We are recently back from a lovely trip to Germany for the Christmas markets, and are considering an "Austro-Hungarian Empire" trip for 2023. :) (Salzburg, Budapest, maybe Vienna and/or Bratislava if we have enough vacation days left.)
Trying to set my own expectations. In Germany our favourite part of our December trip was the happy, friendly vibe. The markets were full of locals, or maybe near-locals on a day trip. Everyone was in a good mood. It was NOTHING like the typical "every shopper for themselves" experience I have at home in December! We had several opportunities to strike up conversations with people in the markets, usually as we shared a table and drank gluhwein. We've been to Germany a couple of times, and while we really like Germany, we have never found it that easy to connect with locals. (We don't speak German but learned a few key phrases as openers.)
So--my question is for those of you who have attended Christmas markets in Hungary. Is this atmosphere similar in Hungary? I spent a month in Budapest a few years ago, and while the people I worked with and got to know were absolutely lovely, the people I encountered in public were generally quite reserved. I would LOVE the chance to chat with people as we did in Germany; honestly that's what made that trip special. Again, we don't speak Hungarian, and I wouldn't expect a lot in, say, Szentendre or Eger, but in Budapest it was easy to find English speakers, and I can dust off my few polite phrases in Hungarian so it looks like I'm trying.
We'll probably still go, even if the answer is no, Hungarians are reserved even at Christmas markets--but I'd love to know what to expect.