Whether it is a market hall, farmers’ market, or flea market, you will find the one you are interested in here. I collected the best Budapest markets for you.
True Budapest lies behind party places shining in neon lights and sights of unparalleled beauty. You can experience the real Pest feeling and authentic Hungarian everyday life at the fairs and market halls of amazing colors and smells.
The Hungarian countryside feels closer tasting juicy, ripe apples and peaches, enjoying the nostalgic smells of vegetables and pickles. You can almost see farmers working hard in the fields.
Find hidden treasures at design markets and get to know the artists who put their heart and soul into their work. Immerse yourself in Budapest markets and let the real Hungarian feeling take over.
1. Great Market Hall – The winner of ‘The most beautiful market in Europe’ title
The Central Market Hall (more commonly known as the Great Market Hall) is an essential part of every visit to Budapest, be it a short or long stay.
The imposing hall located at the foot of Liberty Bridge on the Pest side was built according to the 1873-vision of Károly Kamermayer, the first mayor of Budapest – formed with the unification of Buda and Pest.
He had already retired when he inaugurated the greatest market hall of the capital in 1897. The fabulous Art Nouveau building was declared architectural heritage in 1977, a little less than 100 years later.
Its roof is decorated with Zsolnay tiles, and its steel roof structure and huge interior height are reminiscent of a last-century railway station. The building has been repeatedly chosen as one of the most beautiful and best markets in Europe.
The visitors of the Great Market Hall are rather diverse. The market is a favorite destination of foreign tourist groups due to its central location, so you will hear much less Hungarian words here than at any other place. However, it does not mean that the Market Hall is avoided by Budapest citizens.
You can easily stumble into a college student carrying their bike on the shoulder, an old lady pulling her trolley after her or a businesswoman in a perfectly ironed costume picking vegetables.
It is exactly this mixture of everything that gives the Great Market Hall its unique atmosphere which can rival with that of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, although instead of silk and oriental spices, there are sausages and red peppers everywhere.
In the shops, you can find the culinary wonders of the Hungarian countryside: vivid red Csaba and Gyula sausages intoxicating you with their wonderful smell, threaded dried peppers sizzling in the light breeze, and bottles of transparent fruit brandy and burgundy wine lining nicely on the shelves.
If you plan to be self-sufficient while in Budapest, this is the place to go shopping as there is everything from fresh meat and fish to ripe cheese, artisan jams, syrups, and many more delicacies.
You can even have lunch right here. Mouth-watering sausages are roasted on the top floor – try them with some home-made pickles and soft bread. Taste lángos (fried scone), the hit of Hungarian summers, or have a plate of delicious goulash soup and then töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage).
When I am at the Great Market Hall I always ask for a goulash soup as they really know how to make it there. With hot pepper it is a real Hungarian dish. Not to mention it is delicious. 🙂
Unfortunately, like at all other tourist destinations, fridge magnets can also be bought here. However, I do hope you won’t waste any money on them, as they are crappy and I happen to have so many better ideas for a souvenir from Budapest: spend your money on Szatmár plum jam and Szamos marzipan instead.
Would you like to read more about this topic? Check my article on the recommended Hungarian souvenirs.
1093 Budapest, Vámház körút 1-3.
Accessible by tram (47, 47B, 48, 49, 2); trolley bus 83, buses 15 and 155, and metro line M4.
- Mon: 6 am–5 pm
- Tue–Fri: 6 am–6 pm
- Sat: 6 am–3 pm
- Sun: closed
2. Lehel Market Hall – The local favorite in the city center
The building of Lehel Market Hall (or the market at Lehel Square) took quite a long time to be built. The open-air ‘ancient market’ came into existence in 1890.
Yet, its ‘bohemian’ structure was not ready until 2002. It is at a perfect location – right behind Western City Center and only a quarter of an hour’s walk from the main entrance of Western Railway Station.
It is almost impossible to pass the post-modern building of all the colors of the rainbow without noticing it. Although László Rajk, the architect claims not to have consciously designed the building in the shape of a ship, the similarity is still rather difficult to discard.
The inauguration of the colorful market hall divided the people of Budapest. Some said it was a bold innovation, others said it was a bad joke that ruined the image of the capital. Critics soon started calling it Kofahajó (merchant ship).
