Markets are a cavalcade of people, flavours, smells and sounds. Budapest’s markets offer a wide range of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and flowers. You’ll also find specialty produce like cold cuts, cheese, bread and honey. We’ve explored this city’s markets to find the best one for you!
Fény Street is one of Buda’s most popular markets and a lively meeting place – we featured it in an older market compilation as well. If you’re only missing a bit of fresh parsley for a soup, this place is definitely worth visiting. And the atmosphere is great so you’ll probably want to linger! From the main entrance you’ll find the small producers’ tables where you don’t want to miss picking up some fresh fruit and vegetables. Our favourite is a small stand right of the entrance where we can buy load of different potato varieties no matter what the season is. You’ll also find delicacies here like yellow zucchini, round zucchini and pak choi. On the first floor, you must not miss THE Sonkás (ham expert!). On Saturdays, if you’re lucky you might even catch the owner offering the best ham ever from his small ham slicer. You’ll find the flower ladies on the same floor, from whom you can buy beautiful bouquets. And if you get hungry, you can always get a lángos (a deliciously greasy Hungarian deep-fried flat bread) from the stand next to the entrance.
Address: 1024 Budapest, Lövőház Street 12 Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 06:00 – 18:00 Saturday: 06:00 – 14:00 Sunday: special opening hours
The Fehérvári Street Market’s strongest point are the flowers: you can buy beautiful, fresh-cut flowers for a fair price, and there is no entry fee unlike at other flower markets. Find yourself in a sea of tulips, roses, hydrangeas, chrysanthemum bouquets, gerberas, carnations, peonies, potted plants and herbs. It’s hard to choose what to take home (or what to buy for someone you want to impress!). We chose a bouquet of pink tulips.
There are rather few sellers compared to the size of the hall. There are also fruit and vegetable stands on the first floor, and a there’s a fish stand where fish soup fans will not feel disappointed. The market is fully covered which is great if there’s bad weather, but this takes away from the traditional open-air market atmosphere. We recommend it because of the flowers.
The Hold Street Market was recently renovated and renamed the Downtown Market. We dropped by on an early Saturday afternoon and unfortunately, there were hardly any sellers. Thus, the atmosphere felt a bit sterile. At the entrance there was a bakery and backyard poultry vendor, and at the milk stand we found delicious, fresh homemade cottage cheese and sour cream. Unfortunately the lángos stand was closed – the 290 HUF lángos had sounded very promising. Our favourite, the Kolbice stand was also closed and the Chinese buffet was not so inviting, so we visited the ground floor where we got quite a lot of cabbage casserole for 630 HUF. And we’ve mentioned the market’s fish restaurant in our article about public places for secret rendezvous. During the renovation, two 100 square metre markets were built, where a total of 50 producers can sell their products. The market’s goal is to bring local residents and sellers of locally made produce closer together. We will surely come back at a better time to check out the place again!
Address: 1054, Budapest Hold Street 13. Opening hours: Monday: 6:30 – 17:00 Tuesday – Friday: 6:30 – 18:00 Saturday: 6:30 – 14:00 Sunday: closed
We can divide Hunyadi Square Market into two parts: one is the market hall itself, which is small and familiar, and the other is the outdoor, farmers’ market part. Enter the market hall through two entrances – we arrived from the square and as we stepped in, we found ourselves among bustling fruit and vegetable stands, poultry shops, bakeries and smoked goods. Our favourite was the dairy shop, where fresh milk arrives from Dány every day. We tried their liptauer and wild garlic butter, and both were divine, though not really kiss-friendly. Find the best meats turning left after the fish stand. People stand in long lines, hoping they can get some of the sausage, black pudding, roast and fried meats here. For 140 HUF you can buy 100 grams of cooked pork head. But this is for experts only and we were not so brave. Instead we ate a lángos with cheese and sour cream – although we were told to try the ‘full extra’ version next time, which comes with cheese, ham and onion. As you reach the open-air space of the market, you’ll find vegetables and fruit. We bought some fresh peas, beautiful yellow zucchini and grape tomatoes from a producer from Dabas.
Opinions are divided about the Lehel Square Market: many think that since its renovation it’s lost its special atmosphere, while for others it’s remained a favourite because of its wide selection of goods. Upon entering, there’s the Lehel íze (literally ‘the taste of Lehel) fast food restaurant where people stand in line for the slightly dubious-looking grilled chicken. Right next to it there are some ‘homemade’ products that didn’t look very sympathetic either. The experts are right in Lehel you have to know where to go, otherwise it’s easy to run into mediocre, supermarket quality products. In the middle section you’ll find stands that have fresh herbs: horseradish leaves, lemon balm, tarragon, mint sage, coriander, and so on. It is also worth spending some time at the honey stand, in addition to flower and acacia, they have other unique honey varieties as well. The best lángos is around the middle section as well, there’s always a line. Upstairs there’s everything from pet food to household items to crappy Chinese products.
Szimpla Market is not a classic market or market hall as such. It’s usually the Szimpla ruin pub but every Sunday it becomes a quaint farmers’ market. There are primary producers only: vegetables, fruit, cheese, sausage, cold cuts,dairy products, honey, fresh pastries, bread and sometimes there’s even backyard poultry. The atmosphere is bohemian and an increasing number of tourists who come to see the ruin pub-made-market. Sometimes there is even live music, in the form of a guitarist and/or singer. Our favourite is the sprout stand: there is arugula, radish, alfalfa and sunflower. The pickles are also unbeatable; we found the best pickled plum and pickled melon site! Do not leave without some homemade cheese, you can find the thyme, smoked or garlic sheep cheese right of the entrance. If you get hungry while exploring the market, there’s a so-called ‘community pot‘ in the rear open area. Every week a different charity cooks a meaty and meat-free stew or soup that they sell in a ‘pay what you want’ way. Naturally, the money they make goes to a good cause. Afterwards you can drink a coffee in Szimpla Háztáji on the opposite side of the street.
Address: 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy Street 14. Opening hours: Sunday: 9:00 – 14:00
The Great Market Hall is a concept in itself and when talking about markets it’s what everyone thinks of first. It’s building at Fővám Square was rightly chosen as the most beautiful market in Europe and got a place on CNN’s latest Budapest top list as well. The view is also beautiful from the hall’s balcony.
This place is a favourite for tourists, old ladies pulling their shopping carts, young housewives, students and even professional chefs. The selection is simply huge and we’re having trouble thinking of fresh produce you couldn’t find here. It’s meat and fish are almost unbeatable: the fish stand in the basement is definitely worth a visit and at some of the butchers there’s meat that’s not available anywhere else, like fresh sheep and goat meat. The top floor has lots of useless junk but if you want good fried sausages you can find it amongst the top floor jungle.
As part of the the upcoming Budapest Essentials Festival, the Gorillaz Sound System will hold a concert in the Market Hall – do not miss this unusual party!
Budaörsi Fish Market: Fresh fish arrives on every day from which you can choose your favourite. If requested they clean, slice, and package the fish so that you only need to pop it in the oven! Address: 2040 Budapest, Törökbálinti Street 23.
Komjádi Market: Farmers’ market in place of the old MDF Market, in the parking lot in front of Komjádi swimming pool. Every Saturday, 06:00-13:00. Address: 1023 Budapest, Árpád fejedelem Street 8.
MOM Bio Market: Huge range of everything eco and bio. Every Saturday, 06:30-13:00. Address: 1124 Budapest, Csörsz Street 18 (MOM Cultural Centre’s courtyard).
Photo: László Balkányi – We Love Budapest 13 pictures