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Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 | 129 comments

Great Market Hall in Budapest

The day before leaving Europe, after moving around the continent for 15 days, we went back to the beginning, we went back to Budapest.

It felt exhilarating to be back in the city we learned to love a couple of weeks before.  I knew I had to be back before going home because I still had a stop to make.

I couldn’t leave before paying a visit to the Great Market Hall, the oldest and largest indoor market in Budapest.

I am sure this is not a surprise since I have professed my love to markets in Vienna, Valencia, Madrid and Oaxaca.

That is how a Saturday morning we ended up passing thru the doors of this gastronomic temple in Budapest.

To be accurate, the Great Market Hall is located on the Pest side of the city, at the end of the famous pedestrian street known as Vaci utca. The market is located directly across the Liberty Bridge.

The original building was constructed in 1897 with Neogothic touches. The roof contains colorful tiles from the town of Pecs and the inside consists of a steel structure (very intricate steel structure I should say).

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

During the World Wars, the structure was completely damaged and then closed for some years. Throughout the 1990s, restoration works brought back the market to its ancient splendor. The building even won an excellence prize in 1999.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Once you enter the market, you are going to notice the total dominance of the most prominent spice in Hungary, the paprika.  Stall after stall sells the precious pepper in its many forms.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

IMG_8028

I loved to see the dry peppers hanging from the many stalls.  I think I will be happy in a paprika only market.

In addition, the spice is sold as a powder. You can find the spicy, sweet and smoked versions.  Some bags of paprika come with recipes of what can be prepared with the product.  So, do not worry what you are going to cook with it.  Make sure you get some and the inspiration will come later.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Also, Paprika is sold in jars or in tubes (as a paste).

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

They even sell you the paprika spoons in a very unique way (see below).

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Are you ready for a fun fact? Maybe you know this but the peppers used to make paprika come from the New World (like tomatoes and chocolate).  The Spaniards introduced the peppers to Western Europe and the Ottomans to Central Europe and the Balkans.

After getting an overdose of paprika, you are going to notice a second obsession of Hungarians.  More than 20 stalls in the market are dedicated to sausages and cold cuts.  To be honest, they looked delicious.  I couldn’t stop looking at how one type was different from another.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

In the Great Market Hall, you can find sausages made from liver, pork, rice and blood (black sausage).  They have a wide array of salamis and bacon.  In addition, you can find sausages typical from towns like Szeged, Gyula and Debrecener.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

And get this, are you ready?  They have Lokolbasz or horse sausage. Yup, you read that right.

It is very difficult to walk around so many sausages without salivating or wanting to try some.  I have good news.  You can buy slices by the half or quarter kilo or ask the vendors to prepare you a sampler plate.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

IMG_7978

The only thing is that you are not going to know exactly what you are eating (you can ask but there is a language barrier).  I am sure you know where I am going with this.  I think I tried that horse sausage.  What is more, I think it was the piece I liked the most!

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

If you are a fan of all things sweet, do not fear.  There are stalls selling what I call a ridiculously variety of sweet and cakes.  Get prepared to find Dobos torta, Linzer torta, kifli (crescent shaped biscuit), piskota (crispy cookie), turo rudi (sweet cheese filled in a chocolate bar) and much more.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Oh, and the famous poppy rolls and strudels are everywhere.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

A lot of the cakes sold in the city’s famous cafes are available in here at a discounted price (not the same atmosphere but cake is cake).  I had a hard time deciding what to eat and ended up eating two pieces of cake (if I remember correctly ;0)  My husband got cookies, nougat and sweet bread.

Fresh produce is available if that is your kind of thing.  Locals come here to fill their shopping bags.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

The Great Market Hall is filled with many more goods.  I encourage you to walk around and see what you can find.  We saw cheese, hand-made pasta, honey, jelly, jam, olive oil, Hungarian wine and chocolate.  The list continues and continues.  This may be the market where I have seen more goods per square meter.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Now, everything I have described in here is located in the first floor.  The second floor contains stalls selling typical Hungarian food such as goulash, langos, chicken paprikash, lecso and palacsinta. The food is delicious! Yes, I ate in there too!

