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Ecseri, the favourite flea market of the city


  • We Love Budapest

23/07/2012 2.00am

Before you pack up and leave the city for an exciting day of treasure hunt at the Ecseri flea market you should read our latest article and find out more about this rattletrap paradise. Is it just a huge clear-out or is it more of a place where you can find real bargains? We can’t really tell. One thing is for sure though; if you don’t have anything special in mind for a lazy Sunday then this is the right place for you! Of course you shouldn’t take the items and the prices way too seriously.

Appraisers or sons of a gun?We had quite an unusual – if not shocking – experience at the very beginning of our journey. We asked a nice old lady if she had any enamel bowls. ‘Enamel bowls? Are you kidding? This is not such a place. We can’t pay the renting fees by selling enamel bowls.’ Ironically the lady was selling ugly yellow pots, like the ones you can easily find at florists on Nagykörút for a couple of hundreds of forints.

Crap or pieces of art?The other surprising thing was the frame on the picture above. We couldn’t ask the owner if the 5500 forint frame is decorated with real Swarovski gems or if the picture of the little girl comes with the frame but let’s just not go into such details. The real question is what would a style and fashion police do with items like that and with people who sell stuff like that? They would probably arrest the owners for extremely bad taste. Of course there are other vendors who take things more seriously and who specialize in certain areas: folk art, street signs, and coloured glass items for example. Make sure you check these out!

Ecseri gastroThe buffets of a typical market have a very specific romantic sort of mood. Our favourites for example include the soup bar of the Chinese market and the bars of the market hall on Fehérvári Street. Unfortunately things are quite different at Ecseri market. If you are planning to go on a day-long treasure hunt you should take some food with you. Unless of course you want to pay fortunes for a bowl of beef stew.

Opening hoursThe market is open on weekdays too but they are not operating with full throttle. Owners suggest coming on weekends. Well, we took a little trip on Sunday morning but half of the vendors were not opened by that time. On weekdays the market is open from 8am till 4pm, on Saturdays they are open till 3pm and last but not least on Sundays they are open till 1pm.

Why choose Ecseri instead of Ikea?The main reason is that prices are quite flexible at Ecseri. The outcome and the final price depend on you and your talent of bargaining (see our tips below). You can find real rarities here as well. You can be sure that your flat won’t look like a typical European or American apartment if you get your stuff from here. You can find all sorts of great painting rollers for example. These are probably one of the greatest inventions of the last century but unfortunately Hungary stopped manufacturing them a few years ago. Luckily you can still find them here.

Tips on how to make real bargainsFirst you have to be very kind and polite. Then, you should perform a long monologue and you should trick the vendors. After that you should surprise them with a few technical terms that they probably never heard before. Praise the stuff of the other vendors as well, go into raptures over the quality of the other items then carefully get right back to the bargain. Tell the vendor that the product he’s selling is not that great and make him feel lucky that you are willing to buy it for a lower price.

Photo: We Love Budapest

Not much conclusionIf you have foreigner guests you should take them out to a trip to Ecseri. If you don’t have time to look for vintage pieces of clothing and you don’t have time to check through Iguana or Szputnyik shop you should also go to Ecseri. If you have special interest in painting rollers, in siphon-bottles, in street signs, in enamel items or in gypsy folk art you should go to, yepp you guessed it, to Ecseri. In every other case you should just search through the piles of trash on the streets when it’s a clear out. Wake up early however, if you would like to grab your hands on real treasures before the vendors get their own hands on them!

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