shopping@ruin bar, great market, slow design week, art nouveau house
Budapest is my dream capital come true. It has style. It has global-modern flair, yet isn’t a clone of repetitive European stores. It is fresh, individual and avant-garde, showing off a free spirited atmosphere, wonderfully framed by historical buildings. Just by walking through the city, you will breath in trends, fashion and mania.
Add the overall tourist friendly pricing and Budapest will be on your must-do-before-I-die-list.
Budapest has shops of the world-known brands, which are mainly to be found in malls, Vörösmarty square, Fashion Street and Andrássy Avenue. But that is not why you are going to Budapest. You are going to get a richer piece of the shopping capital by looking out for trendy showrooms, designer and vintage stores with creaky floors, markets and next-generation pop-up places. You will go crazy seeing what Budapest has to offer – like me!
I will give you a bit of everything in this post – which is still only a fraction of what I love about this special city. Or, at least that’s what I would have liked to do but there is no way it was going to fit into one post.
So let’s stay focused – my absolute weakness as Tomek says, then usually hugs me, sometimes kisses and… I have forgotten what I was going to write about. Ah yes, shopping.
SZIMPLA SUNDAY FARMER’S MARKET & RUIN BAR
The oldest ruin bar in Budapest with an expected shabby look but inviting aura and good night life. Also the craziest of all markets during daylight with healthy food every Sunday.
Location: Szimpla Kert, Kazinczy utca 14, Budapest 1073. Admission is free.
There are a crapload (mean it) of rooms to chill, counters to get drinks, cool decorations and interactive stuff to play with at night.
Moving on to the next bar/food counter.
The whole place looks like it was designed by a handful of local artists…
…that raided a thrift store and went crazy.
The atmosphere of the market was happy with friendly farmers explaining their produce.
You want to bring your own chair and hang it up? That’s fine.
Farm-fresh, home-grown products are part of the market’s healthy food agenda. I tried some honey melon and almost bought that neglected cupboard out of pity. We talked to the nice women on the picture, a local farmer’s daughter, who explained the secrets of her zucchini sauce to us. It was the best ready made pasta sauce I had.
We really got stuck at the honey stand and the honey dispensers. We had a bit of dandelion, sunflower, honeysuckle, and rape honey. In the end we bought 1kg of smooth and sweet acacia honey.
Trying rape honey is a sweet thing, really.
You can munch on healthy home-made pastries, fresh goat cheese, honey, sausages, salamis, seasonal fruits and vegetables and get wasted at night.
GREAT MARKET HALL
A palace from outside, Budapest’s largest indoor market inside, this is the most frequented target of locals and tourists alike, the latter hunting for folklore treasures. Unfortunately it is closed on Sunday, that’s when we passed it, but I read that it is worth to visit for the traditional black pudding and famous for its fresh culinary ingredients.
Location: 1093 Budapest, Vámház körút 1-3
SLOW DESIGN at DESIGN TERMINÁL
Because Budapest never sleeps, there is always some great city theme going on. During our stay it was the Stylewalker-Night (did that!) and Design Week, which we largely missed due to our trip to Barcelona. But we managed to attend the festival’s opening exhibition at Design Terminál.
Location: Erzsébet tér 13, Budapest 1051. Admission is free.
Design Week was all about the concept of Slow Design, trying to slow down and filling life with content and profundity. It also raised the question of sustainability and the long term impacts of design.
We saw 80 creations from 12 countries that offered an individualist response to urging social, economic and ecological issues.
Economic and flat- credit card cutlery.
Recycled tyre flip flops is a good idea. The collar with an integrated head airbag is just awesome. It detects abnormal movements of the cyclist through sensors and activates protecting head and neck. I want one (and then a bike).
Recycled paper carton DIY dolls house.
Sometimes design goes wrong. No biggie. The neatly designed hands-cutlery makes up for scary monster dress.
“On the rocks.” Literally.
During Design Week one was able to participate in workshops, try out some gastro places (we tested trendy Fruccola), visit hidden treasures of the city and local designers (even at home). With the Slow Design booklet in hand, you could read about talented Hungarians and worthwhile places, which were promoted through picture-descriptions, as well as generously attached discount vouchers. Very cool. Maybe I will return for next years Design Week.
Liked their motto: Live a life of quality!
HOUSE OF HUNGARIAN ART NOUVEAU
This building is a museum but a shop but a flee market but a café. You decide. Definitely different and for Belle Époque fanatics like me a must see. Location: Honvéd utca 3, Budapest 1054. Admission is 1200 Ft.
I come from a family of collectors and antique lovers, so it felt a bit like habitually strolling through an antique flee-market with my parents on the weekends in Cologne, or truthfully, like walking through our home. Grandma used to call out flat ‘theatre‘. Should’ve taken admission.
At the House of Art Nouveau, furniture, paintings, sculptures, jewellery and lamps, are really just cramped into three floors. It’s not a museum.
There are no signs nor explanations about the period of art nouveau, nor about any of the pieces of furniture or art work. If you want to learn about Hungarian art nouveau masters you gotta do your homework at home. Most of the stuff is of German, Belgian and Austrian origin.
The flee market atmosphere is enhanced due to the fact that you can buy ‘exhibits’– just look at attached price tags.
Actually half of the building was for sale! I can well imagine myself living here and creating another ‘theatre-home’.
The two items I liked most were not for sale.
Cameo-style brooches, exactly the things I love to have but never wear.
That is the art nouveau mind.
A real treasure. This German picture book titled “Die Berliner Pflanze”, referring to young promiscuous girls, showed hilarious scenes from the beginning of the 20th century, such as indiscriminate thoughts of immoral libertine love and prostitution in Berlin.
Visit the loo for a complete art nouveau experience.
The entrance is pricey for what you get. You can enter and have a look around at the café area for free. I would say, just go and have a coffee but I can’t recommend the café. Our hot chocolate arrived cold, coffee was below average and the one girl operating it, had forgotten the biscuit I ordered (not a big deal).
The whole place looks more like someone’s private home, who decided to make an exhibition out of his furniture.
For flea market aficionados, Hungarian antiquities can be found at ECSERI MARKET. I liked to go but it operates between 7 and 12 pm – mission impossible for a sleepyhead like me.
Location: Nagykőrösi út 156, Budapest 1194. Admission is free.