I have no idea how many times I mentioned how much I love flea markets, but probably a lot, right? Fortunately, Marek shares the same feeling, so everytime we travel to a new place, there’s a good chance that we will miss some “must see” museums, and got to a small flea market instead. I don’t know if we have a no 1 favorite market, it’s probably changing depending on what treasures we find, but we definitely prefer markets with small, private sellers who simply offer what they’ve found in the closet, and not those who sell dozens of the same products. We have our favourite flohmarkts in Berlin, I also think warmly about all the loppis in Stokholm, but it is the markets in Budapest that we know best – since we had quite a lot of time to visit them 🙂 So here we go:
PeCsa fleamarket ( in Varosliget )
Our favorite, most visited. In the amphitheater, in the middle of the Varosliget park. I visitedit also with Paula, during our first visit to Budapest, where we had only less than two days in town – that probably confirms my love for fleamarkets. I remember also that during our first visit there I found some amazing old photos of the beautiful young couple in a boat, probably on Lake Balaton. I still have these photos, it’s one of my favourite fleamarket finds. Marek usually visited this market in search of Lego (of which there are plenty!) and I usually looked through dozens of postcards and old photos. There is also a lady selling pretty cheap embroidered tablecloths (there are a couple of them, but the youngest has the best prices), there are also some stalls with interesting books on folk art and typical Hungarian designs. There were moments when we came to the market every week, so we’ve recognised most exhibitors. Most of them sell the same things each time, but we still liked to spend our mornings there and usually we managed to find some new treasures.
But flea markets in Budapest are not just about rummaging in antiquities, it is also a chance to try typical Hungarian food. In some of them you’ll find the greasy cheese langos, but the most popular is meat – in form of small sausages (virsli) always sold in pairs, or large sausage (kolbász) with mandatory mustard and typical Hungarian bread – thick, white and very fluffy. And of course there are also peppers, big jars with different types of pepper (paprika) cover almost all the counter by the cash register. And although it is the simplest, non-sophisticated foof ever, it seems much more authentic and “typical” than anything you’ll find in some fancy restaurants.
Ecseri flea market
The largest in the city, but nowhere near to the busy city centre. To visit the Ecseri market you’ll need to spend about an hour in different trams and buses. It may seem a bit tricky, but if you go there on a weekend, then there will be probably a group of other tourists in the bus, who knows where to get off. Compared to places such Mauerpark in Berlin, this flea market does not seem to be so big, but once we get into the narrow streets and see how many items are really hidden in every booth, we’ll see that could spend the whole day there. This market is a little “difficult” though, because if we want to find more treasures there, we should really know their prices. It seems that the antiques, porcelain and furniture are offered (especially to tourists) at very high prices. I got there only some little things – like postcards or stamps, and sometimes some embroidered cloths, and I managed to get a good price, similar to that in the Varosliget market. There’s also lots of old vintage clothes and costumes there, furniture and antiques, but as I say, be careful and try to know the prices.
Flea market in Gozsdu Udvar
I guess this one is perfect for a one time visit, later there are usually no surprises. The same number of sellers: and old man with stamps and postcards, younger one with old cameras, especially Polaroids – unfortunately quite overpriced, some people with jewelry, paintings; each weekend everything’s the same. Sometimes we saw a few girls with interesting vintage clothes, and later the BomoArt store started to sell its beautiful stationery products there, which was a nice addition to the market. One visit is enough, although we went there more often, because its location, a popular Gozsdu Udvar, is just heart of the lively 7th district, and if you’re looking for some bars and restaurants, you’ll probably end up somewhere there.
Of course, there are more flea markets in Budapest, but when it comes to some largers ones, the first two exhaust the list. There is also one in Újpest, on the Danube – although we have never been there, sometimes there are small markets together with other events, and there are also some vintage shops in various parts of the city. One of them is Bolhapalota, in the fifth district, but we’ve never found anything interesting there. We liked Tabani Flea Market though, on the Buda side, in the tenth district, small and a bit chaotic, but with nice owner (and his friendly large dog) . To read about other flea markets, or those where I haven’t taken any photos, have a look at this article.