All posts tagged Budapest Christmas Markets

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.

 

Every Sunday in Otkert Bar in Budapest downtown (close to the Chain Bridge and the Gresham Palace in Zrinyi Street) you can pick a few quirky things at the Sunday Flea market.

Otkert Flea Market Budapest

Otkert Flea Market Budapest in Dec 2012

Venue: Ötkert Bar in Zrinyi Street Budapest District V

Dates: Sundays in December, 2012 during from Dec 1 to December 23

Otkert (say errt-kehrt) has a roofed and heated inner courtyard, and is currently one of the best Budapest bars, frequented by many locals throughout the week.

Well worth a visit if you are looking for a cool club for dancing and clubbing in Budapest, Hungary.

Budapest Flea Markets, Markets & Second Hand Shopping

Petofi Csarnok Flea Market in the City Park of Budapest

Ecseri Flea Market in Budapest

Thrift Shopping in Budapest

Budapest Markets

Budapest Market Hall

The Budapest Design Terminal Christmas Market is a design focused fair in the city centre of Budapest. For designer items, you can also visit the WAMP Winter Fair in Millenaris building.

Do you like quality design? Fashion? Art? Being stylish?

Hungarian shepherd figures

Hungarian shepherd figures

Budapest Design Terminal on Erzsebet Square in the heart of Budapest will launch its Christmas market in December to feature the works, designs, art pieces and everyday objects of approx. one hundred Hungarian designers, many of whom are considered to be the best contemporary designers in Hungary.

Of course, the pieces on display are for sale and can make a really special Christmas gift from your Budapest winter visit.

The December design fair will be held in the heated gallery of the Design Terminal, 2 min walk from Deak Square.

You cannot miss the building guarded by two strange wooden dogs, sort of like quirky Trojan Dobermans.

Design Terminal Christmas Fair

Artista Hungarian Dresses

Artista Hungarian Dresses

Date: December 3 – 23

Opening Hours at the Christmas Design Terminal
Mon-Fri : 12pm – 8pm
Sat-Sun : 10a m -9 pm

Location of the Design Terminal Christmas Market

13 Erzsebet Square, District V

Elisabeth Square is in the heart of Budapest, right in the city centre next to Deak Square (where 3 metro lines meet). This is where the old bus central has been transformed into a retro chic Design Terminal Pavilion.

Upcoming Events

Events at the Design Terminal are enlisted on their official page.

There are many sorts of  design goods and pieces, from clothes and jewellery, through paintings and graphics to furniture and interior decor. Do take a look at this high quality selection to find something really special and tastefully designed.

The charity auction has raised over 1.5 million Forints for the Ecumenic Church.

Design Terminal Budapest Christmas Charity Auction

Design Terminal Budapest Christmas Charity Auction

 

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 40 Euro (student and child tickets 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, but tourists in Budapest are not so limited during the Christmas holidays.

Why Budapest Christmas Market Tour?

Is it really worth it? 40 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 Mug of Mulled Wine
  • Half price for Children
  • Discounts for Students

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, and student tickets are also available). 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 23

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.

Chimney Cake (kurtoskalacs) is one of the traditional Hungarian cakes, originally made by Hungarians living in Transylvania (now in Romania). Chimney cake is a lovely sweet snack, a must try at the Budapest Xmas Markets, loved by kids and adults.

Chimney Cake

Chimney cake is the sweet rock and roll pastry for Hungarians. Pretzel for the salty, Chimney cake for the sweet. A walking snack, and a sight to behold as it is made in front of your eyes (and nose!).

Chimney Cake at the Christmas Market in Budapest

Chimney Cake at the Xmas Fair in Budapest – Peter Pászti Photography

While we consider Chimney Cake a sweet delight during winter time in Hungary, it is not a special Christmas pastry (unlike Beigli), and can be bought all year round, especially at Budapest festivals, like the Festival of Folk Arts in Buda Castle in August.

You can walk around the Christmas market with your warm and delicious Chimney cake: milk bread grilled over open fire. You can pick a flavour too: cinnamon, almond, walnut, coconut, etc. There are lots of yummy versions of Kurtoskalacs. No worries, the vendors will speak English. But if you wonder what the pronunciation of Kurtoskalacs is, let’s see how you say this yummy mouthful word: cure-tosh-col-arch. Not so hard, right?

 

It is sold at a more expensive price at the market (as all foods and drinks), but considering that there is no entrance fee to the Christmas market, it is not so pricey after all (about 4 Euros per roll, which could be 1-2 Euros otherwise…). So we shut our eyes, and roll with the Christmas: we love to nibble a freshly baked Chimney cake on the Christmas market, and have our mulled wine too!

The dough is basically a sort of milk loaf baked and rolled in cinnamon, cocoa powder, etc. Once the dough has raised and is ready to bake, it is thinly stretched by a rolling pin, cut in slightly to make a snake like strip of the dilapidated dough, then quickly rolled on a thicker wooden rolling pin, which has a metal handle and a metal hook. The dough on the pin is then baked in an open fire over the glistening coals. Once the cake is baked, and has a nice brown coating, it is slipped off the thick wooden rolls. The cake looks like a little barbecued pipe, or the chimney stack of old times. Hence the name Chimney Cake (Kürtős kalács in Hungarian).
The cake roll gets its final flavors when it is rolled in the sugary mixtures of cinnamon, cocoa, ginger, etc. The rolls are sold in packages too. It won’t be as delicious if eaten later, and delivered in a plastic wrapping, but it could be one of your Hungarian culinary gifts – some food for thought.