Advent & Winter Festival in Budapest 2022 | Városháza Park
Of the several Christmas fairs around town, big and small, fancy and simple, the Városháza park one is the most family-friendly Christmas market in Budapest. It boasts the biggest advent garland in town (on which every Sunday a new candle is lit ceremonially), but even more importantly it has a bunch of free concerts, dance and choir performances and crafts workshops besides the actual market. It’s all free, so it’s definitely worth a try.
****** This Advent & Winter Festival is not open in 2022.
Cool concerts and children’s events every weekend
The basics: the market opens on 27 November and everything closes on 28 December. If you want to go to concerts, it's livelier and there's more music on weekends. Highly recommended:
30 Nov: Swing Over - the duo will perform Christmas songs in jazz-swing style.
1 December: Folk on 45 - Hungarian folk songs and mainstream pop music.
2 December: Lighting the first candle of the Advent wreath
7 December: Fourtissimo - the popular Hungarian band will perform the best-loved Christmas songs with special instrumentation
14 December: Petruska Concert
The programme is packed with performances for children, including pantomime, street circus and puppet shows (again mainly on Fridays and weekends).
How to get to Városháza Park Christmas market and festival
The location is very central. To get to the advent festival, go to Deák tér (on M1, M2, M3 lines; also accessible by trams 47 and 49, buses 9, 15, 16, 105). From Deák tér, start walking towards Astoria on the right – you can’t miss the stalls and the festive lights. The fair is open 10-8 (Sun-Thu), 10-9 (Fri-Sat). Special Christmas hours: 10-2 (Dec 24), 12-6 (Dec 25-26)
What to see nearby: You can stroll over to the Vörösmarty tér Christmas fair to also see the big holiday market; also a stone’s throw from Városháza park is the Dohány Street Synagogue (one of the biggest in the world), the old Jewish quarter (Király utca and neighboring street) which is now home to the fast-growing party district; also, the Millenial Subway Museum with a cool exhibit on the history of the first metro line in continental Europe, and the Elisabeth square Ferris wheel.
Pro tip: Advent in Szentendre (December 1 – January 6)
If you’re ready to leave Budapest behind for half a day, we have the recipe for the perfect advent getaway: Szentendre is a picturesque nearby town easily accessible with public transport, with a breathtaking old town, a charming embankment by the Danube to stroll around, great museums, restaurants, and its own Christmas fair right in the old town. The fair is mostly free, some concerts and exhibits charge an entrance fee. The market is open 12-8 (Mon-Thu) and 10-9 Fridays through Sundays. It’s closed for Christmas (December 24-26).
How to get to Szentendre: Take HÉV (suburban railway) at Batthyány tér (on M2 line) or Margit-híd budai hídfő (Margaret Bridge Buda side, on tram 4-6 line). You need to buy an auxiliary ticket, as regular tickets/passes are valid only in Budapest. Just say Szentendre (“San-tan-dre”) at the ticket office and they’ll know how to help you. The town is a 5-minute walk from the HÉV station.
Recommended accommodation for your Budapest trip: Budapest hostel: Maverick City Lodge in downtown Budapest.