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Put a little Budapest under the tree! 14 great gift ideas from Rododendron

We love Budapest, warts and all, with its beautiful Danube views even if the number 2 tram might be a minute late and carrying with it the odd bizarre local. This dynamic is reflected at the Rododendron Art & Design Shop, where funny, ironic and serious design combine to create the perfect Christmas gift for visitor and local alike.

Venue information

1052 Budapest, Semmelweis utca 19
Open: Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-3pm


Graphics by Zsolt Vidák

We have written several times before about the strange, colourful, chaotic, funny and loveable illustrations by Zsolt Vidák. This graphic artist is constantly inspired by Budapest. He lives here, he creates here – everyday people on the street, buildings, moods and often comic features appear in his graphics. The mobile toilets of workers in the square are just as captivating as the romance of the occasional inner courtyard or the wine-nosed ticket inspector, whose armband acronym carries an in-joke. It’s a lot of fun to spot these little details and linger around the bright elements in search of a familiar motif. See details here


We Love Budapest mini collection

Buda or Pest? Whatever you choose, we are sure you love Budapest and Budapest loves you, too. And, of course, we love Budapest, so we conjured up this message on canvas bags and patches, so that you can not only read about the city in We Love Budapest, but you can also wear it on your shoulder or your jacket. Our mini-collection can be the perfect gift for Budapest lovers, and the bags and sew-ons made of sustainable material are not only fun accessories for visitors and locals, but they also remind us, in subtle fashion, of a slower, quieter capital over the past two years. See details here


Caricatures by Marcus Goldson

The now ironic caricatures by Budapest’s own Marcus Goldson feature misshaped bathers in cheetah-spotted swimming caps at the Gellért and lonely ladies leaning out of their window while chain smoking and sipping Törley champagne. His protagonists, on prints and postcards, were inspired by daily life in Budapest, which this British illustrator has observed over the years and then captured with painfully true irony. Wary locals might even recognise themselves, their friends or their relatives in Goldson’s creations but, given a good dollop of self-irony, it can be quite a pleasant surprise. See details here


Notebooks by Hello Budapest!

Hello Budapest! notebooks not only appeal to aficionados of Budapest and those who plan their lives in bullet-point lists, but also regular journalists, constant sketchers and note-takers. They may even contain a few surprises. The notebooks are made of sustainable materials and contain illustrations of 21 iconic architectural landmarks in Budapest. Inside, a dot mesh provides a pleasant background to take notes or draw, plus it's just the right size. It fits in your hand, fits comfortably in your bag and even has a double pocket. The cover can be removed and replaced at any time. The booklets are made in Budapest, so any purchase can support five small local businesses, whose joint work has gone into these Hello Budapest! notebooks. See details here


Postcards by Barbsiegraphy

If you’ve already bought your present but would still like to liven it up, there can be no better choice than a customised postcard with a personalised message. Barbsiegraphy’s cheerful, colourful Budapest postcards and prints are real favourites. Tram 2 features a rainbow shades, sometimes blooming in classic yellow ochre, and you may not have seen Parliament or the Basilica dressed in pastel. But if you’re passionate about simple lines or even dreaming of colours for the iconic features of our city, you can pick these out from some of the great postcards created by Barbsiegraphy. See details here


Jewellery by BDPST Charms

We love Budapest with its urban legends, tales and true stories,” say the founders of BDPST Charms. This jewellery collection inspired by our capital was brought to life by sisters Krisztina and Barbara Katona. They tried to lock the beauties of the city into a small pendant, not only to show them off, but to make the loveliest historical sights of Budapest clearly recognisable as jewellery. They can make a great gift not only for girls but also for boys, because the designers thought of them, too! See details here


Maps by Urban Sidewalker

Budapest not only stands out in graphics and photos but is also exciting when browsing it on a map. Especially if the map is hand-drawn and shows our capital in amazing detail. Prints by Urban Sidewalker have a particular atmosphere, and given the title Impressed by Budapest, all based on the original graphics of Balázs Egri. Whether you choose the classic black and white, the characteristic ‘revolution’, beautiful turquoise, or the modern and provocative ‘toxic’, you’re sure to find the colour variation you like. In addition, you can now find Urban Sidewalker notebooks at Rododendron, where our beloved buildings in Budapest are again illustrated, this time in lovely graphic form. See details here


Makers of Budapest book

With the contemporary craft and design scene ever more active in Budapest, it’s no coincidence that better and better design fairs are being set up. Makers Market made its debut at the recently opened Turbina Cultural Centre, initiated by the authors of the book Makers of Budapest, design theorist Petra Hoffmann and Károly Boldizsár, founder of Bomo Art Budapest. Their joint work in English and Hungarian creates a picture of the diverse and rich medium of local contemporary craft, drawing a creative map of Budapest. Presenting 38 designers and 22 shops in the capital, the format borders on photo album and design guide: an informative, aesthetic and practical volume that simultaneously functions as a creative guide and a collectors’ album. See details here


Mugs by Dots and Lines

At first, a mug may seem like a little trite for Christmas, but when it comes to Dots and Lines, you can rule that out straight away. Their lovely tin mugs are sure to warm the heart of their future owner, as some will be reminded of a childhood trip and their grandmother’s hot chocolate, and others will already smell the coffee. The mug illustrated with unique graphics can be the perfect gift not only for fans of Budapest, but for anyone who does not yet have a favourite mug, evoking memories of our capital and a childhood past. See details here


Photos by Bruno Bourel

French photo artist Bruno Bourel has lived in Budapest for decades, the main subject of his images being the everyday yet special moments of people living here. An old local reading a newspaper caught through the fluttering curtains of the New York Café, and lady in a headscarf, a homely neighbour, a little child peeking through the door of an apartment building, sunbathing beneath Margaret Bridge, stolen moments of passion, lovely graffiti and Trabant cars all make his pictures indelible. At Rododendron, they can be found with the artist’s original signature. See details here


Illustrations by László Nagy

László Nagy presents the squares and buildings of Budapest from his own special perspective. His graphics show a chaotic Blaha Lujza tér, a bustling Keleti station, an old lady paddling at the Széchenyi Baths, the iconic yellow stair rail of the underground station at Heroes’ Square, and many other details you might miss in the everyday rush. Yet these are the little things which mean we belong, and which we can now take home or wrap for under the Christmas tree. See details here


Bow ties for every occasion

With Christmas dinners and gatherings upon us, it’s time to throw away your awkwardly knotted ties and choose something much more fun and comfortable, with no loss of elegance. A black-walnut bow tie engraved with a view of Budapest can be a stylish addition to the Christmas holidays and the perfect gift for men and boys otherwise impossible to find presents for. See details here


Cycle gear by Bello Cyclist

Cycling has emerged from its former subculture status, thanks to local action group Critical Mass. Starting out in 2003, this two-wheeled movement has achieved its goal, making cycling accepted, even popular, in Budapest, so it is no coincidence that more and more people are riding bikes. There could be no better gift for them than a cycling accessory, so we recommend Bello Budapest Critical Mass cycling caps, not only practical but fashionable, too. See details here


Gold-woven prints by Tóvaj Rozi

The unique gold decoration in Rozália Tóvaj’s limited-edition prints of light, fine lines, crowns every city detail. The towers of the Fishermen’s Bastion, the view of the Danube from Gellért Hill and the stone lions of Buda Castle are all reproduced in print form with a familiar homeliness, in which the precise, gilded finery endows the works with a light elegance. These art prints come with a signature and are limited to 16 copies, worthy ornaments for any home. See details here


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