All posts tagged Budapest Christmas Children Activities

The Christmas Market and Festival in Vajdahunyad Castle, the picturesque castle in the City Park, is one of the best Christmas events in Budapest, Hungary. The Christmas market is open in December (from Dec 1 to December 23).

Skating Rink by Vajdahunyad Castle

Skating Rink by Vajdahunyad Castle – Ben G Hancock

NOT SCHEDULED for 2015. You can visit the Christmas markets in Budapest that are scheduled regularly, like the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market, the St Stephen’s Basilica Advent Market.

Nevertheless, Vajdahunyad Castle is well worth a visit, for several reasons, for its own merits, and for the beauty of its neighbourhood, the Ice Rink Palace in Budapest in the City Park, and the Szechenyi Bath, both of which are within walking distance.

————————————–

2013 Budapest Christmas Market in Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest: the dates of the upcoming Budapest Christmas market in Vajdahunyad Vara have not been finalized yet, but in all probability the fair will be from December 1 2013 to December 23 2013. To get some insights about the Vajdahunyad Castle Christmas Market, take a look at past events and their programs, e.g. 2012 Vajdahunyad Castle Xmas Market

Besides the stalls of the Xmas fair set up in the courtyard of the castle, you can see some lovely performances and hear Christmas concerts on the main stage of Vajdahunyad Castle by the Gothic Castle building. There are many Hungarian wine makers presenting their wines. Mulled wines are also available as well as traditional Hungarian foods (sometimes even Belgian beers and chocolates as the guest of the Vajdahunyad Christmas Fair is Belgium, like in the fair in 2012).

Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest in winter

Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest – Leon de Nemea Photography

Vajdahunyad Castle is conveniently located beside the big Budapest Ice Skate Rink and ToPart Palace (another smaller palace by the Ice Rink). Getting there by the M1 yellow metro is a breeze from the city center. Get off on Heroes’ Square and take a short 5 min walk following the towers of the castle.

Handcrafts at the Christmas Market

Old and skilled craftsmen as well as contemporary artists and designers sell their Christmas goods and gifts if you should be looking for some special Hungarian Christmas gift.

Christmas Market Opening Hours

The Christmas fair and festival in Vajdahunyad Var in Varosliget park of Budapest is open every day in December, from Dec 1 to Dec 23 (tentative dates, the final opening hours are usually set in November)

Opening Hours of the Christmas Market

  • Monday at the Christmas market: from 12 pm (noon) to 8 pm
  • Tuesday at the Christmas market: from 12 pm (noon) to 8 pm
  • Wednesday at the Christmas market: from 12 pm (noon) to 8 pm
  • Thursday at the Christmas market: from 12 pm (noon) to 8 pm
  • Friday at the Christmas market: from 12 pm (noon) to 8 pm
  • Saturday at the Christmas market: from 10 am to 8 pm
  • Sunday at the Christmas market: from 10 am to 8 pm

Programs Vajdahunyad Castle Christmas Market

Christmas Market and Christmas Concerts: take a stroll on the courtyard of the Castle to see some traditional handmade crafts and modern Xmas designs, grab a mug of mulled wine and enjoy the music of the fair: Gospel singers, Hungarian world music and folk bands, jazz musicians, kids bands, etc. are on the menu of the Christmas festival.

The heated Gingerbread House in the Baroque Hall of the Castle, the Book House, etc. offer warm refuge from the cold winter weather with many programs.

Live Bethlehem with real animals in the Christmas Pet Zoo of the Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest Christmas Fair is a real attraction for younger children.

Children and adults can have a nice time together in the kids arts and crafts workshops, making Christmas decorations and gingerbread cookies and decorations at the Christmas market of the Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle.

Youlupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus comes to visit children at the Vajdahunyad Castle. But Santa Claus can also lend its one horse sleigh to take you for a round in the City Park (Varosliget) and its many attractions: Szechenyi Baths, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Transport in Budapest, the Budapest Zoo, Anonymous Statue in Budapest, etc.

Advents Sunday Concerts in the Chapel of Jak (the smaller replica of the Church of Jak village) of the Vajdahunyad Castle: each Sunday during the Advent, from December 1 to Dec 23, you can listen to beautiful choir songs in the Sunday concerts. The venue is the chapel of the castle, which was modeled after the Romanesque style 13th century church of Jak village in medieval Hungary. Jak Chapel Sunday services are normally from spring to autumn on Sundays, but the Advent period is a special event series in Vajdahunyad Var Budapest.

Dec 15, Luca Day: when the Shepherds meet… The Day of Luca (officially on December 13) is a day surrounded by Hungarian Christmas rituals, old beliefs and strange traditions in Hungary. At the Vajdahunyad Castle, Luca Day will be dedicated to the Hungarian shepherds, and the traditional lifestyle and culture of Magyar shepherds on Dec 15, 2012. During the Christmas market, you can see the permanent and temporary exhibitions in the Vajdahunyad Castle, the residence of the Hungarian Agricultural Museum. See the Vajdahunyad Castle Exhibitions here, or more info about Vajdahunyad Castle Events

Related to Vajdahunyad Var Karacsony:

Winter Events Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest

Christmas Fair in Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle

February Furmint Wine Festival Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest

Carnival in Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest

Are you visiting the 2012 Budapest Christmas Market this winter?

