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Shopping in Budapest

Shopping in Budapest

Budapest is a fascinating, beautiful and historic European city and chances are, you will be coming here to sightsee rather than to shop. However, should you want to have a bit of retail therapy the below information will help you to get the most out of your shopping time as well as helping you decide what you might want to buy.
In terms of the main shopping areas, Vaci Utca in the centre of the Pest district is the main shopping street in the city. In addition to the many shops catering for tourists, you will find many interesting privately owned shops as well as western and international chains. If you prefer to do your shopping in shopping centres (or if the weather forces you inside), the huge West End Shopping Centre will cater for most of your needs with familiar names such as M&S, Mango etc.
Generally speaking shops get more expensive (and more aimed directly at the tourist) as you get towards the castle district although you are also more likely to find arts and crafts and tourist souvenirs in this district. Another area that is great for crafts and antiques is the area north of the Hungarian Parliament building which makes for a good browsing opportunity or the chance to pick up a special gift such as hand made wooden toys. If you want to do some "proper" shopping though, the various markets in the city are by far the most interesting and most fun. As well as the obligatory kitsch communist era souvenirs (badges, caps etc.), you will find lots of locally produced pieces, secondhand clothes, fruit and veg and all range of Hungarian made produce such as wines, cheeses, bread etc. The largest flea market by a long shot is the Esceri Piac market located at Nagykorosi Utca. 156. In terms of what to buy, arts and crafts souvenirs are worth looking at. If you want something more ornate, porcelain from the town of Herend is very sought after. Other than these, traditional clothing, fashion brands, traditional Hungarian foods and wines all make excellent souvenirs.