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Weird & Wonderful

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Váci street

Located in Budapest, this wonderful pedestrian-only street runs from Vorosmarty-ter all the way to Vamhaz-korut and the beautiful Market Hall. The pedestrian section used to end at the point where the street is bisected by the Elizabeth Bridge, however, a few years ago a second section was made pedestrian as well. While the first section is lively and popular, the other area emanates more charm. A melange of cafes, fancy shops and boutiques can be found along the street. Among some of its spectacular sights are the remnants of the Medieval Váci gate at Vörösmarty Square and other interesting structures located along Váci utca.

Great Market Hall

Commonly known as the Central Market Hall, this has got to be the grandest and most beautiful market hall in Europe. Opened in 1897, the building—designed by Samu Pecz—underwent a thorough renovation and re-opened for its centenary. It's a massive, airy space filled with bright piles of food. The mezzanine level is crammed with dozens of folk embroidery and souvenir stands, plus a pleasant cafeteria, beer and food stalls. In the basement, you will find fish, pickles (savanyusag) and a supermarket as well as the hallowed Azsia—an international foods store. Be aware that butchers and greengrocers begin packing up their produce as much as an hour before closing.


This is one of the city's most popular patisseries if the lines out the door are anything to go by. Daubner has been crafting some of the best desserts, confectionery and chocolates for over a hundred years as the lucky few tourists who discover this hidden gem soon discover. Choose from an extensive variety of decadent fruit tarts, rich cakes, classic strudels, buttery biscuits and their signature savory bread - pogácsa - in flavors like cheese, potato and pumpkin. Make a trip here to sample their time-tested original recipes and delicious baked goods; you won't regret it!

Herendi - Majolika

Part of the Herendi chain, this shop located on the north side of Vaci utca specializes in village pottery. Their selection includes plates, teapots, jugs, soup bowls and tureens, vegetable dishes, oil pots and egg cups. They are all hand-painted with different village motifs such as grapes and vines. They make great gifts and practical souvenirs.

Andrássy Avenue

Declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, Andrássy Avenue emerges once visitors get past the busy section of Andrassy utca that leads to Oktogon. Huge and beautiful buildings with intricate and ornate facades are separated from the main road by grassy traffic islands reflecting elaborate urban planning. This street was constructed as part of the nation's millennium celebrations in 1896, along with the M1 metro, which runs beneath it. It was inaugurated in 1872 and took twelve years to complete. Since then, it has been renamed several times: first after Prime Minister Andrássy, then it changed to Sztalin utca, and was changed again to 'Avenue of the People's Republic'. Finally, in 1990 it changed back to Andrassy utca; which many had continued calling it all along. Visitors can enjoy a stroll all the way up to Heroes' Square, from where they can catch the M1 back to Vorosmarty. The boulevard features a number of sprawling structures which are a marvel to behold, including the Hungarian State Opera House, the Zoltán Kodály Memorial Museum and Archives and the Ferenc Hopp Museum of East Asian Arts among others. Restaurants, cafes, boutiques and theaters are also located along the avenue.


This bookshop is rather small but nonetheless contains a good variety of quality British fiction. This is also the place to go if you're planning to continue traveling, it stocks Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Time Out, Everyman and other major travel guides to some pretty obscure destinations. There are also cookbooks, children's books and British magazines. The only drawback is that it is relatively expensive. Any title from the U.S. or UK can be ordered free of charge but you may have to wait a month or two for it to arrive. It is open on Sundays.

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