Budapest’s largest indoor market is a hub of activity, with hundreds of stalls spread over three floors. Housed in a striking 19th-century building, it’s a place where local chefs shop for fresh produce, tourists haggle over traditional handicrafts, and the upstairs food court serves delicious Hungarian cuisine.
A popular choice for lunch and souvenir shopping, many Budapest tours stop at the Central Market Hall. Join a guided market tour or tasting tour, with a local guide pointing out the best stalls and talking you through the many products on offer. The market hall is also a top destination for foodies, and Budapest food tours and cooking classes often visit the market to shop for fresh ingredients or sample traditional Hungarian dishes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Paid restrooms are located on the upper floor.
- Plan at least an hour to explore the market, more if you want to stay for lunch.
- The Central Market Hall is wheelchair and stroller accessible, and there’s elevator access.
How to Get There
The Central Market Hall is located in Pest, close to the Liberty Bridge and at the southern end of Vaci Street. It’s about a 20-minute walk along Vaci Street to Vorosmarty square (Vorosmarty ter). The closest metro stations are Calvin Square (Kalvin ter; M3 line) and Fovam square (Fovam ter; M4 line), while trams 2, 47, 48, and 49 stop nearby.
When to Get There
The market is open daily, except Sunday. The quietest time to visit is on weekday afternoons, while the crowds start arriving 9am Saturdays. For your pick of fresh produce, come as early as possible (the market opens at 6am), but if you’re hoping to sample the local cuisine, arrive just before midday for the best selection and a good chance of finding a seat.
Shopping and Dining at the Central Market Hall
Fresh produce is on the ground floor; Hungarian paprika, salami, Hungarian wines, regional cheeses, and pálinka (fruit brandy) are top buys. Painted eggs, hand-carved wooden ornaments, and other souvenirs are upstairs. The fish market and an Asian supermarket are in the basement. For lunch, mezzanine food stalls offer favorites, including goulash, stuffed cabbage, and lángos (fried dough with different toppings), while ground-floor bakeries sell the famous “Chimney Cake” (spiral-shaped pastry dipped in sugar or cinnamon).