Budapest Markets

Comment Posted by: Zizi

'Market-ing' in Budapest from the Great Market Hall to the Organic Farmers Market

Budapest is proud of its markets and a market visit should be on everyone's to-do list, even if you don't plan to buy anything. The first on the list should undoubtedly be the Great Market Hall, housed in a beautiful historic building dating back to the 19th century. For an impromptu feel visit Lehel tér Market, where you can mingle with the locals and even feel like one. And, if you are like me, passionate about organic food and like to support organic farmers, be sure to visit Budapest's weekly Organic Farmers Market.

Great Market Hall

The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall is the largest indoor market in Budapest. It was designed and built by Samu Pecz around 1896. The market offers a huge variety of stalls on three floors. A distinctive architectural feature is the roof which was restored to have colorful Zsolnay tiling. 

Visiting the market hall in Budapest is a must for everyone. Entering the market through the main entrance, you won't know which way to turn as the colorful booths and the mouth-watering vegetables, fruits, spices and meats will immediately catch your eye. The market offers plenty to do, see and taste for at least a couple of hours.

The basement is home to the fish market, a supermarket and pickles. Not only do they have traditional cucumber pickles, but they also offer pickled cabbage, beets, garlic, cauliflower and tomatoes. The ground floor offers local produces: vegetables, fruits, dairy, freshly baked pastries and breads, meat and spices. The top floor offers hot food (buffet style) ready to be devoured, souvenirs and wines. The lángos (traditional deep fried flat bread) stand is also located on this level. From here, look back at the busy life beneath you and the firm structure of the building itself above.

The presence of locals crowded around the food stalls eating and drinking, indicates this place is more than just a tourist attraction.

Open:
Monday: 6 am - 5 pm
Tuesday - Friday: 6 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 6 am - 2 pm
Sunday: closed

Address: Fővám tér 1-3, District 9 Getting there: trams 2, 47, 49; the nearest metro station is at Kálvin tér - M3 blue line

Lehel Market

Lehel Market (Lehel csarnok or piac) is also an indoor market mostly visited by locals. The building is not as attractive as the Great Market Hall and it's a less touristy place. This market is a bit more authentic than the Great Market Hall. Vendors and farmers sell their fresh vegetables, fruits, pickled vegetables and eggs. There are also a couple of dairy shops, butchers, bakeries and oriental spice shops.

The market has some small traditional Hungarian pubs where you can see old local guys chatting, drinking beer or their first shots (pálinka) early in the morning. If you want to be a Hungarian for 10 minutes visit Lehel market early in the morning, drink a shot of pálinka then eat a lángos or have a fried sausage.

Open:
Monday: 6 am - 5 pm
Tuesday - Friday: 6 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 6 am - 2 pm
Sunday: 6 am - 1 pm

Address: Váci út 7-9, District 13 (behind Nyugati Railway Station and WestEnd shopping center) Getting there: tram 14; the nearest metro station is at Lehel tér - M3 blue line

Organic Farmers Market

Organic products are becoming more and more popular in Hungary. The organic market is held every Saturday between 6.30 am and 1.00 pm in the park at the MOM Cultural Community Center, where agriculturists and vendors of pre-packed foods sell their produce in kiosks made of wood and thatch. It is said that this is the biggest organic farmers market in Central-Eastern Europe.

The community is very strong, farmers are very friendly and you can easily ask advice from them on how to prepare a special vegetable that is new to you. On average 40-50 vendors are present offering a remarkably wide range of products (that can't be found anywhere else) including, fruits and vegetables, dairies, bakery wares, honey, smoked meat, sausages, bacon, eggs, jams, juices, cereal germs and imported organic products. Within the organic market only products of strictly controlled ecologic farm provenance can be bought. The authenticity of these organic products is controlled and granted by Biokontroll Hungária Nonprofit Ltd.

The smells, the colors are wonderful and the market's energy is very filling, so visiting the organic market is highly recommended. It's my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning.

Open:
Saturday: 6 am - 1 pm

Address: Csörsz utca 18, District 12 Getting there: buses 102, 105, 112; tram 61; the nearest metro station is at Déli pályaudvar - M2 red line (Another great farmer's market to visit is at Szimpla Kert, open every Sunday from 9 am - 2 pm.)

There's more to 'market-ing' in Budapest than just food markets. If you are into treasure hunting, there are several flea markets, like the Ecseri Flea Market, where virtually everything is sold from antiques and clothing to art and collectibles.

Post and photos by Zizi


You are reading: Budapest Markets
Posted in: Budapest Blog & Articles  Category: Wine & Cuisine, Attractions & Activities

tags: shopping food market

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