All posts tagged Budapest Christmas Shopping

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 the world-famous Chimney Cake and tasty Mulled Wine.

Christmas Market Tour Booking

For a 2.5-hour market tour around a Xmas fairs + the Hungarian Christmas essential snack Chimney Cake & Mulled Wine for  65 Euro (child ticket available for €30).

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? 65 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 tasty snack). The Xmas tour includes:

  • Guided Tour to 2 Christmas markets of Budapest (on Vorosmarty Square and at the St Stephen’s Basilica)
  • Guided Tour inside the St Stephen’s Basilica
  • 1 Cup of Mulled Wine
  • Chimney Cake Tasting
  • Discount for Children with non alcoholic hot drink

Visiting Budapest Christmas Markets

Please note the proof of vaccination required to visit the program for adults.

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.

The price of the Christmas market tour includes Mulled Wine. Gluhwein is the most popular drink in the winter markets of course.

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 public transport)

The whole tour is family-friendly (free for under 3 years of age, discount for children under 13). Children will get alcohol-free hot drinks instead of Mulled Wine.

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, Mulled Wine, Chimney Cake, 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).

15 – 17.30, 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.

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.

Christmas Tour Booking

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), a hat, scarf and gloves will come in handy on windier days, and a good warm coat is also necessary.

Last updated Nov 14, 2023

Budapest Christmas Market by St Stephen's Basilica

The Christmas market on St Stephen’s Square is right in front of the beautiful St Stephen’s Basilica (St Istvan Bazilika), one of the tallest buildings on the Pest side of Budapest, and one of the biggest churches in Hungary.

Budapest Christmas Market Basilica

Budapest Christmas Market Basilica – photo by MPeti

The first Advent Fair by the St Stephen’s Basilica was held in 2011, organized by the National Association of Folk Artists. The skillful members of the Association of Hungarian Folk Artist are selling their unique and high-quality traditional crafts (rated by the panel of the best Hungarian folk artists) in the wooden market stalls of the Basilica Christmas Market.

Entering the giant Advent gate, you will find yourself among a hundred handcrafts stalls, and a sizeable skating rink set up on St Istvan Square (Szent István tér) in the heart of the city of Budapest.

Visit St Stephen Basilica with guided tour during the festive season. Book your tickets for €15 per person here.

Where is the Budapest Basilica Christmas Market?

Luckily, the location of the Basilica Christmas Fair is very close to the oldest and most well-known Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, so you can easily visit two of the biggest and most popular Xmas fairs of Budapest during the Christmas holidays.

When is the Budapest Basilica Christmas Market?

2021 Dates: Nov 17, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024

The Budapest Basilica Xmas Market is in fact a winter festival, which starts in late November, and ends in the New Year. The Christmas Market by the St Stephen’s Basilica opened late November in 2011 (its very first year, started in 2011), a bit later than the fair on Vorosmarty Square (running since 1998).

St Stephens Basilica Budapest in December

St Stephens Basilica Budapest in December (Mishpan photography)

Similar to the latest years, the St Stephen’s Basilica Xmas market will be open throughout December.

As for the daily opening hours of the Christmas Market on St Stephen’s Square:

The Opening ceremony is on 17 November, 2023
Opening times between Nov 17 2023 and Jan 1, 2024:

Monday – Thursday: 11:00 – 20:00
Friday – Saturday : 11:00 – 23:00
Sunday: 11-20

Festive Days

Dec 24: 11:00 – 15:00
Dec 25: 11:00 – 20:00
Dec 26: 11:00 – 20:00
Dec 31: 11:00 – 22:00
Dec 31: 11:00 – 03.00 Drink Stals
Jan 1: 11:00 – 18:00

Drinking mulled wine, eating some roasted chestnuts, or filling Hungarian snacks attracts hundreds of thousands in Hungary and tourists from many countries.

Visiting Budapest Basilica Christmas Market

Please note the proof of vaccination required to visit the program for adults.

Visit St Stephen Basilica with guided tour during the festive season. Book your tickets for €15 per person here.

