The Best Christmas Markets in Budapest, Hungary

The 10 Best Christmas Markets in Budapest (2024 Holiday Season)

Wrap up warm and embrace the mulled wine when you’re exploring the best Christmas markets in Budapest because it’s going to be cold outside. It might even be snowing as you browse through traditional market stalls selling handicrafts and Hungarian clothing. But despite the frigid Central European temperatures, we know you’ll love Budapest’s festive atmosphere!

The Hungarian capital knows how to host a Christmas market, as the dark nights are brightly illuminated by extravagant Christmas light displays and tall Christmas trees. From mid-November through the New Year, Budapest’s many markets are a feast of goulash, langos (cheese and cream-topped fried bread), stuffed cabbage, paprika sausages, and indulgent chimney cakes. You’ll love the food, and you’ll love the choirs, the singing, the music, the ice skating, and the tradition.

With so many amazing Christmas markets to visit in Budapest, you might not know where to begin. That’s why we decided to compile our list of the best Christmas markets in Budapest to help you plan your Christmas getaway. Visit these festive and fun Christmas markets, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an incredible time exploring Budapest during this magical time of year!

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 10 Best Christmas Markets in Budapest

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10 Fun and Festive Christmas Markets in Budapest

1. Budapest Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square

Top Christmas Markets in Budapest: Budapest Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square

Vorosmarty Square is one of Budapest’s most famous public squares, so it’s no surprise that this historic location hosts one of the most popular Budapest Christmas markets during the festive season!

The square is located on the Pest side of the River Danube. Being right in the center of the city, Vorosmarty Square’s Christmas market is a busy place to visit at Christmastime. 

The square is named for Mihaly Vorosmarty, a legendary Hungarian poet. The market takes place around the wordsmith’s statue and in front of the historic Café Gerbeaud, making for a dramatic backdrop to the festivities. 

You’re going to love exploring Budapest’s largest Christmas market (officially, it’s called the Budapest Christmas Fair on Vorosmarty Square). Hundreds of traditional wooden market stalls fill the square, each of them colorfully decorated with Christmas lights and tinsel, while a tall Christmas tree towers above the vendors.

The smell of roasting chestnuts wafts through the square while holidaymakers warm up in the cold chill of December with a cup of hot mulled wine or a steaming bowl of goulash. Budapest’s iconic chimney cakes are heated over hot coals and then covered in sugar and cinnamon, gingerbread is baked fresh every morning, and apple strudel is served piping hot and covered in cream! 

There are fried sausages, langos, hog roasts, and so much more to tempt you as you browse the market stalls. But the Budapest Christmas Fair isn’t just about food. Many of the stalls are devoted to traditional Hungarian handicrafts, and you’ll find leather workers, woodworkers, and potters all showcasing their handmade goods across the square. 

2. St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market

Festive Christmas Markets in Budapest: St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market

Head to St Stephen’s Basilica in downtown Budapest for a glorious light show that’s guaranteed to dazzle. St Stephen’s Basilica is one of the most famous landmarks in Budapest, and at Christmastime, this historic 19th-century Catholic church is spectacularly lit up by festive projections and animations. 

The light show plays out every 30 minutes, from sunset until late in the night, and while you’ll love the view from ground level, head to the rooftop terraces of the surrounding hotels for a majestic view of the basilica below.

The light show is just one element of St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market. As well as the traditional market stalls selling everything from Hungarian winter clothing to wooden Christmas toys and trinkets, you’ll find an ice skating rink in the center of the square. Fuel up on goulash, lace up your skates, then spend the evening skating around the brightly lit Christmas tree in the middle of the rink!

St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market is one of Budapest’s classic Christmas markets, and it’s just a short walk away from the tram, metro, and bus stops at Deak Ferenc Square. 

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3. Advent Obudan

Top Christmas Markets in Budapest: Advent Obudan

Cross over the River Danube, and in the northwest of the city, you’ll find the historic district of Obuda. Until 1873, Obuda was a town in its own right, but it was merged with Buda and Pest to become part of the new city of Budapest. 

