It’s a rare occurrence, but sometimes the best attractions of a city are…actually the most common places of the city. For example, visiting the Budapest Central Market is one of those places that you wouldn’t think would be interesting until you actually investigate a bit further.
Before visiting this emblematic site, you should know a little about its history. This market is known in Hungarian as the Great Pavilion (Nagycsarnok), and was the largest indoor establishments that were opened in the city until the end of the nineteenth century to help with health problems plaguing the population. It helped improve food quality as well as food conservation.
The market designer was Samu Pecz Professor at the University of Engineering. The site began to be built in 1894, along with the University of Economics that wasn’t finished in 1897, due to a fire a few days before it was set to open.
The first administrator of this site was Nandor Ziegler, who established very strict rules that led to loud protests. One of the rules established was around the sellers who could only use the equipment provided by the market, they could not use their own.The building suffered severe damage in World War II, and was declared ruined in 1991 and closed for three years. Repairs were completed in 1994, and today it’s considered the premiere Cultural and Artistic Heritage of the nation. In 1999 he was awarded the FIABCI Prix du Excellence (International Architecture’s Most Valuable Award).
Getting to the Budapest Central Market
The Budapest Central Market is located in the center of the city, on the Pest side, near the Danube and the Liberty Bridge (Szabadság), at the beginning of Váci utca street, the most famous in the city. You can go without problems at the following times and days: Monday to Friday from 6 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon Saturday from 6 to 3 in the afternoon Sunday is closed.
It’s composed of three open floors and a nave, with more than 180 stalls. On the top floor you can find national handicrafts and souvenirs with colorful and attractive exhibits that attract the attention of tourists. You will also see clothing stands attended by Chinese.
In the same structure, on the ground floor you will find shops selling vegetables, fruit, butcheries, bakeries, spices, national wines (Tokaj or Eger), aguardiente (Palinka), Hungarian sausages and salami, bacon in all varieties, paprika, pickles . In the underground plant you will find a supermarket, sales of fresh and frozen fish and oriental spices. So if you want to visit Budapest and only spend a little money, this is one of the best options to buy all the necessary ingredients you need to make a picnic or a snack.
Visiting Budapest’s Central Market is a perfect opportunity to try one of the richest cafés you can find. For those who are not vegetarians you might be interested in Hungarian sausages, fried fish, oil-fried lobsters topped with garlic sauce, grated cheese and sour cream (a kind of donut), salads, beer, a strudel stuffed with Cottage cheese, sour cherries or poppy (sweet). At the top you can find a buffet restaurant with good food and affordable prices. When traveling to the big cities, don’t forget to approach the main market to learn about the traditional dishes of the region and the daily work of its citizens.