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Great Market Hall in Budapest – Photo Essay

Explore the different food, spices and craziness with our photo essay tour through the Great Market Hall in Budapest.

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Töltött káposzta Stuffed Cabbage Hungary

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 fly.co.uk 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.

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.

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49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Marlys

    September 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Oooh, markets are always a must-see for me wherever we go. Always assured to try local goodies. These look tempting!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      Best way to explore the local food in or opinion Marlys! 🙂

  2. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    September 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    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…

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      Hahaha love your pronunciation! We didn’t even try to pronounce it right.

  3. Jeff Titelius

    September 29, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    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!

  4. A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

    September 29, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    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.

  5. Laurence

    September 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    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 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Apparently I took a few lessons from a photographer over the last week. Proved useful 😉

  6. Mike

    October 1, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    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!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      Love picking out local foods and taking them back to wherever we are staying to cook them up! Hope you visit soon Mike.

  7. Candice

    October 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      We just love being able to cook with local ingredients. Makes it so much more worthwhile, rather than eating out all the time.

  8. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    October 1, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    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…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 1, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      I don’t know if that is sad or funny Bret 😉 But it was well deserved haha.

  9. Steve

    October 2, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Along with your great photos the market building is very impressive. Keen to try one of those cabbage rolls now…

  10. Natalie - Turkish Travel Blog

    October 2, 2012 at 5:21 AM

    Wow – That market looks like a big place. Would not bother with the rest of it, just the comfort food upstairs!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Haha we went back the next day and skipped everything. Just headed straight upstairs 😉

  11. D.J. - The World of Deej

    October 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Great stuff…reminded me of my visit to the San Francisco Ferry Building, but on a much larger scale:)

    • Cole Burmester

      October 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      I love the San Francisco markets though. Great little spot!

  12. Angela

    October 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Fantastic market, I would love to get lost in its alleys 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      October 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      So many tasty treats to be found. Just have to avoid the crowds!

  13. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    October 2, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Yum! We love visiting and supporting local markets. They’re my favorite place to buy souvenirs 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      We try and stay away from the souvenirs these days. Weigh down our backpacks too much 😉

  14. Christina @ Packed Suitcase

    October 3, 2012 at 7:33 PM

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

    I love going to markets during my travels, and that Hungarian food looks delish!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Hungarian food is total comfort food! Would be so nice on a winter day there.

  15. EurotripTips

    October 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM

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

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Get there fast! Well worth it just for the food 🙂

  16. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    October 5, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    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! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      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. Jade - OurOyster.com

    October 8, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    I loved the market in Budapest – I bought myself a ridiculous hat there 🙂

  18. Abby

    October 8, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    I’d love to see Budapest someday. It was actually the first place my mom went that I have never been. Go Mom!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 8, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Budapest was a great surprise for us. Definitely cannot wait to go and explore the rest of Hungary now. And way to go your Mom 🙂

  19. Sophie

    October 8, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    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!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Definitely try out Budapest! Delicious food, cheap accommodation and lots of direct flights 🙂

  20. Bijaya Ghimire

    October 12, 2012 at 2:49 PM

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

  21. Ali

    October 15, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Markets are great to visit while traveling. Looks like a great one!

  22. Stephen Schreck

    October 18, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    I got extremely hungry just looking at all this food. My stomach is compelling me to go here this summer.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Nice and cheap food too Stephen!

      • Stephen Schreck

        October 18, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        “Nice and cheap food” Might be my favorite sentence in the English language :).

  23. Arti

    November 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Love visiting the markets or bazaars as we call them! A great place to mingle with the locals 🙂 These are fabulous shots!

  24. Alexandra

    December 7, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Love the third photo! Visiting a local market is a MUST in any new city

  25. Ricky devnix

    June 7, 2013 at 8:17 PM

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

  26. Alberto

    July 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    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.

  27. Askan

    May 30, 2014 at 5:05 AM

    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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Europe

Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Europe

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.

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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

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Europe

Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here

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Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be worthwhile checking out this Amsterdam’s Red Light District – The ultimate guide.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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