Hungary – a great destination for those who are planning a trip to travel to Europe! A nation where you will have the opportunity to explore the long history of the capital city of Budapest with many historical sites, unparalleled architectural works, the vast lake Balaton with beautiful scenery, enjoy a rich cuisine and you also can choose the best gifts to bring back for your friends, loved ones or relatives. Souvenirs are a great way to celebrate a great trip, and even more so when they’re only available locally where you set foot in. Fortunately, Hungary boasts a lot of such unique products, souvenirs and gifts from specialties, drinks, even arts. So, what souvenirs to buy in Hungary, what to buy in Hungary and what things to buy in Hungary? Let’s check out our suggested 15+ meaningful and best gifts from Hungary top souvenirs from Hungary to bring back home as well as best places to buy them to find out the answer! Now, let’s joining Living Nomads to explore the unique Hungarian souvenirs.
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Not only is a country full of confidence and development in Eastern Europe, Hungary is also a country with the Europe’s longest history. This country is one of the world-famous and underrated tourist destinations, an Europen hidden gem thanks to its beautiful landscapes, ancient architectural works and a long history and culture.
What to buy in Hungary: Pálinka
A traditional Hungarian fruit spirit (or fruit brandy), this drink is a protected GI product by the European Commission which means you can only buy real Pálinka in Hungary and in the four Austrian provinces. It’s made from fruits like plums, pears, and apricots, its alcohol content typically ranges from 37% to 86%. It often loved as an apéritif, some people also find it to have health benefits such as aiding digestion.
“Pálinkás jó reggelt!” in Hungarian means “Good morning with pálinka!”. It’s a Hungarian greeting for a brand new day. Pálinka is a traditional fruit alcoholic beverage in many large lowland countries of Central Europe with many different names and dates back to the Middle Ages. In Hungary, Pálinka is distilled from plums, pears, lychees, apples, sour cherries or grapes and aged in large oak barrels. The alcohol content of this fruit brandy usually ranges between 37% and 86%.
In Budapest capital, Abszolut Pálinka bar (Address: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 52, 1075 Hungary) in the Jewish district has a wide variety of pálinkas to sipping. Also, Magyar Pálinka Háza (House of Hungarian Palinka) (Address: Budapest, Rákóczi út 17, 1088 Hungary/Hours: 9AM–7PM; Sunday: Closed) is another great shop selling various varieties of this popular drink.
Best gifts from Hungary: Hungarian Sweet Paprika Powder (Sweet Chili Powder)
Although paprika (chili powder) is a common spice available around the world, Hungary has a number of its own varieties of chili peppers that are used in traditional recipes across the country. Paprika is one of them. Paprika is a spice that made from dried then ground Hungarian red peppers. Paprika first came to Hungary with the Turks in the 1500s – 1600s, and has since become the most popular spice in the country. Today, Hungary is a large-scale producer of paprika. The towns of Kalocsa and Szeged are the main paprika-producing places. However, Hungarian paprika with the distinctive red color can be found almost anywhere. In the The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall in Budapest, beautifully packaged paprika makes them as great gifts.
Although paprika is a popular spice available all over the world, but Hungarian paprika is unique because of its special sweetness than any paprika grown elsewhere. Paprika is a finely ground, sun-dried dark red chili pepper. The spiciness of paprika ranges from mildly sweet to medium and hot, depending on the variety. Paprika is also has bright red to dark brown in color. Note that not all red peppers are the hottest and only orange-brown chili powder will make you burn in your mouth.
Hungarian paprika has a sweeter taste than other paprikas. The Great Market Hall in Budapest (Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary/Hours: 6AM–6PM; Sunday: Closed) is a great place to buy these delicious paprika.
What souvenirs to buy in Hungary: Handidrafts and souvenirs
The streets in the neighborhood around St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika) are home to shops for unique Hungarian products. Here you’ll find FeltWorks pillows and bags, beaded necklaces, handmade chocolate bars and galore postcards.
In the areas of The Central Market and Great Hall are good places for you to choose souvenirs with stable prices, not too expensive with leather goods, garments with folk motifs, Christmas decorations, Rubik’s cubes or toys and much more that you can find here.
In addition, you can also buy refrigerator magnets, keychains, postcards as Hungarian souvenirs.
Cool souvenirs from Hungary: Budapest’s canned air
An interesting souvenir that can only be found in Budapest, Air From Budapest is exactly what it says on its tin can. The fresh air from Hungary’s capital is packed in a simple yet stylish packaging, with touches of Budapest’s famous buildings and a variety of colors. This quirky keepsake can be found at a variety of stores across the city, and is a great way to bring a little something of Budapest back home with you.
Best gifts from Hungary: Food and drink
Hungary is a great place to buy gifts of foods and drinks such as spicy sausages, hot dogs, canned foie gras or caviar…
The best quality sausages come from Szeged in the south of Hungary.
