Hungarians like shopping. Tourists like shopping. We work hard to earn money that we later spend on all sorts of products and services. If you come to Budapest as a tourist, you might even set aside extra money to buy even more products than you usually would. In this article, we will tell you about the most popular places for shopping in Budapest, and we will also write a few words about pricing in Budapest.
Before we write about the most popular shopping streets, malls, and markets in Budapest, let us write a few words about how much things cost in Budapest. This is just for your expectations to be in the right place before arrival.
Is it cheap to go shopping in Budapest?
We have been working with tourists in Budapest for a very long time. Interestingly, people expect everything to be cheap when they come to Budapest. By the time the same person leaves Budapest, you often meet two very different opinions. Some travel home telling their friends that it was so cheap in Budapest (and that is why they bought three purses, four pairs of shoes, and lots of other stuff), while some say that the prices were similar to those at home in their own country. So, what is the truth?
If you visit a mall in Budapest or walk in the shopping street (Váci utca), most stores are international brands. That is why you can find Zara, H&M, C&A, Lindt, Butlers, and similar stores in such places. Several clothing stores produce price tags in which you can see the product’s price in multiple currencies at once. That makes it very easy to compare the “international” prices with the Hungarian prices. What is the result of such comparisons?
The prices of international products in Budapest are identical to those of the same product elsewhere.
There are, of course, some differences. Sometimes an identical product costs more in Hungary than elsewhere, while you can sometimes buy it at a cheaper price. But, the general experience is that imported goods run with international prices in Hungary.
Why do people say that it is cheap to shop in Hungary?
Several things cause people to say that Budapest is cheap. First of all, there are quite a lot of products that are cheaper in Hungary. This is especially true if you enter a grocery store or if you go to a Budapest market where you buy local products. It is also important to notice that the wages in Hungary are lower than in many other European countries. As a result, you can eat in a restaurant and enjoy other services at a cheaper cost due to the lower cost of hiring workers.
There are also sales in many of the famous stores in Budapest regularly. So, if you walk into Zara and catch a sale, you will feel that it was very cheap, even though it was just due to a temporary sale.
There are, however, some products worth buying in Budapest. What is that? To get a good deal in Budapest, you should buy some Hungarian products produced in Hungary. You will find such products at markets and also in grocery stores.
Buy Hungarian products such as wine, salami, paprika (powder), handmade gloves/scarfs/hats, chess boards, table cloths, and taste Hungarian pastry and food in restaurants, confectionaries, and cafés. These will all give you an authentic Hungarian experience. It isn’t always cheap, but at least it is something you can’t buy at home (and if you could, it would cost way more).
Now that we have given you some basic information about shopping and prices in Hungary, it is time to take a closer look at where to go shopping in Budapest.
Where to go shopping in Budapest?
Budapest has lots of options for everyone who wants to go shopping. Below you can see a presentation of the most popular places, locations, markets, and malls for shopping in Budapest. We have tried to start with the most central and important locations, and then we will continue with the less central locations afterward.
The shopping street of Budapest: Váci utca.
Budapest has one street known as the shopping street of the city; Váci utca. This street moves parallelly with the Danube (though not entirely next to the Danube), covering the area between Fövam square and Vörösmarty square. It is divided in two by the Elisabeth bridge (the white bridge). This street is very popular, and you can find lots of stores of all kinds in this street.
It is normal to consider the shopping street as two different entities. The first is the part of the street located between Fövam square (by the Grand Market Hall) and the Elisabeth bridge, and then the second part is between the Elisabeth bridge and Vörösmarty square. What is the difference?
- The first part between Fövam square and the Elisabeth bridge is mostly for souvenir shopping and tourist restaurants. You will not find many international brand stores in this area, making it more of a Hungarian area. Some call this the boring part of the pedestrian street, while others find it way more attractive for this exact reason. At the end of the street, you can find the Grand Market Hall, a place everyone should visit in Budapest, no matter whether they want to shop or not.