Budapest Christmas Market 2012

Budapest Christmas Market 2012

Are you curious what it may be like? We have gathered some fresh videos of the 2012 Budapest Christmas markets as a teaser. The videos are user made and uploaded videos, but still enjoyable.

Videos of Budapest St Stephen Cathedral Christmas Market 2012

Light Painting on the walls of the St Istvan Cathedral (Karácsonyi fényjáték a Bazilikánál 2012):

Videos of Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square

Laser lights projected on the building of Cafe Gerbeaud (the quality is not the greatest, but it gives a good feel for the atmosphere)

Christmas Concerts on Vorosmarty Square: all sorts of genres, mostly folk and world music but jazz, blues, swing, chanson, etc. are also on the menu

Madardal Folk Band Concert on Vorosmarty ter at the Budapest Christmas Market 2012

Tükezoo Concert on Vorosmarty Square Xmas Fair Budapest 2012

 

Christmas Lights in Budapest 2012 (the video was made on and around Vorosmarty Square, Vörösmarty tér, in downtown Budapest)

Budapest Christmas would not be complete without a bit of public transport in a Xmas mood: the Christmas streetcar / tram. One of the loveliest Budapest Christmas sights is the Budapest Christmas Streetcar number 2, and some more Budapest trams turned into a festive sight with many thousands of lights (approx. 39,200 white and blue LED lights).

Schedule in 2016

Expected dates: Dec 4, 2016 – Jan 6, 2017 (exceptions Dec 24, 31)

Budapest Christmas Streetcar

Budapest Christmas Streetcar – Mark Mervai Photography

There is no surcharge to travel on the Budapest Christmas Streetcar, you can use your Budapest Card or public transport travel pass, tickets as on any vehicles of the BKV company in Budapest. However, there will be special Christmas tram rides too (see details below). The trams are not well heated, so do get dressed well for the rides!

2016 Schedule of Christmas Trams in Budapest

The complete 2016 schedule of the Budapest Christmas trams has not been issued by the official Budapest public transportation company (BKK for short) yet. What is sure that the number 2 Tram – the scenic, award winning tram along the river Danube – will run daily during the Christmas holiday, beautifully lit.

Number 2 Tram  – daily Christmas Trams, between 5 pm – 9 pm

Number 4 Tram – occasional Christmas Trams

Number 14 Tram – occasional Christmas Trams

Number 47 Tram – occasional Christmas Trams

Trolleys lit up for Christmas are also scheduled for 2016!

Please take a look at the schedule below to get a rough idea of what to expect in 2016.

Schedule in 2016

Budapest Christmas Streetcars

2 Streetcar in Budapest at Christmas

Christmas Tram and Trolley Duo Budapest hamster

Christmas Tram & Trolley Duo Budapest – Photo from hamster.blog.hu

There are streetcars bearing number 2 or 2A on their cars. Some of the trams 2A have been dressed up for Christmas. Tram 2A is running along the river Danube as if it was a land based Budapest river cruise.

Tram 2A leaves from Boraros square (Boráros tér) by Petofi Bridge (on the Pest side), which is the terminal of the 2A streetcar line. The other terminal of the 2A tram is Jaszai Mari Square (Jászai Mari tér) by the Margaret Bridge, where the Christmas streetcars await those waiting for a special journey.

Days in 2016: to be confirmed. Please check back later for updates.

47 Streetcar in Budapest at Christmas

Budapest Christmas Tram

Budapest Christmas Tram – Mark Mervai Photography

The route of streetcar number 47 is from Deak Square, calling at Astoria stop, Kalvin Square stop (National Museum), Fovam Square (Budapest Market Hall: Central Market Hall), St Gellert Square (Gellert Bath, Gellert Hill), Bartok Bela Way (Cafe Hadik), Moricz Square. Tram number 47 leaves Deak Square (Deák Ferenc tér), while the trams will also run from the southern termainl in Budafok – in the south of Budapest (Torley Champagne Museum)

19 Streetcar in Budapest at Christmas

Not scheduled in 2015

In addition to the Pest side ‘sightseeing streetcar’number 2A – 2A and 2 trams chosen as the most beautiful scenic streetcar routes in Europe by National Geographic magazine – you can also get a Christmassy ride on the Buda side, parallel with the river Danube promenade. The tram is number 19, whose scenic route starts from the Liberty Bridge (by Gellert Baths and Hotel Gellert), up until Batthyany Square, which is just opposite the Hungarian Parliament. Although the full route of tram 19 in Budapest is much longer, the most scenic part is between the Danube bridges.
You can take a festive tram trip 19 in December from the two terminals or at any of the tram stops. The Christmas trams will leave Batthyany Square (Batthyány tér) and the other terminal Kelenfold Train Station (Kelenföldi pályaudvar)

Schedule in 2016

Christmas Streetcar Tram Fenyvillamos Budapest 2015

Christmas Tram Budapest Tibor Illyes / MTI Photo

Special Budapest Christmas Tram Rides

The special rides are longer and special fees are charged for them by Budapest BKV company.

