Strictly speaking, Budapest is not a shopping town. There are interesting things to buy, of course, but a weekend in Budapest doesn’t promise the same shopping thrill that, say, a weekend in Istanbul or Paris does. Major European and American retailers have outposts here and show the latest fashions, but prices are generally about the same as anywhere else in Europe and the selections can be limited.

Shops are generally open until 5 or 6 on weekdays and until 1 on Saturday. An unpopular Sunday shopping ban was lifted in April 2016 so most stores are, for now, open on Sunday.

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  • 1. Tisza

    For a uniquely Hungarian souvenir, check out this homegrown shoe company named for a beloved river that flows through eastern Hungary. The company is known for its rubber-soled shoes, boots, and sneakers, which were all the rage behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s. Tisza soles provided the basis for scores of "domestic" shoes then as well, providing workers in Hungary with sturdy and comfortable shoes in which to toil. New designs as well as heritage classics make the sneakers popular with the hipster crowd. You can also find them at Westend Shopping Center but this shop in the 7th District is the original.

    Károly körút 1, Budapest, Budapest, 1075, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 2. Ajka Kristály

    Hand-cut lead crystal isn't as cheap as it once was in Hungary, but for a uniquely Central European gift, head to this leading Hungarian manufacturer for fine crystal. The huge selection of colored glasses—martini to cognac—comes in rich reds and blues, as well as pastel pinks and yellows. All can be packed for a long trip home. There are several outlets around town.

    József Atilla utca 7, Budapest, Budapest, 1053, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun., and 1 pm Sat.
  • 3. Balogh Kesztyű


    This store specializes in handmade and hand-dyed leather gloves made in Hungary. Some of the men's gloves have shearling lining and will keep you warm in near-Arctic temperatures. The buttery ladies' models are lined with cashmere or wool. A selection of ladies' hats completes the inventory.

    Haris Köz 2, Budapest, Budapest, 1052, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun., and Sat. at 1 pm
  • 4. Bestsellers

    St. Stephen's Basilica

    The stock at this popular bookshop consists almost entirely of English-language books and periodicals, including Hungarian classics translated into English, popular British and American best-sellers, and newspapers. There's a French-language section as well.

    Október 6 utca 11, Budapest, Budapest, 1051, Hungary
  • 5. Bortársaság

    Castle District

    There's an excellent selection of Hungarian vintners represented at this conveniently located little shop, with knowledgeable staff offering background and guidance on the country's wines, like this year's Tokaji or Kékoporto. There's a good selection of wine accessories as well, from oak wine racks to high-tech bottle openers. It's one of more than a dozen Bortársaság outlets in the city.

    Lánchíd utca 5, Budapest, Budapest, 1013, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
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  • 6. Daubner Cukrászda

    Buda Hills

    It's with good reason that this popular confectioner has lines outside the door each morning. Every pastry here is delicate and light. Even a novice can taste the real butter cream in the famous Eszterházy torta, which is a truly magnificent cake. Locals say the Sacher torte is every bit as good as it is in the famous Sacher Hotel in Vienna. It's usually crowded on weekends with families eating ice cream.

    Szépvölgyi út 50, Budapest, Budapest, 1025, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 7. Ecseri Piac

    For true bargains and possibly an adventure, make an early-morning trip to the vast and meandering flea market on the outskirts of the city. A colorful, chaotic market that shoppers have flocked to for decades, it is an arsenal of secondhand goods, where you can find everything from frayed Russian army fatigues to Herend and Zsolnay porcelain vases to antique silver chalices. Goods are sold at permanent tables set up in rows, from trunks of cars parked on the perimeter, and by lone, shady characters clutching just one or two items. As a foreigner, you may be overcharged, so prepare to haggle—it's part of the flea-market experience. Also, watch out for pickpockets. Although the best selection at Ecseri Piac is on Saturday morning, when the market is generally livelier, prices are said to be 10% to 20% higher than on weekdays. Haggle hard. Hours are Monday through Saturday 8–4 and Sunday 9–2.

    Nagykőrösi út 156, Budapest, Budapest, 1194, Hungary
  • 8. Godot Galéria


    A well-chosen selection of contemporary Hungarian artists' work is shown here, in rotating exhibitions.

    Bartók Béla út 11--13, Budapest, Budapest, 1114, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 9. Herend

    Andrássy út

    You can get a glimpse of the world-famous Herend porcelain that has graced the tables of royal houses for centuries at one of several branches in Budapest. Carefully hold a saucer up to the light and see how nearly transparent the finely worked porcelain is. All the brightly hand-painted animal figurines as well as most patterns can be picked up directly or ordered here. Sadly, prices are competitive with prices abroad. The multilingual staff is at the ready with calculators, though, for easy currency conversion.

