Interior View - Central Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok), Budapest, Hungary

Central Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok)

Budapest’s largest and most famous indoor market is often erroneously ascribed to Gustav Eiffel—in fact, Hungarian architect Samu Pecz created this marvel based on plans of an Eiffel-designed train station—and it’s easy to see why when you walk through the soaring three-level interior with its graceful ironwork. The ground floor is chock-full of food stands, which sell everything from homemade pastries and fresh produce to incredible varieties of meat (in lieu of a sign, one stand had a piglet hanging above its counter).

This is the famed place to shop for spices like paprika and saffron, as well as Hungarian salami and goose liver pâté (but it is a tourist, not a local, spot). Upstairs you’ll find stands selling local crafts like nesting dolls and embroidered tablecloths. The selection is overwhelming and it can get quite crowded, but it’s fun to walk through the displays, especially because vendors don’t cajole you here. In the summer, the Central Market is a wonderful place to stock up for a picnic. Walking through the market is a must.

Editors' Picks

Ernst Galéri

Those with an interest in Hungarian art—both decorative and fine—should visit the excellent Ernst Galéria, adjacent to the Central Café. It’s run by a chic husband-and-wife team, the Greek-born Elena Korani and the Viennese Ernst Wastl, who now call Budapest home. Wastl, an expert in Hungarian, Austrian and Central European art, is known for making bold bids for pieces that capture his imagination. In 2005, he made headlines when he purchased Lady with a Birdcage I, a haunting painting by 19th-century artist József Rippl-Rónai, for a record-breaking sum and stated his desire to see the work back in a Hungarian collection.

The Ernst Galéria, housed on the ground floor of an elegant Art Nouveau building, is a variable trove of fine and applied arts, including paintings, furniture, ceramics and an acclaimed collection of old film posters.

Merchandise at Herend, Budapest, Hungary


Herend is one of Hungary’s two most famous porcelain manufactories (the other being Zsolnay), both of which were established in the 19th century and flourished during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Herend was favored by foreign courts: Queen Victoria fell in love with a large table service at the London World Exhibition of 1851 and ordered the entire set.

Herend’s hand-painted porcelain is now available everywhere from Tokyo to Los Angeles, and the price tags you’ll see in Budapest are roughly comparable to the ones back home. You may, however, be able to find special, not readily available patterns, like the decorative chinoiserie-inspired Gödöllö, at the Hungarian branches, which are all over the city.

Editors' Picks
Merchandise at Magma, Budapest, Hungary


This 2,000-square-foot gallery and store features the contemporary work of some thirty Hungarian artisans, including textile, glass and jewelry designers, goldsmiths, ceramists and graphic artists. The front of the store sells elegant tabletop items, like sets of colorful linen napkins, unique glass platters and gorgeous sculpted vases, as well as kitschy toys and pretty stationary.

Interior View -  Nanushka, Budapest, Hungary


While their fashions are available worldwide in department stores and boutiques, Nanushka’s flagship store in Budapest is the only stand-alone shop. In keeping with their soft and simple designs, the store is well-thought-out with lantern lighting and draped white linen obscuring the ceiling. The chic womenswear is classic but modern, with clean lines, neutral colors and a masculine twist.

Interior View-Omorovicza ,Budapest, Hungary


As soon as you step into this luminous boutique and spa, you feel miles away from the bustle of Andrássy boulevard. The company’s skin-care products are displayed on mirrored shelves, and a hand-painted peacock above French doors points the way to the serene treatment rooms in the back. Omorovicza, which was founded by Margaret and Stephen de Heinrich (she’s American, he’s Hungarian), opened in 2006, and already its cutting-edge beauty products, which incorporate Hungary’s mineral-rich waters, have a loyal following around the world.

