All posts tagged Budapest Christmas Market Vorosmarty Square

The Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square is often thought of as the single Christmas market in the city of Budapest, which luckily is not true. However, what is true is that the Xmas fair on Vörösmarty Square is the oldest, richest and the most spectacular of all the Christmas markets in Budapest.

Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market Budapest

Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market Budapest

2019 Dates to be confirmed
the Crafts Market of the Budapest Christmas Market is open between Nov 9 and Dec 29, 2018. After that, only the Food stalls will remain open until January 1, 2019.

Opening Hours of Christmas Market

2018 opening hours:

Sunday to Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 9 pm (food stalls)
Friday and Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 10 pm (food stalls)
Dec 24: 10 am – 2 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 3 pm (food stalls)
Dec 25, 26: 12 pm – 6 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 6 pm (food stalls)
Dec 27: 10 am – 8 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 9 pm (food stalls)
Dec 28 – Dec 29: 10 am – 7 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 8 pm (food stalls) (only Food Stalls open from Dec 29 onwards)
Dec 30 : 10 am – 10 pm (food stalls only)
Dec 31: 10 am – 4 pm (food stalls only)
Jan 1: 2 pm – 10 pm (food stalls only)

Indeed we ourselves get many of our Christmas gifts from the Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square, and then, holding onto our mulled wine in a festive gift mug, we just walk over to the Christmas fair on St Stephen’s Square, right in front of the Basilica to make sure that we get a chance to see all the lovely handmade gifts local Hungarians make keeping the old trades and traditions alive. Make sure to buy crafts until Dec 24 on Vorosmarty Square Christmas market as the craft stalls are only open during the Advent period (unlike on St Stephen’s Square at the Basilica Xmas Fair!)

When is the Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, Budapest?

Christmas Market Vorosmarty Square, Budapest

Christmas Market Vorosmarty Square, Budapest (photo: BudapestInfo)

The market is usually all through December, more specifically the Advent period. The date for 2018 has been set and updated : Nov 9, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019

The Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square takes place each year in November and December. The handmade gift stalls are only open until Dec 24, Christmas Eve until 2pm. From Dec 29, only the gastro stalls remain open, the folk art and design stalls are only open until December 29. On Sundays at 4 pm: lightning the Advent Candle on the man sized Christmas Wreath, followed by Angelic Choir Songs.

Where is the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market in Budapest?

Downtown, the Christmas market is in the best possible location in Budapest, in the heart of the city. The nice square is called Vorosmarty square, i.e. Vörösmarty tér in Hungarian.

Budapest Christmas Market

Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty ter – Eszter Hargittai Photography

What is the Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square like?

First and foremost, the Christmas market on Vorosmarty ter is a delightful sensory experience: full of colours, festive sounds, and enticing smells. Like an old picture postcard from your grandmother’s age, when street foods and choirs singing were so natural. The festive market stalls are ready to open in mid November, and the square turns into an old folk tale with its dozens of buzzing wooden market stalls, the concert stage, thousands of handmade gifts, the lovely smell of cinnamon pastries (Kurtoskalacs – Chimney Cake), sausages, mulled wine, grilled vegetables, street snacks like Langos, dodolle (potato dumplings), etc.

The lights of the Xmas market are not the dazzling commercial mall lights, and you will not see hugely sized Santa Clauses either. The lights and decors are more toned down, which makes the fair sort of nostalgic.

Budapest Christmas Market Mulled Wine

Budapest Christmas Market Mulled Wine – TopBudapestOrg Photography

The nostalgia Christmas fair of Budapest will be both complemented and contrasted by the surrounding buildings on Vorosmarty square: while most buildings date back to the 19th century, like the popular Cafe Gerbeaud, there are also newer buildings. And what is new always reminds us that we are just visitors on a fairy tale Christmas island.

In the evenings, there will be festive light painting shows on Cafe Gerbeaud. The Christmas light painting on the facade of Cafe Gerbeaud is enchanting, puts you right into the middle of the Christmas story. In some years, Cafe Gerbeaud had a huge Advent calendar on its facade, but in the last few years, the concept has changed, favouring the laser ray painting.

Map of Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market

Map of Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market

Free Concerts at the Christmas Market

There are many free entertainments at the market, several concerts late afternoon, even on weekdays. Concerts are in a wide range of music genres: folk, jazz, crossover, indie, blues, soul and world music.

How do you say Vörösmarty tér in Hungarian?

The pronunciation of the Christmas square may seem too difficult at first time, but saying it 2-3 times out loud will make it super easy. Say: verr-ersh-mor-ty tay-r) Ö in Hungarian is always pronounced as the ‘ir’ in girl or Shirley, while É with an accent, is always pronounced as -ay- as in ray, say, but we do not say the ‘y’.

