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Advent is a wonderland, wherever you go in Hungary

Christmas lightsSt. Stephen's Basilica, BudapestGreater Budapest

The Advent period not only fills the streets with light on ever-lengthening evenings, but also brings warmth and joy to people’s hearts. This year is a little more important than any Advent so far as last year we missed these wonderful events in Hungary just as in most cities around the world. We all badly missed the joy of preparing for the holidays with our friends, parents, children and family with a cup of steaming mulled wine and fresh, hot ...

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Four weeks of wonderland

Thanks to Advent, the intimate and loving moments of Christmas expand in space and time: for four weeks, you are surrounded by countless lovely flavours, scents and many bright wonders. The decorative lighting of the streets and buildings dresses the world in a festive light, compensating for the early darkness. The delicacies, handicrafts and toys at the fairs not only delight the little ones, but everyone can turn into a happy little child at an Advent fair for a few hours. However, these events are not just about shopping, but rather about coexistence, intimate moments spent together, new memories that we create together in a cold, yet cosy, friendly environment. And once we set off for them, it is also a great opportunity to explore their surroundings as well, whether we choose Budapest or a rural city to experience the festive atmosphere. Last year, unfortunately, the pandemic did not allow us to sip a little mulled wine or a punch together, so this year is perhaps more important than ever as we can finally breathe in a little cinnamon-scented air together with family or friends in the hustle and bustle of the fair.

Budapest is among the best in the world

In Budapest, like in other big cities in Europe, high quality handicraft fairs have been held for many years, always spiced with something special and always focusing on the valuable handicraft traditions. Every year, Budapest is ranked high in the world of Advent fairs: the fair next to the Basilica was voted the best in Europe at the European Best Destinations online public poll in 2020 and the second best in 2021, but we also had a few accolades in previous years.


The good result is not a coincidence: the Hungarian capital is a stunning city, and if we dress all this wonder in beautiful decorative lighting and also offer delicacies and mulled wine, who could resist the temptation? Although many people prefer to travel here in summer due to the more pleasant weather and parties, Budapest should also be seen in winter: thanks to the festive atmosphere sweeping the whole city, it offers almost more than in summer, whether it's a photo theme or culinary delights. In addition, its architectural values make the winter capital beautiful and bring a Christmas atmosphere even when it is not snowing. This is an increasingly important aspect due to the changing climate.


Advent fairs small and large are held around the city for about a month, and all of them offer valuable, quality handicraft products and tasty seasonal delicacies. Perhaps the best known are those near St. Stephen's Basilica and in Vörösmarty tér, but there are also countless smaller fairs here and there, for example, in Erzsébet tér and Buda, to warm you up with a glass of delicious hot drink while sightseeing. In addition to the usual and most popular chimney cake and lángos: roasted chestnuts, donuts, cakes, töki pompos (focaccia pizza), cabbage, various roasts, fish, sausages, delicious one-course dishes are on offer. You are sure to find something to your liking, falling from one seductive scent to another as you walk along the crowded counters. In fact, the real challenge is how to taste as much as you can before you get completely full. The Budapest Advent is a must both for those who have not tried it yet and for those who already know it, and if it is combined with some sightseeing and possibly a pleasant bath, it gives a spiritual feeling that will surely help you through the gloomy days of the cold months.

The exceptional atmosphere of Advent fairs awaits you throughout the country

Advent atmosphere and Advent fairs are not only held in Budapest, almost every rural town or village has fair and activities. Some places offer it just for a weekend and some places organise it through the whole Advent season. There is a famously intimate Advent atmosphere in Debrecen, Eger, Szeged, Pécs and Sopron, for example – but also in Szentendre, near the capital city. Visiting these busy fairs should be combined with exploring the places: if you come for sightseeing, don't miss the Advent programmes, and if you come for the fair, it's worth checking out what the town has to offer in December: Thanks to the excellent tourist opportunities Hungary has to offer, a pleasant thermal bath or some other activity can be included in the programme at almost any destination.