Great Market Hall in Budapest – Photo Essay

| September 28, 2012 | 49 Comments

Travelling slowly and living like locals is our favourite way to explore a city. But when we are short on time, which often happens when exploring the world, then the only way to fit in is by visiting the local markets. The Great Market Hall in Budapest is definitely a local market you want to visit.

Great Market Hall in Budapest

I love the feeling of walking up to the entrance, excitedly pushing through the ancient doors and waiting for the tantalizing smells to hit me.

The smell of freshly baked strudels and cakes waft through the air teasing my stomach with every breath I take. Overlaid by the slight pungent odour of the fish stocks tucked away somewhere near the back.

Locals bustle around the fruit and vegetable sections, shouting at each other trying to find the best deals. While shop owners voice their various wares out to the dawdling browsers, hoping to make a sale.

Adela Great Market Hall in Budapest

To make your way to the Great Market hall in Budapest then make sure you head out early from your accommodation in Budapest. You don’t want to miss out on all the bargains.

Great Market Hall in Budapest

The Great Market Hall in Budapest is only one of many markets the city boasts. However, it is easily the most impressive.

The building itself is absolutely stunning. At over 100 years old it looks as if it jumped right out of a storybook. Ancient yellow and red bricks on the outer walls have faded over the years. But the decorative yellow and green tiles on the roof still manage to capture the sunlight in summer.

Inside the three-story building, the roof is crisscrossed by interlacing support beams above the huge open selling ground. Balconies and stairs wind their way around the outer walls. And crowds of people drift about on every level.

Great Market Hall Budapest

Walking into the gigantic market my nose immediately led us directly to the first bakery stall. I began drooling as I anticipated my first taste of a traditional Hungarian cake.

With my hands and nose pressed up against the window, my eyes ping-ponged between the different cakes. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.

This candle inspired chocolate cake was so rich that we had to throw a quarter of it out!

Great Hall Market Budapest Cake

As we wound our way up the stairs we found where the real food magic begins. On the narrow walkway the locals crowded together shoulder to shoulder vying for a position to order. Squeezed around the tables they were eating and drinking with their friends.

Hungarians love their comfort food and the Great Market Hall in Budapest seemed to attract everyone on their lunchtime breaks. Steaming ladles of hot soup and meaty dishes galore lined the stalls.

Great Market Hall Budapest Hungary

Töltött káposzta Stuffed Cabbage Hungary

The tourists love it up here as well because of all the best Hungarian dishes including fried sausages, black pudding and traditional lángos. A delicious deep-fried round pastry rubbed in garlic and smothered in sour cream and grated cheese.

We had already tried lángos so decided on the stuffed cabbage, traditionally known as Töltött káposzta.

As we skewered our lunchtime snack, great globules of grease ran across the plate. But that didn’t stop us digging in. I was sold after the first bite, and wolfed down the rest of the meal in minutes.

Stuffed Cabbage Budapest Hungary markets

With bellies bulging and and our bags stuffed full of Hungarian delights we attempted to work off our feast by wandering some more.

On the ground level you will find the most people and all the exotic fruits, vegetables and goods from around the world. Spices such as saffron can even be brought here much cheaper than back home.

Visiting Budpest Great Hall Market

It didn’t seem that many people ventured into the basement. But if you do then this is where you will find all the oriental spices, teas, and pickles. And to be honest, I am not sure it is worth making your way down there.

Extra Travel Information:

Great Market Hall location: Fővám tér, Pest end of Liberty Bridge. Get to it via Trams 2, 47 and 49. Or the nearest metro station is at Kálvin Tér (M3 blue line).

Great Market Hall in Budapest Opening Hours: Monday: 06.00-17.00, Tuesday-Friday: 06.00-18.00, Saturday: 06.00-14.00, Sunday & Public Holidays: closed.

If you want to avoid the crowds then go on Monday morning. But if you want to experience it like a local like us, then go on Saturday mornings when everyone descends for their weekend shopping.

Check out for cheap flights to Europe and explore Budapest and the rest of Hungary.

Disclaimer: We were invited to step out of our comfort zone by the Visit Hungary Tourism Board for our trip to Budapest. As always our thoughts, recommendations and taste buds are always our own.

