Located right next to Szabadság híg (that’s Liberty Bridge for all us non-Hungarian speakers), the Great Market Hall of Budapest, also known as Central Market Hall, is the largest and oldest market in the city. It was built in 1897 and has been renovated a few times throughout the 1900s to be restored to it’s full potential after being severely damaged and abandoned during both the World Wars.
The market itself is located on two floors with a basement level housing an Aldi supermarket. The ground floor consists of majority fruit, vegetable, fresh meat and Hungarian salami stalls, as well as some other stands selling paprika and other spices, pickled foods and Hungarian alcohols.
The upper floor is a balcony level that goes round the outside of the hall with a couple of walkways across the centre of the room. On this floor you can find all the tourists and all the souvenirs you could possibly imagine. Shot glasses, postcards, keyrings, spoons, paprika scoops, plates, bowls, salad servers, jewellery, Hungarian traditional clothing, curtains, statues, chess sets, bottle openers, dolls, wooden children’s toys, baseball caps, knockoff handbags – you name it, they had it up there on the second floor!
Also on the balcony floor you can find a café serving traditional Hungarian foods, as well as a whole host of fresh food stands with benches for eating at. The second time we visited, my friend Sophie and I shared a traditional lángos (pronounced langosh), covered in cheese, cucumber, sour cream, some sort of pickles and various other edible adornments. You could also get sweet lángos which looked divine and I was eyeing up, but I was unfortunately too full to eat one.
The Great Market Hall is the perfect place to visit to wander round if you have a spare afternoon, or if you want to buy something to take to your friends or family back home. I bought some little wooden traditional doll keyrings for my siblings and some paprika for my parents. I also bought myself a beautiful amber and silver ring, in keeping with my (relatively new) tradition of getting a ring in each country I visit.
Read more about my trip to Budapest!
Budapest is the Buda-Best!
Széchenyi Thermal Baths | Széchenyi-gyógyfürdő
Ráday Street | Ráday Utca
Buda Castle & Castle Hill | Budavári Palota & Várnegyed
Budapest’s Ruin Pubs
Gozsdu Courtyard | Gozsdu Udvar