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Photo Gallery: Visit Mauritius, Maldives and Mexico Virtually

Have you added Mauritius, Mexico or the Maldives destinations to your bucket-list yet?

Let us show you exactly what you’re signing up for when you book a holiday to Mauritius, Mexico or the Maldives; we think you’re going to like what you see….

Mauritius

Mauritius is famous for its stunning beaches, lush verdant greenery and breath-taking backdrops.

Much of the island’s natural beauty can be found across the 150 kilometres of white, sandy beach.

In addition to turquoise waters and white sand, you’ll find rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls and more.

Maldives

It doesn’t get much more beautiful than the Maldives. This dreamy archipelago is made up of over 1,000 tiny floating islands and 26 natural atolls, which make a haven for those seeking sun, sand and serenity surrounded by azure waters.

Stay in one of the stunning overwater villas and admire panoramic views across the twinkling water. Now that’s a view we wish we could wake up to every day.

Mexico

History, culture, coastline – and a little more culture.

Mexico is brimming with cultural influences ready and waiting for you to uncover, be it the tasty food, vibrant festivals, ancient Mayan ruins or underwater wonders.

You’ll find a perfect blend of exciting city life and natural scenery, with something for everyone whether you prefer a fast-paced or laid-back holiday. Need any more inspiration? Our spectacular deals on flights mean you could be exploring these destinations much sooner than you think – call us to book your tailor-made holiday today, and we’ll do the rest for you.

The perfect destinations for your 2021 Easter holiday

Spring is a beautiful time to travel thanks to its pleasant weather, sunshine and blooming flowers – with plenty of destinations for Easter Monday Holiday around the world ideal for celebrating. Whether you want to stay close to home or hop on a far-flung flight, we’ve got a list of our favourite places sure to pique your interest for 2021 escapes.

1 – Florida

If you’re after splash-tastic fun, Florida is the best destination for Easter Monday to go with your family at Easter time. Brimming with world-famous theme parks and water parks, there’s an abundance of exciting things to do with the kids – including meeting the Easter bunny at Magic Kingdom, or spotting an Easter Bunny hopping through the crowds at the parade. In addition, the temperatures are mild during April so it’s a great time to visit the beaches or explore the parks without feeling too hot!

Read Also: Unique Things you can do in Brazil

2 – Moscow

What if we told you that you could celebrate Easter twice? If you head to Moscow, you can enjoy Easter activities a week or two later according to the Gregorian calendar, which means you’re in for a double celebration! You can visit one of the most stunning churches with orthodox values allowing you to enjoy the festivities on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, which continues all night long.

Read Also: Tips for Flying with Your Pets

3 – Copenhagen

If you are in the mood for some family fun then select these destinations for Easter Monday holidays, then you can head to Copenhagen. There are amazing amusement parks with thrilling rides and attractions that are sure to entertain those big and small. The most interesting activity that you can enjoy is participating in an Easter egg hunt or, for adults, sampling the annual Easter beer!

Read Also: Amazing things to do in Costa Rica

4 – Amsterdam

The charm of Amsterdam lives in its canals, cobbles and culture, which runs deep into the roots of the city. A perfect blend of new and old provides you with many things to do on Easter Monday, from a bike tour to a leisurely canal ride or a museum tour, there won’t be a single boring moment while on holidays in Amsterdam. In spring, it’s the perfect time of year to admire the colourful tulips (the city’s national flower), ornate centuries-oldbuildings and manicured garden spaces on your Easter holiday.

5 – Krakow

Krakow is one of the best places to visit for Easter Monday because, just like Christmas, Easter is also celebrated with a lot of merriment and vigour. You’re going to love the deliciousfood and the markets, which are culturally embellished to mark the celebrations. The hustle and bustle of the main square, RynekGlowny,is ideal if you like a lively scene, especially if you want to mingle with the locals, too.

6 – Paris

Spring makes this already enchanting city bloom in full swing, withcolourful flowers popping up in parks and the natural beautyof the city in full glory. There’s plenty of chocolate to go around in this city, Easter Eggs or otherwise, so you can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth on your travels. Tick off the tourist landmarks, dine in an al-fresco restaurant and wander the cobbled streets in the sunshine.

