Shopping in Budapest is an experience you can’t miss if you love fashion shops, cute souvenirs or irresistible markets. In this article I’ll walk you through the shopping world of the city and show you the best places for fashion, home design and the most notable markets of Budapest.
Budapest has so many offerings, I never come home empty-handed, even when I swear I’m only going out to window-shop! Whether it’s the latest Hungarian designer clothing, local-made fashions and unique finds or antiques and one-of-a-kind souvenirs, there’s a shopping district that are sure to have just what you’re looking for. So let’s delve together into the best-bet Budapest areas for shopping!
The Avenue of Fashion
Near and dear to my heart is Andrássy Avenue. A main street that winds its way straight from the city center, this elegant stretch of shops and uber-luxury hotels is where the upscale of Budapest go to purchase their posh and elegant merchandise. With loads of designer and luxury brand boutiques (think Gucci, Burberry, and Roberto Cavalli), this section of the city is definitely not budget-friendly, but oh, is it divine! If you feel the same, Andrássy Avenue is just the thing for you. Aside from the big fashion brands and other shops, this long boulevard is loaded with breathtaking 19th century buildings. Being the home for some of the wealthiest locals at the time, lush palaces and impressive monuments are quite a frequent sight on this road that connects the Heroes’ Square with the inner city.
Pedestrian Street Full of Goods
The next one of the main shopping areas found near Pest’s City Center is actually another long road. Váci Street is well-known all over the world for being one of Budapest’s best bets for spending several hours rummaging through the goods and services it has on offer. One of my favorite things about it is that is designated as a pedestrian zone. This means that, as I shop around, I don’t have to worry about cars and buses whizzing by me. It truly does make for a much more pleasant shopping experience! Since the street also boasts cute cafes and delicious restaurants (besides the abundance of trendy shops, of course) I like to make a day of it, shopping for a few hours, then taking breaks for coffee or an afternoon pastry and cappuccino pick-me-up at a nearby cafe.
Hungarian Fashion Designers
As a fashion-enthusiast I adore the emerging scene of local designers and entrepreneurs that are breaking out and making names for themselves in Budapest. Even though I love my go-to luxury and worldwide brands, the fact that I can know that something is made and produced locally brings a huge smile to my face! Besides, so many of the new Hungarian designers create the cutest, funky and cutting-edge designs that I simply wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. Looking original and fabulous has never felt so good! My favorites to stop by and check out are: Szputnyik, Lokalwear, and Insitu, but there are so many more to explore! A great place to start your search would be by cruising down Ráday Street, which is loaded with quirky and fun boutiques.
Markets in Budapest are a truly unique and original way of indulging yourself in the Hungarian way of life. Meeting locals and making sure that you get the best, home-produced goods or freshly made meals for an affordable price have never felt so satisfying and fun!
But which market is really where my tough decisions lie! There are five main markets in Budapest, any of which get my solid stamp of approval for groceries (produce in particular), original souvenirs and freshly made meals.
Klauzál Square Market Hall is found in District 7; Rákóczi Square Market Hall makes its residence in District 8; Hold Street Market Hall is at home in District 5; Hunyadi Square Market Hall sits pretty in District 6; and last but not least, Central Market Hall (in District 9) is the largest indoor market in the city, and by far my favorite. So, depending on where you stay, there is probably a market near you!
Antique Treasures in Budapest
The older I get, the more I come to adore and appreciate vintage finds and antiques. John feels the same. So, when we each have a weekend free, one of our favorite things to do is wake up early and enjoy a lovely brunch, then go browse among Budapest’s best antiques. And these can only be found on the “Famous Antique Row” otherwise known as Falk Miksa Street.
Found just a hop, skip, and jump from the Parliament Building, this street surely lives up to its nickname. Whether it’s something lavish with loads of character for our beautiful home or a one-of-a-kind find for a gift for a friend, John and I love spending a morning here. You just never know what you’ll find! There are also great galleries that line the street, so we’ll sometimes stop there for wondrous wall decor or simply to marvel at arts!
Happy shopping fellow fashionistas and bargain hunters!