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15 Christmas time activities in the city

So you’re spending Christmas in Budapest? Here is your to do list to make the holiday experience complete!

  1. Visit a Christmas Fair! Did you know, that the one by St. Stephen’s Square has been voted as the 2nd best Christmas Fair in Europe? Enjoy the tasty dishes at one of the many gastronomic experiences, stuffed cabbage, black pudding and liverwurst! We recommend the Advent Feast at the Basilica and Vörösmarty Square Christmas Fair, click HERE for the programme booklet.
  2. Stroll down the festively lit Andrássy Avenue and sip mulled wine to keep warm. You can walk all the way down from Elisabeth Square to Heroes’ Square, though to get all the way down, you may go through more than one mug of mulled wine.
  3. Go ice-skating at City Park: Europe’s biggest rink is closed on the 24th, but 25 December 2018 until 2 of January 2019 you can enter with a season ticket. For more info and opening times click HERE
  4. Bundle up and go on a sleigh ride: Normafa and its surrounding are located on the Western outskirts of Buda. Most of the area is covered by forests, Anna Field is the main sleigh surface there. You can get to Normafa in 20 minutes from Széll Kálmán Square, one of the main junctions in the centre of Budapest, after you get off, just follow the crowd.
  5. Make snow angels!
  6. Attend Christmas Eve mass, participate at Matthias Church or the Basilica with the locals and feel the Christmas spirit between the century old halls
  7. Watch the Nutcracker: if you are in luck, you might find some last minute tickets for the ballet HERE.
  8. Go on a ride with the festive tram: you can travel on the festive heritage line covered in nearly 40 000 white and blue LED lights till 06. January 2019. All regular tickets and passes are valid on Budapest’s Christmas trams, December 24th and 31st, there is no service. The Christmas trams start running in evenings after 4 pm, watch out as there are 10 trams and each day only one line occupies the festive tram! For the timetable click HERE
  9. Sip a cocktail at the panoramic Igloo Garden: eight giant heated igloos are installed at 360 Bar, each of the igloos provide an amazing panorama view and perfect spot for taking beautiful photos in Budapest. Booking is a must, click HERE for contacts.
  10. Visit one of the ruin bars and ask for a shot of Unicum, it not only keeps you warm, but actually you are tasting a secret recipe of one of the most famous Hungaricum! You can even visit the Zwack Unicum Heritage Visitors’ Centre and learn the amazing history of the famous drink. Learn about the museum HERE and book your tour HERE
  11. Take in the winter views, go up to Buda Castle and if you are lucky it might snow as well. Fisherman’s Bastion is a romantic winter backdrop for your  Insta posts!
  12. Hop on Citysightseeing’s hop on-hop off bus: you’ll not only see the top attractions, but staying warm and comfy is a must in the cold. Book the ride HERE You can also visit Miniversum, a gigantic, beautifully detailed and decorated model layout with over 5000 miniature figures, 1000 motor cars and 100 trains in motion. Have you ever dreamed off being as tall as Gulliver and see the world around you in an instant? Well this is the time, more info HERE
  13. Relax in one of the world famous thermal baths:  Gellért, Rudas, Széchenyi Baths are the big names with the longer queues, but smaller ones as Király, Lukács also give you a Turkish-era Spa experience. More info HERE
  14. Dress up warm and waterproof, then head for Margaret Island or the City Park for an outdoor stroll to feel the fresh air and tranquility. The City Park is the home of special sights, like the 19th century Vajdahunyad Castle, see the hooded statue of the Hungarian chronicler, Anonymous or the bust of Bela Lugosi, Dracula actor. Margaret Island is in the middle of the Danube, between Margaret an Arpad Bridge.
  15. Enjoy a festive river cruise: Budapest River Cruise will run throughout the Christmas holidays in Hungary, on Dec 24, Dec 25 and Dec 26 too, while the daily cruises run throughout December from Monday to Sunday. You can book an advanced e-ticket with them

Photo: 123rf.com

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