7 – Sicily

Consider yourself a festival fanatic? Sicily has a whole host of fun-loving festivals and events availablethroughout the island during the Easter season, including Gli Incappucciati, I Diavulazzi di Pasqua and more. Sicily also happens to be one of the best locations for sightseeing and getting lost in the ancient ruins, breathtaking landscapes, view from cliffs and more. What’s not to love?

8 – Berlin

Typically, the Easter holidaysare a peak time for tourists visiting to celebrate a week of sun, but luckily for you, not so much in Berlin. The temperature is lovely in April and the city’s landmarks and attractions will have fewer crowds. There are a plenty of fun attractions to enjoy during Easter in Berlin, including Easter Knights festival, a historic market with food stalls, performers and more – so you won’t be missing out!

Still, wondering how to celebrate Easter Monday? Give us a call at Crystal Travel to help you to plan destinations for Easter Monday holiday with family. Our team of experts can tailor your trip to best suit your requirements and also find some fantastic deals on flights to your desired destination. We’ll do the hard work for you, so all that’s left to do is pack!

How is the festive period likely to be different this year?

Christmas is upon us and amidst the pandemic, the festive season is going to look a little different this year. Families are encouraged to celebrate within their households in their local area only, to ensure the safety of loved ones and others you may come in contact with throughout this period.

Celebrating Christmas at Home

1- Christmas Bubbles

It is possible to celebrate Christmas this year by forming Christmas Bubbles. However, with the new lockdown rules implemented as of midnight on Saturday 19th December, these bubbles are only acceptable in certain tiers.

  • Tier 4 is prohibited to form bubbles or mix with other households
  • Tier 3 can form a bubble of three households on Christmas Day only.
  • The members of these bubbles can mix and enjoy in each other’s houses, a place of worship or in an outdoor public space or garden. Also, the bubble member’s list should be fixed as no swapping is allowed.
  • If you have children returning from university, they are automatically considered as a part of your household.
  • Other children who are not at university but are spread across the nation cannot form a bubble with their parents and must stick to their local areas.

2- Online celebrations

Online weddings, meetings and family reunions played a major part of 2020 with regards to both business and personal gatherings (hands up if you did one too many zoom quizzes?). Since there are restrictions on throwing a big party this year, zoom parties will most likely be the way forward – so be sure to have that WiFi working!

3- Communal gatherings

Currently, places of worship including churches will remain open even in the Tier 4 areas. This relaxation may however be reviewed for safety reasons, so it’s advised that, if you can, to attend church services online.

4- Online Christmas shopping

All major retail stores are likely to remain closed, so online shopping for gifts and essentials is probable. With this comes the possibility of popular items (Your Christmas Turkey) out of stock, so be sure to get online and buy as soon as possible with social distanced delivery.

Here’s to wishing you all a safe Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Guide to Dubai Expo 2020: Everything You Need to Know About This Mega Global Event

Dubai is set to be the first country in the Middle East to host a World Expo event. Starting in October 2020, this will be a celebration of human brilliance, innovation and achievement. A total of 192 countries will be participating and millions of visitors from across the globe are expected to descend on the UAE for this event. It will be your chance to experience the best of art, culture, technology and invention from different corners of the world and set in motion new thoughts and ideas that will impact our lives in the coming years. Every major city across the globe can be easily reached from Dubai, making it a major hub and the perfect hosting nation for the Expo 2020. Dubai will be putting on quite the show, come at the end of 2020. There are three main sub-themes to the event: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Dubai expo 2020 will commence on 20th October 2020 and will end on 10th April 2021. Here is everything you need to know about the Dubai Expo 2020.

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What is Expo 2020?

Expo 2020 Dubai is a world fair or mega international event to showcase and explore the ideas and achievements of nations all around the world. It is a platform where people from every corner of the world come together, connect and share ideas, learn and innovate. A festival is a mega event in terms of size, scale and visitors, promoting progress and innovation. It is also a place where you can come, learn and have fun. Dubai Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to be hosted by an Arab nation and first ever to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Read Also: Top 10 Things to do in Dubai for First-Timers

Where in Dubai is the Expo Being Held?

