City guide

Váci utca

Photo : We Love Budapest
Váci utca, járókelő, sétálóutca

Pedestrianised Váci utca remains Budapest’s busiest shopping street, at least as far as the stretch between Vörösmarty tér and Ferenciek tere is concerned. Here, you’re deep in tourist central, hawkers attempting to attract passers-by to a restaurant table or to take a sightseeing bus. After Kossuth Lajos utca, a quieter section of Váci runs all the way to the Great Market Hall. The Danube is always close, easily reached by nipping down a number of side streets.

Notable outlets, amid the plethora of tacky souvenir stores and money-exchange services, including the Hard Rock Café by Vörösmarty tér, the Winestone restaurant/winery at the Mercure City Center hotel and the Pointer chain pub at the junction with Kossuth Lajos utca. Note that certain other restaurants may not have the most honest reputation, although many are just mainstream and reliant on the considerable passing trade. Stores tend to be high-street brands, while many of the curious second-hand shops that dotted the southern half of Váci utca, proffering rare coins or Socialist-era stamps, have been bought out. One exception is still found at No.23, hidden in a corner of an inner courtyard: you can still find authentic retro football badges from the 1950s onwards at the Hungarian Football Shop, a treasure trove of rarities.