    Andrássy út 16, Budapest, Budapest, 1062, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 10. Holló Műhely


    Master wood craftsman László Holló has resurrected traditional motifs and styles of earlier centuries to create the beautiful handicrafts on sale in this shop. You'll find lovely hope chests, chairs, jewelry boxes, candlesticks, Easter eggs, and more—all hand-carved and hand-painted with cheery folk motifs (most commonly birds and flowers in reds, blues, and greens).

    Vitkovics Mihály utca 12, Budapest, Budapest, 1052, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 11. Játékszerek Anno

    Nyugati Train Station

    For a look back into the world before video games and action figures, stop in at this tiny store, where fabulous reproductions of antique European toys are sold. From simple paper puzzles to lovely stone building blocks to 1940s wind-up metal monkeys on bicycles, these "nostalgia toys" are beautifully simple and exceptionally clever. Even if you're not a collector, it's worth a stop just to browse.

    Teréz körút 54, Budapest, Budapest, 1066, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 12. Moró Antik

    Nyugati Train Station

    If antique weapons are your thing, then check out this esoteric shop, which specializes in 18th-century weaponry. A curious array of militaria and firearms and torture devices will keep even the casual browser interested.

    Falk Miksa utca 13, Budapest, Budapest, 1055, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and 1 pm Sat.
  • 13. Nagyvásárcsarnok


    A trip to Budapest wouldn't be complete without a visit to this spectacular grand food hall, a 19th-century iron-frame construction that was reopened in the mid-1990s after years of renovation. Pictures on the east wall show the history of this market, when it was Budapest's central location for meat and produce coming in from the countryside. Even during the leanest years of Communist shortages, the abundance of food came as a revelation to shoppers from East and West. Like most markets in Hungary, seasonal products prevail: in summer tomatoes and peaches are abundant; in November celeriac and pumpkin. The stalls on the ground floor sell meat and produce as well as prepared food. This is the place to buy Hungarian delicacies such as piquant salamis, robust paprika, and buttery goose or duck liver pâtés. Upstairs is filled with folk-art vendors, souvenir shops, and a few fast-food kiosks. Handmade tablecloths, painted boxes, and traditional embroidery are the best buys among the handicrafts. For the full experience, go morning or midday in the week, as its only opened until 3 on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

    Vámház körút 1–3, Budapest, Budapest, 1093, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun., Mon. 6–5, Tues.–Fri. 6–6, Sat. 6–3
  • 14. Rózsavölgyi Zeneműbolt


    This is an old, established music store carrying the best selection of Hungarian composers on CD, as well as a good selection of sheet music. There's a small number of recordings by the best Hungarian classical performers as well, including celebrated pianist Zoltán Kocsis.

    Szervita tér 5, Budapest, Budapest, 1052, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 15. Szamos Marcipán


    Marzipan has always been a favorite in Central Europe, and this well-loved confectioner has spent more than 75 years mastering the art. The store has always been most famous for its marzipan cookies, cakes, and candies, as well as its edible marzipan roses, but today just as many people come for the ice cream.

    Párizsi utca 3, Budapest, Budapest, 1052, Hungary
  • 16. Varga Design


    Award-winning Miklós Varga's flagship store off Váci utca is a big and welcoming one. Expensive gold and platinum necklaces with Tahitian pearls are showcased in the front of the store, but don't miss the unusual sterling silver collection in the back. There are some lovely pieces for everyday wear.

    Haris Köz 6, Budapest, Budapest, 1052, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 17. Vass Shoes


    If you are looking for a really luxurious indulgence, why not consider a pair of handmade leather shoes, specifically measured to your feet? You can choose from a variety of traditional styles, from cordovan to nubuck. Though wildly expensive when compared to the cost of ready-made shoes, prices are still very competitive with bespoke shoes in Europe and the United States. There's a small selection of ready-to-wear shoes available as well.

    Haris Köz 2, Budapest, Budapest, 1052, Hungary

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 18. WestEnd City Center

    Nyugati Train Station

    Central Europe's largest shopping mall is home to many luxury retailers, including Italian handbag maker Mandarina Duck, Austrian lingerie purveyor Palmer, high-end watchmaker Orex, and fashion-forward but relatively low-priced Mango (in the same league as Zara). There's a good offering of sports apparel here as well, with Nike, Champion, Puma, Adidas, and Quicksilver shops. The mall's roof is thoughtfully landscaped with benches and paths, providing welcome relief from the sometimes teeming floors below. The 14-screen cinema on the top floor is abuzz with activity most nights, with popular restaurants and bars right beside the box office. In addition to the metro, the mall is served by the 4 and 6 trams. It is open daily 8 am to 11 pm.

    Váci út 1–3, Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

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