Three members of FUNZINE, including native Budapesters and others who have lived here for some time share their favourite places to go and things to do in the city every month. In December, you can see the hints of Kriszta, Cinti and Peti.
My favourite place to be: Advent Feast at the Basilica
In my opinion, the most magical Christmas fair in Budapest is the one held at the St. Stephen’s Basilica due to the ice rink that’s placed there and the well-known Christmas songs you can sing along. At this time of the year, I give up my diet for few days to try some of the delicacies sold in the wooden pavilions and the smelling mulled wine at the DiVino stand which keeps me warm in the cold.
My favourite thing to do: Gingerbread-making
I make gingerbread or other Christmas cookies every year. I’m planning to surprise my colleagues this year with Santa Claus-shaped Linzer cookies so that they know how much I appreciate them. I will spend Christmas Eve with my family in the countryside, on which day I provide the dessert for the holiday feast that is going to be walnut and poppy seed-filled beigli (Hungarian sweet rolls) this December. I spend the whole day in the kitchen, which is full of the winter smells of ginger and cinnamon, to make my loved ones happy.
Favourite thing to do: Charity work
Every December I do some charity work when the winter holidays are approaching. This year, we make Christmas wishes come true for foster children who have to spend the holidays without their families. They ask for such trifles that you can’t even imagine. FUNZINE team accompanied by the noblest of our readers is purchasing as many Christmas presents as possible to make the little ones merry. You can find more information about this on our website. For me, the most anticipated event of this month is the day when we are visiting the orphanages and their residents to give away all the gifts we have collected.
Favourite place to be: Next to my birthday cake
Instead of the common “under the Christmas tree”, my favourite place in December is next to my birthday cake. I was born right after Christmas, on 27 December. In the sense that everyone has already returned from the compulsory family visits by then, I’m lucky that I get to celebrate my birthday with my best friends every year. We give little presents to each other as well as eat, drink and laugh a lot.
My favourite place to be: Cserpessbe
Although the pre-Christmas season tends to be overwhelmed with the holiday shopping and preparing as well as the year-end rush at work, it feels even better to stop for a moment to have a cup of fine coffee or to start the day with a toothsome sandwich. The newly opened Cserpessbe in Kálvin tér is one of my favourite places at the moment. I love sitting on a bar stool and staring outside the huge glass windows. The fact that it’s right next to our office is the icing on the cake.
My favourite thing to do: Take a long walk
Is there anything more romantic than wandering around in the forest during the winter season? I love to go on an excursion in the woods that are located nearby Budapest, enjoy the fresh air, and have a cup of spicy mulled wine or some of the sweet strudels at the end of the long walk. Slowing down in the middle of the Christmas rush also helps prepare for the holidays mentally.