BudapestCity Attractions

Central Market Hall

If you love busy and noisy places with bright colors, nice smells and lots of different goods, then Budapest Central Market Hall is your place! Established back in 1896th year, it’s the oldest and the biggest market in the city, as well as one of the most vivid spot in the Hungarian capital. Budapest Central Market Hall is located right next to Liberty Bridge above Danube River. It’s where you can see lots of fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy products, as well as a wide range of handmade goods, clothes and souvenirs.

The entire official name of the market is Központi Vásárcsarnok, but most of the tourists find serious difficulties in coping with the Hungarian pronunciation, which is why everyone just calls it with the short name of Central market. The building of the market dates from the 19th century and it’s as interesting and impressive as the market, itself. Unfortunately, though, lots of damages had been made on the building, especially during the two world wars, which is why in 1994th year Budapest Central Market Hall was reconstructed in 1994th year. Since then, the market hasn’t stopped in attracting lots of visitors from all over the world mostly because of its unique architecture and the local color.

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Things to see

Budapest Central Market Hall has three levels. Find out now what you can see in each of them:

First level

This is the lowest level of the building and it’s basically situated underground. It’s where you can find a supermarket that isn’t as impressive as the Colonial market, which, on the other side, generally offers a big variety of different herbs and spices. Here, you can easily find saffron, Sicilian sumac and many other exotic spices. The place looks quite a lot like the typical markets in Istanbul. Don’t miss for anything in life the stores here as most of them offer bio rosemary oil. It’s a real elixir according to Hungarian. On this same first level you will also find a lovely bakery’s store that has on its stands fresh baguettes with cinnamon and anise, as well as many other interesting to be tasted paste products. On the first level of Budapest Central Market Hall you can buy some fresh mushrooms that are, by the way, cultivated here in the market building.

Second level

This is the place of the meats and the sausages – salami made of pork, lamb meat, as well as paste, including made of goose liver. In short, the variety is huge and you will not have problems to resist getting hungry. You will see whole big mountains of dairy products, too. You can even sample each of the products right on the market stands. The fruits and the vegetables are always fresh and the prices are quite lower than those in the other European markets. Some of the most vivid stands on the second level of Budapest Central Market Hall are those with alcohol drinks. On them you will see arranged both: traditional and exotic drinks that attract the local and the foreign tourist at the same time and with the same power.

Third level

Right on this level the amenities for fast food and restaurants, as well as the gift shops are located. Here you will see lots of the products made by dozens of different local craftsmen and craft shops, as well national costumes, hand-knotted cloths and clothing, handmade dolls and many more. By all means, you will find something amazing and cute for you to get back to your country as a memory from Hungary.

What should I know before a visit of Budapest Central Market Hall?

  • The market doesn’t work in Sunday
  • The market is closed, so you can visit at any convenient for you time and regardless of the weather conditions
  • Although it has turned into a real tourist attraction, Budapest Central Market Hall is always opened and you enter it without being charged for a ticket or an entrance fee. What is paid only is the guide tour service.
  • Every single working day and in certain time gastronomic events are arranged thanks to which you can meet the traditional Hungarian cuisine. You can get more information about these events in Budapest Central Market Hall official website.
  • Note that there are lots of fake truffles sold on the market, so, please, careful what you buy.
  • If you want to purchase something authentic, fresh like organic milk, on the contrary come to the market early in the morning. You can even get your own vessel as the salesmen are always happy to fill it with the desired amount of milk.
  • The prices in the restaurants and the cafes on the last third level are higher in comparison to the average prices in the city.
  • Here, Tourist days are arranged on a regular basis. If you participate in one you can meet not only the national cuisine from Hungary, but also the culture and the traditions typical for countries from all over the world.
  • Budapest Central Market Hall often hosts evening events such as gala nights, conferences and many others.
  • The market manages provide catering and some of the stores even remain opened up to late night during such events.

Guided tours

If you want to learn more about the background history of Budapest Central Market Hall, as well as to discover the bas stands here and to meet the “Hungarian market etiquette” in details, then, on mandatory join any of the official guide tours. They are usually arranged in Saturday (excluding the official holidays) and it’s recommended to book one in advance. You can include extra activities in your guide tour – such as degustation of local specialties – if you want. There are discounts of students and school girls and boys, while the kids under 6 years old can come on a guide tour for free. The starting point is at the Vorosmarty square. The tours are in English language and they last about 2 hours. Unfortunately, though, the guide tours are not suitable for people in wheelchairs.

More Top Attractions in Budapest:

Budapest – the city
Heroe’s Square
Szechenyi Chain Bridge
Budapest Parliament
Fisherman’s Bastion
Buda Castle
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Great Synagogue
Saint Matthias Church
Szechenyi Bath
Gellert Thermal Bath