Budapest is a happy city that knows how to celebrate Christmas with a myriad of lights, happy faces, carols and ancient traditions, and most importantly, great food. At Mamaison Hotel Andrass you will find La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge, which has a special Christmas menu, both for hotel guests, and for patrons who don’t stay at the hotel this season. It is enough to call +36 1 555 1545 and book a table to enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner, featuring duck liver pudding with quince, piemont hazelnut and gold raisin; fish velouté with orange, marinated milt and in air bag baked pike-perch; veal ossobucco rilette; venison loin á la Stroganoff style with Annabelle potato and cornichon; crispy black cod fish fillet with chestnut, bergamia oiled quai egg and mushrooms; and homemade gerbeaud with pecan, elderberry jam and ras el hanout ice cream.
Besides fine dining, Budapest has much more to offer this season. Although Christmas markets were not a tradition 10 years back, they now take to most of the city squares, dominating central tourist areas, but also more remote districts of the city. One of the most popular is the Vajdahunyad Castle Christmas Market, featuring, in a stunning, fairy-tale like environment, live Christmas concerts, traditional handmade crafts, contemporary art by local designers, and festive foods.
The Christmas market at the Vörösmarty Square is another popular place to shop, but it closes December 23 – you only have one day left to enjoy this splendid display of foods, gifts and Hungarian souvenirs: Popular with tourists due to its location, this is a great place to be if you enjoy large crowds. Don’t miss the light effects show on the facade of the historic Cafe Gerbeaud, and then, head over to the St Stephen’s Basilica, where you will find another Christmas market, right in front of this imposing religious landmark.
The Advent Fair in Obuda ends tomorrow too, but it is interesting for its old town atmosphere. If you don’t like large tourist crowds, this is the place to be. There’s something to do for all ages: ice skating, a petting stable for kids, puppet theater, dance shows, live music, and seasonal sweet and savory treats.
The Christmas tram in Budapest is a tradition since 2009. The tram takes you on a tour along the Danube promenade, from Kossuth Lajos tér to Közvágóhíd and back (line 2A), and from Batthyány tér to Kelenföldi Pályaudvar (line 19).