Hungarians have their own market culture with many indoor and outdoor markets spread out throughout the Hungarian capital, so locals don’t have to go far to buy their fresh fruits and veggies, meats, dairy products and other delicacies. All markets in Budapest are unique in their own way. By visiting them, you get to meet and mingle with the locals, see the variety of ingredients that make up the Hungarian gastronomy, and get an authentic taste of everyday Budapest life. In this article we’ve collected the Budapest markets that are most worthy of a visit.
Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall (Vásárcsarnok)
Located on the Pest side, by the Pest foot of Liberty Bridge, the 19th century Great Market Hall is Budapest’s largest, most well-known and oldest indoor market. On its three floors, you can buy just about anything from fruits and vegetables, meats, freshwater fish and dairy products to pickles, pots and pans, and even clothes and bags. This beautiful market hall is also an ideal place to shop for Budapest souvenirs like goose paté, Tokaji wine, embroidered table cloths or Hungarian paprika, while the market’s gallery level accommodates a great many food stands and eateries. Here you can try various Hungarian food specialties like Goulash, stuffed cabbage or Lángos. The only downside to Great Market Hall is that due its increasing popularity, it has become quite a touristy place with large crowds and a bit overpriced goods.
Location: 1093 Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3 (near M4 metro station Fővám tér)
Opening hours: Mon: 6 am – 5 pm, Tues-Fri 6 am – 6 pm, Sat 6 am – 3 pm, Sun Closed
Lehel Market Hall (Lehel csarnok)
Located on the Pest side not far from Westend Shopping Mall, Lehel Market is one of Budapest‘s busiest market halls. It’s not as beautiful as the Great Market Hall and since it’s located in the 13th district, it’s mostly visited by locals. This Budapest market hall is a place where the old mixes with the new. Just by looking at the food hall from the outside, you’ll immediately notice that special Eastern-European flair, since the building looks a bit unattractive. Walking inside, the atmosphere also resembles old socialist times. There are lots of fruit and veggie stands, a number of butcher shops, local farmers selling a wide variety of seasonal produce, flowers, honey, mushrooms, herbs and potted spices. And since it’s quite a large market, on the upper level, you’ll find a number of shops that do not necessarily belong to a classic market like shops for plasticware and ironware, cheap imported clothes, and animal food. There’s also a little shop on the street level which sells delicacies such as fresh ginger, various spices, olives, and Turkish yoghurt.
Location: 1138 Budapest, Váci út 9-15 (at M3 metro station Lehet tér)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6 am – 6 pm, Sat 6 am – 2 pm, Sun 6 am – 1 pm
Hold Street Market Hall (Hold utcai piac)
The history of the Hold Street Market Hall dates back to 1891. It was built on a total area of 2,110 sqm made up of a spacious lower level and a gallery floor, giving home to about 250 various stands selling fresh produce, meats and dairy products in the heart of Budapest. After the system change, the interior of the market has been modernized, and as a result became one of the most beloved and coolest indoor markets of the capital. The place hasn’t only changed aesthetically, but also in its name. It’s no longer called Hold street market hall, but Downtown Market (Belvárosi piac). Today’s Downtown market is not only a place for grocery shoppers. The upper level accommodates a number of amazing little restaurants and bistros (e.g. Buja Disznó, Stand25 Bisztro, Lakatos Műhely, Bőségtál) which are excellent places for a tasty and budget-friendly lunch. Plus, this Budapest market also hosts various cultural events.
Location: 1054 Budapest, Hold u. 13.
Opening hours: Mon 6:30am-5pm, Tues-Fri 6:30 am-6 pm, Sat 6:30 am-2 pm, Sun closed
Rákóczi Square Market Hall (Rákóczi téri Vásárcsarnok)
The Rákóczi Square Market Hall is located in the heart of the 8th district behind the entrance of the Rákóczi Square metro station. It was built around the same time as the Great Market Hall in Fővám tér at the end of the 19th century. Although it’s much smaller than his more well-known brother, both buildings look quite similar on the outside. Their atmosphere however is completely different. While the Great Market Hall is one of Budapest’s top attractions and always fairly crowded and busy, this market is fairly quiet – especially on weekdays. However, on Saturdays, the Hall comes alive with many local vendors and shoppers. There are fruits, vegetables, local cheese, wine, honey, homemade pickles, different meats and sausages, and there’s also and ATM inside the market to pick up some cash which makes shopping very convenient.
Location: 1084 Budapest, Rákóczi tér 7-9.
Opening Hours: Mon 6am- 4pm, Tue-Fr 6am-6pm, Sat 6am-2pm
Fény Street Market (Fény utcai piac)
Located near Széll Kálmán metro station, Fény street market is the most well-known market on the Buda side. It’s connected by a pathway to the Mammut shopping centre, the largest shopping mall in Buda. As it’s a much less touristy place than the Great Market Hall, you won’t find any souvenir shops here, but a rich supply of farm fresh vegetables and fruits, and many specialties, like local wine, cheese, honey, dried mushrooms, sweets, baked goods, and homemade dairy products. There’s also a ham stall with great quality Italian, Spanish, and Hungarian hams, and a vendor selling one of the best Lángos in town. On Saturday, there’s even a flower market with a wonderful color and fragrance cavalcade. Saturday is also the busiest day, so you might want to choose a weekday to enjoy a quieter time. Many shop owners speak a bit of English and help you find what you’re looking for.
