10 Things to Do in Budapest at Christmas

Have you decided to spend some time in Budapest this Christmas? First, let us say that you’ve made a great decision! But to make the most of your time in our city, you’ll need some local tips and recommendations.

That’s where we come in! At E-Magine, we provide guided e-scooter tours in Budapest that showcase everything Hungary’s capital has to offer! We’re proud to say that our excursions are Tripadvisor’s #1 Outdoor Activity in Budapest!

We’ve spent countless hours exploring our city over the years, so we’re perfectly placed to share this list of the 10 best things to do in Budapest at Christmas.

Scroll down to find our picks for festive fun! And if you have any questions about our Budapest e-scooter tours in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Experience the Magic of Budapest’s Christmas Markets

When it comes to Christmas markets, Budapest knows how to deck the halls with the best of them. The iconic Christmas Fair at Vörösmarty Square is the crown jewel of Budapest’s festive season. 

Stroll between quaint wooden stalls adorned with handmade crafts, savour the scent of mulled wine, and delight in chimney cakes, a sweet Hungarian treat that’s a must-try — but more on them below! 

For an equally charming experience, the Advent Feast at St. Stephen’s Basilica offers a small but charming ice rink and an enchanting light show on the grand basilica itself.

Read our blog about the best Christmas markets in Budapest — as well as our Christmas E-Scooter Tour in Budapest — to take a deeper dive into this topic.

new year bear dancing festival

Treat Yourself to Some Hungarian Cuisine

Hungary’s culinary delights reach a whole new level during the Christmas season. Be sure to sample kürtőskalács, the delicious chimney cake. These treats are placed on a rotating spit and cooked over an open flame before being covered with cinnamon sugar or other tasty toppings. 

Hungarian Christmas candies, szaloncukor, are beautifully wrapped in colourful foil, making them a delightful gift for friends or family — or yourself! Hey, you deserve it!

And make space for bejgli, a traditional pastry with a dense, sweet poppy seed (or walnut) filling. 

And there’s plenty more besides, including hearty stews and an array of pastries. You can also warm yourself on chilly winter days with mulled wine, hot chocolate, or tea.

If you’re hungry for more travel inspiration when you’ve finished this blog, we think you’ll love reading our recommendations for the best things to do in Budapest!

mother with her daughters

Get Your Skates on at the City Park Ice Rink

Embrace the wintry magic of Budapest by gliding gracefully on the ice at the City Park Ice Rink. This expansive outdoor rink, in the shadow of the breathtaking Vajdahunyad Castle, transforms into a wonderland during the holiday season. 

First opened in 1870, this ice rink is one of the oldest and largest in Europe. As such, it’s a magnet for locals and tourists alike! Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a newbie, you’re bound to have a fantastic time.

beautiful indoor thermal pool at gellert spa

Warm Up in the Spas and Thermal Baths of Budapest

Did you know that Budapest is referred to as ‘The City of Spas’? And with 118 natural springs delivering 70 million litres of therapeutic water to over a dozen spas every day, it’s easy to see why!

When the chill sets in, there’s no better way to warm up than with a dip in one of Budapest’s world-famous thermal baths. The Széchenyi or Gellért Baths are ideal for unwinding and rejuvenating while you soak in hot, mineral-rich waters amidst grand architecture. 

It’s a therapeutic, refreshing experience you’ll treasure during the colder months.


See and Ride the ‘Christmas Lights’ Tram

One of the most iconic ways to experience the festive season in Budapest is aboard the ‘Christmas Lights’ Tram. Hop on Tram No. 2, adorned with around 39,000 sparkling fairy lights, and embark on a magical journey through the city. 

During the Christmas season, the tram, known locally as Fényvillamos, hits the rails after 5 p.m. You don’t need a special ticket to ride; a standard travel ticket is fine!

Discover more about exploring the wonders of Budapest at night.

overhead string lights at christmas market

Walk Around and Admire the Christmas Lights

Budapest dazzles during the holiday season with stunning Christmas lights and decorations. Take a leisurely stroll along Andrassy Avenue, where you’ll be enchanted by the displays in front of designer boutiques and historic buildings. 

Váci Street and the Danube promenade are also lit up magnificently, offering a captivating holiday atmosphere. 

Happy people with their guide on a Private Tour

Or Save Your Feet On a Budapest E-Scooter Tour!

If you’d like to cover more ground while you’re in Budapest, you want to save your feet from becoming tired and painful, or you prefer to explore with an expert local guide, look no further than our guided e-scooter tours in Budapest!

With a member of our friendly team leading the way, you can glide around our city’s attractions on a MonsteRoller. These amazing machines allow you to see and experience more than you ever could on foot, and they’re fun and safe to ride!

Our specially designed Christmas E-Scooter Tour in Budapest is the perfect way to soak in the festive atmosphere on a truly immersive adventure.

cruise ships at sunset on danube river

Cruise the Danube and See Another Side of Our City

Looking for another perspective of Budapest’s winter beauty? Take a Danube River cruise! You’ll witness the city’s illuminated landmarks, such as Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament, from the comfort of a heated cabin. 

It’s a tranquil and magical way to embrace the holiday spirit. You can choose from a range of options too. Basic cruises offer comprehensive sightseeing tours from the water, while more expensive excursions come with three-course meals.

dome of the snowy buda castle royal palace

Marvel at the Majesty of Buda Castle

With its cobbled streets and medieval architecture, the Buda Castle District is a historical treasure trove made even more enchanting by a dusting of snow. Stroll through this charming area to admire the centuries-old buildings and capture that perfect winter photo.

You can find seasonal exhibits and performances in and around the castle, as well as fascinating art galleries. When you add the twisting steps, hidden alleys, and bundles of cultural heritage, you can easily spend an entire day here!

But if you want to get the know the district with a local before exploring it in more depth later, or you’re simply on a tight schedule, our Buda Castle e-scooter tour is the perfect introduction to this historical gem.

Interior of hungarian state opera house

Take in a Show at the Stunning Hungarian State Opera House

Whether you’re a music lover, a Christmas fanatic, or a little of both, you absolutely must head to the Hungarian State Opera House. Attend a classical concert, opera, or ballet performance in this grand venue, the perfect showcase for the city’s rich musical tradition. 

The opulent interior and superb performances will make for an unforgettable evening. There are many performances of The Nutcracker, and there’s no better place to see it than right here!

A group of people on the Essence of Budapest Tour

Experience the Magic of Christmas with Our Budapest E-Scooter Tours 

Budapest is filled with festive cheer, cultural experiences, and culinary delights, so this list is only an introduction to the many things you can see and do.

Start planning your adventure by browsing our Budapest guided e-scooter tours, including our limited Christmas E-Scooter Tour in Budapest. Be sure to book soon to avoid missing out!

Do you have any questions for the E-Magine team? Contact us with your queries and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.