Ecseri Flea Market, Budapest (cash only, try to haggle)
From old communist tidbits, Russian icons, through antique furniture, Herend and Zsolnay porcelain, to special jewellery and rag dolls. It takes quite some time to get to the market by public transport as it’s off the beaten tourist track. There are some more serious vendors in Ecseri Flea Market, but as Fodor’s travel guide puts it “goods are sold at permanent tables set up in rows, from trunks of cars parked on the perimeter, and by lone, shady characters clutching just one or two items.”
And it is absolutely random if you find something of interest and value to you or not. According to Lonely Planet the size of Ecseri Flea Market is outstanding: “often just called the piac (market), this is one of the biggest flea markets in central Europe, selling everything from antique jewellery and Soviet army watches to Fred Astaire–style top hats.”
As for value, general prices have increased recently as Ecseri became a tourist attraction. You may find that an antique shop in the city centre will offer a similar item at a similar price, but without the hassle of having to travel to the edge of Budapest (and without the colourful atmosphere of a flea market). So don’t raise your expectations too high, but don’t resist the temptation if you like flea markets and spend a lot of time in Budapest.
Note for all: watch out for pickpockets.
Note for antiques buyers: you will need permission from the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest to take your newly bought antique items out of Hungary.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am – 4pm, Sat 8am – 3pm, Sun 8am – 1pm.
Address: Nagykorosi ut 156, Budapest H-1194
Getting there: you have 2 options to get to Ecseri
- Blue mtero line until Hatar ut metro station, then change to one of the following express buses (E stands for express, if you get on one without the E, the trip will be much longer with more stops): 84E, 89E or 94E
- Bus number 54 from Boraros ter, at Petofi Bridge
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