We are very happy to regularly find Budapest on travel sites’ different compilations. Recently, it was CNN Travel’s list which ranked first the Great Market Hall of the city among the best European markets.
I used to travel a lot with my mum in my childhood and looking back to these travels, I remember the smells, colours and liveliness of the markets from almost all the countries we’ve been to. Later, I took photos too, because I wanted to keep the memories of the colours, faces, interesting food and rare objects we saw for forever. So my love for markets of the world began quite early and lasts even today.
So I was really happy to read a couple of days ago that CNN Travel has made a short compilation of the best markets in Europe, and their list was topped by the Great Market Hall in Budapest. This well-known market was followed by famous ones such as Mercat de San Josep de la Boqueira in Barcelona, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Portobello Road in London and Les Puces in Paris.
Have you ever been to The Great Market Hall? If yes, you must remember that it can be found on the Pest side of the Liberty Bridge. The building itself is a three-story construction that, at the end of the 19th century when it opened, was deemed one of the world's most modern market halls, with state of the art lighting and refrigeration.
Vast and airy, it's been described as a cathedral in iron. There was a canal running through its centre so that barges could deliver fresh produce to the traders. The canal is no longer there, it's been replaced by wide and elegant paths between the stalls. The hall was badly damaged during World War II and was eventually closed and was totally restored only for the mid-1990s. Now, it is one of the city’s greatest attractions where you can spend half of a day like it was only a couple of minutes!
If you arrive here, it is easy to find what you are looking for. There is mostly fresh produce on the ground floor, game, fish and a supermarket in the basement and the best of Hungarian arts and crafts alongside bars, cafes and food stalls on the first floor.
You can also take a guided tour and find your favourite sausage, ham or salami. But if you buy only one thing, CNN Travel suggests you to make it a packet of smoked paprika, which will add more than memories to your cooking at home.
How to get there: Although it’s quicker from the city centre by metro line 3 to Kalvin Ter, then a few minutes’ walk, or metro line 4 directly to Fővám Square, we think that the best way is to take a tram, to see the city as you go. Budapest has more than 30 trams -- it's a great way to travel. Take trams 2, 47 or 49 to the Liberty Bridge then you will see the Great Market Hall. Have fun!
Like and share our article, if you would like to spend some time shopping in this marvellous building.