Caviar is also relatively inexpensive, which is also a favorite gift of tourists when visiting Hungary. With savory taste, premium quality and value for money, Hungarian caviar is a worthy gift in your suitcase before leaving Hungary.
The Budapest markets are great places to buy food and other local specialties, the best of which is the large Central Market Hall in central Pest, which features food and fresh produce downstairs and handicrafts upstairs.
Matyó embroidery products
The Matyó is an ethnic group of Hungary. The Matyó people reside in a land in Northern Hungary, called “Matyó Land”. It includes the town of Mezőkövesd and its environs. Matyó is known for its unique embroidery style and colorful products that attract tourists.
Located in northern Hungary, the Matyó region is known for its unique, colorful tapestries. Recognized a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012, it is characterized by floral motifs, patterns common in the folk art of the region. Head to the area to find authentic Matyó embroidery products to take home as a keepsake. The town of Mezökövesd brings a fascinating insight into the traditional way of life, with traditional and old Matyó houses in which traditional arts and crafts are displayed inside.
Best gifts from Hungary: Tokaji Aszu
Hungary boasts a rich wine culture. When it comes to wine, Tokaji Aszú is the best, the world’s oldest sweet wine. A sweet wine from the Tokaj region in northern Hungary, it was once favored by royalty. Today it is a great souvenir from Hungary, which you can buy from Istvan Szepsy Aszu 6 Puttonyos, one of the top 5 Tokaj wines.
Tokaji Aszú is a wonderfully sweet wine and is celebrated as the “king of wine” of all kinds of Hungary. The balance between sweetness and acidity in the wine will be what attracts any visitor when sipping. The aroma of the wine lingers to create a unique beauty for the sweet wine of this country.
Top souvenirs from Hungary: Mangalica Sausage
Made from finely grinding lard and meat of the Hungarian Mangalica pork, Mangalica salami is a special flavored cured smoked spicy sausage that contains the specialty Hungarian paprika as an ingredient. Produced locally, it’s an authentic Hungarian dish, the cuisine symbol of the country. The Great Market Hall in Budapest as mentioned above is a good place to find it, the famous salami company SC Pick Szeged also produces a limited line of Mangalica products.
Mangalica salami is a thick and flavorful sausage made from fermented and dried Hungarian Mangalica pork. This is considered an authentic Hungarian snack and is iconic for the country. For a long time, sausages are a traditional export of Hungary and until now, tourists come here often buy sausages as a typical gift of this land.
Hungary has more than 20 regional wines, including a blended red wine Bikavér from Eger and Tokaji Aszú stocked in long-necked bottles. This is a good gift. Pálinka (fruit wine) – as mentioned above is also a special brandy from the town of Kecskemét – is also very popular.
Top souvenirs from Hungary: Tisza Shoes
Founded in 1942 and named after Hungary’s Tisza River, this Hungarian footwear brand began producing its iconic sneakers and sports shoes in the early 1970s. Adorned with a stylized trademark “T”, Tisza shoes were very popular in the past, but production gradually slowed down. In 2003, the brand was revived and today it is an icon of contemporary Hungarian style. They can only be purchased within Hungary itself, at one of the six Tisza Shoe stores nationwide, or online through the Tisza Cipö website.
Years ago, the Tisza was the perfect gym shoe and a famous, iconic product of the Hungarian communist era. These “T” branded shoes were created in the early 1970s, some of the styles from that era are still alive today and have been updated to match modern trends. All Tisza products are manufactured and handcrafted from the finest materials.
Top souvenirs from Hungary: Confectionery from Szamos
Founded in 1935 by Mátyás Szamos, this Hungarian confectionery is famous for its marzipan products, including chocolate-coated candies, and the brand’s most iconic design: The marzipan in the shape of a heart. In addition to bringing home souvenirs from this traditional confectionery with various stores around the country, there is also the Chocolate Museum and the Marzipan Museum for visitors to visit, for those who want to learn more about its history.
Where to buy?
In Hungary, you will find shopping malls in Budapest that are open on weekdays. Opening hours from 10am to 6pm or 7pm, Monday to Friday. Only on Saturday, open from 10am to 1pm.
Food stores will open from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday from 7am to 1pm. Some malls even opening on Sundays.
Falk Miksa Utca
Falk Miksa Utca is the ideal place to shop for Hungarian antiques. This neighborhood has many green trees with shops specializing in antiques. You can refer to some antique shops and galleries such as:
- Nagyházi Gallery and Auction House (Address: Budapest, Balaton u. 8, 1055 Hungary/Hours: 10AM–6PM; Saturday: 10AM–2PM; Sunday: Closed): A shop specializing in outdoor figurines, chandeliers and furniture.
