The Christmas season is truly one of the best times to visit Budapest—despite the cold, dark December days. The city comes to life with some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, the streets are lit up, and the vendors are out in full force with mulled wine and other treats. This three-hour tour will take you to several Christmas markets in Pest. We’ll discuss Hungarian Christmas traditions and seasonal foods, you’ll taste a variety of holiday foods and drinks, and our guide will show you a curated selection of the best places to shop for unique locally-produced souvenirs and gifts.
The Christmas season kicks off with Mikulás-nap (St. Nicholas Day) on December 6th when children polish their shoes and set them out for Miklulás to fill with goodies. (However, if you’ve been bad, Mikulás’ helper, krampusz, will leave twigs instead.) Bakeries and home cooks are busy baking roulade cakes filled with walnuts or poppy seeds (bejgli), which are a crucial part of the holiday season. On December 24th children are banished from their living rooms while the angels and Jézuska (baby Jesus) bring presents and trim the tree, and angels ring bells. No Hungarian Christmas tree is complete without shiny pieces of szaloncukor (chocolates wrapped in colorful foil wrappers) covering it. In the weeks running up to Christmas szaloncukor is sold everywhere, by the kilogram from street vendors and at fancier shops and bakeries. Budapest’s many Christmas markets are also an essential part of the Christmas season. This tour will include visits to several different ones, from the most traditional one in town, to the newer ones. Since the markets (which are all in central Pest) are in a few different neighborhoods, you’ll see some of Budapest’s prettiest neighborhoods decked out for the holidays. As you wander around the markets, your guide will fill you in on what you are seeing, and discuss Hungarian Christmas traditions, foods, and stories. Of course, food is also a major part of the tour! You’ll taste a variety of different seasonal foods and drinks (so come with an appetite, it will be enough to serve as lunch). This will be an excellent opportunity to do some Christmas shopping. Your guide will direct you to our favorite vendors where you can find things such as handmade notebooks and paper products, puppets, ceramics, folk arts, Christmas decorations, food products, and more.
BOOK THIS TOUR NOW!
Learn—Learn about Hungarian customs and traditions from a local guide, who will take you to our handpicked favorite places.
Experience—Enjoy Budapest at its finest … when it is all dressed up for Christmas!
See—Visit several Pest neighborhoods, where the Christmas markets are located, and tour the markets with a guide who can tell you all about the products and places.
Taste—Taste a variety of Hungarian seasonal foods at the the markets. You’ll have drinks such as mulled wine. Other foods could include stuffed flatbreads, sausages, stuffed cabbage. On the sweet side, we can taste strudel, chimney cake, or other specialties.
Walk—Though there will be plenty of eating breaks, be prepared to cover a lot of ground on your feet during this three-hour tour. And, do dress warmly!
If you’ll be in Budapest on December 14th, join us at The Tasting Table for our Year-end Dinner with Royal Tokaj!
This tour is available most days at 11am from November 27th through December 23rd and December 27th through December 29th. If you’d like to arrange a private tour at a different time, please contact us.
Price: $75 USD per person ($35 per child)
For larger groups or private tours, please contact us for a customized price proposal.
• Three-hour tour, from 11am-2pm (unless otherwise requested)
• Begins at a central location in Pest (exact location details will be provided upon booking)
• This is a small group tour (which means minimum of two guests and maximum of six guests)
• Tour is led by a food-specialized guide
• Includes visits to four Christmas markets in Pest
• Includes plenty of food and drink tastings (enough to serve as lunch)
• Our list of hand-picked favorite Budapest eating and drinking spots will be emailed to you after you book the tour!