All posts tagged Budapest Christmas 2012

Santa Claus Train Budapest

The Santa Claus Train is a lovely nostalgia train up in the Buda Hills run by the Hungarian Children’s Railway in early December. The Children’s Railway was by the way the former Hungarian Pioneer Railway, which was a huge success during Communism, and managed to survive the change of regime, an absolute family favorite! Now, if you wonder why the Santa Claus comes so early in Hungary, at the beginning of December, rather than as Father Christmas should, at Christmas, the fact is that in Hungary, Santa Claus has a special day, Dec 6 (St Nikolaus’s day), while the Christmas presents in Hungary are brought by the Baby Jesus (or the Little Angel). Don’t ask how kids believe that a baby should be so strong. They do.

Santa Claus Train Budapest

Santa Claus Train Budapest

Santa Claus Train Budapest

Event date: Saturday and Sunday, 1 & 2 December 2018 (changes with the weekend dates yearly).

Hours of Departure of the Santa Claus trains:

Huvosvolgy Train Station at 8:20, 9:20, 10:20, 11:20, 12:20, 13:20, 14:20, 15:20, 16:20, 17:20 hrs

On Saturday, 1st December and Sunday, 2nd December 2018 you can ride the Children’s Railway in the company of Santa Claus again. This is the Advent period, and you can feel that this event for children and parents will be worth every minute.
Tickets can only be purchased in advance!
Santa Claus Specials are going to be operated on both days of the first weekend of December where children and parents can ride the Children’s Railway with Santa Claus and his bogeymen.

The young passengers and Santa’s helpers will be expecting the arrival of Santa Claus together. They will spend the time with signing and reciting poetry until he shows up on the train.

Santa Claus is going to chat away with every child individually before presenting them with the traditional small bag of sweets and fruits.

Santa Claus Specials are going to depart Huvosvolgy Station at 8:20, 9:20, 10:20, 11:20, 12:20, 13:20, 14:20, 15:20, 16:20 and 17:20 hrs. They are not scheduled to call at any station or halting along the route so they can be boarded only at the first station.

Some of Santa Claus’s helpers are going to entertain the children in Huvosvolgy just outside the station with dancing and singing before the departure or after the arrival of the special service.

Santa Claus in Budapest Railway Museum

Santa Claus Train? Yes, another great train program to welcome Santa Claus with the kids, this time in the Hungarian Railway Museum, one of the best museums with children (and train enthusiasts!) in Budapest. Event dates: Dec 7, Dec 8 and Dec 9 in 2018 (early December weekend)

Santa Claus in Budapest Railway Museum

Santa Claus in Budapest Railway Museum

Santa Claus Express Train – Father Christmas is Coming to Town! Right to the cool Train History Park of Hungary.
All Abourd the Santa Claus train in Budapest, Hungary!

Santa Claus Show in Budapest Train Museum

Santa Claus Show in Budapest Train Museum

The steam engine express train will take the children and parents from Nyugati Train Station to the Railway Museum in Budapest. The Orient Hall of the Train Museum turns into a festive party and stage to warmly welcome Santa and his helpers who bring lots of goodies and gifts for the kids. There is usually a show, goodie bags from Santa, etc.
Booking the tickets for the Santa Claus train is from mid October
More info about the special children train, and booking tickets:

Magyar Vasúttörténeti Park (Address: 95 Tatai Way, District XIV, postcode 1142 / Budapest, Tatai út 95.)
Tel./fax: (06-1) 450-1497
Email and booking the Santa Claus train seats: info@vasuttortenetipark.hu

Santa is Coming to Budapest

Santa is Coming to Budapest

And if you should be wondering why the Santa Claus comes so early in Hungary, at the beginning of December (??), rather than as Father Christmas should, at Christmas (!!), the fact is that in Hungary, Santa Claus has a special day, Dec 6 (St Nikolaus’s day), while the Christmas presents in Hungary are brought by the Baby Jesus (or the Little Angel). Don’t ask how kids believe that a baby should be so strong. They do. So a proper Hungarian Santa Claus (Telapo aka Mikulas) should come around Dec 6.

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:

The Budapest Basilica Christmas Market only launched in 2011, but in 2012 the fantastic Advent fair and Christmas market is making a spectacular return in 2012. The fair is not to be missed, and it is conveniently located in the city center!

Budapest Christmas Market 2012 Basilica

Budapest Christmas Market 2012 Basilica

You don’t have to be a gift hunter for traditional Hungarian Christmas gifts to fully enjoy the wonderful Christmas market atmosphere right in front of the biggest cathedral of Budapest, the 96 meter tall St Stephen’s Basilica.

