Open-air markets selling temptingly-fragrant, fresh-from-the-farm produce standing side-by-side with mammoth shopping malls bursting with the very best designer fashion items. As with outdoor and indoor bathing, Hungary likes to mix and match its pleasures.
There's a plethora of traditional products on offer, from folk embroidery to porcelain, and from goose feather duvets to salami, but be aware that while shopping in Budapest tends to be cheaper than other parts of Europe or North America, branded shoes, clothes and jewellery may not offer many bargains.
If you are looking for typically Hungarian goods or souvenirs, try to buy direct from a factory outlet to avoid the sizeable mark-ups of many tourist shops and remember that in smaller stores, cash is still king.
While the city’s Central Market allows you to browse your way through the very best food products and crafts on offer in Budapest, the key haunts of all serious shoppers remain the Váci Utca and the Nagy Körút.
For travellers with provenance in mind, a trip to the Ecseri Flea Market is recommended, while Falk Miksa utca in Pest has become a centre for intriguing antique shops.
You're likely to see signs advertising small shops in the courtyards (udvar) of residential blocks and while at least some of them will be offering little more than cheap toys, dodgy fashions and trinkets, others may be an Aladdin’s Cave of unique souvenirs and truly interesting local gifts.