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5 Great Shopping Spots In Budapest

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Peter S.

Last updated : May 15, 20248 min read

Shopping

Budapest - the Heart of Europe - also goes by the nickname ‘Paris of the East’, and if Paris gets you thinking of shopping adventures, then be prepared to consider Budapest in the same manner. With Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Orient all within reach, Budapest will delight shoppers with a wide cultural array of goods as well as offering a range of high-end brand name stores. From shopping streets to shopping malls, to large marketplaces, Budapest has something for everyone.

 

To help you make your way around all the shops you don’t want to miss, hooking up with a professional private guide will get you around smoothly, and a guide can also tell you about any historically and culturally significant places as you shop. Get ready to do some walking as we start shopping.

The Great Market Hall

 

Also known as the Central Market Hall, this spacious building is the location of Budapest’s largest market hall. The entire floor space area is over 10,000 square feet including all three floors, and the art nouveau design and skylights above will take your shopping experience to the next level. Here you will find a veritable cornucopia of green produce, spices, candies, pastries, and spirits. In the basement level are fish and pickled foods, and the most popular tour of the Great Market Hall is the tasting tour - something you definitely won’t want to miss.

 

There is a second floor mezzanine with eateries and cafés, and a variety of souvenirs can be purchased here. Popular items include Hungarian paprika and jams, beautiful hand embroidery and lace, and a variety of games that originated in Hungary. Pick up a keychain souvenir of what is perhaps Hungary’s most famous contribution to the game world: the Rubik’s cube.

 

The market is also known for its authentic wooden dolls, handmade clothing, jewelry, accessories, bags, and hand-forged knives. Even those who don’t usually enjoy shopping will enjoy the experience of exploring the stalls of the Great Market Hall.

 

The hall was built in 1897, just around the thousand-year anniversary of Hungary’s founding. During the final decades of the 19th century, many improvements were made in Budapest, making it one of the most modern cities in the world. Several market halls were established, with the Great Market Hall becoming the largest and most popular. It’s located on the Pest side of town, across the Liberty Bridge and at the end of the popular shopping street, Vaci utca. 

Vaci utca

 

As we just mentioned, Vaci Street is one of Budapest’s most popular shopping streets. The street was voted one of the top shopping streets in the world based on various factors, including its atmosphere and friendly shop staff.  

 

The street was once the border of medieval Pest, and a plaque marks the location of the old city gate. A walk down Vaci Street is a walk through historic Budapest. There are many protected buildings and historic site markers, famous people of history having passed through the doorways of some of these buildings. Charles XII, King of Sweden, stayed overnight at building No. 43 on his return trip home from Turkey, and building No. 9 is where a young Mozart performed when he was 11.

 

Vaci Street is divided into squares marked with charming fountains and monuments to historic people. There are terrace cafés, restaurants, hotels, and of course a great many shops. Here you’ll find shops selling folklore items, vintage home decor, flowers, and shoes. There are also a number of designer shops like Zara, La Nerella, Furia, and Marks & Spencer. Recently, several wine shops were also opened along the numerous side streets. Sommeliers explain different wines with some establishments offering tasting courses as well. 

 

This is a shopping street that can be enjoyed by all, even if it’s just for a stroll and some window shopping. It also connects to the aforementioned Great Market Hall, so be sure to plan your day so you can see both Vaci utca and the hall.

Andrassy ut

 

Andrassy Avenue is a 2.3 km long boulevard that dates back to 1872. It runs from Erzsebet Square in District V of the city to Heroes’ Square and Varosliget - the City Park. The boulevard is famous for housing the Hungarian State Opera House, the House of Terror, and the underground metro, which opened in 1896 and was the first of its kind in continental Europe. It is also a place of museums, a ballet house, a music academy, and world-famous luxury fashion shops like Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Armani, and Gucci. Keeping with the Parisian comparisons, Andrassy Avenue is sometimes referred to as the Champs-Élysées of Budapest.

Kazincsy utca

 

For something a little different, Kazincsy Street offers another view of exciting Budapest. During the day, there are various shops open and a farmers market every Sunday. At night, the street becomes a place of pubs and dining, music performances, film screenings, and more. It can be a lot of fun just to walk down the street during the day and look at what’s for sale, check out the little gardens and interesting objects, and soak up the daytime atmosphere. Then stick around for the night-life and experience a side of Budapest you won’t find on the major shopping streets. This is also the street of Budapest’s famous “ruin bars”, small bars and pubs operating in old buildings. Each one has its own unique decor and atmosphere.