Just take a mug of mulled wine, roasted chestnut, grab some warm, juicy and hearty street foods (well beyond sausages), and enjoy the winter festival of Budapest: Budapest Christmas!

Similarly to the displays on the nearby –  and more famous – Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, the items for sale are beautiful handcrafted, high quality goods, which can make a perfect souvenir or special Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

Budapest Christmas Market 2012 by the Basilica

Events and Programs on the St Stephen’s Square (Szent Istvan ter):

Opening Hours of the 2012 Basilica Christmas Market

Location of Budapest Basilica Christmas Market

Location of Budapest Basilica Christmas Market

December 1, 2012 – January 1, 2013:

  • Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 8:00pm
  • Friday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • Sunday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
  • 24 December, 2012: 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • 25 December: Closed
  • 26 December: Closed

Light Ray Painting on the Basilica in Budapest

from December 1 to January 1, 2012:

at half past 5 from Monday to Sunday, every day (exceptions below!) festive lights are projected on the walls of the St Istvan Basilica with accompanying melodies. Be there on the Christmas market at 5:30 and enjoy the Christmas sights.

There will be no light painting on the following days (when the market is temporarily closed for the Christmas holidays):

  • 24 December, 2012: 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • 25 December: Closed
  • 26 December: Closed

Gourmet Weekends at the Basilica Christmas Market 2012

Food & Drinks Programs at the Xmas Fair of Szent István Bazilika:

December 14., Friday, 12:00:
Tamás Bereznay – Pumpkin fried with ham, mush samp and beetroot salad dressed with goat cheese

December 14., Friday, 04:00 pm:
Tamás Bereznay – Roast duck with red cabbage and apple stewed with thyme

December 15., Saturday, 11:00 am:
Dóra Havas – Home made Christmas candies and other sweets

December 15., Saturday, 04:00 pm:
Eszter Horváth – Christmas muffins, crèmes, hot chocolate

December 16., Sunday, 05:00 pm:
Zsolt Serényi – Christmas menu

Shows and Performances at the Basilica Christmas Fair 2012

“Birds”

Birds at the Basilica Xmas market in Budapest

Birds at the Basilica Xmas market in Budapest

Flags or Birds? What are these flying dancers with poles and huge sheets of silky sheets? A special performance at the Budapest Basilica Christmas show is the “angel dance” of Middle-East origin. It has great traditions in many European countries too, but it is new to Hungary. The dancers have huge wings on sticks and with the colorful swirling of them they can tell you beautiful stories. They put you in a special mood merging components of classical ballet and that of belly dance. The impact is similar to the show of “flag throwers”.

Juggler Play House

Children and adults can test their reflexes, adroitness, endurance and balancing skills. Many juggler tools are presented to the visitors like simple balls, maces, poi, devil’s stick, long stick, yo-yo, diablo or contact ball. These tools, exercises and techniques can develop the general movement coordination, sense of balance and physical condition not even to mention the joy of playing and experience of success.

Skate Rink by the Budapest Basilica

Skate Rink by Budapest Basilica

Skate Rink by Budapest Basilica

Skating rink in the heart of the city? In front of the Cathedral? On a Christmas fair? You are right. Budapest is a unique place with unique ideas. And why not? On weekends from Friday to Sunday children under 14 years old can skate free of charge.

Trainers will help and teach your little ones how to skate.

No skates with you? You can rent them on the spot (rental fee is charged).

Is it an ice rink? Sort of artificial ice rink? Yes and no. The skating rink resembles the ice rinks, but is made of a special plastic (the SummericeTM is a US made plastic skate surface that does not need cooling)

Fresh Photos from the 2012 Budapest Christmas Market near St Istvan Basilica:

Ildiko Kardos Photography:

Santa Clause painted with ray lights on the walls of the St Stephen’s Cathedral, Budapest:

St Stephen's Cathedral, Budapest Christmas

St Stephen’s Cathedral, Budapest Christmas – Ildiko Kardos Photography

Budapest Christmas Szent Istvan Bazilika 2012

Szt Istvan Bazilika Christmas, Budapest 2012

Szt Istvan Bazilika Christmas, Budapest 2012 – Ildiko Kardos Photography

Active Aging Charity Program

Society of Respect presents active elderly at the Christmas market in Budapest at the St Stephen Basilica. After all, 2012 is the year of “active aging” and the solidarity among generations in Europe. In this spirit Hungarian pensioners over the age of 60 show us how it is possible to live an active life in an elderly age. Please donate: the incoming donations are forwarded to Árpád Ódry Home of Artists that helps elder people.