Video Mapping – Christmas Laser Projection on the Basilica

Schedule of Light Painting:

In every 30 minutes, every day between 4.30 pm and 10 pm you can see the Basilica’s facade turning into a beautiful Christmas visual narrative. This year’s special attraction will be a 3D projection on the Basilica, that can be viewed from all corners of St Stephen’s Square with 3D glasses.

Budapest Basilica Christmas Market Video Mapping

Budapest Basilica Christmas Market Video Mapping / Light Painting on the Facade

Skating Rink at the Budapest Basilica Christmas Market

Budapest Basilica Christmas Market Skating Rink

Budapest Basilica Christmas Market Skating Rink

Enjoy the artificial skating rink right in the middle of the Christmas Market at the Basilica in Budapest downtown. Skating courses also available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The age range of the course is 4-14 year old children. The price is not a question: they may join the free skating training on the nicely decorated rink at the center of the market.

Size of Skating Rink: 200 square metres

Entry Fee: Free of Charge for Kids aged 4 – 14

Opening Hours: daily (weekend skating classes scheduled, see below)

From the beginning of the Basilica Advent market, you can use the skating rink.

Skating Class Hours: Friday from 2-8 pm, Saturday from 10am-6 pm and Sunday from 10am-6 pm.

Free Skating Classes for children aged 4 – 14 years old. Wrap them up in warm clothes and let them enjoy the Advent Market in Budapest!

Folk Dance at the Budapest Basilica Advent Market

Every Friday and Saturday in the evening (starting 24th of November), the Goncol Folk Dance Ensemble, who aim to keep traditions alive and show its beauty to each generation, will give twenty minute shows. They either improvise a ‘dance house’ that all the guests of the fair may join or surprise the audience by vivid flash mobs.
Do join the dancers on Fri and Sat to try your legs at Hungarian folk dance. Or enjoy a festive Hungarian Folk Dance Show in Budapest in the winter season.

Goncol Hungarian Folk Band at Budapest Christmas Market by Basilica

Goncol Hungarian Folk Band at Budapest Christmas Market by Basilica

Visit St Stephen Basilica with guided tour during the festive season. Book your tickets for €15 per person here.

Budapest, the Perfect Christmas Destination

In fact, Budapest has often been chosen as one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe, and the Christmas markets are warmly recommended by many of the travel books about Europe and (Central) Eastern Europe.

St Stephens Basilica Budapest Candles

St Stephens Basilica Budapest Candles – Yellow Cat photography

Don’t worry, although some places are closed on Dec24-26, many places remain open, and many of the best places: restaurants, brunches, baths, sightseeing river cruises, etc. There is a lot to do in our cosmopolitan city.

You can be the part of this festive merriment. Come and visit Budapest and listen to the beautiful concerts in the Basilica (Advent Organ concerts, choirs, charity concerts, etc.). You can also attend the masses, light a candle, and be filled with the warmth of Christmas.

Past Christmas markets by the Basilica in Budapest

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022


Budapest Christmas Fair Basilica

Budapest Christmas Fair at the Basilica


Budapest Christmas Market by St Stephens Cathedral

Budapest Christmas Market by St Stephens Cathedral

Christmas Market Budapest Obuda

The Advent Fair in Obuda (Old Buda) is a lesser known but beautiful Christmas Market in Budapest held during the Advent weekends, where you will find lots of locals but very few tourists. So if you prefer to visit off the beaten track, secret Budapest events, non-touristy places on your Budapest visit, head to Old Buda by the Arpad Bridge on the Buda side.

Advent in Obuda Budapest

Advent in Obuda Budapest

While most tourists and locals flock to the Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, or to the St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market, both in the heart of Budapest, many locals will head to the Christmas market in Old Buda (District III of Budapest) to avoid the crowds, tourists, and feel the Advent market atmosphere as if visiting the Fair in a small town.

Obuda Advent Market

Obuda Christmas market is from Nov 30 – Dec  23, 2018

The historical Fo Square in Obuda definitely has a small town feeling, and is well worth the detour to join the Christmas events and activities, especially if there is a superb concert given by one of the best Hungarian bands. There are special programs (concerts, puppet shows, etc.) at the 4 Advent weekends. The programs usually start after 1 pm and are until 6-7pm.