Langos, What to Eat in Budapest, Hungary

What and where to Eat in Budapest, Hungary

Last but not least, the second floor offers a big variety of all sorts of souvenirs.  Take a look around to see if something gets your attention.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

What do you think?  Did I have a reason to go back to Budapest?  Well, I think so.  After experiences like this, my desire to visit European markets grow.

Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

Hope you have enjoyed this short tour of the Great Market Hall and bon appetite if you are running in this moment to get some food!

Would you visit this market?

Ready to pin? Let’s do this!

The Great Market Hall is the oldest and largest indoor market in Budapest. Stop by here if you want to try Hungarian food and find paprika, salamis and more. This is a true foodie paradise.

129 Comments

    • I get your feeling! There is so much stuff to eat. We did got a lot of stuff to take back home. Not sure how that fit in our luggage.

  1. What wonderful photos! The market looks pretty amazing. Those paprika spoons made me smile 🙂

    • Those are so cute! I couldn’t leave them out of the post.

  2. great photos. the market looks amazing, will all those delicious foods…

    • Looks amazing and it was amazing! I am dreaming about my next visit.

  3. What a fun market – would love to explore it.

    • It was tons of fun! I felt like not leaving.

    • That is a good way to describe it! I love it!

    • Color is one of the reasons I like markets so much! I like the hanging peppers too. That is so unique of this market.

    • Thanks a lot! The red peppers are so cool!

  4. A great place to visit! Wonderful photos.

    • Glad you liked it!

  5. That was one of my favorite markets! It was so colorful and I loved the iron designs! #CityTripping

    • Great to know you have been! Did you eat there or but something?

    • Well, I guess that is a great way to put. Thanks goodness I was able to visit.

  6. I will be in Budapest this summer with my daughter, so maybe we will have time to go to this market. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    • I hope you have the time. This place gives you the opportunity to try the best of Hungarian cuisine under one roof.

  7. Wow, if I ever get to Budapest I know where to good what a huge variety of delicious looking food. I would have to try the horse sausage, just don’t tell anyone.

    • Ok, deal! I would not tell anybody. I bet you will like it.

  8. I absolutely love market halls and trying samples at the different booths! Definitely bookmark this in case I’ll make it to Budapest one day 🙂

    • I do hope you make it to the city. I think you will like a lot of aspects about it.

  9. I would love to visit Budapest and now I will have to pay a visit to the great market hall whenever I get the chance to make it! Especially as the sweets look sooo good… #wanderfulwednesday

    • You have a great eye since those sweets were delicious. And, like I mentioned, they are much cheaper than in cafes.

  10. Your photos show how colorful and fun this place would be to visit! I love all the paprika — so Hungarian. I’m currently trying to decide whether to include Budapest in our itinerary (with the Swiss alps, Prague, and Vienna). Hmmm — this is a plus for going to Budapest!
    Sharon recently posted..Visiting the British MuseumMy Profile

    • Would be cool if you can add Budapest to your itinerary but it depends how much time do you have. You will love Prague and Vienna (not sure if you have visited before).

    • I know! Love to write posts like these.

  11. The variety is overwhelming! And so eye popping. Love the cute cookies. I’ll pass on the horse sausage. Thanks for the tantalizing tour.

    • No problem Sharon! I was not interested in the horse sausage at all!

  12. I love markets! Those photos very close up are great – a bit like abstract expressionism!

    • Ooohhhhhh, I like that (abstract expressionism). I enjoy taking closeups since I want to show things in different ways.

    • I know! I put them on my list every time. I bought paprika too!

  13. I know Budapest from the time it was behind the Iron Curtain and food was scarce – unrecognizable from this food paradise!