Two festive Christmas Light Trams will leave Boraros Square (Petofi Bridge) on certain days in December with a special fare. For instance, the Christmas Light Tram will take a ride to the Buda hills on a designated day (Huvosvolgy, Farkasret, Kamaraerdo), and another to the outskirts of Pest side of Budapest (Pesterzsebet, Kispest and Pestlorinc). Both night Light Trams leave at 9 pm and will wander about in the night (tram fans in Hungary love these night rides).

In addition there will be a special tram trip for those who love Photography. Taking festive photos with many stops in Budapest. The 6 hour length (!) Christmas Photo Streetcar in Budapest will leave from Szell Kalman Square on the Buda side (at the foot of the Castle Hill). The fee is approx HUF 2,000 (leaving Boraros Sq at 22:00 Dec 13, 2014). Again, do get dressed well and bring your gloves as the trams are not heated well, and you will need warm hands for steady shots of beautiful Budapest Christmas sights.

Please note that there are no Christmas trams on Dec 24 (Szenteste / Holy Night), and on New Year’s Eve in Budapest (Dec 31).

Schedule in 2016

Related:

Budapest Christmas Cruises (Dec 24, 25, 26)

Budapest New Year Cruise (Dec 31)

Mark Mervai Photography (beautiful Budapest photos)

Source for 2015: Budapest BKK Facebook page

general information waited to be published by Source: BKV.hu Christmas news. BKV is the official public transport company in Budapest, Hungary.

The Nutcracker Festival of the Budapest Opera House launches at the end of November or early December. There is a 30 meter majestic Christmas tree set up in front of the Hungarian State Opera House as well as a small wooden booth selling hot drinks in the afternoon. The Nutcracker Festival of the Budapest Opera will last until the end of December.

Nutcracker Festival Budapest Opera

Concerts by Budapest Opera

There are several open air concerts scheduled for the festival, which are free. In addition to the official chorus of the Budapest Opera, including its children’s choir, further 17 choirs (like the School Choir of St. Stephen’s High School, or the School Choir of the Bela Bartok Secondary School) lined up to perform Christmas concerts in front of the Budapest Opera House (until December 23).

Christmas at Budapest Opera

Christmas at Budapest Opera – Pal Csillag Photography

The choirs will sing in front of the theater, to the right of the word Sphinx statue.

The date of the official opening ceremony of the Budapest Nutcracker Festival changes from year to year. Please check on the site of the Opera House the exact date this year.

Hot Drink Booth by the Opera

In the elegant and stage prop like Christmas Booth of the Budapest Nutcracker Festival you can buy mulled wines, or hot tea. This is a charity booth. Besides the hot drinks, you can buy little gifts from Russia and France, the two outstanding countries of ballet. All the proceedings of the charity booth will be given to the Ecumenical Organization (Ökumenikus Segélyszervezet) to help families and children living in poverty and need.

The Nutcracker ballet has been performed in the Budapest Opera House for over 60 years now with great success, and international acclaim.

 

7 Nutcracker Installations by the Budapest Opera

 

Budapest Nutcracker Festival Installations

Budapest Nutcracker Festival Installations – source: Metropol.hu

On Karoly korut (Karoly ring road) and by the Opera House you can see special installations. Old style cylindrical news posts turned into artsy displays: the decade old props and figures of the Nutcracker shows of past years have been included in the transparent posts to call attention to the Nutcracker Festival, like the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, the Ballerina, Drosselmayer, etc.

On some evenings of December , at the open air Christmas concert (dubbed the Kiskaracsony or Little Christmas concert) more than 1,600 people with disabilities have been invited to participate in the Budapest Christmas festivities and the Nutcracker Festival of the Hungarian State Opera House.

The concerts of the Nutcracker Festival are around 6 pm, and from 5 to 6pm, you can buy your hot drinks from some of the singers, artists and ballet dancers of the Opera House.

We have been walking around the Budapest Christmas Markets this year to take a look at the amazing gingerbread Christmas tree decorations, some of them with Hungarian folk motifs and a Hungarian twist. On a traditional Hungarian Christmas tree, you can always find some Christmas Candy, the Szaloncukor, and often see home made gingerbread Christmas tree ornaments, often made together with the kids. Or, bought at the Budapest Christmas Fair. Like these beauties.

You can see many of the Hungarian gingerbread Christmas tree decorations here: Hungarian Folk Motifs on Christmas decorations

Hungarian Folk Motifs on Christmas decorations

Hungarian Folk Motifs on Christmas gingerbread decorations

If you want to do some gingerbread decorations yourselves with the children, there is a playhouse in the middle of Vorosmarty Square at the Budapest Christmas market where you can join the locals to do some Xmas workshops, like decorating gingerbread hearts, bells, etc. The playhouse is open in the afternoons and at the weekends. Free to join.

These are some that we liked most. Please send in your photos of the gingerbread Christmas decorations you liked most to BudapestChristmas [at] gmail [dot] com.