Soon we’ll start thinking about Christmas decorations, the menu for Christmas Eve and the gifts that Santa Claus or the Three Wise Men will leave us. The best place to go Christmas shopping is at any of the flea markets found in towns and cities all over the world.
Christmas shopping is an excellent excuse for traveling and this time we would like to propose a getaway to Budapest so that you can take in the atmosphere and especially the excellent flea markets you will find there. Christmas in Hungary is the most important festivity of the year, largely thanks to the fact that the Christmas season coincides with the feast of St. Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian state.
Christmas flea markets are divided into two sections. In one you can enjoy the best varieties of Hungarian Christmas foods, with typical season dishes, for instance the homemade sausages or the typical Christmas spice cookies and other delights of Hungarian bakery such as a type of poppy or nut cream filled roll (mákos/diós beigli). There’s nothing better than to wash down these treats with warm wine or, if you’re the daring type, a Pálinka, something very fitting for this time of the year. We recommend that you try out mangalica ham, from a Hungarian breed of hogs, sometimes sent to Spain to be aired for several months—a true delicacy.
There are three major Christmas flea markets in Budapest:
In Vörösmarty Square, with a big Christmas tree and over a hundred stalls selling traditional handicrafts and foods.
In St. Stephen Square, outside the impressive basilica. Aside from the stalls, there is an ice-skating rink and light shows, among other attractions.
In the Park by the new City Hall of Pest, with a great atmosphere and the characteristic stalls.
Although the most famous flea markets are in Budapest, if you get the chance you should also try out the ones in Győr, Pécs and Sopron.
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5-star hotel in Budapest: the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Budapest. It is located in a privileged area, surrounded by important buildings, embassies and shopping areas. It was built in 2011 and the rooms provide a perfect sense of luxury. It also has a complete spa where you can fully relax and the facilities are ready to welcome business conventions, incentive trips and other professional events in Budapest.”