Why now: 1) Palinka, a fruit brandy that burns, burns, burns; 2) Ruin bars, which also serve palinka; and 3) Thermal hot springs. Bring your own palinka.
Don’t miss: Budapest’s Christmas market, which is tough to miss with its thousands of fairy lights, cheery buzz, and wooden stalls. There are hearty traditional dishes like grilled meats, fluffy cakes, and mulled wine -- and you guessed it, more palinka!
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Barbara Woolsey is a Berlin-based writer who grew up braving -22 Fahrenheit on the reg in Canada. So these days, anything’s a vacation. Follow her European adventures on Facebook and Twitter.