcracker performances, e.g.  the renowned ballet company of Szeged town in Hungary visited MUPA to perform the ballet in a modern interpretation.

Tickets for Nutcracker shows are on purchase from about September / October onwards. Please check the upcoming shows for December on the official website of MUPA on

Dates: Dec 19, 2018 and Dec 20, 2018

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Budapest Christmas Market by St Stephen's Basilica

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Palace of Arts Budapest Christmas and New Year Concerts

The December programs in the Palace of Arts of Budapest range from classical Concerts, Concerts for Children and babies, as well as Nutcracker ballet and theatre shows.

National Theater and Palace of Arts Budapest Night

National Theater and Palace of Arts Budapest Night

There are high quality, wonderful performances and Concerts. No wonder, some of the events are already full house in early October!

Bookingyou can book tickets for the concerts.

We hope you will find something nice to do and see during your Christmas holiday, even though the Palace of Arts does not have events scheduled for Dec 24.

Any other day in December is usually filled with programs in the Palace of Arts.

Highlights in the Palace of Arts

Budapest Palace of Arts

Budapest Palace of Arts – Allesok Photography

Verdi: Traviata in Budapest Palace of Arts

Dec 15, 2018 from 6.55pm

Nutcracker Ballet in Budapest Palace of Arts

Dec 19, 2018 from 3pm and 7pm
Dec 20, 2018 from 10.30 am and 3pm

Christmas Classical Concert in Budapest Palace of Arts

Dec 23, 2018 from 7.30pm

New Year’s Concert – Haydn The Creation

Jan 1, 2019 from 7.30pm

Budapest has an amazing range of Nutcracker shows in December, from the ballet in the Opera House through the puppet show in the Budapest Puppet Theatre, to the show in the Palace of Arts. All venues are sold out despite the fact that these are traditional yearly events.

Nutcracker in Budapest Palace of Arts Christmas Shows

No Concerts and shows on Dec 24 but if you click on the link, we have collected lots of other things to do! Concerts, walks, dinners, tours.

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



Budapest celebrates Christmas Day with several nice events. Take a look at the Dec 26 concerts and events with music in the city. Booking in advance is strongly recommended as all festive programs in the city sell out by about mid December:

Budapest Dec 26 concerts

Budapest Dec 26 concerts

Opera House in Budapest: the Hungarian State Opera House features its traditional Christmas ballet program on Boxing Day:

11 am, Dec 26: Nutcracker Ballet – Tchaikovsky in the Opera House, Budapest

Hungarian Folk Music and Dance Show – Dec 26 (also on Dec 28 and Dec 29) (the folk show is available in a package deal with a cruise on the Danube )

Bar Piano Battle concert on the Budapest Christmas Dinner Cruise with Piano Music (7.30 pm – 10.30 pm)

Live Gypsy Music on the Budapest Dinner Cruise with Gypsy Music – Dinner Cruise with Gypsy Music and Buffet Dinner (7 pm – 9 pm)

Live Salon Music on the A La Carte Cruise in Budapest on Dec 26 (7 pm – 9.30 pm)

For more concert dates see the Dec 24 Budapest activities and the Dec 25 things to do in Budapest pages.