Budapest in Christmas time | Budapest Christmas Market 2024

Christmas in Budapest

Wondering what to do in Budapest Christmas time as a traveler in 2024? What are best Christmas markets for first time Budapest visitors? How many Christmas markets are there in Budapest? When do Budapest Christmas markets open in 2024?Are Budapest Christmas markets expansive? We have got you covered.

Christmas in Budapest is celebrated with full involvement from the government as well as individual level.

Normally at Christmas, the Hungarian people working in Budapest travel back to their hometowns and villages.Hence, the streets are almost empty, but decorated buses and trams running and carrying the passengers.

They take the annual vacations along with the Christmas holidays to celebrate it with their families.

If you plan to visit Budapest in Christmas time 2024, and wondering what to do and what to buy in Budapest at Christmas? Following attractions are not to be missed .

These can be noticed with the special lighting on the Budapest Fashion Street,Andrassy Avenue and Terez Korut. Additionally, there are special trams which are fully decorated with LEDs.

If you happen to visit any shopping plazas and fashion stores at Christmas time in Budapest, you will notice they are well decorated and offer special discounts, i.e. around 20%.

Christmas market Budapest

Christmas Market Budapest 2024

The Christmas markets of Budapest in 2024,emanate special charm for all the visitors who will find great treats in the form of lively environment.

One one hand,visitors to Budapest Christmas Markets will be welcomed by big decorated Christmas trees,music concerts,and light shows,while on the other hand,they will be invited by tasty treats involving Langos, KurtosKolacs and mulled wine.There is plenty of food available,either you are looking for meat or veg meal.

The specially installed Christmas Market stalls offer a wide range of souvenirs that visitors can take back to remember their lovely time here in Budapest.

You will find stalls selling hand bags,leather goods,Scented Oils,Ceramics,handicrafts and wooden toys in Christmas Markets in Budapest.

If you plan to visit Budapest in December and want to stay closer to Basilica Christmas Market, we recommend checking availability of Basilica Apartment,which faces Basilica.

Budapest Christmas Market 2021 Opening and times
Budapest Christmas Market 2024 Opening and times

Following are Christmas market 2024 Budapest opening hours

Monday to Thursday 11:00 – 20:00
Friday & Saturday 11:00 – 22:00
Sunday 11:00 – 20:00
December 24 11:00 – 15:00
December 25-26 11:00 – 20:00
December 31 11:00 – 20:00
January 1 11:00 – 18:00

During Budapest Christmas time, as all the city center is occupied with huts and stalls of Christmas market, you will hardly find any spot to explore through segways, but exploring other parts of Budapest can be a good option.Check availability here if you want to do the sightseeing in Budapest involving Hungarian Parliament, Shoes on the Danube,Chain Bridge,St. Stephen Basilica, the Hungarian State Opera, and Elizabeth Square.

Rules for entering Budapest Christmas Market?

The rules for entering the Budapest Christmas Market have been quite consistent and not much changes are expected in 2024.

The biggest change in rules expected is related to the checking of vaccine certificates,which was mandatory in 2021, but in 2024, these will be not required.

You do not need to show any immunity certificates to enter Christmas market in Budapest for year 2024.Additionally there is no face mask required to enter Budapest Christmas Market in 2024.

Rules for entry to Budapest Christmas Market 2021
Rules for entry to Budapest Christmas Market 2024
  1. Entry is free for everyone to the Budapest Christmas Market 2024.
  2. No on is allowed to disturb any one against moral norms or perform any illegal activities.
  3. You cannot bring cycles or any other electronic vehicles.
  4. Area is being monitored with CCTV cameras.
  5. In case of emergency, the loudspeakers will be used to inform the visitors about next actions.
  6. No weapon can be carried inside the market.

For booking a guided tour of Christmas Market in 2024,you should book in advance as there are limited slots available.

Budapest Christmas Market Prices

Fresh food at Budapest Christmas Market 2021
Fresh food at Budapest Christmas Market 2024

The prices of food items are definitely expansive but their quality is good.The food items are freshly cooked and delivered.

So, you will not be disappointed with the taste of the food.You can also identify from the number of people standing in lines in front of each shop.

It will take you at least 5 to 8 minutes of waiting in line to buy any food item.

If you are interested in learning Hungarian traditional dishes,there are many options to learn Hungarian cooking, or a a special class for cooking Langos.

One of the unique sweets in Budapest is the Hungarian Chimney cake. You can try it at various locations as well as attend a Hungarian Chimney cake baking workshop in Budapest.