Free Skating Rink

An artificial skating rink awaits visitors at the Advent market in Obuda. You can use it free of charge. Skates can be rented at a very affordable price (approx. HUF 600 for adults and HUF 400 for children)

Crafts Fair

Browse and buy some handcrafts at the Obuda Christmas Market.

Opening Hours:

Monday – Thursday  2pm – approx. 9 pm
Friday – Sunday  10am – approx. 10 pm
Closed on Dec 24

If your time allows, do visit Obuda Christmas fair too, not only the fair on Vörösmarty square and the Christmas market by the St Istvan Basilica.

Pony at the Budapest Christmas Fair

Pony at the Budapest Christmas Fair

Old Buda (Óbuda in Hungarian) is the old part of Buda town (the hilly side of BUDApest), established by the Romans as a border town. Aquincum, the Roman ruins of Old Buda can still be seen, and its museum is worth a visit if you like history, antiquity and the Roman era. It takes approx, 20-30 min to get to the Xmas Fair in Obuda from the city center of Budapest. The Christmas Market will take place in the nice Main Square (Fő tér) of Obuda, which is a short ride from downtown Budapest.

When is the Advent Fair in Obuda, Budapest?

The market is open during the Advent period, with many events at the weekends (from Friday evening to Sunday evening). The Christmas market in Obuda usually starts late November, and features many nice folk, jazz, world music concerts, dozens of Xmas market stalls with nice hand crafted gifts, toys, jewelries, clothes, etc. and of course lots of yummy foods (traditional Hungarian snacks, blood pudding, live pudding, Christmas pastries, sweets, etc.).

Christmas Activities at the Advent Fair in Obuda, Budapest

Budapest Christmas market skating rink

Budapest Christmas market skating rink

Besides eating traditional Hungarian delicacies and sampling the local beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, from mulled wines, palinka to cordial), or buying gifts what else can you do at the Christmas Fair in Óbuda? Children can pet animals in the small petting stable (e.g. the pony). All who like skating will enjoy the artificial rink at the Obuda Christmas Market.

Amd of course you can enjoy the Christmas Concerts in Obuda! Concerts for the big and the small, by the big and the small. And puppet theater performances, folk dance shows (yes, even in freezing winter time). Let’s see some of the bands and performers at the Óbuda Advent Market.

Christmas Concerts at the Xmas Fair in Obuda

Each weekend during the Advent period, from late November, to mid December, will bring some nice concerts. The Christmas concerts are varied in their genre: ragtime, world music, jazz or folk music are mostly on the menu.

Concerts can start at midday (12 pm), 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, or 7pm. Usually on the hour, almost every hour – on Saturdays and Sundays. Some of the Hungarian bands that were playing at former Obuda Christmas markets in Budapest are Mistral, Veronika Harcsa Jazz Quartet, Hot Jazz Band, Budapest Ragtime Band, Kalaka, Balazs Szabo Band, Kerekes Folk Band, the fantastic Besh o droM, the wine singers of Vivat Bacchus, Cimbaliband, the Christmas Carols performed by Nagykovacsi Choir, the Xmas concert of the Bra­un­hax­ler Dal­kör, Martina Kiraly jazz concert, Budapest Show Choir, Tulipant Folk Band, Buda Folk Band, Gyorgy Ferenczi and the Rackajam (lively world music), etc. There are many children choirs singing Christmas songs around midday, like the Agi Kemeny Children Choir, the Kicsi Rigók (Little Blackbirds) Children Choir, etc.

What we especially like about the Christmas market in Old Buda district on the Fo Square is that locals are more intensively participating in the Advent market, by making Christmas cakes and bringing other home made foods to share. Share the peace and joy as well as our old traditions and future merriments.

The official website of Obuda Advent Market is here.

If you are enjoying a Christmas break in Budapest, Hungary, you may wish to do some shopping too. The Budapest Christmas markets will offer handmade design gifts, the shopping streets of Budapest (Vaci utca and the Fashion Street near Deak Square) will have loads of international brands (usually of the lower end), while Andrassy Avenue will have lots of luxury boutiques with high end, high brand products. But what about shops and shopping malls in Budapest?