Obuda means “Old Buda,” and as the name suggests, this is one of the oldest districts in the Hungarian capital. Brush up on your Hungarian because compared to other parts of the city, District III (as it’s officially known) doesn’t see quite so many tourists. That’s great at Christmastime because it gives Obuda’s Christmas market a much more local feel!

You’ll be glad you crossed over the river, too, because Advent Obudan, as the market is called, is one of the best Christmas markets in Budapest. You’ll find the market in Fo Ter (Main Square) – but be careful because there are many, many “Fo Ters” in Budapest! This square is closest to Szentelek Ter station, which is well connected to Budapest’s train lines.

There’s a wonderful selection of market stalls spread out in front of the town hall, surrounded by Christmas lights and framed by the Christmas tree. You’ll find delectable Hungarian cuisine being served up by local chefs, including langos, the deep-fried flatbread that’s smothered in cheese, cream, and a delicious array of toppings. 

The market runs from later November until Christmas Eve, and throughout the festive season, there’s a lively calendar of live music events from local acts that entertain the crowds. If you’re looking for winter activities in Budapest, don’t miss out on Advent Obudan!

4. Castle Hill Christmas Markets

Best Christmas Markets in Budapest for Shopping: Castle Hill Christmas Markets

It’s difficult to miss Castle Hill. This ancient stronghold looms over the city from Buda, and you’ll love the views of the River Danube from the famous Fisherman’s Bastion!

At Christmastime, Castle Hill is beautifully decked out with festive lights, Christmas trees, and Advent decorations that bring the often-snowy streets to life in the dead of winter. Among the medieval streets and fortifications of Castle Hill, you’ll also find a charming selection of traditional market stalls selling souvenirs and potential Christmas presents.

There are chestnut roasters and chimney cake bakers satisfying the hunger pangs of tourists as they sightsee through this wintery wonderland. You can indulge in a mug of mulled wine while you admire the panoramas from the hilltop, and you can head back down to Pest with bags stuffed full of Christmas souvenirs and gifts. 

5. Varoshaza Park Christmas Market

Must Visit Budapest Christmas Markets: Varoshaza Park Christmas Market

You’ll smell the sweet scent of baked gingerbread and the spicy aroma of grilled paprika sausages long before you reach the Christmas Market at Varoshaza Park. 

This small but charming park is located just a few minutes away from Deak Ferenc Square (and within walking distance of Vorosmarty Square), and you’ll love the food, the decor, the gifts, and the festive spirit that make this Christmas market so beloved by locals and tourists alike. 

In past years, Varoshaza Park has hosted the tallest Christmas tree in Budapest, often with heights reaching up to 16 meters! The Christmas tree will be decked out with Christmas lights and traditional Hungarian decorations, and you’ll love how it lights up the square around it.

You’ll find all your Hungarian Christmas favorites for sale at Varoshaza Park, including goulash served in giant bread bowls, chimney cakes covered in sugar, stuffed cabbage rolls, and all the grilled meats you could imagine. 

The Christmas market also hosts a rich program of cultural events throughout the festive season. Every day throughout Advent, the square hosts an ever-changing roster of choir singers, live bands, outdoor theater performances, and even the odd puppet show.

Varoshaza Square Christmas Market opens in mid-November and stays open until the New Year. You can reach the square by taking the metro to Deak Ferenc Square and walking from there. 

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6. Deak Ferenc Street

Top Christmas Markets in Budapest: Deak Ferenc Street

Deak Ferenc Street is one of Budapest’s central shopping streets. It’s often called “Fashion Street” for its extensive range of clothing shops, so it’s the perfect place to pick up some high-end Christmas wear during your stay in the city!

Deak Ferenc Street also hosts a beautiful array of Christmas lights and decorations throughout the festive period. From mid-November until the New Year, the street is lined with magnificent Christmas decorations while colorful festive lights illuminate the shops.

At Deak Ferenc Square, one of Budapest’s main transport hubs, you’ll also find a small selection of market stalls and street food vendors serving up Hungarian favorites. This small Christmas market is really the overspill from the nearby Varoshaza Park Christmas Market, but with the number of stalls and visitors growing year after year, it’s taking on a life of its own!

