Who doesn’t love a Christmas Market?
We had such an amazing time the day we landed in Budapest (check out the link below to my other Budapest posts to see why I was there).
As soon as we dropped our luggage in our room, we headed down to Vorosmarty Square for their Christmas Market.
I seriously walked around that place with my mouth hanging open in AWE! The decorations were mesmerizing.
My stomach was rumbling from the amazing aromas. I couldn’t wait for dinner time. Some of the food booths were a little different than I was used to seeing.
But everything really did smell great.
Then there were the shopping booths. I kept trying to calculate how much I could buy and fit into my suitcase for the trip home.
We wandered around for an hour, looking at everything. Then when our stomachs wouldn't quit growling, we stopped and grabbed the first empty table we could find. Half of us saved the table, while the others went to grab food. Even then, we had ended up splitting a section of our small table with others who were also looking for a corner to share.
My first authentic Hungarian meal was a beef goulash in a bread bowl (I wish I had taken pictures, but I was too busy eating). My friend, Sharita, grabbed a chicken goulash. Both were YUMMY!
Matt had a boiled potato, while our friend Dennis grabbed one of the huge sausages. There was just so much and we wanted to try it all. So, we all ended up sharing bites so that we could get a larger experience.
After eating, we walked around some more. The lights and decorations were seriously amazing!
And then there were the street performers. Incredible!
We went back to the Christmas Market several times during our weeklong stay. I eventually bought a cool clock with a couple riding a bicycle as my souvenir, some small wind-up music boxes for family members, and then these really cool wooden puzzle boxes for our boys.
Towards the middle of the week, one of our coworkers told us about the Budapest Ice Bar and asked if we were interested. Heck yeah! We had to give it a try.
I had never been to one and was very excited to give it a try. Getting the tickets was a little harder than we thought. We ended up having to buy them at another ticketing agent six blocks from the actual ice bar. We had passed by this location several times thinking it was the actual Ice Bar.
Nope. Apparently this is a pretty common thing and something people should watch out for. We didn't realize it was at a different location until after they had taken our money. Apparently, the ticketing location was closer to the center of foot traffic, but the bar itself was in a much more secluded area. I was a little nervous, but thankfully with several other friends. So we grabbed our tickets, then headed out for our walk.
Once we arrived, they geared us up with these super heavy parkas. The temperature inside the small bar area was 1 to 7 Celsius or equal to 33 to 46 Fahrenheit. We had to laugh because it was almost warmer than the outside temperature…
But once we got inside, it definitely felt colder inside the bar.
It was fun. Literally everything was made out of ice.
Too funny! And COLD! I got two drinks:
*Reindeer Viagra and
*My Frozen Ice Balls
I have to admit that both were pretty good. Although, I did choose them for the names.
We were mixed on our reactions to the place. We were there during the week and at an odd time, so it wasn’t that busy while we were there. This was cool because we got to take lots of neat pictures without having to wait for other people. But it was just the five of us and after we had our cold drinks, took our pictures, and breathed in the cold air for a while, we didn't really want to stay much longer. We made it 15 minutes inside the bar, before finally calling it quits. At that point, we were just too cold. And my fingers kept sticking to the ice of the cup…
When we did finally leave the inside of the ice area, there was a pretty big group waiting to go in after us. So we weren't able to go out to warm up a bit, then go back in. Which was okay since we had already gotten our drinks and pictures.
All in all, this was a lot of fun. I feel like it was more of a walk-in freezer made into a bar, though. I've been told that is what some are and not others. So I will definitely have to give another one a try if I am ever in a town with another ice bar.
Budapest really was an amazing trip. It was one of the first places I have been away from home during the holidays and I think that is one of the things that made this trip so memorable. I was able to see how other countries celebrate the holidays. While some things were the same, others were definitely different. I liked seeing both and being fortunate enough to be welcomed into that celebration. It really was an incredible experience.
One final FUN FACT: I found out that the Rubik's Cube was invented by a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture, Erno Rubik. Because he was from Budapest, this fun cube is known as Budapest’s most beloved invention. I LOVED that! So, of course, we had to get one for each of the boys and for ourselves. :) See the following link for more information on this:
This was definitely a fun trip. I learned so much while I was there and I came home with some of the best Christmas presents I have ever given. Check out the rest of my Budapest touring adventures at the blog links below.
For more posts about Budapest: