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Shopping in Budapest - Hungary
Budapest offers a great variety of decently priced shopping. Particularly good to buy here is clothing, antiques and jewellery.
Pest's chic Váci utca and its surrounding avenues tempt tourists with familiar high-street and designer names. Porcelain lovers should hunt down Zsolnay, V Kigyó utca 4, or Herend, I Szentháromság utca 5 - both produce some of the finest pieces in Europe.
Budapest's Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok), IX Fovám tér, is great for bargains. This imposing three-storey structure first opened in 1897. On the ground floor are strings of paprika-like red coral necklaces, pots of pickles, goose liver and salami. There is also a supermarket to stock up on Tokaj wines, Pálinka (cherry and apricot brandy) and bitter, black Zwack unicum (herbal liqueur). Upstairs, there is a choice of Kalocsa and Matyó hand-embroidered tablecloths, Zsolnay and Herendi porcelain, glittering beaded necklaces and traditional folk costumes.
Budapest's BÁV stores, the main branch of which is found at V Bécsi utca 1, are state-run pawn shops selling everything from junk to gems.
Standard opening hours are Monday to Friday 1000-1800 (usually until 2000/2100 on Thursdays) and Saturday 1000-1300. Grocers, bakeries and supermarkets are open 0700-2000. The Great Market Hall is open Monday 0600-1700, Tuesday to Friday 0600-1800 and Saturday 0600-1400. Only shopping malls open on Sundays and many small shops close in summer.
Sales tax (ÁFA) of 25% (12% for food, some medical supplies, books, newspapers and hotel rooms) is included in the price and can be reclaimed by visitors purchasing goods worth Ft50,000 or more. A receipt and VAT refund application form must be presented to customs on leaving the country.
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