Budapest Christmas market to be held for 43 days from 19 November
Entry will be possible only with a Covid immunity card
The Advent Feast at the Basilica, the most spectacular Christmas market in Budapest, will see the light of day after a one-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the high case numbers, the Budapest Municipality decided to hold the market in Vörösmarty Square in front of St Stephen’s Basilica with precautionary measures in place this year, Csaba Faix, CEO of Budapest Brand Zrt. told InfoRadio last Thursday. The market will be open only to visitors possessing a Covid immunity card.
The Finnish Santa Claus makes a visit
The Christmas market will open on 19 November and run until 1 January 2022. To avoid congestion and facilitate the checking of the immunity cards, a “very tasteful” fence will be erected around the square with three entrances and a fourth one on busy days, said the managing director. In addition to the Covid certificate, a personal ID will be required at these points of entry.
After the ceremonial opening on 19 November, the Advent weekend will offer a bucketful of surprises, candlelight, and activities for children. The latter will be thrilled to meet the Finnish Santa Claus, Joulupukki, who will visit Vörösmarty Square on 6 December. This year, for the first time, contactless shopping will be introduced at the pavilions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Incentives to local visitors
Despite the fourth wave of the pandemic, it is clear that international tourists are returning to the capital to some extent, so foreign guests are definitely welcome, Csaba Faix said. However, the city administration wants the capital’s sights and events, and especially the Christmas market in Vörösmarty Square, to be affordable to city residents as well.
That’s why this year caterers have been asked to offer a single meal for the fixed price of HUF 1,500 (EUR 4), to make meals available to as many people as possible. In addition, a mulled wine coupon has been included in the advertisements related to the fair appearing in all Budapest district and agglomeration newspapers, Csaba Faix pointed out.
Best 2020 Christmas Market in Europe
Consistently ranked among the 10 most beautiful markets in Europe, the Advent Feast at the Basilica was declared the Best Christmas Market in Europe in 2020 in the traditional online competition organized by the European Best Destinations portal.
The Christmas market in Vörösmarty Square has been the capital’s highlight of the Advent season for decades, attracting nearly 800,000 visitors every year with a rich selection of Hungarian food and drinks, products of local craftsmen, and a free skating rink. Last year’s suspended edition of the market planned to feature the largest show of 3D paintings in Central Europe.