By The Fairytale Traveler’s contributing author, Scott Malthouse
There are fewer places where the arts and traditions of a culture come alive more than at a Christmas market, and Europe is home to some of the best in the world. The Budapest Christmas Fair in Vörösmarty Square is in the top ten in the world, which gives you a good idea as to how magical this seasonal event truly is.
If, like me, you’re a slave to your stomach, then The Budapest Christmas fair is most definitely right up your street. The scents of traditional Hungarian cooking wafts on the cool night breeze, spanning everything from prize-winning salamis and sausages, to fish dishes and charcoal roasted chestnuts. Add a meandering fragrance of mulled wine and palinka (Hungarian brandy) and you’re in for a gastronomic treat to spark the senses. This year there are 13 food stalls to sample such as the rustic Horváth Dezső and the special stews of Katlan Tóni’s Kitchen.
Once you’ve had your fill of goose and wine then it’s probably time to peruse the arts and crafts stalls, of which there are many. Wares of all kinds flood the market, including ceramics, candles, textiles and wickerwork. You will be hard-pressed not to find anything to take back home with you for friends and family, or maybe keep for yourself as an extra special Christmas treat. All items are vetted by the Association of the Hungarian Folk Artists, meaning that craftspeople must produce the best quality trinkets, candles and silk that money can buy.
So you’ve had your fill of food and you’ve filled a few bags with hand-crafted goodies – what now? Well, if you have kids then they can have a go at making their own gingerbread and create gifts for underprivileged children at the Playhouse. Or if you’re looking to sample more Hungarian traditions then head on over to one of the two main stages where you can see live folk music, jazz, dancers and puppet shows.
The festivities run from the 27th November to 31st December, so there’s plenty of time to see the fair if you’re in Budapest at this time of the year.
Find out more information and plan your trip to The Budapest Christmas Market.