Merchant ships used to collect merchants from countryside villages along the bank of the Danube and transport them to Pest. Lehel Market Hall reminded the public of these ships which looked graceful from the side, but rather hulky on the front. However, people agreed on one thing: district 13 was in dire need of a clean, covered, and neat market hall. Let’s check it out together!
Coming from the direction of metro line 3, we get to the ‘small market’, which is actually a drink bar and a supermarket, and is open for longer hours than the other parts of the market hall.
However, real gems are to be found on the ground floor. Rural primary producers have set foot there, offering the treasures of their own farms instead of mass, wholesale products. Perfect meat, healthy and tasty vegetables and fruit, cheese, honey, jams, home-made fruit brandy are only some of the huge variety of goods available for you.
On the upper floors, there are clothes shops, drug stores, and watchmakers; a post office and a travel agency are also located there.
At lunchtime, you should fasten your paste a bit or you will have to stand in a long line to get some freshly fried meat or fried scones at the eateries.
As opposed to the Great Market Hall, where there are tourists everywhere, shoppers at the bohemian Lehel Market Hall are mostly Hungarians.
However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of an authentic Pest market hall, this is the ideal place for you.
1134 Budapest, Váci út 9-15.
Accessible by buses 15 and 155, trolley bus 76, tram 14, metro line M3.
- Mon-Fri: 6 am–6 pm
- Sat: 6 am–2 pm
- Sun: 6 am–1 pm
3. Fény Street Market – The most popular market on the Buda side
Markets are not only the prerogative of the Pest side. Fény Street Market is basically a tiny village in a city; also, the most popular meeting spot in Buda. It is a real public space where there are always old and new acquaintances with great new stories to tell.
The five-story modern glass-roofed downtown market is located only a 5-minute walk from metro line M2, right next to Mammut, one of the greatest shopping centers in Budapest.
Due to the location and inclination of the building, three floors are located on the ground floor (with an entrance on Lövőház Street, Fény Street and Retek Street). You can find everything from classic primary producer stalls to organic shops, pet pharmacies, and a laptop shop.
Yet, this market is different from all the traditional ‘plazas’ in that it is not only diverse, but it also maintained its rural market charm.
As soon as you enter the place, you will feel the spicy and sweet scent of fruit and vegetables mixed with the smell of fried scones and freshly-cut flowers.
Choose from tea specialties at the tea shop, surprise yourself with a unique bag at the leather goods shop or buy a special wine for your loved ones. But you will also be satisfied if you only crave a scoop of artisan ice cream.
1024 Budapest, Lövőház utca 12.
Accessible by buses (5, 16, 16A, 21, 21A, 22, 22A, 39, 91, 102, 116, 128, 129, 139, 140, 140A, 142, 149, 155, 156, 222), trams (4, 6, 17, 56, 56A, 59, 59B, 61) and metro line M2.
- Mon–Fri: 6 am–6 pm
- Sat: 6 am–2 pm
- Sun: unique opening hours
4. Rákóczi Square Market Hall – An affordable farmers’ market
Rákóczi Square Market Hall was the second market to be built in Budapest. It was handed over in 1894, but got its present form in 1991.
The blue-and-yellow heaven on earth is filled with the fragrance of fruit, vegetables, and pickles so characteristic of markets. Fruit in all colors of the rainbow, cheese of culinary fantasies, fresh fish, beautiful meat, and many specialties await you among the romantic-style shops and stands.
The fact that several families’ ancestors have worked at the market since 1930 only adds to its already amazing charm.
Feel like grabbing some food while at the market? Visit Eldorado, one of the best eateries at the Market Hall. The tiny restaurant operates as a display kitchen combining the delicacies of street food, international cuisine, and Hungarian gastronomy.
No wonder the motto of the place is: ‘granny’s nutmeg and backhand’ as you will definitely feel like you are at your grandmother’s place when tasting delicacies served on floral plates.
1084 Budapest, Rákóczi tér 7-9.
Accessible by bus 6, trams 4 and 6, metro line M4.
- Mon-Fri: 6 am–6 pm
- Sat: 6 am–1 pm
- Sun: closed
5. Hunyadi Square Market Hall – A tiny, yet cozy market
Small, cozy, and fabulous, the over 120-year-old Hunyadi Square Market Hall – now a monument – regained the splendor it once had back in the Monarchy days in September 2019.
It is similar to Central, Rákóczi Square, and Hold Street Market Halls in style – all built at the same time –, but its small, cozy nature makes it stand out from all the others.
