Feel The Warm Glow Of Budapest’s Holiday Markets

  • 5 Dec 2013 5:00 AM
Feel The Warm Glow Of Budapest’s Holiday Markets
Festive cheers and the aromas of seasonal spices fill the crisp air amid clusters of gleaming booths offering unique gifts and delicious goodies, while musicians play Christmas songs on traditional instruments (and sometimes electric guitars). Such scenes pop up in many of Budapest’s grandest squares and cultural sites for December’s diverse holiday fairs, featuring plentiful presents ranging from old-time wooden toys to avant-garde artworks. Here is a roundup of top spots to join in the joyful gatherings.

Budapest Christmas Fair

Beneath strings of sparkling lights, downtown Pest’s Vörösmarty Square hosts Hungary’s most famous open-air Yuletide bazaar, presenting merrymakers with high-quality handmade gifts produced by Magyar folk artists, like jewelry, clay pottery, and aromatic candles. Daily attractions also include diverse concerts, handicraft workshops, and traditional Magyar delicacies such as sausages, goulash, and sweet treats like kürtöskalács – a local version of chimney cakes. Open daily through Dec. 31: Vörösmarty tér – Pest V.

Advent Fair

The scene before St. Stephen’s Basilica becomes a winter wonderland for this picturesque marketplace, as awe-inspiring projected imagery animates the massive façade of Budapest’s biggest cathedral, and kids skate on the ice rink beneath a twinkling Christmas tree in the center of it all. Here local vendors offer leather goods, knitted hats, handcrafted chocolates, and much more, while entertainment includes folk dancing and visits from Santa on Dec. 4th, 5th, and 6th. Open daily through Jan. 1: Szt. István tér – Pest V. 

Újlaki Christmas Fair

Cradled within a charming neighborhood of northern Buda, this newly established festive-season destination takes place along a recently renovated cobblestone pedestrian lane. Here fairy-tale wooden cottages proffer handmade gifts, ornaments, and Hungarian delicacies – including steamy cupfuls of spicy mulled wine – while children participate in creative arts-and-crafts workshops, meet cute baby animals at the miniature petting zoo, and play sports games. Open daily through December 22: Kolosy tér – Buda III. 

Wamp Fair

Budapest’s most popular exposition of modern design items welcomes the public to a series of holiday-themed events this month, bringing together more than 150 esteemed local artisans within the 21st-century setting of Millenáris Hall. Colorful wares on display include cutting-edge clothing, stylish home décor, funky purses and accessories, and a selection of traditional and unconventional gourmet delicacies. Some of Budapest’s coolest DJs amplify the holiday spirit with groovy tunes. December 8, 15, 22, 10am-6pm: Millenáris – Buda II.

Creative Arts Fair

Happening throughout a long weekend inside one of Budapest’s most fanciful Art Nouveau buildings – where sinuously sculpted white parapets resemble frosting at the edges of a masterfully made gingerbread house – local artists and designers gather at this eagerly anticipated annual Christmastime expo presenting imaginative contemporary ceramics, innovative jewelry, paintings and illustrations, household items, and modern sculpture. Dec. 6, 2pm-8pm; Dec. 7, 10am-8pm; and Dec. 8, 10am-6pm: Museum of Applied Arts – Pest IX, Üllöi út 33-37.

By Nóra Somogyi

Courtesy Of Where Budapest Magazine

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