Shopping in Budapest is so tempting you should have an idea of what souvenirs you are looking to take home and where to shop for the best quality Hungarian products. My quest for the perfect hand stitched table cloth.
I began shopping at Central Market the largest indoor market in the capitol. Thousands of vendors sell their delicacies, souvenirs, amazing foods and handmade treasures. While there, I am easily drawn to the wonderful aroma of homemade pastries, unbelievable selection of red and white wines from Hungarian vineyards , spices, paprika, caviar, meats, etc.
Palinka, Unicum, and Paprika
The country is known for Palinka and of course I make my first purchase. I settle on a cherry flavor liquor to serve during the holidays a family tradition, but I also couldn’t resist a bottle of Unicum liquor which will definitely come in handy because it is good for digestion. And of course, don’t leave Budapest without a supply of paprika.
I was so mesmerized – but enough, we start walking to the stairs and climb to the second level. We reach the linen section. Overwhelmed but determined, calculating the correct size in meters and it is not long before we find the perfect cloth. To my disappointment, however, I couldn’t bring myself to pay the asking price. Bargaining was not an option in this market… There must be a code of ethics among vendors.
We soon discovered there was a lot of everything but little of what we wanted. Ok, no tablecloth but I had my Palinka, paprika and pastry.
Finally, My Tablecloth
Choosing to walk down Vaci Utca, a shopping boulevard, was a great choice because I immediately head toward a linen shop.
To make a long story short I left with my gorgeous hand sewn table cloth. There, I was able to negotiate with the shopkeeper and pay part of the purchase in forints and charge the balance. I spent well under the asking price and because I had experienced prices at Central Market I knew I had paid a fair price.
My advice is to save an entire day for shopping.