Sometimes something old is better than something new, so when it comes to shopping for antiques and quirky keepsakes, nothing beats Budapest’s flea markets. More than just the usual experience of popping into a shop, you can find something truly unique and explore a different side of the city while you’re looking for some souvenirs to take home. You may find an antique vase that you just have to have, but are struggling with how to fit it in your airline’s hand luggage allowance, or a piece of communist kitsch on your adventures to these markets below. You can simply stop and window shop, or rather stall shop, or come home with something you never planned to buy in the first place but will always remember!
Being located far outside the city centre in the XIX District, Ecseri Market might feel like it’s far off the tourist track. The easiest way to get here is to grab a bus from Boráros Tér and cross the bridge over the motorway. This enclosed market offers a trove of trash and treasures, with everything you can imagine from a fountain to portraits of politicians to smaller knick knacks that are more backpack friendly. Even if you have no plans on buying anything, Ecseri Market is worth a visit to walk through everyday history. Whether you’re into porcelain or vintage postcards or cameras, this diverse market has it all.
Location: Ecseri Flea Market, XIX district, Nagykőrösi street 156.
Want a taco with your shopping? El Rapido is a curiosity located next to famous ruin pub Szimpla Kert that rolls a Mexican restaurant up with a pub, a café, a delicatessen and a flea market. Not quite Ecseri Market, but if you don’t fancy going far afield and you want down a few tequila shots and buy a unique trinket (maybe the tequila helps you pluck up the courage to buy something completely outrageous to take home) then El Rapido is the place to shop.
Location: El Rapido Bar and Flea market, VII district, Kazinczy street 10.
If you want to stay in the city centre, then head to the Klauzál tér market hall for the weekly antiques market on Sundays. The antiques on offer here come with a slight slant, where they’re renovated, modified and even redesigned. This is a new wave of flea markets where new trends come with the old, giving your curiosities an even more unique feel to them. Only make sure you come in the morning when you can find the best items!
Location: Antik Placc, VII district, Klauzál square 11.
When a shop means stuff in Hungarian, you can be sure Cucc has it all, or at least tries! And just to make the shopping experience more pleasant you can also get some really good coffee too. Cucc is a hybrid between a flea market and a third wave coffee house, so drink a V60 or some cascara before you peruse those second hand items. Prices are ridiculously low and the atmosphere is inclusive. You can also sell items as well as buy (just incase that vase really doesn’t fit into your hand luggage!).
Location: Cucc used stuff & coffee, VIII district, Víg street 12.