Vaci Utca, the oldest and longest Budapest Shopping Street is not only decorated at Christmas with Xmas themed street lights, but you can also buy wonderfully smelling winter style street foods in Vaci street, like roasted chestnut, mulled wine, or the Hungarian Chimney cake (kurtoskalacs) etc.

Christmas Lights on Vaci Street at Christmas

Christmas Lights on Vaci Street at Christmas – Ben G Hancock Photography

The shopping street is right in the heart of the city of Budapest.

Vaci street actually connects Vorosmarty Square (where the best Budapest Christmas market can be found, and the Cafe Gerbeaud is), with the highly popular Central Market Hall of Budapest (likewise the best in its category). The street runs parallel with the river Danube, from the Chain Bridge to the Liberty Bridge.

You can find many international brands and some lovely buildings in Vaci street (like the Art Nouveau Florist, which is a peculiar flower shop indeed), but in recent years Vaci utca has lost its glory. Not only because of the shopping malls, or the overly touristy restaurants along Váci street.

Chimney cake on Vaci Street at Christmas

Chimney cake on Vaci Street at Christmas – Ben H Hancock Photography

The nearby Budapest Fashion Street and the high brand shops on Andrassy Avenue are also the reason, they are simply more elegant, and for many visitors more attractive – and of course, just as touristy. Having said that, it is worth a 15 minute walk to go through on Vaci street. There are some nice art galleries, several Hungarian souvenir shops, and tiny details that make the street a nice attraction, and a nice walk between the Great Market Hall (Vasarcsarnok) and Café Gerbeaud on Vörösmarty Square.

More about Vaci Utca

Vaci Street Budapest: history, art galleries and Vaci street on Budapest tourist map.

Vaci utca on Budapest travel guide

Related to Budapest Shopping:

Live music, festive lights, Christmas preparations, gift shopping on the main shopping street of Budapest called Vaci utca (the street which used to lead to the town of Vac). We are grateful that the street music and the folk / world music on the Christmas markets take away the commercial edge of the Advent in Budapest, and let us enjoy the tunes of our beautiful city.

The Budapest Christmas markets tour is simply one of the best tours the city has on offer for visiting the 2 main Christmas Markets and St Stephen’s Basilica in a guided tour, plus having a 3 tier wine tasting in a nice Hungarian restaurant.

Christmas Tour Booking

For a 2.5 hour market tour around a Xmas fairs + the quality wine tasting tour, the price is 48 Euro (child ticket available). Yes, the mini wine tour is included in the price!

Budapest Christmas Market Tour

Budapest Christmas Market Tour

See the details of the Christmas Fair Tour in Budapest below, and place your booking as places are limited and tour dates may fill up quickly.

Why Budapest Christmas Market Tour?

Is it really worth it? 48 Euro? Yes. Absolutely! We think it definitely is, especially for such a low price, it is a great value for money, a great gift idea if you are in Budapest for the Christmas holiday, and a great opportunity to get first hand experience as well as relevant and interesting information about Hungarian Christmas traditions (and fantastic wines). The Xmas tour includes:

  • Guided Tour to 2 Christmas markets of Budapest (on Vorosmarty Square and at the St Stephen’s Basilica)
  • Wine Tasting of 3 Hungarian Wines in a Hungarian Restaurant (approx. 30 min)
  • Guided Tour inside the St Stephen’s Basilica
  • 1 Cup of Mulled Wine
  • Chimney Cake Tasting
  • Half price for Children

Let’s see each in more details

Mulled Wine at the Budapest Christmas market

Mulled Wine at the Budapest Christmas market – Eva Muller Photography

Guided tour of 2 Christmas markets with a local guide: guiding you around some of the beautiful Xmas markets in Budapest: e.g. Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market, St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market. Interesting guided tour, focusing on Hungarian Christmas traditions (just like the Advent markets, which are like nostalgia postcards coming to life). You can enjoy the markets and see the sights, foods, gifts through a local’s eyes, get footnotes and informative guidance about what you see, what you are about to buy or eat. In the 2 Christmas markets you can see the Hungarian handicrafts, trinkets, souvenirs, as well as the local foods and sweets on offer.

Along the way you will see the Opera House, Andrassy Avenue, and St Stephen’s Basilica. The Xmas tour ends on Vorosmarty square where the best Budapest Christmas market is (lots of traditional fares), so you can do some holiday shopping on your own – the farewell gift is a Mug of Mulled Wine to keep you warm while you are browsing on the Christmas Market with its hundred and more vendors, great concerts (free concerts on the Christmas Market stage!). Vorosmarty square is where the major shopping streets, Vaci utca, and the Fashion street leave from, where many shops can be found for a more modern sort of shopping (Zara, Mexx, Lacoste, H&M, Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.). The Christmas Market sprawls into these streets, which are all beautifully illuminated throughout the Advent period.

Wine tasting (3 tier): there are several wine tasting tours in Budapest, and the Christmas market tour does an excellent job considering its main focus is combining the Xmas fair sightseeing with a wine tasting tour rather than offering a stand alone wine tour.