What to carry with you to Budapest during Christmas

Budapest has a pretty cold winter, temperature falls to -1 C in December and further down.

Due to hills on the Buda side, the cool breeze coming in can reduce the temperature further.

It is a must to have a cold winter jacket, a muffler, gloves and woolly hat to protect yourself from freezing cold.

If you plan to walk around the city, it’s also recommended having thermal leggings and winter boots as there could be snowfall.

Is everything closed during Christmas in Budapest?

It’s only the 25th of December when most of the plazas, shopping malls and fashion stores are closed at Budapest Christmas times.

Especially along Vaci Utca, where most of the tourists do visit, you will find all souvenir and fashion stores closed on 25th of December 2024.However, fast food restaurants like Burger King, KFC, pizza places, Gyros and McDonald’s are open on December 25 2024 in Budapest.

If you are wondering what to do in Budapest at Christmas, then there is good news.

Aside from Christmas day, activities on the remaining days (20 December to 1 January) are great for the tourists. If you are food lover and want to explore the street food of Budapest,we recommend booking a Budapest Street food tour that takes you through the most famous and tasty food places of Budapest.

What makes Budapest visit special during the Christmas?

Despite the cold weather, Budapest is one of the lively cities you will find during the winter nighttime.

The area around Deak ferenc ter, Vorosmarty ter, Kalvin ter, Fovam ter, Great Market Hall, Chain Bridge and Heros Square are crowded with people enjoying the Christmas fair.

Christmas tree in front of Opera house Budapest
Christmas tree in front of Opera house Budapest

Taking a ride on a glittering trams and buses

Decorated bus in Budapest for Christmas
Decorated bus in Budapest for Christmas

Like every year, in 2024,the trams in Budapest at Christmas are decorated with lights and worth having pictures with.You don’t need to take any special tickets(standard tickets apply) to travel in trams with LEDs if they have normal route numbers.

You should book you Budapest trip for minimum 3 days and using 72H Budapest card, you can explore many Budapest top attractions with discount and use public transport for free (100E not included). Click here for further details.

Just the normal tickets should be sufficient.However, if you want a guided Christmas tour that explores the decorated trams,buses and Christmas market, do check the tour availability here.

Tasting Kürtőskalács Chimney Cake

Kurtoskalacs chimney cake Budapest special attractions
Kurtoskalacs chimney cake Budapest special attractions

Kürtőskalács is a must-try dessert in the winter times in Budapest in 2024.It is a dough wrapped along a cylindrical shape and roasted on coals.

Later on, sugar is sprinkled over it.You can find these along Christmas shops in Vorosmarty Ter and in front of the Basilica Budapest Christmas Market.

One of the unique sweets in Budapest is the Hungarian Chimney cake. You can try it at various locations as well as attend a Hungarian Chimney cake baking workshop in Budapest.

Sometimes, you may find one vendor selling Chimney cake in front of Nyugati Palyaudvar station on the 6-4 tram. Baking Chimney cake can take 15 mins or so, but it’s a great experience watching the whole procedure.

Watching the frozen Danube from Buda Castle

Frozen Danube during christmas activities in Budapest
Frozen Danube during Christmas time in Budapest

Your Budapest trip during the Christmastime will be incomplete unless you see the frozen Danube from the top.

There are multiple high points where you can see the bird’s eye view of Budapest with the frozen Danube flowing in between.

These points are

These monuments are on separate mountains and worth visiting not only for a birds eye view of Budapest, but their individual beauty is worth considering a visit.

Access to these monuments is possible with public transport buses.

Visiting Thermal Baths

Budapest is a world-famous city for thermal baths, which are spread around the whole city.

What can be a better time to sit in warm water (38 C)when the outside temperature is 2C.

Szechenyi Thermal Baths near heroes square - M1 yellow metro Budapest Hungary
Szechenyi Thermal Baths near heroes square

Depending upon your location and preference of choices, there are at least 5 thermal baths at various locations where you can enjoy the Budapest winter time.

Some of famous Budapest baths to visit in 2024 are mentioned here.

Szechenyi Baths : 10 mins walk from Heroes Square :

Closest Metro stop : M1 Stop Szechenyi Furdo.

Gellert Baths : On the Buda side (under mountains) of Green Bridge:

Reachable by Metro M4 Stop Szent Gellert Ter, and Tram stop 19,41,47,48,49.