    • Thanks for your perspective. I imagine things were very different back then. I am glad everything is different now.

    • At least you were able to catch a glimpse. The architectural details are reason enough to visit.

    • I wish I had more time on the city because I wanted to try more of the charcuterie. We rented an apartment, so, we had a place to store our goods.

  14. I adore a good market. I think it is one of the best ways to learn about a place. See what they eat, what they sell, what is on offer, who buys it. Horse. Not so sure about. But I’m sure I’ve eaten things that seem completely normal to me that might make other people squeamish. (Raw oysters? YUM.) Beautiful post and would love to visit Budapest in general and will make a point to visit the great market! Thanks for sharing, Erin #FarawayFiles

    • Oysters, yeah, those are not of my liking (my husband loves them). It is a texture thing for me.

  15. Looks like food heaven! I think it was definitely worth it for you to go back – that’s quite a food market!

    • I am glad I visited the market even though there was some drama behind it (last day in Budapest we had problems with our accommodations).

  16. Such a colourful array of deliciousness!

    • That is true! Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Another wonderful market post. You have a great eye for colour and composition in your photographs; when I try to take market photos I am always disappointed with the result, but you just have that… talent. I’m so jealous! 😉
    #FarawayFiles
    Jonny (daisythebus) recently posted..The encounter on the islandMy Profile

    • I am so flattered by your comment. I have tried to improve my market photos. It is not easy to take good pictures when the markets are not covered and the light is poor. Open air ones are way easy to photograph.

  18. I do enjoy markets and I’m pretty sure this would be the first thing I did in Budapest! So much to see and eat…

    • Feels like a great way to get introduced from the city. When I arrive into a place, I am always hungry.

  19. Oh I love the variety of cakes, cookies and sweets on the stalls there, I think I’d have a hard time just choosing one thing to try! I can definitely see why you fell in love with Budapest, and with each of these posts you’re reminding me I must go and visit some of these European markets. I’ve only ever visited a German market, but it was here in the UK, so not the real experience! – Tasha

    • Tasha, it would be great if you have the opportunity to visit some markets in Europe. That is one of the reasons why I would love to live in Europe. I have a list of other markets I would like to visit.

  20. Of COURSE I love this post Ruth and am now plotting a way to get to Budapest ASAP. I always make a beeline for markets on our trips. This one looks incredible. Plus paprika is my favourite spice Thanks for joining us on #FarawayFiles

    • If paprika is your favorite spice, then Budapest is the place for you. You are going to feel in paradise once you start to see paprika everywhere.

  21. That looks like an amazing market! I am a big fan of markets so I would definitely check it out if we find ourselves in Budapest one day. #FlyAwayFriday
    Allison recently posted..Day Trip to Tillamook, OregonMy Profile

    • Hope you visit Budapest one day! What markets do you often visit?

    • Glad you liked it! How not to with all those pastries at really good prices?

  22. I love a local market and this one looks so cool! Love to show the kids how people all over the world shop. When I first visited Hungary many years ago and tried goulash I was so in love with it, BUT I didn’t think to bring any home, thinking…incorrectly that all paprika is created equally. Next time I’m there….I’m bringing some home!

    On another note…I have a list of travel blogs with commentluv on my blog and you are on it. 🙂

    • This is a perfect place for kids. I think of how much they can learn by looking at the different displays and asking questions. We loved goulash too. In general, Hungarian food is delicious.

  23. What always frustrates me when I’m traveling is that I can’t buy all of the different foods I’d enjoy trying! I’m always limited by baggage restrictions, etc. I end up wandering through and tasting and taking pictures like you did, but regretting what I can’t buy!

    • The same thing happens to me. We buy some stuff but not as much as we will want. We are very restricted with the liquids. California has very strict laws on what you can bring back.

    • Well, this is the perfect excuse to go back to Budapest. I am sure you will no mind going back.

