Hungary is great for shopping. Although all parts of the verdant country produce great quality goods and foodstuffs, of course Budapest, as the vibrant cultural capital and by far the largest city, is the place to go. It is easy to find that special item you won't find elsewhere!
It even has a name: Hungaricum. Many of these, such as Pick Salami from southern Szeged and Bull's Blood and Tokaji Aszú wines from the northern regions of Eger and Tokaj, make great gifts and souvenirs.
If you fancy some more immediate gratification, you could try authentic Goulash soup or Lángos in the food halls of one of the capital's numerous covered markets, (many of them beautiful historical buildings) such as the Great Market Hall near Liberty Bridge, which according to CNN Travel is among Top5 city markets of Europe. Here you will see the food shopping of yesteryear. People young and old wandering the wide alleys of the labyrinthine market hall, mostly buying from a string of familiar vendors as they slowly fill their basket with fresh produce, meat and dried goods. To really jump the Hungarian language barrier and take part yourself, by joining a Market tour, where you can shop together with a knowledgeable guide, often gathering fresh ingredients for a slap-up meal, then taking it "home" to cook it all together.
Recently refurbished Klauzál Square Market Hall can be found in the middle of 7th district Budapest. This area was traditionally the home of merchants, so no wonder that a lively trade was going on in this market hall too. The beautifully renovated historic building, receiving a new mezzanine level during the 2015 refurbishment, has two entrances, from Klauzál Square and from Akácfa Street. Besides farmers market we can also find many street food places and artisian shops here.
The 8th district also has it's own central market hall, Rákóczi Square Market Hall, towering in the inner end of Rákóczi Square, just next to the station of Metro Line No. 4. The airy halls of the market are housing traditional vegetable and fruit shops, other food vendors and a supermarket too. Also a big chinese food shop is situated in the building, while in the opposite corner we can find recently opened Oinos WineBar Bistrot.
Shopping in Budapest
Downtown Market Hall (Belvárosi Piac) in Hold Street is not far from the Parliament Building, the Basilica and Szabadság Square. It was also recently renovated, and around 50 vendors are selling fresh fruit, vegetables and other local, traditional and handmade products here. We can also enjoy special street food dishes in the upper floor.
One of the most popular markets of the Buda side is Fény Street Market, where stalls of small farmers offer an innumerable range of fresh products. If you visit this place, don't forget to try the ever popular Hungarian street food, lángos!
Fehérvári Street Market Hall is situated in an interesting, terrace-style modern building in the Southern part of Buda, covered with a roof a few years ago during a thorough renovation. This is said to be the most flowery market of Budapest.
The list does not stop there; there are also weekend farmer's markets, (the famous ruin bar Szimpla kerthas one) up-class design markets and even flea markets like the well-known Ecseri Market. If you can't find what you're looking for at any of these, it's probably not worth having!