Rudas Gyógyfürdő :On the Buds side(under mountains) of Elisabeth Bridge,

Reachable by Tram stop Rudas Gyógyfürdő for 19,41,56,56A,and Bus 7

Pascal Baths and Lukas Thermal Baths are also worth visiting as they are less famous and less crowded but good option for a great experience in Budapest.

Visiting Christmas Markets

Your Hungary trip in 2024 during winter time will never be complete without visiting the Christmas markets in Budapest.

You might be wondering where the Christmas market is located in Budapest.

There are 4 Christmas markets ramped up during Christmas times.

Christmas tree in Budapest City center at Christmas market
Christmas tree in Budapest City center at Christmas market

One is exactly at Vorosmarty Ter (last stop of yellow/Metro 1,don’t confuse it with vorosmarty Utca), in front of Hard Rock Café.

Other one is in front of the Basilica. There is a huge Christmas tree in front of the Basilica.

At both Christmas markets, you will find food stalls containing traditional Hungarian foods including Langos, Sausages, Goulash and hot coffee.

There are also handicraft shops where you can buy handmade stuff. Don’t forget to see the light show where the Basilica is lit with 3D lights.

The best time to visit the Christmas market is in the evening from 10:00 till 22:00 (some days they close at 18:00).

The Christmas markets in Budapest are set up at the start of December and continue till the 1st day of new year. Check the availability of a Budapest Christmas Market guided tour if you want to know the history of the Budapest Christmas markets.

Drinking Hot Chocolate and Mulled Wine

Drinking hot wine during christmas at Budapest christmas market
Drinking hot wine during christmas at Budapest christmas market

While you are exploring the Christmas market in Budapest in cold winters, don’t forget to taste the hot chocolate and mulled wine.

There are standing desks where you can enjoy the cold winters while talking to your friends.

The area around the Budapest Christmas Market in Vorosmarty square used to be the prime destination of tourists for visiting Christmas market.

Jewish district in Budapest is the oldest and most interesting part of Budapest and to know the history, make sure to join Budapest Jewish Heritage Tour.

Another location to visit the Christmas Market Budapest is in front of the Basilica where a lot of food stalls with hot chocolate and mulled wine are available.

For exploring the Christmas Markets with access to Basilica and best mulled wines in Budapest,you can book a guided tour.

Visiting Ruin Pubs

After visiting the Budapest Christmas Markets, if you find time on your Budapest trip in 2024, you should visit the Jewish District of Budapest. Jewish district is to be explored by foot or walking as parking for foreigners in streets can be a big pain.

Visiting the Ruin pubs during Budapest Christmas time can be an adventure activity.

Streets involving Kiraly Utca, Wesselenyi Utca and Dob Utca have numerous pubs with artistic interiors. These are unique pubs which are a specialty of Budapest and not to be missed out.

Shopping at Vaci Utca during Christmas time

Just like the other European capital town centers, Budapest also hosts quite many apparel and shoe brands.

These brands include

Shopping in Budapest city center during Christmas
Shopping in Budapest city center during Christmas
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • C and A
  • H and M
  • Pull and Bear
  • Springfield
  • Tezenis
  • Zara
  • Desigual
  • Reserved
  • FootLocker
  • Adidas
  • Humanic
  • Salamander

These brands start sales on their stock from last season and start with a 20% discount.

Skating at Ice Rink

There are many ice rinks arranged within the City of Budapest during Christmastime.

One of the biggest ice rinks will be set up,in December 2024, just behind Heros Square next to the city park.

It is a huge area, easily accessible for tourists.

You can find children, girls, boys, and people from all ages skating at the ice rink.

Another Ice Rink is built temporarily in front of the Arena Plaza, which is 15 mins walk from Keleti Railway station.

At both Ice Rinks, visitors coming to Budapest can rent skating shoes for 3 to 5 euros per hour.

Ice Skating at biggest skating rink near Heroes square Budapest in Winters
Ice Skating at biggest skating rink near Heroes square Budapest in Winters

Walk along Andrassy Avenue

Walking along andrassy utca budapest during christmas
Walking along andrassy utca budapest during Christmas

Andrassy Avenue is the most decorated road in Budapest during Christmas.

It is wide, beautiful and shining at night during the last 10 days of December, until the new year.

You can walk either from the town center towards the Hero’s square(1 hour walk) or at least till the Octagon stop.

Andrassy Utca has the most expensive brands located on both sides in Budapest.

The brands shops on Andrassy Avenue Budapest do offer discount during the Christmas.

If you want to combine shopping with the walk on Andrassy Avenue, keep in mind that shops close around 9 pm.