While every place has its own traditions for the yuletide, the sights, sounds and smells of the Christmas Markets in Budapest earn the city international acclaim as one of the most festive places in the world. The “Queen of the Danube” is truly a feast for the senses, bursting with light and joy with its music and booths filled with unique seasonal treats, distinctive crafts and gifts, and the spirit of the season.
The Christmas Market in Vörösmarty Square is one of Budapest’s oldest and most beautiful experiences to behold. Beginning in early November and continuing until New Year’s Day, the square is chock full of food stalls, shops and free open-air concerts. Despite it being one of the most popular holiday markets in Europe, it still retains all its charm and family-friendly nature. Peruse the intricate and beautiful ornaments and Hungarian handicrafts. Stop at a stall and grab a kürtőskalács, a chimney cake roasted over charcoal while basted with melted butter until its surface cooks to a golden-brown color. It’s a Hungarian specialty and a staple of any Hungarian Christmas.
In fact, cakes, pastries and sweets are a timeless Hungarian tradition. Sample the traditional Hungarian chocolates like the Christmas fondant candy (szaloncukor) or a Beigli (a sweet cake roll with walnut, poppy seed or chestnut). Indulge in a tempting piece of flódni, the traditional Jewish-Hungarian plum and poppy seed cake, and wash it down with a hot beer with sour cherry. Explore the wide choice of winter warmers on sale such as raspberry schnapps punch, apple cider or blackcurrant rum punch – a wine-based winter tipple that is a sweeter alternative to the mulled wine on sale.