Shopping Malls

 

There’s no doubt that visiting the above areas makes for more than just a shopping experience, but also a historic and cultural one. However, if you just want to get down to doing some shopping under one roof, then Budapest has its share of shopping malls. Westend Shopping Center, Arena Mall, Rose Garden Shopping Center, and Corvin Plaza are among Budapest’s top-rated malls, and there are several others. The malls have everything you’d expect from a shopping mall, so it might be easier to find some of the more everyday items. One other advantage is that prices are less affected than in places of heavy tourist traffic.

Conclusion

Budapest has some amazing shopping areas that let you see and taste the best of Hungary. You’ll also find everything from high-end brands to handmade goods, charming cafés and restaurants, and plenty of historic sites and places of cultural interest. Whether you plan to do a lot of shopping or just want to feel the atmosphere, Budapest’s popular shopping areas will surely satisfy. And for something a little simpler, there are several shopping malls around as well.

 

Many of the shopping areas are popular with tourists, and some of the staff have a good command of English. To really enrich your experience, though, we recommend going with one of our professional and friendly guides, who can double as an interpreter and perhaps let you take away a little something extra from your shopping adventure in Budapest.

Budapest Tour Guide - Gabor D.

Gabor D.

Hungary

Hungary my motherland is always been my home and my love. As a private tour guide I promise not to only show you its main attractions but to give you perspective how we do live, who we are, what we experienced during the last few decades. I am offering personalised, fully customised, tailor made tours for individuals, friends, family members.                                                                                                                                  

Budapest Tour Guide - George rashad S.

George rashad S.

Hungary

Dear Visitors! I am happy to welcome You on my page! I am a historian and a licensed tour guide in Hungary. As a tour guide my main goal is to get the most of the dear visitor's time, during their visit in the most convenient way possible. That is why my tours are personalized with flexible departure times and routes. I'm fond of history and I am fascinated by the various cultures. I graduated as a historian. Being a tour guide, I found what I was looking for. It is a great feeling, when I can present the values of Hungary, share interesting stories and information to visitors who long to see and know more, while I also constantly expand my skills and get to know new people. For me, the real success is the joy and satisfaction of my guests. I work in the field of tourism for more than 10 years. My historic and cultural tours embrace the most beautiful and the most important attractions of Budapest, which treasure and revive the history of Hungary. The walking tours provide an exquisite opportunity to immerse you in the urban maelstrom, gain insight into people's everyday lives, try out the developed public transport network of Budapest, including Europe's second oldest tram. In case you would rather sit back and enjoy the sightseeing in comfort, you can choose one of my driving tours. I wish you wonderful time in Hungary! Best regards, George                                                                                                                                 

Budapest Tour Guide - Tiberiu C.

Tiberiu C.

Hungary

Szia! Hi! Hallo! Ceau! My name is Tiberiu(s), or Tibi for short, and I am an IT Service Manager who found his passion in tour guiding over 5 years ago. With late-afternoon and weekend availability (full time as of June), I am more than excited to take you on a mini-journey, including not only the main attractions of the city, but also the lesser-known ones including some tastings. I am also more than happy to adapt the tours to your needs and we may even go outside of the city, if you'd like to, since I own a car. I am also available for one or the other daytrip in or outside of Budapest, just let me know about 1-2 weeks in advance, so I can plan my schedule accordingly. Before booking though, please contact me online in advance, just to make sure. "In the end... we only regret the chances we didn't take" (Lewis Caroll) I want to make memories for people from all over the world! And most important of all, I like to give them an actual taste of our city. You just can't visit Hungary and not try some of our traditional foods (not for veggies or vegans though). Hope to meet you soon and "Viszlát", as we say in Hungarian!                                                                                                                                 

Budapest Tour Guide - Ágota B.

Ágota B.

Hungary

Hello, Join me for a tour and look at sights through my eyes and explore with a local. I live in Budapest and have been working as a licenced local guide for about 10 years. I have a University educational background, I did my studies in Hungary and then worked as an intern in the United States for a year and a half. Hungary is a tiny little country but it has got several attractive cities, towns and natural wonders. Besides Budapest, I really like to work around Lake Balaton, in the Danube bend including Szentendre. I have had tourists almost from all over the world so far. Come with me and discover the secrets and beauties of Budapest during a four- hour sightseeing tour. Taking in all of the principal sights, my fascinating route takes you through the most famous and interesting parts of the city. In my spare time I like doing sports like cycling, skiing, hiking and I regulary take part in sailing compatitions. So if you are tired of walking and looking for challenges there is another option to explore the city by bike with the help of the public bike sharing system called Bubi.                                                                                                                                  

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