The news that Budapest's main Christmas Market will be held online this year came as a major disappointment to many. Who doesn’t love admiring the artisanal gifts for sale while sipping a steaming mug of mulled wine, nibbling on seasonal sweets? But not to fear – we have come up with the ultimate guide for how to enjoy the online Christmas Market this year to its fullest extent.

Brew your own mulled wine

Let’s get to the most important point first. How can it be the Christmas Market without mulled wine? Luckily for all of us, forralt bor is incredibly easy to make at home, and we detailed it all in this article from last winter. There are so many different recipes available that you may even find your homemade version to be more delicious than that sold to the masses!

If you’re in a rush, here’s the recipe in a nutshell:

  • 1 bottle wine (dry)
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks  
  • 3-4 star anise pods  
  • 3-4 cloves  
  • zest of one lemon  
  • zest of one orange  
  • sugar (to taste)  
  • optional: other spices, fruit juice, fruit pieces, etc  

Bring 180ml of water to boil with 100gr of sugar, cinnamon sticks and spices. Let the mixture boil until it reduces, add in the orange and lemon zests and pour in the wine. Make sure it doesn’t boil! At this point anything else can be added: additional spices, fruit juice, fruit pieces, etc. If you have a sweet tooth, feel free to add more sugar.

Make some candied almonds

Another Christmas Market favourite are the warm, sugary candied nuts, crunchy and sweet, served in iconic paper cones. Did you know that they only take about 30 minutes to make? Try this recipe at home!

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar  
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon  
  • 2 cups almonds (or your preference)

Combine the water, sugar and cinnamon into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and add the almonds. Cook and stir the mixture until the liquid evaporates, and you are left with a syrup-like coating on the almonds. Pour the almonds onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper, separating the almonds with a fork or knife. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then enjoy!

Open the windows and put on a sweater

Okay, you don’t have to do this. But isn’t it more fun to enjoy the hot mulled wine, and freshly-cooked candied almonds when there’s a chill in the air? Don’t you want to put on your cutest winter hat and wrap yourself up in a scarf like you’re really standing out on Vörösmarty tér? Maybe not. But tis the season!

Zoom your friends and family

No one goes to the real Christmas Market alone, so let’s treat the online one the same way! Open up Skype or Zoom and call in your friends and family. Coordinate it so everyone has a pot of mulled wine on the stovetop, and candied nuts in hand. Browse the wares and admire your favourites together, as if you were all standing side-by-side out on the market square, and not scattered across the city in your apartments (or across the world!).

Browse the market

As soon as it was announced that the Christmas Market would be online this year, everyone has been waiting to see what the website will look like. Well, it’s finally here. Check out stunning hand-crafted enamel jewellery, traditional Kékfestés textile products, carved wooden flutes, one-of-a-kind pottery and much more. More information is also posted daily on the Facebook page

Indulge in a bubble bath

You’ve finished your shopping, bid goodbye your friends, shut the window and downed your last sip of forralt bor. The only thing left to wrap up such a perfect evening is to step into a steaming bath and let the warmth of the water wash away the cold chill of the winter outside.

Enjoy the online Christmas Markets this year and we hope to see you out on Vörösmarty tér soon!