Facials, which take about an hour, are not only transporting—you’re lying on a warm water bed in a room softly scented by flickering candles—but also educational. My aesthetician explained in great detail what each product was made of and how it benefited my skin. Beauty and cosmetics are a serious undertaking in Hungary, and becoming a licensed beautician requires three years of studying and apprenticeships in all dermatological disciplines, including traditional, medical and organic. “In Hungary, by the time you’re a teenager, you normally see an aesthetician on a regular basis,” she said. “You develop a real relationship with them.” It was certainly the first time I had someone tell me precisely how the products’ all-natural ingredients were reacting and interacting with the molecules in my skin. I left Omorovicza with my face gleaming and mind full of new information (and a mud mask in my bag).

Pintér Antik

Falk Miksa Utca, the so-called Antiques Street, which starts behind the imposing Parliament building and runs north, features an array of galleries, antiques shops and auction houses. Pintér Antik, a 20,000-square-foot gallery that carries furniture, is the most famous, but other worthwhile dealers are Studio Agram (No. 10), which specializes in 20-century applied art), and Anna Antikvitas (No. 18) for hand-embroidered antique textiles.

Editors' Picks
Interior View - Printa, Budapest, Hungary


If not for the fashions, visit this quirky concept store in the Jewish Quarter to witness the creativity of local Hungarian designers. Printa—equal parts gallery, café and shop—is a great place to pick up some inspired gifts. The eco-friendly boutique sells clothing, home décor, accessories and art, all emblazoned with graphic prints from the silkscreen studio in the back. Printa can also arrange silkscreen workshops upon request.

Dessert at Szamos Marzipan, Budapest, Hungary

Szamos Marzipan

Budapest’s first family of marzipan runs this tiny retail shop (they also own the Ruszwurm Café on Castle Hill). Look for chocolate-covered flavored marzipan in pretty gift boxes, assorted chocolate nougats, artfully made marzipan flowers and, in the summer, some of the city’s best ice cream. From Szamos it’s an easy stroll up Váci Utca to Vörösmarty Tér, a leafy square where you can sit and enjoy your sweet purchases.

Interiors at The Garden Studio, Budapest, Hungary - Courtesy Daniel Karczag Photography

The Garden Studio

Located on an unsuspecting corner behind a small storefront, this well-edited boutique sells only Hungarian designers. The best pieces come from Dóri Tomcsányi, one of the co-founders of the shop. Her ladylike designs are not to be missed. There is also a selection of menswear and children’s clothes.

Editors' Picks

Vörösmarty Christmas Market

If you’re visiting during the holiday season, don’t miss this charming old-world Christmas market where artisans sell handcrafted goods; there’s a fierce competition each year for a stall on Vörösmarty, so the items sold here, including ceramics, jewelry, toys and knitwear, are all first-rate and vetted by the Hungarian Society of Folk Arts. For a break, stop at the food stand selling steaming töki pompos, a Hungarian version of the Alsatian flammekuche, which are made fresh in a wood-fired oven.

Exterior View -  WAMP, Budapest, Hungary


With the purpose of supporting Hungarian designers, this monthly design fair is a lively way to experience local culture and browse for one-of-a-kind souvenirs. In December, the market expands (and moves to a different location), for three weekends of festive shopping. There is also a holiday ‘gastro’ fair, featuring a selection of truffles, chocolates and wines for last-minute stocking stuffers. The fair runs one Sunday each month.


Zsolnay is one of Hungary’s two most famous porcelain manufactories (the other being Herend), both of which were established in the 19th century and flourished during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zsolnay-made tiles and decorative objects, all crafted with the company’s signature iridescent glazes, were used in many of the city’s grandest buildings, like the Gresham Palace. While Zsolnay is now not as esteemed as Herend, it offers the better value if you’re going to buy porcelain in Budapest. There are several locations throughout the city.

All Results


Indagare employees walking up stiars

Enjoy 30 Days On Us!

Start your Self Planner
membership trial today.

Unlock access to 2,000+ first-hand hotel reviews, 300+ Destination Guides and the most up-to-date travel news and inspiration.

Already a member?

Welcome back,
log in to Indagare

Not a member?

Forgot Password

Enter your email and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Type the first 3 letters to begin