The Expo 2020 site is located in Dubai South, close to Al Maktoum International Airport. It is spread over 4.38 square kilometres of area and has four main entrances. Dubai South holds numerous high-profile exhibitions and events, but Dubai Expo 2020, undoubtedly will be its crowning glory. The Dubai Metro route 2020 will be transferring 46,000 passengers per hour to and from the Expo site in under 16 minutes from Dubai Marina.

Read Also: Redefining Luxury: Dubai’s Newest & Most Anticipated Hotels

How Can You Reach the Site?

You can reach the Expo site by car in 40 minutes from Downtown Dubai or you can take Dubai Metro to reach the Dubai Metro Station dedicated to Expo 2020 on the route 2020 line.

 Site Opening Hours

  • Weekdays: 9 am-1 am
  • Weekends and special days: 10 am-2 am

Read Also: 25 Most Popular Fairs and Festivals in Dubai

What to Do at the Expo 2020 Dubai?

There will be a variety of things to dazzle you, from music, technology and architecture to gastronomy and entertainment. Get to know Rashid and Latifa, the Expo 2020 Dubai mascots as they embark on an exciting new journey led by Salama the Ghaf tree. A day is not enough to discover the magic of the largest event ever held in the Arab world. This will be a journey where you’ll get to visit 192 different countries and learn all about their history and culture.

Start your day at the Al Wasl Plaza and admire the artwork and interactive installations from local and international artists. You’ll find cutting-edge architecture at every turn including the world’s biggest 360-degree projection surface on the steel dome and the all-natural Opportunity Pavilion made from 2,500 tonnes of stone and 111 km of rope. Enjoy live shows, from operas to pop-up theatres, flash mobs to sports events and enough to make you keep coming back here. For tech enthusiasts, there is a whole new world waiting with autonomous vehicles, robotics, augmented reality and space explorations.

If you’ve seen enough of the Expo 2020 from the ground, get a bird’s eye view of the place from the top of the rotating observation tower. You’ll find Arab-style vistas throughout the site with desert scenes, palm groves, jasmine trees and wadi figs. When tired of all the explorations, sit under the shaded canopies of the Ghaf tree, which is also the national tree of the UAE.

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Places to Visit in Dubai

What to Eat at the Expo 2020?

There are over 200-plus ways to treat your taste buds at the Expo 2020 with food offerings from Dubai and the 190 participating nations, joining this global mega event. Taste dishes from every corner of the world with a variety of options – from street food, haute cuisine and family-friendly meals to sustainable dining and unique culinary dishes prepared from locally-sourced produce that promotes wellness.

You can expect to see the food of all shapes and sizes with cultural influences from around the planet, suiting different budgets. There will be over 200 different restaurants celebrating more than 50 different cuisines from every part of the world.

Read Also: How Can You Enjoy Dubai on a Budget?

Can Kids Visit the Expo Site?

Yes, you can take children to the Expo site. There are two parks – Al Forsan and Jubilee – where children can play.

How to Buy Tickets for Expo 2020?

Tickets will go on sale in April 2020 and you can buy tickets through the Expo 2020 website and at the Expo 2020 gates during the event. However, monthly and season passes are available right now. So if you’re planning to visit Dubai during the Expo 2020, you can easily buy your passes from the website.

How Much are the Tickets?

To access this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll have to shell out Dh120 (USD 33) for a single-day entry ticket, whereas a three-day pass is priced at Dh260 (USD 71) and can be used on any three days during the 173 days of the Expo.

Children under the age of five and seniors over 65 years have free access to the Expo. Youngsters from 6 to 17 years of age and students of any age will receive a 50 per cent discount on the ticket. People of determination or those with special needs will be granted complimentary access, with their carers entering for half price.

Where to Stay for the World Exhibition in Dubai?

