There are many good markets in Budapest, several market halls, flea markets and special event markets (Easter, Christmas, etc.). Shopping in Budapest is in itself a good experience, and it can be a life saver on gloomy rainy days or cold winter days.
Market Halls in Budapest
Central Market Hall (Vasarcsarnok): fresh fruits and vegetables, Hungarian souvenirs, pickles, food stalls, etc. The big market hall of Budapest is a must see, even if you do not like touristy places. The market hall is conveniently located, within 15 min walking distance to the city centre, by the river Danube (Liberty Bridge)
Some events make the Central Market Hall even more colourful: each week a new country presents its culture, cuisine, markets, etc. during the National Days in the Central Market Hall.
Tours in the Market Hall are offered along with wine and food tasting in other special venues. Take a look at Budapest Market and Food Tour highlights here.
Shopping, eating, drinking and people watching in a beautiful 19th century market hall in the city centre. Who wouldn’t want to see it? The Central Market Hall in Budapest is geared most toward tourists, and is priced accordingly, but many locals buy their goods here too. A lively place!
Feny utca Market Hall: One of the biggest food markets in Budapest, and is the most frequented on the Buda side of the city. If you walk up or down from Szell Kalman Square (former Moszkva ter) to the Castle Hill, you can drop in to take a look at the fresh goods, eat the yummy Hungarian snack called Langos, and try some local cheeses, salamis, fruits, vegetables, and more.
Lehel Market Hall (Lehel Piac): big favourite of locals, penny pinching Hungarians (i.e. most housewives and market goers in Budapest, including my grandmother). Lehel Market Hall is geared the least toward tourists (and is priced accordingly). Its architecture is kitschy and colourful, but the atmosphere is authentic Hungarian market like.
Special Markets in Budapest
There are many special markets and fairs in Budapest throughout the year, on special days, and on some national holidays like Easter, August 20 or Christmas time.
Budapest Easter Market
Budapest Easter Market is on Vorosmarty Square, downtown Budapest. There are many nice food stalls, traditional Hungarian street foods, drinks and pastries are on sale, as well as nice handmade Easter crafts and gifts. Along with the Buda Castle Easter Festival, the Budapest Easter Fair is one of the top Budapest Easter attractions.
Budapest Christmas Market
As part of the Budapest Christmas festival, a month long celebration in the Advent period, you can visit some of the best Christmas markets in Budapest. The most famous amongst them is the Budapest Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square. The latest addition and wonderful market is the St Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market: charming Christmas markets in the heart of the city, with beautiful decor, selected handmade crafts, and cultural programmes, concerts often in the early evenings and several more on Saturdays and Sundays. Great food stalls, mulled wine, lovely and original gifts. Not to be missed if you are in Budapest during the Advent weeks.
Budapest Folk Market
One of the biggest summer markets in Budapest is on another special day, on August 20, when we Hungarians celebrate the foundation of our kingdom, the first Magyar king, St Stephen, and the new bread of the year.
Visit the Festival of Folk Arts, Budapest on the Castle Hill for a special fair, and one of the nicest markets you can see in Hungary: the stalls are set up on the courtyards of the Buda Castle.
The lesser known folk market in Budapest takes place during the Budapest Spring Festival. The Hungarian Folk Dance Festival is not simply about dancing and folk music, but also has many many nice Hungarian handcrafts sold at the festival. Another off the beaten track folk fair in Budapest takes place during the lovely Obuda Day Festival in spring time (Old Buda, District III also has a beautiful Obuda Christmas Market).
Flea Markets in Budapest
PECSA Flea Market: a bigger flea market close to the city centre, in Petofi Csarnok, Budapest. Open at weekends only.
Ecseri Flea Market: probably the biggest flea market in Central Europe from amateurs to serious traders, from junk to ‘rough diamonds’. Further away from the city centre, open all week.
Fresh vegetables, juicy and flavoursome fruits at the market stalls – visit the markets in Budapest for a gastro tour, gift shopping, people watching, talking with locals and more.