Budapest Shopping and Districts
The shopping in Budapest has never been better and tourists looking for the ultimate Hungarian souvenirs are in for a treat. Budapest is home to the daily Ecseri Piac market on Nagykorösi, one of the largest flea markets in the whole of Central Europe. Here you can shop for Hungary and purchase everything from antique jewellery to watches and silverware and Herend porcelain.
The City Park flea market is another of Budapest's many shopping highlights and takes place each Saturday and Sunday on the Zichy Mihály Utca, close to the Petofi Csarnok youth centre and in the City Park (Városliget) itself. For expensive goods, you will be able to claim the tax back at the airport if you first obtain the necessary VAT receipt.
When to Shop and Opening Hours
During the week, most shops in Budapest opened from 09:00 or 10:00 until 18:00 and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00. However, on Thursdays, the larger shops and department stores stay open for late-night shopping, finally closing their doors as late as 20:00 or 21:00. Most individual retailers close on Sundays, although shopping malls generally open and operate reduced hours. During the heart of the summer in Budapest, in July and August, a number of the smaller shops close for this entire period.
Where to Shop
Traffic-free shopping is available along the bustling Váci Utca, a famous central promenade lined with shops and fully pedestrianised. The Váci Utca really is an integral part of any Budapest shopping trip and is a pleasant way to spend any afternoon, with plenty of pavement cafes if you need to take a break and enjoy a coffee.
Many traditional gift shops are grouped around central Pest and in particular around the main boulevards of Kiskörút and Nagykörút, and close to Budapest's famous Nagy Vasarcsarnok market hall. These stretches tend to contain some of the most interesting shops that the city has to offer tourists, selling a range of authentic Hungarian handicrafts and souvenirs of Budapest, most of which are good value. However, if you are in this area, then do pay a leisurely visit to the market at Nagy Vasarcsarnok, which is known to attract some 30,000 visitors on a good day.
For serious antiques shopping in Budapest, visit the Falk Miksa Utca within the central Belvaros district, which is also home to a surprising concentration of small art galleries. The Váci Utca contains some particularly interesting shops, such as Inuita and the Folkart Centrum, both of which specialise in modern Hungarian folk craft and painted eggs.