  24. What a fabulous looking market, Ruth! Feels like a real must-do in Budapest. I was interested to see how similar it looks inside to the markets I’ve been to in Spain – Seville and Barcelona, although lots of great looking Hungarian products. I’d come home with far too much paprika, I’m sure! Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

    • Clare, I think this market is very different from the ones in Spain. The product and the way they are sold is different. Those differences among countries is what makes me want to stop by markets.

  25. Absolutely love this! We just got back from Budapest and LOVED the market. Thanks for sharing! #farawayfiles

    • So good you went! I am sure you enjoyed this place a lot.

    • I would have liked to try the sausage consciously. Maybe it is good. Anyway, the sausage had been processed and I do not think the real “horse” flavor is there.

  26. I love visiting Budapest’s Nagy Vásárcsarnok. I am drooling as I read your blog and look at your beautiful pictures. You can find everything your heard desires in this market. Plus, you can have a very inexpensive lunch on the second floor, tasting some of the most traditional Hungarian dishes. I wish we would have markets like these in Los Angeles. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • We ate at the second floor and the food was so good. I am so glad we fit this into our itinerary.

  27. I’m pretty sure I’ve been here ! It was so long ago but I recognise those steel arches. The food looks good (aside from the horse meat…I just can’t go there). The paprika spoons are so cute. I may have revisit just to purchase some! Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • I understand your feelings toward the horse sausage. I should have asked which one it was. I also saw it in other areas of the city.

  28. Oh my gosh! We share your obsession with markets, and this is like a market mecca! I’m not sure what I like more, though, the amazing food and crafts, or the building. That is gorgeous architecture. But then, all that food looks good, too! Thanks for sharing all your great pictures. They will keep us happy until we can get there ourselves!
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted..How Disney World Changed My Travel StyleMy Profile

    • I am glad you enjoyed the post! I can see you get really excited about markets. I am dreaming about the ones I am going to visit in the future.

  29. Wonderful, colourful pictures of this market! I did not know that paprika was so popular there. Love that they sold them in tubes. It reminds me of the condensed milk sold in tubes that I found in Asia, that I haven’t been able to find back home!
    Bryna | Dotted Line Travels recently posted..10 Highlights from the Ruins of PompeiiMy Profile

    • Condensed milk in tubes? Well, it kind of makes sense. In others countries I have seen sauce and juices in bags.

    • I think it is better to have a paste in a tube. In my family, we used to cook with tomato paste and it was not easy to take it out of the can.

  30. I loved Budapest when we went there many years ago. It has a magic about it which is hard to describe. Your photos look vaguely familiar but I can’t recall whether we got to the Great Market Hall or not.
    Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields recently posted..The Huts of the High CountryMy Profile

    • It is true, the city has a magic that is hard to resist. I really want to go back one day.

  31. Ruth, I always love your market posts. You really capture the great local-ness of the products on sale. Gorgeous photos!

    Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration! We’ll see you next week!

    • Thanks Corinne! Market post are some of my favorite to put together.

  32. I could live in the Great Food Hall in Budapest – so good.

    • Actually, that is not a bad idea. Living here (or nearby) would be great.

  33. What a fantastic market hall, pity I missed it when I visited Budapest. I love Cabanossi, something we actually also have quite a bit in Australia, so think I know where I’d head first. Must be quite a huge hall given how many photos you were able to take! #theweeklypostcard

    • Interesting Cabanossi is popular in Australia. Yes, this market hall is huge!

  34. This is such a great market, Ruth! I brought my family members paprika home as a souvenir, but they weren’t nearly as excited about it as I was. 🙂 #weekendwanderlust

    • Stephanie, sometimes friends and family do not appreciate souvenirs in the way we will like it. Maybe we are attached to certain things because we actually visited a place where it is popular.

  35. Oh wow, how would you ever decide what to buy, what to eat?! So much to choose from (but this would be heaven for a photographer)!

