WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019
Mulled wine, markets, iced skating & more!
You’ve probably heard a lot about Budapest and the craziness of its’ summer. But even in the colder months, there’s SO much to do. In particular, Christmas is an incredibly vibrant time to be in the Hungarian capital and there are plenty of traditions and activities to get involved with. If you’re lucky, the city and it’s hills will be coated in snow for that white Christmas-feel that’ll make you feel like you’re in a Disney movie. So grab a mulled wine and start exploring!
Europe is well known for its Christmas markets, and every country seems to hold their own as the “most famous”. Whatever the case may be, the Christmas markets in Budapest are mystical. There are multiple locations around the city - in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica and around Vörösmarty Square - and all are full of food, drinks, and plenty of hand-crafted gifts. A perfect place to find souvenirs for family and friends and a top pick for a date idea. You’ll be charming your partner in no time. The Vörösmarty Christmas markets are open from around early November till January 1st and the Christmas fair at the Basilica likewise from late November until the year is out.
Admittedly, Budapest gets cold! But that doesn’t mean there’s no fun! A local favourite is to go ice skating behind Hero’s Square near City Park. Opening in 1870, this ice skating rink is one of the oldest in Europe and the absolute BIGGEST on the continent! You’ll see the beautiful old building you entered through on one side and on the other, the Vajdahunyad Castle. It really is a magical setting, and a perfect way to spend the Christmas time in Budapest.
The Citadel in Budapest is the highest point along the Danube. The hill takes about 20 minutes to walk up and is totally worth the hike when you reach the top. Around the Liberty Statue at the top shows some of Budapest’s best views, but the most attractive part of this experience is the walk up. Amongst all the snow it feels like a winter wonderland walking up the Gellért Hill, and when you reach the top, you wouldn’t be surprised to find mulled wine steaming in a big pot waiting to warm up your hands. (There’s a lot of mulled wine in Budapest during Christmas). PartyBooker ProTip: We would recommend after descending the hill, you check out the Gellért Baths!
Although the Gellért Baths are absolutely beautiful, one of the most enticing parts of bathing in the winter is the abundance of steam coming off the hot water, and the best place for this is the Szechenyi baths. Located in City Park close to the ice skating rink, it’ll cost you around 5,000 HUF give or take to enter for the day, with optional upgrades for massages, treatments and of course, the BEER SPA where you can bathe in the essential ingredients of traditional beer with beer on tap as well for 45 minutes! After a day at Széchenyi baths you will feel so relaxed you may want to just turn right back and jump back in. A perfect winter activity in Budapest.
The “champs se lise of Budapest” is one of the main city streets running all the way from Déak Ferenc Square to Hero’s Square. During the summer it’s lined with luscious green trees from start to finish and in the winter; sticks. Dead, grey sticks. BUT, come at Christmas time and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the entire street is completely covered in fairy lights! This would have to be one of the most Christmassy things to see during your time in Budapest and cannot be missed! (You literally couldn’t miss it anyway). Along Andrassy Avenue you’ll find places like the famous Hungarian State Opera which was founded in 1875, and the House of Terror (a not so Christmassy option but rich in history). As well as Andrassy, most of the “Koruts” are lined with similar decoration and conveniently along the tram lines. Attractions like the Chain Bridge, Fisherman’s Bastion and the Buda Castle are also can’t miss locations.
Any time of year is an amazing time here in Budapest. Summer, winter, autumn and spring all have it’s ups and downs. Christmas certainly has a lot to bring to the table and you’d be wrong to assume nothing’s going on! There’s a lot to see, a lot to do and a lot to try! So book that Christmas flight and come hang out with us, because we NEVER stop exploring.
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