- The second part between the Elisabeth bridge and Vörösmarty square is packed with international brands. Here you can shop for clothes, shoes, and other global products, at international prices. There are quite a lot of restaurants in this part of the street, and some of them are actually quite good. At the end of the street, you can find Vörösmarty square, a large square with lots of stores, the famous Gerbaud confectionary, and also the location of the annual Christmas market and spring fair.
Most stores in the shopping street open at 10.00 daily and are open until 20.00 in the evening. Some close earlier on Sundays.
Since we have already mentioned the Grand Market Hall several times, it is time to take a closer look at this phenomenon in Budapest.
The Grand Market Hall
Several market halls were constructed in Budapest at the end of the 19th century. Many of them are still intact and in use, but the most famous is the Grand Market Hall located at Fövam square. The square is located at the end of the shopping street Váci utca, and you can also travel to the square using metro line 4 (green line).
Many people look at the Grand Market Hall and believe that they are looking at a railway station or something like that. The resemblance is definitely there, but if you want to use the Hungarian railway system, you must go elsewhere.
The Grand Market Hall is a giant market in Budapest. As you enter the building, you will discover that the ground floor is mostly for shopping for groceries, vegetables, fruits, and meat. This is an authentic place for shopping, and even Hungarians love to buy for their daily needs here. Even though you do not plan to bring fruit, vegetables, and meat home, you should definitely spend some hours looking around here. If you want to buy Hungarian sausage and pepper, this is a great place to do so.
On the first floor, you will find a nice Hungarian restaurant, many small bars where you can buy something to drink, and lots of stands where you can buy table clothes, gloves, clothes, and other traditional Hungarian articles. This is very touristic, but the products themselves are authentic.
In the basement, you will find a few stores, including a grocery store.
Grand Market Hall opening times.
- Monday – Friday: 06.00 – 18.00.
- Saturday: 06.00 – 13.00.
- Sunday: Closed
Big Market Hall – Market Hall information
Address: Fõvám Tér
Metro stop: Kalvin Tér (blue metro), Fövam tér (green metro).
Would you like to see even more pictures and find more information about the Grand Market Hall in Budapest? Take a look at the following article.
We have covered the two most popular areas for shopping among tourists in Budapest. Do you still feel the desire for more shopping? Let us take a closer look at the most popular shopping malls in Budapest.
Shopping malls in Budapest.
There are lots of shopping malls in Budapest. Some say they are ruining the city as all stores move to the malls. As a result, the streets die. That might be true, but we also know that many people prefer to shop in a shopping center where they can leave their car in a large parking lot while shopping.
Westend Shopping Center
This is one of the most central shopping centers in Budapest. It is located by the metro stop Nyugati Palyaudvar on the blue metro line. It isn’t inside the shopping mall, but here you can also find a Decathlon store. This is a shopping mall with several levels and all sorts of stores. Here you can find lots of locations for fast food, but you can also find serious restaurants with better food. If you are in need of coffee (which is very likely), there is a Starbucks and several other cafés in the mall.
There is a big cinema in the mall, and if you want a unique experience, try to 4DX experience. With a giant parking lot and more than 400 stores, this is a place where you can spend an entire day without trouble.
Arena Plaza is the biggest mall in all of Budapest. It is located very close to the eastern railway station (Keleti Palyaudvar). You can travel to this area using the red and the green metro, and from the metro station, you need to walk approximately 400 meters.
Arena Plaza is very similar to the other malls in Budapest, but here you have some cool add-ons that make it unique. There is a giant Tesco grocery store in the mall. This makes buying groceries very easy (and cheap). The mall has a giant parking lot which is useful if you want to leave your car there for some hours.
Arena Plaza has a modern cinema complex with an IMAX room and a VIP cinema. The latter is perfect if you want to combine your cinema experience with some food and unlimited drinks and popcorn.