The price of the Christmas market tour includes 3 glasses of wine (and at the end of the tour, 1 mug of mulled wine). Gluhwein is the most popular drinks of the winter markets of course. Min age for wine tasting: 18 years old (the legal age in Hungary), but participation in the tour is for all. Halfway through the Budapest Christmas Market tour you’ll take shelter from the cold, and relax a bit while sipping away famous wines from Hungary. 3 top tier wines are included.

Christmas Tour Booking

Public transport ticket: the tour is a walking tour and does not include public transport tickets (there is no need for taking the public transport)
The whole tour is family friendly (free for under 2, 50% discount for children under 13). It is a perfect family program with bigger children, but do make the kids wear warm clothes, coats, hats and boots for the tour to avoid getting the cold.

Included in the price: the guided tour in the 2 major Christmas markets, inside St Stephen’s Basilica, and 3+1 wines, small group professional guide.

Not included: Foods, gifts are NOT included in the price of the Xmas fair tours (nor is a tip for the guide).

When are the Budapest Christmas Market Tours?

The Budapest Christmas markets tours start each day at 2.30pm and finish at 5pm from the beginning of December till the end of December.

Available dates (can be checked on the booking page): some of the dates have already been booked up, and on certain days the tour is not available. See the calendar of the Christmas tours in the booking form (the little calendar icon shows the available dates).

14.30 – 17.00, from Dec 1 to Dec 30 (NOTE: no tours on Dec 24, 25 and 26)

TIP: Please note that the wooden stalls selling hand crafted Christmas gifts are only open until 2pm on Dec 24. This is usually the last day for selling Xmas goods and gifts on Vorosmarty Square, then mostly only the gastro stalls remain open selling Hungarian drinks and street foods.

Booking the Christmas Tour

Please use our booking form to make a reservation for your Budapest Christmas Market Tour.

Christmas Tour Booking

After booking you will get an electronic voucher, and this is what you will show your Christmas tour guide to prove the payment. You can also print the e-voucher on a paper but this is not necessary. You have two options for the tour regarding proof of payment, you can use paper or digital vouchers to present.

e-Voucher
The supplier of this tour accepts both printed and electronic vouchers (e-vouchers). You can either print the voucher and present a paper copy on the day of travel. Or, if you travel with a mobile device, simply show your voucher on your Smartphone or tablet on the day of travel.

What to wear at the Budapest Christmas Market Tours?

Do get dressed warmly as spending 1-2 hours outside at the Christmas markets can be chilly. The winters are cold in Budapest, you will need boots, or warm and waterproof shoes (ideally some kind of goretex waterproof walking boots, or comfy water repellent shoes), hat, scarf and gloves will come in handy on windier days, and a good warm coat is also necessary.

Madardal folk music band at Budapest Christmas Fair

Madardal folk band is one of the dozens of live concerts you can enjoy at the Christmas Markets in Budapest.

Madardal folk music band at Budapest Christmas Fair

Madardal folk music band at Budapest Christmas Fair


Most of the concerts, which are absolutely fun with toddlers and little children take place at the Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square Budapest, but there are many concerts by the Basilica Xmas Fair too (St Istvan Bazilika), at weekends on the Obuda Advent Market, etc. The concerts last until December 24.

Usually the last concerts take place around 10-11 am, as do the children shows at Christmas (e.g. Nutcracker has several versions in the city of Budapest during the Advent period, from puppet shows, to puppet and actor to ballet shows)

Venue: Vorosmarty ter Budapest, District V (at the end of Vaci utca shopping street, close to the Chain Bridge)

Here is a bit of taster of the Madardal folk music band, and their special ways to invite the children and adults to dance around, which is good, it will make you feel warmer at the Xmas market! Just go with the flow. This video of the children folk concert was made in the 2011 Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty ter.

This is one of the nicest, though low key, video about the traditional Budapest Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square in Budapest, Hungary. The video film (made in 2011) captures the little stalls and the surrounding buildings and sights very well, but on the calmer side of the Xmas market, when there are fewer people at the popular fair. The Christmas markets in Budapest usually start to get crowded after working hours (5-6pm) on weekdays, and, of course, at the Advent weekends.
Vorosmarty Sq Christmas Fair is crowded despite the fact that the other big Xmas market by the St Stephen’s Basilica is literally five minute walk.

Tip: when is it worth visiting the Christmas Market in Budapest?
If you want to avoid the crowds, go in the morning, around 10am, or at 2pm the latest. This way, however, you will also miss the Christmas concerts on the square, which typically start at 5pm and 6.15pm on weekdays 9on Vorosmaty Square).
So the questions is what is more important to you: the calmer markets with less crowds or the live music and entertainment, and to see the buzzing night life of the Budapest Christmas markets.