Flickering candles, the sweet smell of mulled wine, and the jingle of Christmas tunes. There is something truly magical about advent preparations. The unique mood of the Danube Bend mixed with the magic of advent is a truly blessed combination. In 2021, there was an abundance of Christmas Markets around the Danube. Vác, Szentendre, Nagymaros, Esztergom, Pomáz, and Visegrád all had their own advent markets and fairs, and I’ve decided to put them all on my list, as I wouldn’t be able to pick just one as the best Christmas market in the Danube bend.
Christmas Market of Vác
Between 20th November and 10th January, the atmosphere of the holidays fills the main square of the region’s largest towns. Children’s programs, concerts, Christmas booths, and an advent-themed playground await the visitors.
A few special programs: Bejgli (a famous Hungarian Christmas-pastry) baking contest, Santa marathon, children’s concert, Hungarian folk dance performance, and a mulled wine-making contest. Moreover, every Sunday from 5:30 PM they hold an advent candle lighting ceremony.
Szentendre Christmas Market
From 27th November until 10th January you can experience an abundance of Christmas programs in the magical town of Szentendre.
Family and children’s programs can be found pretty much every day of Advent, with some must-have gastronomical experiences to boot. But that’s not all: handicraft fairs, indoor and outdoor events, exhibitions, and a rich selection of cultural programs await you as well. Small houses dressed in Christmas lights make the streets of Szentendre even more charming. Who could resist a place like this?
A giant advent wreath embellishes the town center, around which all visitors can place their own candles, and on Saturdays, you can watch kindergarteners reenact traditional plays.
Nagymaros Farmer’s Market
Goods from local producers, homemade jam, paté, cheese, sausages, but to put my belly aside, handcrafts and handcrafters of all types await visitors every Saturday at the Nagymaros Farmer’s Market, a special Christmas market.
During the time of advent, their usual selection is complemented with some excellent Christmas present ideas. Open every Saturday between 8 AM and 1 PM, this is a market you can visit all year round, but definitely shouldn’t miss around Christmastime.
Christmas Market of Esztergom
The magnificent, historic town of Esztergom hosts its first Christmas market this year. Its main walking street dresses in festive lights, enveloped by the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread.
Between the 25th of November and the 31st of December, a great number of family programs, children’s programs, and cultural events await those who venture to Esztergom. If you’re with children you shouldn’t miss the Hungarian folk DIY programs and the opportunity to ride around the town’s streets on the free advent children’s railway.
Besides acoustic concerts and book signings, grownups can also get into the fun of handicrafts or try out the ice skating rink of Esztergom. Or just have an amazing meal while watching the kids and Santa Claus.
Pomáz Christmas Fair
Pomáz is joining the Christmas market craze for the first time this year between November 27th and December 23rd on the town’s St. Stephen’s Square.
Besides the must-have handicraft market, the fair will also have a petting zoo where children can fall in love with lambs and other small animals and an ice rink to glide around in all day.
If skating isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy watching the pros do it with ice dance performances and wild skating exhibitions enriching the program of the fair. Another great thing to watch is the musical performances where you can hear everything from Balkan tunes to an amazing duet between the saxophone and the accordion.