If you are on the Buda side, this is the most popular mall in Budapest right now. It is located by the metro stop Ujbuda Center. Next to the mall, there is a traditional Hungarian market (similar to the grand market hall in some ways) where only locals go shopping. If you come here, take a look at the market hall where you can buy fruits, vegetables, and meat from locals from Monday to Saturday.
All is another big shopping mall in Budapest. They have all the typical stores, including H&M, Peek and Cloppenburg, Zara, Stradivarius, Butlers, Deichmann, C&A, Bijou Brigitte, Budmil, DM, Ecco, Helly Hansen, Humanic, Intersport, Intimissimi, Lego, New Yorker, Nespresso, Office Shoes, Pull&Bear, Salamander, Samsonite, Tezenis, Yves Rocher, and lots of others. There are several good restaurants in Allee, and if you only want some fast food, you can choose between KFC and Burger and many others.
Allee has a cinema complex where you can watch quite a lot of movies in English with Hungarian subtitles. That is useful to know as many cinemas in Hungary only show movies dubbed to Hungarian.
Árkád isn’t a mall tourists normally visit, but if you live in Budapest, you might visit it. The shopping mall is located by the endstation of the red metro and it is located next to an IKEA store and also a big cinema and bowling complex. As a result, it is a popular area and frequently visited by people traveling back and forth to Budapest every day using public transportation.
There are several popular brands in Árkad, such as Budmil, Bershka, Claire’s, CCC, Desigual, Douglas, Foot Locker, Hervis, Jysk, Heavy Tools, Mango, Media Market, and lots of others.
When this first opened, it was located in a quite bad area in Budapest. Since then, this district has been beautifully renovated with lots of new offices, apartment complexes, stores, restaurants, and with the plaza itself. That is why quite a lot of tourists end up living in apartments and hotels located in the area surrounding Corvin Plaza. You can easily travel with the blue metro from the “Corvin Negyed” stop, and you will also find tram four and six nearby.
The plaza isn’t the biggest, but it still has nice stores, a food complex at the top, and a close neighbor of the complex is Corvin Cinema, one of the few traditional cinemas in Budapest left. If you visit Corvin Plaza, leave the plaza and enjoy the restaurants and stores at the very nice square outside one of the entrances to the place. This is a great place to meet locals and eat in restaurants used by both locals and tourists.
After a long time with no new plazas created in Budapest, this was the first to open after COVID-19. It is a giant mall on the Buda side, next to the Kelenföldi Railway station and metro stop, making it very easy to approach with public transportation and by train. It is a very modern complex with large open spaces, lots of air, and a big area for eating. As a result, this is ideal for those who want to shop, grab something to eat, or simply grab a coffee and enjoy the free WiFi while sending emails and doing some work on the laptop.
There are lots of trendy brands in Etele Plaza. As a result, you can buy delicious Lindt chocolate, followed by fashion shopping in Zara, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, and Heavy Tools, before you buy a book in Libri, followed by a good cup of coffee in one of the cafes. In the end, eating pasts or something else in one of the many restaurants in the food court might feel good. There is also a gym and a big cinema complex in the mall.
Etele Plaza – Etele Plaza information
Address: Hadak útja 1., 1119 Budapest
Metro: Kelenföldi Pályaudvar
This is much smaller than most of the big shopping malls in Budapest. It is still interesting because it is located at the popular Blaha Lujza square where many buses, trams, and the red metro travels. It is close to many nice hotels, making it useful for quick shopping if you are in need of that.
You will not find a giant selection of stores in Europeum, but you can find stores such as Muller, Triumph, and Pepco. The latter is a very cheap store for clothes and all sorts of accessories for the house. The quality might not be the best, but it is a store many people enjoy!
Europeum – Europeum information
Address: 1088 Budapest, József körút 5.
Metro stop: Blaha Luja tér (red metro)
Mammut is a large shopping mall with two buildings at the Buda side, close to Szena square (near the red metro). It is easy to reach due to the metro and tram lines four and six stopping outside the mall entrance. This has been considered an overclass shopping mall for a long time, but as most of the brands here are normal international brands, the prices are similar to elsewhere in Budapest.