About the Author ()

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (49)

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  1. Marlys says:

    Oooh, markets are always a must-see for me wherever we go. Always assured to try local goodies. These look tempting!
    Marlys recently posted..The Signs Of Wine

  2. As a person with more than her share of Hungarian blood I am, of course, very familiar with Töltött káposzta which my 100% Hungarian grandmother used to try to teach me to pronounced. It always sounded like Toot Toot Cap Or Stop to me but the stuff is delicious. Would love to try some in this market someday…
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Brand New Brews on the Beach – El Tunco, El Salvador

  3. Wow, talk about teasing our taste buds with these scrumptious photos!! Extraordinary marketplace and that cake…wow!! I am all over that whenever I make to Budapest. Nice write-up and brilliant photos too!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..Postcards from Holland

  4. Can’t believe we both posted on the same subject today. We loved the Great Market Hall and went a couple of times while we were in Budapest.
    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted..Devouring Budapest

  5. Laurence says:

    Love that in motion shot of the great market hall. Eastern europe continues to be on my wish list (like so many places!). Also, your description of your eyes ping ponging cracked me up. Lovely way with words 😀
    Laurence recently posted..Overeating in Costa Brava

  6. Mike says:

    Local market is the one of the first stops when I travel. Many great deals and delicious food can be found there! Great Market Hall in Budapest is one of the bests so far I’ve seen. I wanna visit the market!
    Mike recently posted..Guide to Moving to the USA

  7. Candice says:

    I love local markets! They are a great way to try local cuisines without spending too much money. I have been to this market in Budapest, and I agree that is is well worth the visit.
    Candice recently posted..Top Europe Destinations for Autumn

  8. Man, these photos are making me Hungary! Get it? Budapest? Hungary? OK, so maybe I shouldn’t be Stumbling after working out on an empty stomach…
    Bret@ Green Global Travel recently posted..ENDANGERED SPECIES SPOTLIGHT- Blue Whale

  9. Steve says:

    Along with your great photos the market building is very impressive. Keen to try one of those cabbage rolls now…
    Steve recently posted..Planning a trip to Myanmar

  10. Wow – That market looks like a big place. Would not bother with the rest of it, just the comfort food upstairs!
    Natalie – Turkish Travel Blog recently posted..14 Famous Landmarks of Istanbul

  11. Great stuff…reminded me of my visit to the San Francisco Ferry Building, but on a much larger scale:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Fort Lauderdale’s Identity Crisis

  12. Angela says:

    Fantastic market, I would love to get lost in its alleys 😉
    Angela recently posted..Harvesting in Sardinia, time to produce the new wine

  13. Yum! We love visiting and supporting local markets. They’re my favorite place to buy souvenirs 🙂
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Our Encounter With A Rare Amazon Manatee In Peru

  14. You had me at “great globules of grease”! 😉

    I love going to markets during my travels, and that Hungarian food looks delish!
    Christina @ Packed Suitcase recently posted..A Girl’s Guide to Starting a Campfire

  15. I can’t believe I haven’t been to Buda yet!

  16. This looks amazing you guys! I love love love Langos, which oddly enough reminds me of Christmas in Germany since it’s at every Christmas market I’ve been to there. I can’t wait until we finally get to Hungary, which thanks to you will be sooner rather than later! 🙂
    Jess | GlobetrotterGirls recently posted..Housesitting 101: How to be chosen for a housesit

    • You wouldn’t want to eat too many Langos though! They were pretty filling and I am sure they can’t be that good for you haha. Can’t wait for the Christmas markets to start in Edinburgh! Yum, Yum, Yum!

  17. I loved the market in Budapest – I bought myself a ridiculous hat there 🙂
    Jade – recently posted..Travelling With Children – Interview With Discover Share Inspire

  18. Abby says:

    I’d love to see Budapest someday. It was actually the first place my mom went that I have never been. Go Mom!
    Abby recently posted..Hot off the presses: Vegas in Vegas, with Michael Chiklis

  19. Sophie says:

    Wow. Budapest looks great. I so want to try that chocolate cake! I’ve been thinking about going on a city break before the end of the year and I think from these photos I have decided it’s time to try Budapest!

  20. Bijaya Ghimire says:

    I felt like i saw everything with my own eyes while reading. Thanks for naturalistic way of presentation

  21. Ali says:

    Markets are great to visit while traveling. Looks like a great one!
    Ali recently posted..Disadvantages of Taking a Tour

  22. I got extremely hungry just looking at all this food. My stomach is compelling me to go here this summer.
    Stephen Schreck recently posted..Wednesday Weekly Photo

  23. Arti says:

    Love visiting the markets or bazaars as we call them! A great place to mingle with the locals 🙂 These are fabulous shots!
    Arti recently posted..10 Impressions from the City of Tokyo

  24. Alexandra says:

    Love the third photo! Visiting a local market is a MUST in any new city
    Alexandra recently posted..To be or not to be a tourist in Barcelona with Wimdu

  25. I have visited this market last month Its good specially food is too Delicious i enjoyed a lot with my family.

  26. Alberto says:

    I agree the local market is a must, allow you both to see a side of “real life” of the place and meet a lot of people.
    Alberto recently posted..Steve Estvanik interview

  27. Askan says:

    The market hall is a nice place, but I believe predominantly for the architecture. But it is a good place to buy culinary and other souvenirs.

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