Budapest is a city made for retail therapy. It’s a shopper’s paradise. Stroll down any street in the 5th, 6th or 7th district, and you’ll find an endless sprawl of local, artisan shops or a grand shopping center or two. There’s nothing quite like shopping in the heart of a city like Budapest after a day of sightseeing — you’ll pass by stunning architecture and famous monuments, and stop in local cafes, bakeries and restaurants to keep you going for your day out. And, by talking to the shopkeepers and shoppers you’ll meet on the street, you’ll quickly turn your shopping trip into a memorable cultural experience. So, if you’re ready to spend a day exploring the shops of Budapest, head over to the most famous shopping streets in the city — from ‘Fashion Street’ to Váci and the Grand Boulevard of Andrássy Avenue.
Wherever you go in Budapest, there’s one stop you can’t miss — Deák Ferenc tér. As the city center, this massive square is where three of the four Budapest metro lines meet, and a tramline hub. The reason for this is easy to see once you step foot on the square itself.
Stand in the middle of the square and you’ll find yourself in a beehive of activity. Shoppers and commuters alike swarm around, while you take in the jaw-dropping sights of Baroque architecture and Old-World charm. Step away from the square, you’ll see Erzsébet tér, a lovely park complete with a giant ferris wheel. Next to it sits Akvárium with its colorful steps, Fröccsterasz looking over the square and the enticing Levendula ice cream shop. It’s no wonder this is the city center.
But, the true allure of Deák Ferenc tér is Fashion Street. Once you’re in the square, you can’t miss the huge, glamorous sign welcoming you into the wide avenue of Váci utca. Ask any Hungarian about Fashion Street, and they will only sing its praises — and to any new visitor, it’s clear why.
Elegant storefronts pop out from stunning Baroque buildings. Names like Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Benetton, Lacoste, and others captivate and draw you inside. This is the home of high-end fashion in Budapest. But, if you’re not into spending all your money on a shopping trip, there’s something here for everyone — Lush, Zara Home, Oysho and Bobbie Brown. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it on Fashion Street.
Walking past the stunning row of shops is like a scene out of a movie, especially in the evening, when the entire street is lit up. Once you’ve had your fill of all the shops, you you’ll arrive at Vörösmarty tér (also served by metro line 1). Named after Mihály Vörösmarty, a poet from the reformation era, the square features his marble statue in the center.
This is also where you’re bound to find seasonal markets at certain times of the year — The Easter & Spring market, as well as the Christmas market are a must-see. They are some of the best times to visit Fashion Street, as the street will be all lit up and decorated. But, even without the markets, it’s a great place to continue your shopping, with H&M, Bershka, Pull&Bear and others waiting for you.
Take a moment to explore Vorosmarty tér, then skip over to the second great shopping area of Budapest — Váci utca. You’ll see it to your left as you enter Vörösmarty tér. At the top of the street, you’ll find Hard Rock Cafe and Gerbeaud Coffee House, both located in gorgeous baroque buildings. Grab a slice of ‘Krémes’ cream pasty from Gerbeaud before you continue shopping, as it’s one of the most famous confectionary shops in Budapest.
Once you start down the cobblestoned street of Váci utca, you’ll notice how grand it really is. Stretching 150 miles from Vörösmarty tér all the way to Fővám tér (transfer point between metro lines 3 and 4), it will take you from the city center to Liberty Bridge and the Great Market. You can literally spend hours shopping on this one street.
You’ll find brand names like Adidas, Pandora, and Clinique, as well as local souvenir shops selling Paprika, handmade rugs and embroidered clothing. Be sure to look up as you walk — this street was popular among the wealthy in the 18th and 19th centuries and many of the building facades above the shops are some of the most beautiful in Budapest. And, if you’re interested in history, look out for the bronze plaque among the cobblestones marking where the great Vaci Gate used to stand on the old Pest City Wall, back when Budapest was a walled city.
From Fashion Street and Váci utca, it’s easy to head over to the third most popular shopping street in Budapest — Andrássy út (avenue). In fact, one of the best ways to explore all three streets, is to start at Fővám tér and walk down Váci utca until you reach Fashion Street. From Deák tér, facing the street, walk left down Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út. You’ll pass by St. Stephen’s Basilica along the way. Soon, you’ll find yourself at a large intersection that opens up into a huge, tree-lined boulevard.
Andrássy is without a doubt one of the most magnificent streets in all of Budapest. Built in the 19th century, it is lined with large trees and charming streetlamps, as well as many historical buildings. Linking Erzsébet tér near St. Stephen’s to Heroes Square and Városliget (City Park), it’s also one of the longest and most important streets in the city. If you’ve done all the shopping you can at Váci and Fashion Streets, stroll down Andrássy just to enjoy the view and take in a bit of history. Home to the Hungarian State Opera House, many embassies and countless Neo Renaissance buildings and statues, Andrassy is a treasure trove for any tourist in Budapest.
In terms of the shops you’ll find, Andrássy takes high-end to the next level — Armani, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton are all here, each with their own captivating shop window. But as with Fashion Street, there’s more on Andrássy than the best names in fashion. You can also find the North Face, Timberland, and local artisan shops.
This is also the best street to shop on if you’re looking to make a day out of it. It’s packed with restaurants and cafes, especially near the Oktogon intersection. Two of the best cafes to stop in are artist Cafe, built in 1896 and Cafe Parisi, a gorgeous gem of Art Nouveau architecture.
Shopping in Budapest is more than just shopping. Each of the three main streets, Fashion Street, Váci and, Andrássy offer a unique cultural experience for any tourist. Strolling along, passing by shop after shop of high-end brands or local treasures, is an opportunity to discover incredible architecture and history that separates Budapest from other European cities. No matter when you visit or what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on the shopping streets of Budapest.
- Where is the best place to shop in Budapest?
- The best place to shop in Budapest is on the famous shopping streets in the city, Fashion Street, Váci and Andrássy Avenue, all located near Deák Ferenc tér.
- Where can you find souvenir shops in Budapest?
- To find souvenir shops in Budapest, go to Váci utca, one of the longest shopping streets in Budapest along with Andrássy Avenue and Fashion Street.
- What’s on Andrassy Avenue?
- Andrássy Avenue offers high-end stores like Armani, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as many cafes and restaurants.
- What is there to see at Vörösmarty tér?
- In Vorosmarty ter, you can see the famous Mihály Vörösmarty statue, as well as the Easter and Christmas markets if you’re visiting at the right time.