There are many useful stores in the mall, and if you need a pharmacy, that is also found in the mall. Would you like a VIP cinema experience? There is a cinema in the mall where you can watch the newest blockbuster movies from Hollywood, and there are some VIP rooms available if you want more luxury added to the cinema experience.
Mom Park is a mall on the Buda side at a location quite hard to find for tourists. It isn’t really hard to find, but this isn’t a mall you will bump into while walking the streets of Budapest or while exploring the famous attractions and sights of Budapest.
MOM Park is quite a normal mall, but it is smaller than many of the others, and it feels a bit more exclusive than most of the other malls in Budapest. It is suitable for those who want to park their car within the mall and then shop in a tiny selection of stores such as Butlers, Müller, SPAR, H&M, Tchibo, and then continue by eating in Vapiano, McDonald’s, Wasabi, or maybe taste the local kebab.
MOM Park – MOM Information
Address: Alkotás u. 53, 1123 Budapest
Tram stop: Csörsz utca (nr. 61)
Other shopping in Budapest.
Some places worth visiting in Budapest for shopping might not fit into the traditional shopping mall category. Here you will find information on some of those.
This is what many people refer to as an antique market in Budapest. It is referred to as a flea market, but there are lots of objects for sale here that are really expensive. Here you can buy artifacts from the Second World War, paintings, instruments, fake DVDs, and all sorts of stuff. It is absolutely worth a visit if you want to have fun and maybe buy some cool objects.
The flea market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from around 5.00 until 15.00 Saturdays and from 8.00 to 13.00 on Sundays. This flea market is located outside the city center so you need to use a combination of the metro and bus to get there or catch a taxi.
Ecseri Flea Market – Flea Market information
Address: Budapest, Nagykõrösi út 156.
The Christmas market and Easter market in Budapest.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Christmas and Easter markets in Budapest each year. The Christmas markets are especially popular. The two most famous markets are located centrally in Budapest, at the Vörösmarty square and the Sas square (by St. Stephen’s Basilica). Here you can taste all sorts of Hungarian food, and you can drink traditional Hungarian drinks. These markets are fantastic for tasting the local gastronomy.
These markets are also ideal for buying products made locally in Hungary. You will find all sorts of ceramics, cakes, clothes, books, cards, objects carved in wood, and much more.
Would you like to know more about Budapest’s Christmas and Easter markets? Click the links below.
Exclusive shopping in Fashion street and Andrassy Avenue.
Many cities have areas where you can find more exclusive stores. Budapest isn’t the capital of luxury, but you can find stores more exclusive in two areas close to one another.
Fashion street is just an imagined name for the street Deak Ferenc utca. This street starts at the Vörösmarty square and ends at Deak Ferenc square (by the Starbucks café). In this street, you will find brands such as Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Boss, Oysho, Lindt, Harmoine&Blaine, Cos, Benetton, Philipp Plein, Twinset, and Falconeri. The street is very nicely decorated before Christmas.
If you walk across the Elisabeth square (after walking up the Fashion street), you will end up at the start of Andrassy út. This is a fantastic street in Budapest, and the first part of the street (until you reach Oktogon) is the number one place for luxurious shopping in Budapest. The remaining part of the street is nice for walking as there are many nice buildings and museums surrounding the street. The end of the street is at the Heroes square and if you walk the full distance, you will end up walking more than 2 kilometers.
As we already mentioned, Andrassy avenue is a place for luxury. Here you can find brands such as Rolex, Breitling, Boutique, TAG Heuer, Omega, Hublot, Michael Kors, Nubu, Guess, Coccinelle, Marco Bicego, Max Mara, Moncler, Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Furever, COS, The North Face Store, Stan Ahuja, and FREYWILLE.
Do you have any remaining thoughts or questions concerning shopping in Budapest? Use the comment field below. We would love to hear your input and answer your questions.