Your guide to Budapest's Easter Market at Vörösmarty Square
Officially known as the Budapest Spring and Easter Fair, the Easter Market at Vörösmarty is Budapest’s premier Easter market. This unmissable seasonal treat takes place in Vörösmarty Square during the first few weeks of April, and is one of the highlights of the Budapest calendar. However, before you visit, it’s worth learning a little about the venue, as it’s not just an ordinary city square.
Located in the city’s District V near the Danube River, the square has its own subway station on the M1 line (Vörösmarty tér), and is easily accessible from Deák Ferenc tér station on the M2 and M3 lines as well. The name “Vörösmarty” is a reference to Mihály Vörösmarty, a 19th-century poet and dramatist, as well as a major player in Hungary’s nationalist movement. The great poet’s square is a fitting tribute, and locals make good use of it to entertain visitors. Its central location and wide open space makes Vörösmarty the major setting for large-scale markets in central Budapest. And when these markets take place, the organisers work hard to make them extra special.
What to expect from the Easter Market at Vörösmarty Square
The Easter Market was the brainchild of an organisation called the Hungarian Handicraft Association, and craft production remains at the heart of what makes the event so special. There’s no better place to discover the traditions and creativity of the Hungarian people.
The handicrafts on display promise to be extremely diverse, but all are themed around classically Hungarian styles. For instance, leather goods play a prominent role, including wallets, bags, belts, and even tobacco pouches. They reflect Hungary’s long history of horsemanship, and the need to produce whips and bridles for riders. Wood is another commonly used material among Hungarian artists, who have made use of the forests of the Hungarian Plain for centuries. These days, furniture and ornaments are manufactured in busy workshops throughout the country, and plenty of prime examples can be found at the Easter Market.
Seek out dazzling Hungarian jewellery
Then there’s jewellery – an artisan tradition in Hungary that deserves a section of its own. Hungary is one of Europe’s great centres of jewellery production, from peasant necklaces where the beads are fashioned from bone, amber, or wood, to intricate porcelain masterpieces on display in Budapest’s luxury boutiques.
At the Easter Market, you’ll come across all types; handmade bracelets that could have been produced 1000 years ago, alongside Art Nouveau rings and earrings with incredible delicacy. Even better, many master craftspeople will be present to sell their wares, and the square enables them to host jewellery making masterclasses that reveal some of their deepest professional secrets. In fact, the stage at Vörösmarty Square is an attraction in itself. You can grab a coffee and watch crafts experts blow glass, carve wooden toys, or explain the goldsmith’s art, and enjoy an afternoon at the market without buying a thing.
There are attractions for all the family at the Easter Market
Actually, buying and selling represent a fraction of what makes the market a must-see event during Easter in Budapest. For instance, the square is also lavishly decorated with spring flowers. They evoke the rich colours of Hungary’s countryside as the winter snows recede and agriculture gets back underway.
Expect banks of pansies (an ever-present flower as spring arrives in Budapest), along with quince blossoms, and the vivid pink of the Judas tree. Spread among the stalls, they give the square a magical feel, which draws the visitor in, as well as spreading gorgeous fragrances wherever you walk. There are costumed characters to greet children, musical performances, egg decorating stalls to celebrate the season, and even wine tasting stands which show off Tokaj, the country’s famous dessert wine. Local confectioners have stalls where they hand out samples to entice buyers and what better time to try a “Gerbeaud pastry”? Filled with apricot and walnuts, and covered with chocolate icing, this delicacy was invented on the Square.
Make time to visit Budapest during the Easter period. The beauty of the city’s trees, the warm weather, and the friendly welcome of the local people combine with great events like the Vörösmarty Square Market to make Easter in Budapest irresistible.