- Kieselbach Gallery, shop and Auction House (Address: Budapest, Szent István krt. 5, 1055 Hungary/Hours: 10AM–6PM; Saturday; Sunday: Closed): Specializing in selling all kinds of paintings with all kinds of materials. In particular, this place is also the place where regular auctions of paintings are held.
- Darius Antique store (Address: Falk Miksa u. 24-26, 1054 Hungary/Hours: 10AM–6PM; Saturday: 10AM–1PM; Sunday: Closed): If you want to buy furniture, weapons, 19th century paintings and carpets.
This shopping place in Budapest specializes in selling embroidery paintings, folk art works from felt, wool, yarn, clay, glass, ceramics… The attraction of the works at Master Porta that’s pasting the creator’s name on the products themselves. Coming to Master Porta, visitors can choose for themselves art paintings, ceramic or glass vases at reasonable prices.
This value porcelain shopping chain in Budapest specializes in ornaments, porcelain, small figurines and more. This brand was established in 1826 and especially the Herend Porcelain’s products were used by Queen Victoria of England. Products at Herend Porcelain are often displayed at the great fair in St. Louis in the United States and Petersburg in Russia.
Address: Budapest, Dohány u. 20, 1074 Hungary
If you are looking for a place to shop in Budapest to choose for yourself bold Hungarian costumes or vintage style, then Szputnyik shop is the ideal place that you should not miss. The store’s name is named after the novel “Sputnik Sweetheart” by Japanese famous writer Haruki Murakami. This place not only sells dynamic retro style costumes, but also sells backpacks, bags, watches, eyewear…
Ecseri Flea Market
Address: Budapest, Nagykőrösi út 156, 1194 Hungary
Hours: 8AM–4PM; Saturday: 6AM–2PM; Sunday: 9:30AM–1PM
Cheap shopping in Budapest can not be missed the Ecseri flea market with the largest scale in this city. From the center of Budapest to Ecseri flea market takes about 40 minutes by car. Coming to this flea market, visitors will be able to shop for antiques such as old books, antique cameras, old jewelry… Ecseri Flea Market is a great place to shop for authentic Hungarian souvenirs, gifts.
Andrássy Út is a large avenue, with many museums and villas, one of the Budapest’s most expensive, bustling streets. Visiting this famous shopping street, visitors will be able to choose fashion items, cosmetics, bags, shoes, luxury perfumes… from top brands in the world such as: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Chanel…
With luxury handbags, watches, and shoes stores, you can choose to bring them home as gifts for relatives and friends.
The Great Market Hall (Central Market Hall, Market Hall I)
Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
Hours: 6AM–6PM/Saturday: 6AM–3PM/Sunday: Closed
The Great Market Hall is the largest market in Budapest, selling all kinds of goods for visitors to enjoy shopping. This market was built in the 19th century with unique architecture and has become the leading place to visit and shop in Budapest.
Coming to Great Market Hall, visitors will be able to shop for all kinds of products from souvenirs to fruits, vegetables, fish, meat… The lower floor area of the market sells food, the upper floor is the gift and souvenir area. In particular, coming to this market, visitors will be able to buy Hungarian specialty paprika chili powder as gifts. Hungarian paprika has a sweeter flavor than other chili powders and is cheap.
Budapest’s Antique Row
Antique Row Budapest is the hidden gem of downtown budapest, where has many shops selling trinkets, furniture, jewelry, glassware… giving you a lot to choose from.
St. Stephen’s Square
The streets in the area of St. Stephan’s Cathedral are home to shops for unique Hungarian produce. Here you’ll find feltwork pillows and bags, beaded necklaces, handmade chocolate bars, and galore postcards…
Hungarian shopping tips
Here are some shopping tips in Budapest in particular and Hungary in general that you can refer to to choose for yourself suitable, quality gifts at good prices:
- Should determine in advance about the types of items, souvenirs you want to buy to find the right places to shop. This way, you will not spend much time traveling and save travel costs.
- Even though the products on sale have list prices, you can still pay a lower price, especially when buying in bulk.
- Check product quality before buying to avoid buying poor quality products, especially at markets.
- Depending on the cost, you should choose a suitable shopping places for yourself. If your budget is quite comfortable, you can choose large shopping malls and centers, and if not so, you can go to popular markets.
- Personal property should be carefully kept, especially in crowded markets.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Budapest you can refer to
- Budapest Day Tour from Vienna
- Private Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport (BUD) Transfers for Budapest
- Budapest City Card
- Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
- Széchenyi Spa Fast Track Ticket
- Dinner and Cruise with Live Music on Danube River in Budapest
- Budapest Walking Tour and Danube River Night Cruise
- Lunch and Cruise on Danube River in Budapest
- Danube River Cruise with Drinks in Budapest
- Morning or Afternoon Sightseeing Cruise on Danube River in Budapest
- Budapest Day Tour from Vienna