You will feel like a real ‘insider’ at this market, as there are goods and Hungarian delicacies that can be found at the Great Market Hall. However, you won’t be paralyzed with the plethora of choices.
The butcher is excellent selling unique products such as smoked pork chops with tomato or ham in pepper crust. You can’t get enough of home-made cream cheese, let alone artisan yogurt which are perfect for breakfast with a slice of soft cake.
Another special feature of this ‘tiny’ market is that Hunyadi Square is packed with primary producers on Saturday mornings.
Such an open-air market is quite rare in downtown Budapest, and the recently renovated Hunyadi Square makes Saturday market days even more magical with its music pavilion and vivid green plants. Under the striped sunshades, stalls are filled with fresh vegetables and fruit, special cheese and dairy products, mouth-watering cakes, and florists.
So, don’t forget to visit this market on a Saturday, at least because of the atmosphere.
1067 Budapest, Hunyadi Square
Accessible by bus 105, trolleybuses 73, 76, and metro line M1.
- Mon–Fri: 7 am–6 pm
- Sat: 7 am–2 pm
- Sun: closed
6. Downtown Market – A citadel of culinary delights
The Downtown Gastro and Gourmet Market (once called Hold Street Market) seems to be the little sibling of the Great Market Hall at first glance.
The market hall – completed in 1897 according to the plans of Győző Cziegler – was equipped with the most modern solutions of the time: refrigerator chambers, weighing rooms, meat inspection rooms, ambulance, and police rooms, and separate toilets for men and women.
The ‘ENTRANCE’ sign is still visible above the Hold Street gate of the market, while ‘EXIT’ is on the Vadász Street side. This was necessary because of the scarcity of space and to provide enough space for wagons to move around on the wider road in the middle of the market.
During the renovation in the late 2010s, floors were replaced and the manager sought to make the market accessible to everyone. There are tactile guide strips and Braille maps and information boards at the entrance helping the visually impaired.
A new barrier-free toilet and baby changing station has also been built on the Vadász Street side providing a more comfortable environment for the disabled and mothers with small children.
The renovation not only changed the appearance of the market, but transformed life there as well. In addition to primary producers offering lavish goods, representatives of the new wave gastronomy appeared.
Bistros and restaurants located on the first floor offer culinary delights that are a must for everyone.
Even Hungarian grandmas would be satisfied with meat fried in breadcrumbs at Buja Disznó, and the staff of Lakatos Műhely and Sparhelt will happily introduce you to the world of Hungarian gastronomy.
You are very lucky if you happen to visit the place at the time of the seasonal ‘Gastro Belfest’ or ‘Breakfast Market’ where visitors are invited to have a substantial breakfast.
Downtown Market is for you if you like buzzing markets less and want to try Hungarian delicacies on the spot after purchasing arts and crafts.
1054 Budapest, Hold utca 13.
Accessible by buses 9,15 and 115, trolley buses 72 and 73, and metro line M2.
- Mon: 6.30 am–5 pm
- Tue–Fri: 6.30 am–6 pm
- Sat: 6.30 am–4 pm
- Sun: closed
7. Szimpla Kert Farmers’ Market – A ruin bar that turns into a market on Sundays
If we are collecting the best markets in Budapest, Szimpla Farmers’ Market – my favorite seasonal – market must definitely be on the list.
The event has already aroused my curiosity with the fact that it has been organized at Szimpla Kert, the oldest ruin bar in Budapest every Sunday. I thought it was a bit weird that there would be stalls replacing the dance floor of Friday and Saturday parties, but it was a very good idea to check out this miraculous market.
Don’t know which ruin bar to choose? Read my comprehensive article on ruin bars.
Szimpla Kert puts a huge emphasis on making its halls function as cultural and community meeting places and the Farmers’ Market fits in perfectly with this idea. The 30–40 permanent primary producers selected based on strict rules attract 3,000–4,000 people to Szimpla Kert on Sundays.
The most commonly bought goods include fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey, jam, syrup, special game products, spices, fresh and dried mushrooms, and home-made sandwich creams. All products are completely chemical-free and can be purchased directly from the manufacturers.
Upstairs, you can also have a Farmers’ Brunch and choose from the primary producers’ delicacies in the buffet.
The beauty of the Farmers’ Market lies in its cultural diversity and cozy atmosphere. Shoppers are awaited by bands playing live music – mainly jazz, world, and folk music styles – every Sunday.
