Wander the market to work up an appetite, then head to make and eat your own Hungarian meal at the Chefparade Cooking School
Built at the end of the 19th century, this has long been Budapest’s biggest market, and one beloved by locals. However, since its renovation for the millecentenary celebrations in 1996 it has become a popular tourist destination too. There are four other markets like this in Budapest, all built in the same style though none as large as the Great Market Hall. The exterior reflects a Gothic style studded with Hungarian ornaments, including the famous Zsolnay ceramic roof tiles. All five buildings opened on the same day, on February 15th 1897.
One up, one down
There are several floors to explore. The ground floor offers endless rows of sausages, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables; a riot of noise and colour as vendors flog their wares. On the 1st floor you will find Hungarian folk costumes, dolls, chessboards and hunting knives — a huge selection to pick the perfect souvenirs from. Downstairs in the basement there is a fish market, where you can goggle at some bug-eyed catch.
Take your pick
The market holds an abundance of Hungarian delicacies, from potted foie gras, to garlands of dried paprika, and a bear-sized honey collection. On the first floor there are dozens of food stands where you can buy some nibbles and a cold beer. Try lángos, a sheet of fried dough smothered with sour cream and cheese, or palacsinta, a thick crépe filled with meat, onion and paprika, or walnuts, raisins and dark chocolate sauce. You’ll be spoiled for choice.
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