No need to travel to Vienna any longer to experience Christmas markets. Budapest is the up and coming weekend getaway to visi, who ranked 7th in the world for the best Christmas market behind Vienna and Strasbourg. Ranked #2 as best cities to visit in the world, top 5 for cycling friendly, top 10 for best bang for your buck in Europe, and the list goes on and on…
Christmas markets are located in the Vörösmarty Square, from December 6th t0 January 7th one block in from the Danube River on the Pest side, where Vaci Utca, the famous walking shopping street, ends. Another is in front of the Cathedral and the last in the Pest side downtown core is in the new area, Elizabeth square near the Synagogue. Here you will find a large variety of things to eat and buy for all on your Christmas list and souvenirs for the whole family.
In Elizabeth Square you will also find the Budapest Eye open day and night, like the London Eye, giving visitors a 65 metre high view of Budapest! 42 cars holds 332 people which makes this the largest mobile Ferris wheel. At night the 10,000 lights illuminate! Prices: 2400 forint or 7€/adults 1500 forint or 5€/child.
We bought kürtős kalács, which is bread dough wrapped around an iron bar, rolled and then cooked over hot coals. Once brown, they dip it in cinnamon, vanilla, walnuts or sugar and hand it to you still warm in cellophane wrap.
Smoked pork hocks hung on hooks to serve over sour cabbage and roasted potatoes, stuffed goose leg with sauteed red cabbage, veal and rice stuffed peppers served in sauerkraut and all with thick sliced of bread. But the price well… it was steep for Hungary but on the other hand the rents are very high, and many people make most of their money this time of year. We splurged and visited twice. 10€/person on average for a plate of peasants grub. The mulled wine was very good and went for 1-2€ per glass.
There were sausages! Blood sausages, liver and rice sausage, spisy dried paprikas sausages, German sausages…. all very good!
You could find goulash and fisherman’s soup; always a local favourite.
And then there were the sweets! It was an endless feast in December right through to year’s end.
My favourite part of Christmas vacation and a new experience was probably going up on the Budapest Eye. The views from the top of the city on the cold clear winter day were spectacular. Budapest is such an underrated, beautiful city. It feels like Paris but half the price. Loaded with history and a distinct culture. When you walk the streets along the Danube feels like walking the Seine with the same classic three storey architecture, built in the same century with the same cobblestone paths. LOVE Budapest is truly the little Paris of Europe.
Happy Holidays & Bon Appetit!