Budapest Christmas Shopping

Budapest Mammut Christmas 2012

Budapest Mammut Shopping mall Christmas

The shops in Budapest are regularly open from Monday to Saturday noon in Budapest, but during the Advent period, until Dec 24 many of them are open all week from 9am to 6pm. Shopping mall shops and boutiques are usually open all week from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 8pm.

December 24 is a special day, and by law, standard shops can only be open until 2pm. The exception to this rule are the many little 24/7 so called nonstop shops, shops by tourist attractions, petrol station convenience stores and florists. Shopping malls on Dec 24 are typically open between 8-9am and 2pm in the afternoon.

The Real Christmas Sales in Budapest

On Dec 25 and 26, the shopping malls are open, but only the entertainment facilities are permitted to stay open through the Christmas holiday, i.e. movies and cinemas, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, but not the shops. From December 27 everything goes back to the regular opening hours, and most people do their Christmas exchanges and sales shopping after the Christmas holidays until the end of January (this is the period when you get the best winter sales in Budapest, Hungary).
On Dec 24 the Christmas markets in Budapest are only open until 2pm, and this is the last day of the markets (until Dec 31 only the food stalls and gastronomy vendors of the Xmas fairs remain open, the wooden booth selling handcrafts are gone once the Advent is over).

The shops and the markets, market halls, shopping malls re-open on December 27, so expect to find closed doors of shops on Dec 25 and Dec 26 in Budapest, and schedule something else for these two days. See what is on in Budapest on Dec 25 and Dec 26:

Budapest Westend Shopping Mall Christmas

Budapest Westend Shopping Mall Christmas

The Hungarian Museum of Applied Arts (Iparmuveszeti Muzeum) holds its annual Christmas market in December. The date of the Xmas Fair changes from year to year, but to cater for more visitors, the Christmas Market is usually held at one or two of the weekends during the Advent.

Museum of Applied Arts Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts Budapest – Phil Calvert Photography

Christmas Market at the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest:

first weekend of December 

The Christmas fair is simultaneous with an Advent Family Weekend at the Museum, with workshops and many programs for the children.

The program of the event and some photos will come soon. Please check back later.

Until then, take a look at some of the fantastic displays from the exhibitions of the Museum of Applied Arts (Iparművészeti Múzeum) on Ulloi Way, Budapest, District IX.

Hopp Ferenc Eastern Asian Museum (also managed by the Museum of Applied Arts) features beautiful objects from the Asian continent, like ceramics from China, Japanese wooden carvings

The museum will also have some Christmas decoration workshops (date not finalized yet). Some of the previous programmes

  • making Korean Christmas decors (yes, in Budapest, did we mention that Budapest is a cosmopolitan city?)
  • Origami girlands
  • and other Christmas decor with an Asian infusion

December 1 – 30 at the Nagyteteny Castle in Budapest

Budapest Museum of Applied Arts Christmas Fair

Budapest Museum of Applied Arts Christmas Fair

Another smaller museum in Nagyteteny Palace is also under the management of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. This nice 19th century palace on the outskirts of Budapest is in Nagyteteny district (District XXII, 9-11 Kastelypark Street). Each year in the Advent period, the Nagyteteny Castle gets a range of beautiful Christmas decor, plus you can see the old 19th century furniture and interior decor of Hungary (at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian empire)

In the month of December, from Tuesday to Sunday (except Christmas holidays), you can see the Christmas trees of designers, made or decorated by Hungarian designers.

On one of the weekends, you can also participate at a very children and family friendly program in Budapest, where the kids can also make Christmas tree decorations, you can buy some little gifts, etc.

This Christmas event is absolutely not touristy, as the castle itself is about an hour’s ride from the city center of Budapest with public transport (about 35 min by taxi)

See more info about Budapest Museums and Budapest Attractions.

Exhibits at the Museum of Applied Arts

Exhibits at the Museum of Applied Arts

The location of the Museum of Applied Arts on Budapest Tourist Map: in the center of the map, you can see the yellow M symbol for the museum.

View Budapest Tourist Map in a larger map