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The scents of Christmas in Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square
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The scents of Christmas in Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square

The Budapest Festival and Tourism Center (BFTK) – true to traditions going back 15 years but constantly being enriched – is once again bringing to life the heart-warming Christmas Fair on Vörösmarty Square from 28 November. The organizers are laying on culinary experiences, high standard cultural events, handicrafts stalls selling jury-approved items, as well as a historical, magical roundabout for children in the most important festive programme series in Budapest.


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Today, the Advent-Christmas Fair on Vörösmarty Square is celebrated as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe. The Budapest event has overcome numerous rivals to attain a front-ranking position among the top seasonal programmes. (Last year it ranked number one in the Sunday Times six best Christmas fairs of Europe, it has also featured in the top 10 list compiled by Travel&Leisure, as well as among the best in lists set up by Expedia, The Times and Daily Telegraph).

The organizers consider it vital that they meet the demands of visitors with reliable, high quality, and in order to guarantee this the Hungarian Handicrafts Association is an active partner of BTFK in the selection of stallholders. 

One hundred and twenty craftsmen and women are appearing in the square with the most varied range of products from gingerbread to jewellery and ceramic wares to fur and leather goods. Of course, there will be plenty of mouth-watering delicacies on offer for gourmands, too: cheeses, hams, sausages, as well as desserts such as marzipan and chocolate bonbons. It is the ideal place to select the perfect gifts for loved ones. 

For those who feel hungry after all the shopping and sightseeing, catering stalls  will be serving hot drinks and dishes of hearty savouries ideal for the winter.

But what would the festivities be without music? Jazz, street music and world music are performed from the stage set up on a corner of Vörösmarty Square, starting from 4 pm on weekdays and 11 am at weekends, with the last programme beginning at 8 pm. 

The children’s playhouse is open from 2-6 pm on weekdays and from 10 am – 1 pm, and then 4-8 pm at weekends. The enchanting roundabout, which is decorated with scenes from famous fairy tales and János vitéz, spins children every day from 10 am – 9 pm. Even Santa Claus may have a go when he spends the entire afternoon in Vörösmarty Square on 6 December. 

Church dignitaries of different denominations will each light a candle on the giant wreath on the four Advent Sundays, the final one being on 21 December. The organizers have yet another surprise in store which they are keeping secret for the time being.

Fair opening times are as follows: handicraft stalls welcome everyone from 10 am – 9 pm Sunday – Thursday, and 10 am – 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Last minute shoppers can quickly buy gifts from 10 am – 2 pm on 24 December, after which the Christmas Fair closes. Stalls reopen in the days running up to New Year and on New Year’s Eve, from 10 am – 10 pm.

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