Location: 1024 Budapest, Lövőház utca 12.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6 am-6pm, Sat 6am-2pm
Hunyadi Square Market (Hunyadi téri piac)
Hunyadi square market is probably the smallest indoor market in Budapest. Although it also opens on weekdays, the variety of goods is better on Friday and Saturday. The local farmers’ market on the outside has vegetables, fruits, some great syrups, honey, smoked goods and homemade cheeses, while there’s a regular market on the inside selling pickles, fruits and veggies, and meats. On the weekend, there’s a vendor selling home-made dairy products as well. The Hunyadi Square market has a very friendly atmosphere, partly due to its smaller size and the fact there are a great many local farmers. It’s an ideal place to shop for tasty and budget-friendly local produce.
Address: 1067 Budapest, Hunyadi Tér 4.
Opening hours: Mon 7am-5pm, Tue-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat 7am-2pm; Farmer’s Market: Mon-Sat 7am-2pm
Ecseri Flea Market (Ecseri Piac)
If you’re looking for something other than fruit and veg, Budapest’s largest permanent flea market is located on the outskirts of Budapest is the great place to find antiques and various treasures. From antique furniture, paintings, porcelain and jewelry to communist relics, you’ll find just about anything at this market, so it can be a fascinating place to visit even if you are not planning to buy anything. The market has a life on its own, so be prepared to see the most astonishing characters among the vendors, and don’t be afraid to bargain, as sellers tend to overprice their merchandise when they see a tourist.
Location: 1194 Budapest, Nagykőrösi út 156
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 5am-3pm, Sun 8am-1am
Gozsdu Weekend Market
The Gozsdu weekend market is a street market, organized every weekend in downtown Budapest, in the heart of the party district, in Gozsdu udvar. Going to this market is like a treasure hunt and also a cool place to find unique Budapest souvenirs, as many local craftsmen are selling their art, jewelry, and other handmade products here. You’ll also find vendors selling antique stuff like paintings, bracelets and necklaces, communist pins and many other things. The whole market has a very cozy vibe. If you happen to be visiting Budapest on the weekend, it’s definitely worth a visit. And if you get hungry or thirsty while you’re there, you’re at the perfect location as the market is surrounded by many bars and restaurants.
Location: Gozsdu udvar, Budapest, Király utca 13. – Dob utca 16.
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm (from spring until autumn on Friday as well!)
Sunday market at Anker’t ruin bar
Anker’t is a well-known ruin bar in Budapest, located in the 6th district, near the Opera house. While it mainly functions as a cool hang-out and party place, it also gives home to Kiskertpiac (Small Garden Market) about once a month on a Sunday. It’s a market where you can shop for flowers, potted plants, hebs, spices, and other garden related products, and on selected stalls gastro and design related items as well. Apart from that, Anker’t also accommodates a monthly vegan market, where you can not only shop for vegan products, but sign up for vegan seminars and workshops as well.
Location: 1061 Budapest, Paulay Ede utca 33.
Sunday farmer’s market at Szimpla ruin bar
Szimpla kert is one of the most iconic ruin bars in the heart of Budapest. Apart from being the number one party place among the Kazinczy street ruin bars, it also accommodates one of the coolest farmer’s markets of Budapest on Sundays. Here’ll you’ll only find local farmers selling a fine variety of homemade breads, fresh and bio fruits and veggies, spices, herbs, cheese, meats and honey. There’s also an opportunity for tasting, and to top it all up, there’s often live music as well.
Location: 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14.
Opening hours: Sundays 9am-2pm
Pancs Gasztroplacc (Pancs Gastro Market) at Élesztőház Craft Beer Bar
Élesztőház (meaning „Yeasthouse” in Hungarian) was the first big craft-beer bar in Budapest, which offers 21 taps of quality Hungarian craft-beer. But Élesztő was never meant to be just a pub. Their goal is to create a cultural zone, and as part of this project, they also organize a small community gastro market on Sundays. This tiny but very cozy farmer’s market offers the usual variety of fresh and organic produce, with the focus on farmers that maintain harmony with nature. In addition to that, many of the vendors prepare small bites for the event that can be purchased and consumed then and there e.g. little sandwiches, various organic juices, vegan and other pastries, smoked meat products, fresh and ripened cheese, and sweet and savory snacks with dips. To top it all up, sometimes local chefs are invited to host an outdoor cooking session, and a community table is held to give people the chance to get to know each other. At other times they organize various cooking workshops.
Location: 1094 Budapest, Tűzoltó utca 22.
Opening hours: Sundays 9am-2pm