Like most major cities, Budapest’s central market is a hub of activity that’s great for dining, shopping and people watching. Just a few steps away from Corvinus University, it is very easy to locate. The market is separated into 3 levels that all offer something different.
The first thing you notice as you head downstairs is the sour smell. There are several pickling shops on this level that make the air ripe with vinegar. Anything that can be pickled is pickled in these shops. You can also find souvenirs, kitchen accessories, fish mongers, a butcher and a grocery store.
- Ground Floor
The ground floor has everything you would expect to see in a central market. Here you will find fruit and vegetable vendors, along side butchers, sausage makers and spice merchants. The colorful lanes filled with different types of produce makes for a pretty picture.
The top floor is by far the most crowded, in part because this is where you can find hot prepared foods. Throughout the city you can find food extremely inexpensive. The food in Budapest Central Market may not be as cheap as other places, but it’s convenience make it a popular place to eat. The are also vendors selling wood carvings, clothing, jewelry, purses, souvenirs and puzzles. Being the birthplace of the Rubik’s cube, Hungarians are known for their puzzles.
I always try to get to the central market in any new city that I’m visiting. Although some can be tourist traps, I find they are generally a good place to get the sense of the people and culture in said city. Budapest Central Market did not disappoint. It was fun to explore and see all the items that can only be found in Hungary. If you visit, make sure to check out the pickling area even if it does sting the nostrils.