Name: Central Market
Category: Architecture, castles and historic districts
Location: 1093 Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3.
Opening hours: Mondays: 6am - 5pm, Tuesday - Friday: 6am - 6pm, Saturdays: 6am - 3pm, Sundays: Closed
Continuing up Váci Street, we finally reach the everbuzzing Budapest Central Market Hall with its incredible variety of quality foods. Encompassed within a building more than 100 years old, the market with its paprika garlands, strings of garlic, the fruits, vegetables, and on the first floor the flower-sellers and snack bars offering true tastes of Hungary create a kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, aromas, sights.
Typical Hungarian merchandise, for instance the world famous Tokaj Aszú, is to be found in the market. The remarkable bouquet of the “Wine of Kings, King of Wines” is given by the grapes being left on the vine to shrivel in the sun, during which process they sweeten and wither. The number of puttony (panniers) which go into a barrel gives the Aszú’s puttony number, and the more puttony, the sweeter (and more expensive) the wine is. It’s important to note that it is a dessert wine, ideal served with cakes and sweet dishes. Tokaj Szamorodni and Furmint come in sweet and dry versions. Unicum is one of the top bitters spirits in the world. Its absolutely unique flavour derives from a secret blend of aromatic herbs. Apricot and plum brandies faithfully preserve the scent and flavour of the fruits they are distilled from. Whether marketed tinned or in an earthenware pot, Hungarian goose liver is excellent, and Herz and Pick salamis are similarly “hungaricum” products!
You will surely enjoy walking around and experiencing local life. The outside, with its neo-gothic towers, its roofs covered with majolic from Zsolnay, is quite attractive. On the ground floor, underneath the large metal hall, you will find fruit and vegetables, garlands of the famous paprika, some local drinks such as the famous apricot brandy (barackpálinka) or the liqueur Unicum. On the first floor: bars, fast food, craftwork, Hungarian wines and embroidered table linen.
Good to know about the Great market Hall
- After the unification of Buda and Pest in 1873, the city begun to expand rapidly
- The unorganized outdoor markets were insufficent in supplying the increasing number of inhabitants with fresh products
- The city council commissioned 5 covered market halls with modern lighting and refrigeration
- Construction of the Great Market Hall began in 1894 and finished in 1897; few days before the original handover day (in 1886) the roof burnt down and had to be rebuilt
- It was one of the most modern market halls of its time
- Originally vendors used an indoor channel system to bring in their products; it is no longer used
- The Hall was reconstructed between 1991-94 when beautiful Zsolnay tiles were installed on the roof
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