Two blocks in from the Danube promenade at the north end of the busy shopping precinct Váci Street in central Pest, elegant pedestrianized Vörösmarty Square is named after Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty; his massive marble statue stands in the center of the square. The deliciously old-fashioned Gerbeaud Café has graced the square since 1870 and it still serves the best ice creams in Budapest. Two other sides of the square have recently been redeveloped into luxury apartments and shopping malls; the modernist architecture contrasts cleverly with the old-world charm of Gerbeaud.
Budapest’s annual Christmas Market is held in Vörösmarty Square from mid-November until the end of December, when it brims over with wooden stalls selling handcrafted jewelry and cheery ceramics and the air fills with the scent of strudel and forralt bor (mulled wine). A book festival fills the square in July and in the summer buskers pour in to entertain the tourists. The square is an easy walk to major Budapest attractions such as the Chain Bridge and St Stephen’s Basilica.