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Shopping in Budapest

The variety of goods on sale in Budapest has dramatically increased since the end of the Soviet era, and despite the ubiquitous shopping malls and designer stores that have popped up, there are still a great many small, charming shops selling something unusual.

Key areas

Pest's chic shopping street, Váci útca, has been a fashionable spending spot since the 18th century. Today its surrounding avenues tempt tourists too with familiar high street and designer names. Andrássy Avenue is another high-end option featuring some art nouveau gems such as the Paris Department Store. Fashion Street, from Vörösmarty tér to Deák tér, is home to many stylish labels and Király útca is where Budapest’s emerging design scene currently resides.


The Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok) at Fovám tér offers a fine selection of produce with strings of paprika-coloured coral necklaces, pots of pickles, goose liver and salami all on offer. There are supermarkets to stock up on Tokaj wines, Pálinka (cherry and apricot brandy) and bitter, black Zwack unicum (herbal liqueur). Upstairs, there are hand-embroidered tablecloths, porcelain and traditional folk costumes.

Shopping centres

The Corvin Plaza (Futó útca 37-45) is the newest of Budapest's shopping malls. It has everything from pharmacies and printing services to clothes and electronic shops, plus a free ice rink. There are many malls around the city, but for something different try Budapest's BÁV stores, state-run pawn shops selling everything from junk to gems. Its main branch is at Bécsi útca 1.

Opening hours

Standard opening hours are Mon-Fri 1000-1800 (often 2000/2100 on Thursdays) and Sat 1000-1300. The Great Market Hall opens Mon 0600-1700, Tues-Fri 0600-1800 and Sat 0600-1400. Only shopping malls open on Sunday. Many small shops close in summer.


Good gifts include Hungarian folk art such as dolls in local costume, embroidered pieces, clothes and pottery. Good hand-painted porcelain can be found at Zsolany, Kigyó útca 4 and Herend, I Szentháromság útca 5.

Tax information

Sales tax (ÁFA) of 27% (18% food and hotel rooms, 5% medical supplies and books) is included in the price and can be reclaimed by visitors from outside the EU. The production of a receipt and a completed refund application form is required at customs.

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Featured Hotels


Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Many hotels use the 'palace' moniker without justification, but not the Gresham. Built in 1906, this architectural delight is a masterpiece of art nouveau design, both inside and out. Many of the fittings, including Zsolany ceramics and a stained glass window by Miksa Róth, are original, while the rest were lovingly restored in 2004 when the palace received a glorious makeover. The Gresham has all the trappings of a 5-star Budapest hotel, including a fitness and wellness centre.

Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel

A relaxed saunter from Budapest's pedestrianised shopping area between Váci and Ráday street, the 4-star Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel has all the touches of comfort and quality expected from a chain of this stature. Generous-sized rooms come with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and tea and coffee making facilities, while a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and masseuses are available too.

Continental Hotel Zara

With 272 rooms to pick from, the Continental Hotel Zara isn't shy on size. Between the tall windows and chic, chocolate-coloured design of the sleeping quarters, it doesn't lack style either. All rooms have satellite TVs, soundproof windows and air-conditioning, with Continental Suites and Executive Rooms available for the extra extravagant explorer. The hotel's lavish restaurant and cool little café are worth checking out too, or swap both for a chilled beer on its rooftop garden. Its wellness centre should help with any hangovers or well-travelled legs.

Hotel Palazzo Zichy

Originally built as the residence of Count Nándor Zichy, a 19th century nobleman, the hotel that shares his surname now has ample space for 80, well-proportioned rooms. Held in Pest's palace quarter, the modern simplistic style of the bedrooms has everything the modern traveller could desire from satellite TV and soundproof windows to internet access and large, laptop-sized safes. The hotel also has a gym, sauna and concierge service.

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

With unparalleled panoramas across the mighty Danube, the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge is a hotel that's all about the details. While location may be its first selling point, through its doors it offers a terrace bar, chintzy cocktails and a tinkling pianist in the Bibliotek Lounge. The centrally-located spot also has a serene spa and gives visitors the choice of 301 soft linen sleeping chambers with marble bath tubs, flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi in most rooms.

Hotel Parliament

As new boutique hotels carry on cropping up around the Hungarian capital city, the minimal décor of Hotel Parliament continues to stand out. With 64 double rooms to decide on, each comes with air-conditioning, soundproof windows, Wi-Fi and satellite TV. Its lobby, wellness retreat and onsite Htel Bar are more modern in design with their sharply-coloured sofas, chandeliers and sleek simplicity, while its Parliament Suite is suited to those on longer sojourns.