It’s a good idea to stay in a hotel that is close to a metro station if you are visiting Dubai during Expo 2020 so that you can directly access the Expo 2020 Pavilion using the metro. This 6-month mega event will be from October 20, 2020, till 10 April 2021, and over 25 million visitors are expected to visit. There are more than 200 international participants, including 190 nations, businesses, non-government organisations and educational institutions. It is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity where you’ll get to witness the most exciting technology projects and innovations that are happening around the world. The theme of Expo 2020 is “connecting minds, creating the future” and it will attract some of the smartest minds in the world to Dubai. It would be a good idea to have long term accommodation and rent an apartment in Dubai during this period to take full advantage of the Expo 2020.

Is There Any Dress Code for Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai?

There is no dress code for visitors. Any light, casual and comfortable clothing keeping in mind the sunny weather of the UAE is good. However, you might need slightly warmer clothes such as a jumper during the winter in December and January, or in a place of powerful air conditioning (for example, a cinema or a hotel lobby). Avoid revealing clothes when out in public especially in family-friendly environments such as malls and restaurants and cover your head when you enter a place of worship. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

A Spotlight on the 42nd Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020

Celebrating its 42nd anniversary, the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020 runs from February 22 to March 1. It features wine from 15 countries and over 160 different wineries. This year, the focus is on France and about 42 wineries from 10 different wine-growing regions are participating in the festival and the spotlight is on rose wine. The key attraction at the Vancouver International Wine Festival being held at Vancouver Convention Centre is the Tasting Room, which features over 750 wines and food.

 About the Wine Festival

One of the oldest and largest wine events in the world, the VanWineFest is a coveted annual wine affair that brings together wine enthusiasts and experienced sommeliers from all over the world. Voted the ‘#1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada’ since the last five years in a row by New York’s BizBash, it offers wine experiences, promote the wine industry and raise funds for Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Theatre.

From humble beginnings in 1979, the festival has grown to become Canada’s best and most prestigious wine show. The festival features some 50 events each year, of which about 40 are open to the public and another dozen or so for people in wine-related and hospitality industries. Around 150+ wineries serve over 1,500 types of wines throughout the festival. To give an idea about the scale of the festival, about 45,000 wine bottles are opened and/or purchased annually at the event.

With a striking slogan – ‘The Wine World is Here’, each year the festival focuses on various wine-growing regions in the world. In 2017, it was Canada, in 2018, the featured region was the Iberian Peninsula and in 2019, it was California. In 2020, the year is for France.

2020 Festival Wines & Wineries

Countries participating in this Wine Festival include:

France (43), Canada (33), Italy (24), USA (17), Spain (9), Australia (7), Portugal (6), New Zealand (5), Argentina (4), Croatia (4), Germany (4), Chile (3), Romania (2) and Uruguay (1).

Moreover, a few Sake (rice wine) makers from Japan are also participating this year.

Admission Prices

Tickets to events are on sale and the Vancouver International Wine Festival ticket price ranges from about $40 to $450. Prices include wine and food during the event. Additionally, tips, taxes and service charges are also included in the price.

Other Events at the Festival

The 9-day wine festival features several events including the grand Bacchanalia Dinner, Trade Days Seminar, International Tastings, wine parties & dinners and much more.

Seven out of the nine days of the festival are open to the general public. All nine days, including the first two, are open to participants in the wine and hospitality industry.

Relish a fancy 5-course dinner with wine, live music and dancing.

Venue: Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada

How to reach:

Board Skytrain Train – 980 – Canada Line Skytrain at the platform sign ‘Canada Line To Waterfront’. Deboard at Waterfront Station Northbound. Head northwest on W Cordova Station toward Howe Station. Turn right at Howe Station. The Vancouver Convention Centre is straight ahead at 1055 Canada Place.

The dates for the other events are:

Bacchanalia Dinner + Auction – February 22, 2020

Trade Days Seminar – February 26 to 28, 2020

The Tasting Room – February 27 to February 29, 2020

Temperature:

The average temperature you’ll face in February would be between -11.0°C and -2.2°C. So, make sure you’re warm enough to tackle the cold.

Presently, the Vancouver Wine Festival draws some of the iconic industries from all over the globe and is strongly distinguished as the continent’s primary wine event and among the oldest and best wine festivals in the world.

This is a wonderful prospect to meet and greet sommeliers, winemakers, owners and senior representatives from wineries around the globe. For either the proficient wine lover or the beginner, the grand festival has something to please every taste and wallet.