    • I know, so much to choose from! Ahh, in a way, that is a plus.

  36. Great photos, as always. I feel like an idiot, but I’ve never thought of putting markets on my list of things to see when thinking about cities like Budapest or Vienna. Markets tell you so much about the culture and the locals. 🙂

    • When I know I will visit a city, I check what markets are in there. In Europe, it seems like the biggest cities have great markets.

    • I am glad this post brought back good memories. Hope you tasted some of the great offerings in the market.

  37. Man what a great place. I love visiting markets wherever I go. You can really get a feel for the place and meet some great people. This place looks over the top though. It is the kind of place where I could spend hours walking around. I would be like the guy in the photo wheeling a bag behind me except I wold have a bigger bag.
    Bob recently posted..6 American Castles Where You Can Spend The NightMy Profile

    • That is funny Bob! I can understand how one can overbuy in here.

  38. I like the building that houses the market. It looks so colourful and pretty #wkndtravelinspiration

    • I agree! The building contributes a lot to the atmosphere of the market.

  39. Wow that looks amazing! The colors are so vibrant!!!!! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday! xo

    • Hello Kana, yes, everything in there was so vibrant. As you can see, that is one of the reasons why I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Hope you can visit the market in the future.

  40. The metalwork in that Great Hall is beautiful. I’m glad that they restored it. I also really like that locals shop here, and it’s not just a tourist attraction. Funny, the kids and I were talking this morning about whether or not we’d eat horse… or drink horse milk. No on both counts. Any suggestions for a souvenir other than paprika or a paprika spoon? My husband goes to Budapest so much, and I can never think of what to request. Having been thwarted once at customs for trying to import meat into the USA, I know not to ask for sausage — horsemeat or otherwise.#WkendTravelInspiration
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Disney’s Art of Animation ResortMy Profile

    • In the market, we got handmade pasta, chocolates and jam. They have a lot of homemade products so it is a matter of taking a look at the stalls. Your husband can get sausages and other goods at the airport. They have huge stores selling all sorts of goods.

  41. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I fell in love the with the Great Market Hall. I think I did most of my shopping there. I took home gorgeous paprika bought from a little old lady at the back of the market. I can’t remember how many cans of Foie gras I purchased. I also bought some things from the souvenir vendors upstairs. Just wandering around gawking and sampling what was on offer was a real delight. Thanks for co-hosting this week. #TPThursday

    • Nancie, seems like you got a lot of stuff. But, I guess that is normal for a place like this.

  42. Wow this looks amazing – definitely deserves it’s title of the Great market. I do love wandering around markets, there’s always something to discover and the stalls of paprika alone are fabulous. #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted..MummyTravels guide to the Costa BarcelonaMy Profile

    • I love to wander around markets too. I discover so many things. I keep returning and returning to them.

  43. What a fabulous post! This place looks great. So many great pictures!

    • Sounds gross but I think it is good. Like I said, I do not think I tasted it consciously but I like all the samples we tried (I think the horse sausage was there).

  44. I loved this market! I bought a couple of scarves and a magnet. I was on a long term trip, so I couldn’t buy too much! I enjoyed a pastry from the bakery from across the road. Relish!

    • That is so cool! With the many baggage restriction we have nowadays, it is not easy to bring as much as you would like.

  45. what a fun market! the building looks almost like gingerbread, which I guess fits. I would love the poppy seed pastries and the sausages. I would try it all, too!

    • Love the gingerbread description! Now, that I think about it, I can see where you come from.

  46. Going to food markets like this is one of my absolute favorite things to do. This one looks gorgeous. Great post – I love how into the sausages they are!!!

    • I like how they display their sausages and the variety of them. I tried like 10 different ones.

  47. aw I love places like this, they’re always my favorite to check out to get a really good vibe of the city! great post!

    • You are right! Places like this give you a lot of insight into the pulse of the city.

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