There are also animators who prepare different arts and crafts programs for children so that parents can fill their basket with all the earthly goods in peace.
Within the framework of the Common Cauldron program (Közös Lábos program), every week representatives of different NGOs cook from the ingredients available at the market. You can taste the food prepared here in exchange for a donation, which is given to the current organization to help them achieve their goals.
I quickly embraced the Farmers’ Market and so will you once you see it for yourself.
1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 14.
Accessible by buses 5 and 7.
- Sun: 9 am–2 pm
8. Gouba Gozsdu Bazaar – The colorful downtown flea market
In order not to always revolve around gastronomy; here are some interesting and unique markets, one of them being Gouba Gozsdu Bazaar.
Gouba is organized in Guzsdu Courtyard in the heart of Budapest every Sunday. Bazaar is the perfect word for it as it is easy to lose yourself and fall in love with the hustle and bustle of colorful clothes, designer items, and unique jewelry.
Artists, designers, antiquarians, and craftsmen sell their wonderful goods which – due to their uniqueness – will not be seen anywhere else.
There are lace tablecloths, clay roosters, dotted mugs, sock toys, felt hats, and granny’s old mortar that can still serve its owner well.
The ambience so typical of Gozsdu can also be felt during Gouba. Young musicians entertain you with jazzy rhythms and after a long ‘thrift’ you can surprise yourself with a great coffee at one of the cafés there.
1074 Budapest, Király utca 13.
Accessible by metro line M2.
- Sun: 10 am–7 pm
9. Ecseri Flea Market – Everything you need in one place
Although there is indeed a town in the agglomeration of Budapest called Ecser, you don’t have to go that far for a good flea market. The Ecseri Flea Market, located in Nagykőrösi Road, is a whole different world from anything else. Once you cross its gates, you will feel like you have arrived at Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.
You can find and buy wonderful treasures, old items, and paintings for only a fraction of the price they would cost at a traditional auction house.
Although the market is open every day, real-life starts at dawn on Saturday. If you are attracted to the world of precious antiques, it might be worth waking up so early to get some fabulous treasures. And by early, I mean breaking dawn, as the market is already in turmoil at 5 o’clock when the unloading starts.
It is like an old stock market with shouting, bargaining, and bidding. Buyers look for possible flaws on the Zsolnay porcelain using torches and magnifying glasses, have long discussions about the special techniques on the oil paintings and some buyers even try on antique watches.
If you have good eyes and instincts for works of art and you are a bargaining talent, you can make some pretty good deals in the Saturday sunrise.
However, if you are only ‘window-shopping’, take good care of your wallet: these cunning sellers will persuade you to buy items that you only realize you don’t need when already at your accommodation.
1194 Budapest, Nagykőrösi út 156.
Accessible by buses 54, 55, 84E, 89E and 294E.
- Mon–Fri: 8 am–4 pm
- Sat: 5 am–3 pm
- Sun: 8 am–1 pm
10. Vynil market – Vinyl Record & CD Fair in Budapest
The Vynil Record & CD Fair is not a traditional market; still, I feel you should hear about it, especially if you are a huge music fan. The Vinyl Fair is located at two venues: in the Sphere Hall of ELTE (the second Sunday of every month) and in Dürer Kert (a specified Sunday of every month).
At the almost 70 stands of the Vinyl Fair, you may run into treasures, not even a specialized vinyl shop can offer. You can also expand your collection with an unopened Modern Talking album, rare film soundtracks, world music records, and some Hungarian new wave collections.
Sellers will gladly tell you about the history of the vinyl, and I am sure you will find several music fan shoppers as well with whom you can discuss your passion for music for hours while drinking cold spritzer.
If you’re looking for a really special present for a huge music fan relative or friend, you’ll definitely find some hidden gems at the Vinyl Fair.
ELTE – 1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 9.
Accessible by buses (15, 115, 133E, 153, 154), trams (1, 4, 6) and metro line M4.
Dürer Kert – 1146 Budapest, Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21.
Accessible by buses (5, 7, 110, 133E), tram 1 and metro line M1.
- 10 am–4 pm on specified Sundays
Budapest markets – Summary
In Budapest, visiting a market is not only about buying the ingredients for lunch or refreshing our wardrobe and home. It is more of a community experience, a program where we can share our feelings, stories, and knowledge with each other.
If you would really like to bond with the people of Budapest, come and meet us at a market. See you there!