- Stacey Shevlin
Budapest Shopping Guide
Budapest has pretty much everything you could need or want in the many, many shops. There are specialty shops as well as giant department stores, and even an Ikea on the outskirts of the city.
As with each month of travel, when we arrive I head out to find our supplies. In the tech article, I talked about going to Vodafone to get our SIM cards for our phone.
After I get our phones up and working, I hit the Rossman – the drug store chain similar to a CVS or Rite Aid back home. They have all of the standard toiletries you may need. DM is another chain that has a section for these products. There are also a bunch of Bio shops – which have all natural products – we use natural toothpaste and deodorant, so that’s the spot to hit for those items.
Groceries were also very easy to find. There are grocery stores every few blocks all over the center of the city. SPAR was our local, they have a small selection, but enough to get you through. I did some shopping at the Bio shops which are a bit more spread out, and harder to find. There’s an amazing shop called Culinaris – there are a few, we went to the one at Budapest, Balassi Bálint u. 7, 1055 Hungary.
This is really the place to shop if you are trying to make a nice meal. They have a deli counter with cheese and meats. A small but varied produce section. They carry things like fresh miso, udon noodles, frank’s hot sauce, a variety of Italian dry goods, they have a Thai and Indian section, it’s really an oasis. It is on the pricier side, but to get your specialty items it’s perfect.
There are of course the farmers’ markets. Ranging from a few stands in a local building, to an entire complex set aside just for the market. You can get fresh produce of all varieties. Dave got sick a week into our trip, so I really didn’t cook much in Budapest, and eating in restaurants is so affordable it makes it hard to stay in when you can just go out.
Our apartment had the strangest, floppy cotton filled pillows… tiny little squares… not suitable for a good night's rest. I set out to buy some of my own when I discovered that apparently in Budapest no one sells pillows. I searched high and low… went to the mall AHHHH the mall. It was HUGE. I hit all of the home goods stores, including H&M home and Zara home… no luck. I asked at the information booth, the kind man told me that they really don’t sell pillows, he had tried as well many times.
I had come across a very high-end bedding store in my own neighborhood, but I was looking at around $100 USD for one pillow and that just wasn’t practical, considering I was going to have to leave the pillows behind in Budapest. It was looking like I had to take a trip out to the good old IKEA where I knew they’d have any and everything I might possibly need. The IKEA is located at Budapest, Örs vezér tere 22, 1148 and was about a 40-minute commute by PT. I love IKEA … you know exactly what you are going to get. You know exactly where to find it and exactly what it’s gonna cost. I found my pillows and shams and was on my way.
CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
I did not do any shopping for clothing or accessories – as I am over capacity on weight in my suitcase, and anything new means sacrificing something I brought with me… and I am not there yet. I can tell you that they have tons of little boutique type stores and all of the major brands you’d find in any large city. There is a large mall called West End Mall, and it is one of the largest malls I have ever been in.. If you need something they have it…try there.