All posts tagged Budapest Christmas Sights

Budapest Panorama Skating

One of the most scenic ice rinks in Budapest during the Christmas season is perhaps the Skating Rink at the Whale Winter Festival, located near the modern whale-shaped building, called “Balna”.
The Whale Winter Festival has opened its gates to let you skate along the river Danube while marvelling at the several beauties of Budapest’s century old UNESCO World Heritage sites, typically enjoyed from Budapest River Cruises.

Whale Winter Festival

The unmistakable whale shaped building of the glass covered Whale Event Hall & Whale Bistro are welcoming You for the Budapest Whale Winter Festival event series for the festive season. There are ongoing, varied winter programs and activities both inside the building, and on the terrace of Whale Bistro, culminating in the spectacular and fun Boogie & Swing New Year’s Eve Party on December 31.

There will be something for every age!

Ice Rink Highlights

Ice Skating Budapest Whale

Ice Skating Budapest Whale

  • Free entry to the ice skating rink
  • Amazing Danube view (UNESCO site)
  • Free concerts & music programs (Ice Disco)
  • Mulled Wine
  • Street Food
  • Affordable prices
  • Crafts Market
  • Interactive Play Centre for kids
  • Free 1 hour parking (weekdays + 2 hours weekends)

Winter Festival Program: Daily Schedule
Free Ice Skating with Panorama View
Interactive Crafts Play Centre for kids with Animators
Ice Disco from 6pm

Christmas Gift Making: the Crafts Play Centre of the Whale Winter Festival is aimed for families with kids who want to make Xmas gifts as crafts. There are various other children programmes.

Opening Hours

Budapest Panorama Skating

Budapest Panorama Skating

The Skating Rink Opening hours of the Winter Festival are as follows:

Sunday – Thursday 10 am – 10 pm (break for rink maintenance 2-3pm)
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 12 pm (midnight) (break for rink maintenance 2-3pm)
Mon – Sun: closed for ice rink maintenance

Festive Opening Hours:
24 Dec: 10 am – 2pm
25-26 Dec CLOSED
27-30 Dec 10 am – 10 pm
31 Dec 10 am – 6 pm
Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Party in Budapest Whale
1 Jan CLOSED

New Year's Eve Jazz Party Budapest Whale

New Year’s Eve Jazz Party Budapest Whale

Every afternoon between 14:00 and 15:00 the ice rink is closed due to ice maintenance.

Rental Prices for Skating Rink

HUF 1000 / 3 hours (approx. €3.5)
Deposit: HUF 10000 (approx. €35)

Miscellaneous info on skates for hiring:
Runner Ice Skates available from size 26
For smaller children double blade skates are also available (attachable to regular street shoes).

Address of Whale Winter Festival
Balna Budapest
Budapest
District IX (Post code: 1093 Budapest)
11-12 Fovam Square

Other Ice Rinks in Budapest:

City Park Ice Rink Budapest

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the few Budapest attractions that are open all year round, even on public holidays like the days of Christmas. In fact, the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya) is open all day and all night, from Monday to Sunday, which makes it one of the most easy attractions to fit in any Budapest itinerary, especially among your Budapest Christmas things to do list.

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas – Ben G Hancock Photography

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best lookout towers in Budapest where you can take panoramic photos from to capture the winter sights of the Pest side, like the Hungarian Parliament, the Gresham Palace, the domes of the St Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge over the river Danube, etc.

At Christmas, the Fisherman’s Bastion can seem quite deserted, which is ideal for those who do not like crowds of tourists flocking around a sight. However, around 11pm on Christmas Eve, people who wish to attend the Midnight Mass will start to slowly gather around the Matthias Church to get a good seat for the Holy Mass in time.

Opening hours:

24 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

25 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

26 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

31 December: 0-24 (free to enter)

1 January 2017: 0-24 (free to enter)

 

St Anne Church Budapest Concert

Budapest Christmas Eve Concerts are not numerous compared to the rest of the December events when you can choose from dozens of good and affordable concerts.

Budapest Christmas Evening Concerts

Budapest Christmas Evening Concerts – Norman Walsh Photography

As most Hungarians tend to spend the evening with their families, there are a lot fewer people going out in Budapest, so the available concerts and events are few and far between.

Basically, what we know about on offer in for Christmas Eve as concerts in the various genres are the following:

Classical Music Concert in Budapest on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Concert in the Inner City St Anna Church Budapest – St Anna Church is a fascinating Neo-renaissance Church with Baroque Elements (18th century). The church is the home of elevating music concerts throughout the year. Note: there are more St Anna churches in Budapest, the venue is the Inner City St Anne’s Church on Szervita Sq District V. Please check availability before attending the concert. Booking tickets online on this page.

Live Music on Budapest Cruises

Bar Piano Battle on the Christmas Eve Cruise

Piano Music on Budapest Christmas Dinner Cruise

Piano Music on Budapest Christmas Dinner Cruise

Live bar piano music will provide the background ambient of the Christmas Eve Piano Cruise in Budapest on a 3 hour festive cruise. The bar piano music will be also accompanied with songs of international greatest hits (Girl from Ipanema, etc.) and local songs. The duo at the pianos will compete with each other, and take turns in championing the stage. Tables for couples, families, or friends are separated, offering privacy.

Gypsy and Salon Music Concert in Budapest on Christmas Eve

Budapest Xmas Eve Dinner with Gypsy Music

Budapest Xmas Eve Dinner with Gypsy Music

As part of the Christmas Eve night river cruise with buffet dinner, you can listen to a live concert played by the popular Hungarian Gypsy Trio on the Budapest Christmas Eve Cruise with Gypsy Music. The cruise goes twice in the evening of December 24. Tables are shared round tables of 10, offering a night of getting to know other guests.

Music of the Midnight Masses in Budapest

Participate in the Midnight Mass in Budapest in St Stephen’s Basilica or Matthias Church. True, it is not a concert event, but Christmas music will fill the century old halls of the churches, and the hearts of the participants.

Alternative Music Concert in Budapest on Christmas Eve

In 2015 we have not been informed about upcoming concert on Dec 24, but there may be an alternative music concert in Mika Tivadar club, or in another ruin pub of Budapest.

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 Opera House in Budapest is a must see during your Christmas holidays, or winter visit in Budapest, even if you are not an opera sort of visitor.

Christmas at Budapest Opera House

Christmas at Budapest Opera House

In late November, the Budapest Opera has its huge Christmas tree standing in its luxurious hall at the lavishly decorated main stairway.

Luckily the Hungarian Opera House is open even at Christmas, and throughout December. This makes the Opera House one of the best Hungarian Christmas gifts. Getting a ticket for the Christmas performances is not easy, so do book in advance via online.

Budapest Opera Christmas opening hours

Budapest Opera in December: here is the list of 2012 December Events in the Hungarian State Opera House, lots of operas, and the fantastic Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker (shown each year for many decades now)

Budapest Nutcracker Festival

  • free Christmas concerts in Budapest
  • Hot Drinks booth by the Budapest Opera
  • Christmas Installations of Nutcracker Ballet

Budapest Opera in November 2012

More Concerts in Budapest:

Budapest Christmas Concerts
Budapest New Year Concerts