All posts tagged Budapest Christmas Shopping

Christmas Markets are all over Budapest, and even though the most visited is the Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square (the oldest fair), there are multiple venues to see some more Budapest Christmas markets. We encourage you to take a look at more of them, such as the Xmas at the Basilica, or the fair on the courtyard of Vajdahunyad Castle, etc., and the Christmas fair on Budapest Erzsebet Ter (Elisabeth Square).

“Christmas Racket” on Elisabeth Square Budapest 2012

Christmas Market Elisabeth Square Budapest

Christmas Market Elisabeth Square Budapest 2012

The name of the fair in 2012 is Karacsonyi Zsivaj (Christmas Racket). There will be many retro things as well as fire jugglers, concerts, and more. You can take a look at the many goods made by Hungarian toy makers, crafts of Hungarian designers, etc.

Venue: Erzsebet square downtown Budapest (right near Deak Square, and 5 min walk from two major Christmas markets in Budapest, the one on Vorosmarty square and the other on St Stephen’s Square by the Cathedral)

Date: December 8, 2012 (sorry, it is just a one day event as opposed to the rest of the Budapest Christmas markets)

Organizers: Szeretem Budapestet (SzeBu)

The organizers and supporters of SzeBu aim to get rid of the many – low level – graffiti signatures you can see in Budapest (amazingly a lot, and mostly no artistic value – we have nothing against Banksy!) :)

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 2018. 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

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 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

2023 Dates
the Crafts Market of the Budapest Christmas Market is open between Nov 17 and Dec 28, 2023. After that, only the Food stalls will remain open until Dec 31, 2023.

Opening Hours of Christmas Market

2023 opening hours

Sunday to Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm (handicraft shops), 10 am – 9 pm (food stalls)
Friday and Saturday: 11am – 10 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), 12 am – 6 pm (food stalls)
Dec 31: 11 am – 5 am on Jan 1 (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 2023has been set and updated : Nov 18, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024

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.

Visiting Budapest Christmas Markets

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

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.