Top Christmas Markets in Europe To Make Your Festive Season Memorable

There’s nothing as grand and lively as a European Christmas. If you’re there from late November through the New Year, it’s easy to see why. All around Europe, Christmas markets have started to open and this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the festive spirit. Don’t miss the luscious barbecue or a hot, pastry rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Follow the aroma of mulled wine, seasonal cookies and gingerbread; buy glistening gifts, linger around food stands and shop for seasonal items. Just put it all together and revel in the Christmas spirit with these top Christmas markets in Europe that are worth visiting.

1. Resselpark, Vienna

Vienna, the capital of Austria has numerous Christmas markets popular as ‘Christkindlmarkt’ spread all over the city. The name ‘Christkindlmarkt’ is derived from the traditional Christmas culture. And among the Christmas markets, the one at Resselpark is the best. It is full of rides and other adventure activities for children and young people. It gets dark quite early and taking walks around the Resselpark Christmas market is what Viennese people love to do. Revel in the aroma of baked items, sip on delicious mulled wine, shop for wonderful gifts, watch jugglers and street magicians at their best and cherish the festive atmosphere.

Best time: 22 November 2019 – 05 January 2020

How to reach: Situated in Karlsplatz, this magnificent spot can be reached either by subway (Karlsplatz station) or via Operngasse Street.

Read Also: Best Place In Europe To Celebrate Christmas

2. Havel’s Market, Prague

Visitors come from everywhere to experience the Christmas markets in Prague, especially Havel’s Christmas Market. Prague Old Town Square Havelska is the location of this large market. It’s situated between the Old Town Hall and Church of Our Lady before Tyn. Some exceptional items that are available here during Christmas are handmade ornaments, toys, holiday decorations, traditional cookies, tablecloths, Frankincense and the Czech Christmas potpourri called purpura. Some other products on sale are Czech wooden puppets, artistries, clothing decorations, scented candles and handmade soap. Taste hot wine, grog and warm honey liquor called medovina as they come in handy in the cold climate. Czech Christmas carols add to the festive atmosphere. After dark, the market is lit up gorgeously. The key event at the market is a special musical night and light ceremony on the Christmas tree, which is frequently repeated as visitors settle down.

Best time: 30 November 2019 – 6 January 2020

How to reach:  If you are at Prague’s central district, you can take Bus 55A and 56A.

Read Also: Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Around the World

3. Piazza Navona Market,

With the Christmas flavour in full-swing and the Eternal City already floodlit in cheerful displays, what better time to sip coffee and pick up various gifts at one of the many markets happening during November and December in Rome. Wander through the stately Piazza Navona as you pause between local hawkers offering sweets, chestnuts, artisanal crafts and artwork. You are sure to be amused by the festive holiday rides, nativity scene and live performers, all of which are surrounding the architectural beauty of Bernini’s Quattro Fiumi, Saint Agnese Church and Palazzo Pamphili. Wait until twilight as the Piazza market glows majestically with the crowd slowly setting in. Escape to this famous spot for a chance to show off your skill on the ice rink. And don’t forget to witness the traditional Christmas concert and performance, packed with more than 50,000 people, also featuring food from various Italian regions, artisan works and hand-crafted gifts.

Best Time: 01 December 2019 – 06 January 2020

How to reach: To reach this market, just walk to the Termini Station and from there, take Bus Number 64 or Bus Number 40. Stop at Vittorio Emanuele. Just a few minutes’ walk and you have arrived!

Read Also: 20 Best Summer Holiday Destinations in Europe

4. Nyhavn’s Christmas Market, Copenhagen

If there’s one thing that can stir up the Christmas spirit amidst Denmark’s cold, wind-swept atmosphere, it’s Nyhavn’s Christmas market and central Kongens Nytorv. Offering abundant gift options with pungent aromas of cinnamon-infused mulled wine and roasted almonds, visitors have the prospect of enjoying the best goodies while savouring a glass of hot liquor along the way. The market has ample festive events running up to the 25th for those in need of early festive inspiration. The harbour front provides an iconic setting to select your holiday gifts with the option to soak up the winter feel by strolling along its cobbled walkways. Grab your camera and a cup of something warm as the canal captures the ideal winter-time shot of the city.