7. Erzsebet Square

Must Visit Budapest Christmas Markets: Erzsebet Square

For the best view of downtown Budapest, you have to ride the iconic “Ferris Wheel of Budapest” in Erzsebet Square. Rising to a height of 65 meters, you’ll have glorious views of the city as it’s illuminated at night by Christmas lights!

Once you’ve ridden the famous Ferris wheel, you’ll be able to explore the market stalls waiting for you at the base of the attraction. Throughout the Advent season, Erzsebet Square hosts a small Christmas market aimed at tourists and locals enjoying the views from the Ferris wheel. 

As well as the traditional stalls found across Budapest’s many markets, Erzsebet Square hosts lots of different food trucks and outdoor bars, making this a great place to eat and drink in the evenings.

8. The Great Market Hall

Best Christmas Markets in Budapest: The Great Market Hall

No matter what time of year you visit Budapest, the Great Market Hall is the best place to shop for local souvenirs and gifts, as well as some outrageously delicious local eats!

When it’s Christmas, though, the Great Market Hall steps things up a notch. First opened in 1896, this is Budapest’s largest, oldest, and busiest indoor market. And every Christmas since 1896, the Great Market Hall has been supplying locals and tourists with Christmas gifts for their loved ones and all the festive food you could eat. 

The Great Market Hall is divided into multiple levels and sections, and you can shop for clothes, cheese, wine, sausages, pickles, toys, and anything else you could possibly ever need at Christmastime. 

The stalls and shops will be adorned with Christmas decor and lights from Advent until the New Year, while in the food section, you can try particularly Christmassy dishes like Fisherman’s Soup and stuffed cabbage!

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9. The Whale

If you love ice skating, then you have to save time to visit “The Whale,” where an enormous ice skating rink is always set up at Christmastime!

The Whale is one of Budapest’s newest buildings. It’s a unique architectural and design project that overlooks the River Danube, and surprise, surprise, it’s said to resemble the shape of a whale. 

The Whale contains restaurants, bars, art galleries, exhibitions, and shops, so at Christmastime, this is a wonderfully festive place to eat, drink, and shop. Outside, you’ll find a 450-square-meter ice skating rink right next to the riverbank. 

Lace-up your skates and enjoy the wonderful setting as you glide across the ice. After your skating session, you can browse the Christmas market stalls surrounding the rink or enjoy a well-earned mug of mulled wine. 

10. Szentendre

Festive Christmas Markets in Budapest: Szentendre

Follow the mighty River Danube north from Budapest, and within 40 minutes, you’ll reach the romantic riverside town of Szentendre. In summer, the medieval streets of Szentendre are filled with tourists admiring the historic architecture and enjoying the sunshine. In winter, it’s a different story, as the cobblestone squares and plazas are filled with festive market stalls, food vendors, and Christmas choirs!

Szentendre really comes to life in the cold winter months, as the medieval town is festooned with Christmas lights and traditional decor that brightens up the short days and dark nights. Start by heading into the Marzipan Museum for a taste of the town’s famously sweet cakes and treats, all of which will be Christmas-themed, of course. 

Next, head to the Szentendre Christmas Market, which you’ll find spilling out into the surrounding streets from the town’s main square. The centerpiece is the Christmas tree, around which you’ll find carol singers and musicians entertaining the revelers as they indulge in mugs of mulled wine and plates of grilled, paprika-seasoned meats from the food stalls. 

While you’re here, you can also explore Szentendre’s many unique attractions. As well as the Marzipan Museum already mentioned, you can visit the Hungarian Open Air Museum (if it’s not too cold!), the Kovacs Margit Ceramics Museum, and the Ferenczy Museum, among much more. 

You can easily reach Szentendre on public transport from Budapest, making this a great way to escape the capital and explore a different side of Hungary. The H5 suburban train connects Budapest directly with Szentendre, or there are numerous boats and buses leaving regularly both ways.

There you have it! The 10 best Christmas markets in Budapest. Which are your favorite Christmas markets?


About the Author:

  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

1 thought on “The 10 Best Christmas Markets in Budapest (2024 Holiday Season)”

  1. you need to update this. Castle hill anf Varoshaza christmas markets are no longer here. Also adding times to when the christmas markets open wpjld be great

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