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Christmas Markets

Expat Life

How we celebrated the Holidays in Budapest

January 16, 2019

Firstly, I’d like to start of 2019 by wishing you all a Happy New Year! I know I’m about two weeks too late, but I mean it all the same. Blame it on the constant colds that my husband and I have been trading back and forth since mid-December (she writes as she sneezes). As usual, I can’t really be bothered to make any New Year’s resolutions this year. Life seemed to go so fast so this past year and I want to remember to live in the moment, not think too far ahead, appreciate what I have and spend time with the people that matter. This is how we celebrated the holidays in Budapest…

How we celebrated the Holidays

Christmas is our favourite time of year. Andrew and I also go all out with planning and decorating that culminates in our annual Christmas Party. And while I didn’t post about it, I did take a lot of video. The first event of the season we attended was the St. Andrew’s Ball. You can see more of that by watching it here on our YouTube Channel.

St Andrews Ball Budapest
To kick off the holiday season, we attended the St. Andrew’s Ball held at the Budapest Marriott Hotel.

Now if you have ever been to any of our parties before, you know one thing – there are going to be a lot of lights (and a lot of wine). My clever husband spent just over two months building and programming the light show this year. And of course, since we no longer have a front lawn, it was indoors. SO MUCH FUN! And in case you want to be in the know, the software he uses to program is called xlights.

Christmas Day

Christmas in Budapest is just beautiful and we are lucky to have some good friends to share it with. However, it was hard to be away from our families. On the other hand, Andrew was as sick as I have ever seen him with a terrible cold immediately following our Christmas Party. And just when he started to feel better – I caught it. Just in time for Christmas Eve. Ugh. Luckily, Advil Cold helped me make it to our lovely Christmas Day Brunch at the Ritz Carlton. Thanks to our friend, Chris for arranging.

The gorgeous tree in the dining room at the Ritz-Carlton on Christmas Day.
My specially made “Chestnut Purée”. My absolute favourite holiday dessert.

New Year’s Eve

We both started to feel better again in time for New Year’s Eve and celebrated at Fat Mo’s Jazz Club. This night was so much fun – I will definitely look at going back again next year. We ate, drank champagne, celebrated birthdays and even lit the club on fire! Again, I filmed most of it, so you can watch that video here now.

The two birthday girls celebrating together on New Year’s Eve at Fat Mo’s

In the Bleak Midwinter

As we settle into the middle of January, we are both busy working and trying to “un-decorate” our apartment. Quite the endeavour… We’re also trying to finally get over these “boomerang” colds. The misery just seems to keep coming back and lingering on. Fingers crossed the colds go away for good soon – we’re off to Amsterdam in couple of weeks!

Moving Abroad, Personal Stories

Exploring the Christmas Markets in Budapest

December 19, 2017
Christmas Market Budapest

This past week has been crazy busy with organizing our new life, but when we take a break, we head out to go exploring the Christmas markets in Budapest. Luckily, there are several of them spread out around the city – both big and small.

The main Christmas markets are located on the “Pest” side of Budapest. One of these is located at Vörösmarty Square .  This includes lights, music, amazing food and drink stands, artists boutiques and other handcrafted goods.  All vendors are specially chosen for the high quality of their goods – and they are wonderful. There is a stage for live performances and Christmas lights are projected onto the facade of the iconic Café Gerbeaud. Established in 1858, Gerbeaud is Europe’s finest coffee house and pastry shop.

This Christmas market has been voted one of the Top 10 in all of Europe. To see some other great Christmas markets, click here.

Christmas Market Budapest

Vörösmarty Christmas Market at night. Our view from the St. Andrea Skybar looking at Gerbeaud.

Another huge tourist draw is the Christmas market located at St. Stephen’s Basilica.  This market features a spectacular 3D visual show projected on the front of the Basilica a few times every night. Andrew and I just LOVE watching it.  I’m sure he’s trying to figure out how he could do it himself at home for next Christmas 😉

In addition to the market booths, there is also a small skating rink for children under the huge Christmas tree located in the middle of the market. The sights, sounds and smells in this market are all delicious!

Basilica Christmas Market

The St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market complete with skating rink.

Of course, we would be remiss not to tell you about our top three things to consume at any Budapest Christmas Markets.  1. Mulled Wine 2. Fried Potato Pancakes and 3. Marzipan Chocolate.  Okay, number 3 is really for Andrew as I personally find marzipan gross  – but Andrew can’t get enough of it!

Hungarian Potato Pancakes

A Hungarian Potato Pancake. We like to top ours with sour cream and shredded cheese. Yum!

Thanks for reading!  Andrew and I are popping out for another glass of mulled wine…