Michele & Marta
of the coolest things to do in Budapest is to spend a few hours in the huge
Central Market. Kathy and I visited it twice during our visit to Hungary and
probably could have spent even more time there if we had the opportunity, in
fact we tried to visit a third time with Marta and Michele, but it happened to
be after the 3 PM Saturday closing time and we unfortunately missed out.
Great Market Hall is located just on the Pest side of the Danube at the Liberty
Bridge, it is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest and was first
opened in 1897. The market is at the end of the famous pedestrian walking
street Vaci Ut and it attracts thousands of ordinary citizens and tourists
alike each day.
market offers a huge variety of stalls on three floors. The entrance gate is in
the neogothic style and when the roof was restored in 1991 a distinctive
architectural feature of Zsolnay tiling was added. The building is 10,000
square meters, which is covered by steel structure that towers over the three
levels of stalls. During the World Wars it was completely damaged and then
closed for some years. Throughout the 1990s restoration works brought back the
market to its ancient splendor. Te building was awarded with FIABCI Prix
d’Excellence in 1999. The Central Market Hall is one of the most popular
tourist attractions of the city.
of the stalls on the ground floor offer produce, meats, pastries, candies,
spices, and spirits such as paprika, tokaji, palinka, túró rudi, and caviar.
The second floor has mainly eateries and souvenirs. Kathy and I made a visit to
the lángos stand, which famed travel writer Rick Steves considers to be the best
at the market. The deep-fried snack lángos is something like an elephant ear
except they add all manner of sweet or savory toppings, creating unique and
basement contains a supermarket, fish market, and pickles. Not only do they
have traditional cucumber pickles, but they also offer pickled cauliflower,
cabbage, beets, tomatoes, and garlic. We spent a lot of time perusing the
second level and the many souvenir vendors and had great visits to the Market.
place we visited on more than one occasion is the beautiful St. Stephen’s
Basilica. The second tallest building in Budapest ( Budapest has a regulation
limiting buildings from being any taller than 96 meters – which is the height
of both the Basilica and the Parliament building), the Basilica is a popular tourist
attraction and yet still an active church of the Roman Catholic faith.
Michele & Marta
though we are not particularly religious, one cannot help but to be impressed
by the building both inside and out. The building actually contains the
religious relic of St. Stephen who was the first king of Hungary as his
supposedly incorruptible right hand can still be seen in a special display case
in the church.
enjoyed a delightful dinner all together at Rezkakas restaurant near the
Basilica and enjoyed the live gypsy band that once again had Marta singing
along to old Hungarian standards. It was quite a lively evening as we enjoyed
the yummy and strong Hungarian “digestif” liquor Palinka.