Best time: 08 November 2019 – 23 December 2019

How to reach: Take the city metro from Nyhavn and walk down for 5 minutes till you reach the market.

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5. Main Market Square, Krakow

Where better to soak up a slice of Christmas joy than in Poland? Take a break at one of the season’s most popular highlights – Krakow Christmas fair on the main market square. According to the Irish Times, Krakow Christmas Market is one of the top ten Christmas markets in Europe. One cannot imagine how beautiful Krakow Christmas Market becomes during this season. Situated on the Main Market Square and the Old Town’s centre, the decorated wooden booths of the Main Square Christmas market offer a selection of gifts, delicacies and brews that are best enjoyed out in the cold air while exploring all the best that Krakow has to offer. If you’re planning an extraordinary December holiday, consider Krakow as a budding destination – certainly, it has much more to offer than the Christmas market but the festival event takes the city’s unique atmosphere to the next level.

Best time: 30 November – 26 December 2019

How to reach: Main Market Square is right in the heart of Krakow, a 10-minute walk from the city’s main train station. Being a walkable area, the square is only accessible by foot or on a bike.

Book Cheap Flights to Krakow

6. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, Berlin

Who doesn’t love Berlin? The German capital is worthy when it comes to enjoying the last two months of the year when the city turns into a real-life Christmas-fairy-tale. There are roughly 80 Christmas markets spread out all over the city but the historical Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market is quite famous and one of the most beautiful to behold. From gifts, souvenirs to the best waffles and more, immerse yourself in the magic of the festive season. Witness glassblowers, basket weavers, jugglers, handicraft makers, winter delicacies and origami art during Advent. The market transforms into a small city with copious exhibitors and stands as well as more than 1,000 fairy lights providing a cosy ambience. The nostalgic Christmas market has an impressive array of artisans, amusement rides and traditional culinary delights such as roasted almonds and a variety of cakes.  

Best time: 25 November – 26 December 2019

How to reach: The market is located in front of the Konzerthaus on the Gendarmenmarkt and can be reached by foot from several stations like Stadtmitte and Franzosische Straße.

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7. Museumplein, Amsterdam

Witness festivities in the Dutch capital. Each year, Amsterdam’s Museumplein transforms into a charming Christmas village with an ice rink, live entertainment, market stalls and plenty of festive food and drink to keep you warm. Take a spin on the ice or play some human bowling at this spectacular event. Warm-up with mulled wine and Dutch Doughnuts, find the perfect gifts for friends and family and just take in all the festive charm of the city. The Ice Village is a traditional Dutch Christmas market in the centre of Amsterdam, right by the huge ice rink at Museumplein. If you fancy a spot of ice skating and warming yourself up with hot mulled wine and Dutch Christmas foods, this is the market for you. The atmospheric market will be glowing with lit up trees and dazzling lights and you can glide on the ice with the stunning Rijksmuseum as your backdrop.

Best time: 16 November 2019 – 02 February 2019

How to reach: You can get to Museumplein by Bus, Light Rail, Train or Metro. These are the lines and routes that have stops nearby – Bus – 142, Bus – 170, Bus – 197

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8. Vorosmarty Square Market, Budapest

Budapest has smaller and bigger Christmas Markets that have been attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and are the most spectacular. The most beautiful, oldest and internationally acclaimed Budapest Christmas fair is the Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square in the heart of the city. The winter festival in Vorosmarty is celebrating its 21st year in 2019 and every year surpasses the previous one in terms of size and activities. The festive Christmas markets showcase young and old talents of Hungary, who master in glass-blowing, knitting, wood carving, candle making, pottery, leather & shoe trade. Moreover, enjoy 3D projection light show, street food on Zrinyi and Sas Streets, roasted chestnuts, plum juice with cinnamon, hot chocolate, mulled wine, spit cake and much more.

Best time: 08 November 2019 – 01 January 2020

How to reach: The centrally located Vorosmarty Square is unmissable since it lies in the inner city of Budapest (district V.), at just a few minutes’ walk from the Danube.