November 30, 2012 – Ilona Bartis and – Márta Bedőné Kovács (60) painters
December 1-2, 2012 – Ilona Bartis and – Márta Bedőné Kovács (60) painters
December 3, 2012 – Ilona Béresi (74) clay sculptor painter
December 4., 2012 – Antalné Bellényi (79) needlework
December 5., 2012 – Ilona Rómer (64) landscape painter
December 6. – Erzsi Mohácsi (94) doll maker
December 7-8., 2012 – Györgyné Fanta (67) dolls and embroidery from Kalocsa
December 9-10., 2012 – Gyula Nyári (65) photographer
December 11., 2012 – Erzsi Mohácsi (94) doll maker
December 12-13, 2012 – Zsigmondné Zsurka (63) pearls and flowers
December 14., 2012 – Kamilla Villányi Kockásné (63) patchwork and pearl maker
December 15., 2012 – Gábor Szalka ceramist
December 16. – Ferenc Markovics (78) photographer
December 17-18-19., 2012 – Juilanna Nábrádi (74) glass painter
December 20., 2012 – Márta Dósa (62) silk painter
December 21., 2012 – Veronika N. Simon (65) painter
December 22 -23-24., 2012 – Tünde Gulyásné Tokaji (61) paper miller
December 27-28-29-30., 2012 – paintings of Lászlóné Bilcsik, László Buhnényi, Tamás Márk, Gábor Tóth, Zoltán Bende, Katalin Csomós
December 31., 2012 – Exhibition of new year’s eve piglets, petting piglets that bring good luck.

St Stephen Square Budapest

St Stephen Square Budapest in December

Also the children can enjoy an unequalled experience in the wooden hut of Society of Respect after 5 pm every day because they can encounter with Santa Claus personally!

Budapest is a multicultural city with many thousands of Jewish residents who will celebrate Hanukkah in Budapest. Don’t be surprised that you can also try Raj Rachel’s gorgeous Flodni at the Advent Market. Do try this rich Jewish cake at the market. And give Palinka a chance to heat you up a bit, a tiny bit on the chilly days. The best fruit palinkas will be sold at the market, so here is a chance to test the Hungarian spirit (carefully, its alcohol content is very high).

Budapest Christmas Light Painting / Building Mapping on the St Istvan Cathedral:

The 2013 Budapest Christmas market dates have not been finalized yet, but will be around the same time as the fair in 2012 (from Nov 30 to Jan 1)

Pesti Vigado New Years Eve Gala Concert Budapest

New Year classical concerts are abundant in Budapest, but mostly on New Year’s Day. What about New Year’s Eve in Budapest if you love classical music? Let’s see the outstanding classical music concerts  on Dec 31, 2016.

Budapest 100 Gypsy Orchestra

Budapest 100 Gypsy Orchestra

The old year is soon going to end, and stepping off the last stones of the old year needs some great elevation to get impetus for the upcoming New Year.

There are two New Year’s Eve concerts that stand out as unique experiences.

NYE Concerts + pre NYE Music Programs

Budapest NYE Gala Dinner Show Party

Budapest NYE Gala Dinner Show Party

Dec 29, Classical Concert in St Stephen’s Basilica, city center Budapest

Dec 30: Music-Wine Gala Concert with the 100 Member Gipsy Orchestra (traditionally every year on Dec 30, pre-NYE concert)

Dec 30, Symphony Orchestra with Cimbalom Show in the Danube Palace

Dec 31: Budapest New Year’s Eve Gala Concert & Show with lots of music, and optional NYE Dinner and NYE Party in Budapest Pesti Vigado palace and concert hall.

100 Member Gipsy Orchestra NYE Concert

The world famous 100 Member Gypsy Orchestra gives its annual New Year’s Eve performance in the Budapest Congress Center with an optional gala dinner. The music performance will include pieces from Khachaturian, Monti, Brahms, etc.
Venue: Budapest Congress Center (aka the Budapest Convention Center)
Date: 30 December (one day before New Year’s Eve, it is a pre-NYE event in Budapest)

Tickets: the prices of the tickets range from 43.71 Euros to 108.81 Euros. While the cheap tickets include the concert and a drink, the more expensive tickets include either snacks or a New Year’s Eve gala dinner with drinks.

Booking Concert Tickets