From wine to tea sets, here are the best Hungarian souvenirs and gifts
Hungary isn’t short on markets or shops, so a spot of shopping alongside all of that sightseeing is probably a good idea. Whether you’re looking for a small keepsake from your wonderful trip or a gift for friends and family back home, here are Hungary’s must-buy items to definitely make room for in your suitcase.
Porcelain manufacture is firmly part of the heritage of Hungary and you’ll find marvellous pieces all over the country. Whether you invest in an entire tea set or simply select one special item to treasure, you are bound to be impressed by the craftmanship. You may even be able to get your hands on some world-renowned Herend porcelain – it’s even thought Princess Diana was a fan.
Tokaji Aszú Wine
From the region of Tokaj, this is one of Hungary’s most famous sweet wines. It’s a full-bodied wine that should be enjoyed with dessert to harness its full potential. Of course, wine is always a great holiday gift, but a bottle of this sweet stuff as a token of your memorable stay in Hungary is sure to be a real winner.
Hungarian folk art takes on many forms, but it is probably best observed in the form of beautiful embroidery. It’s distinctive because of its oversized floral patterns and attention-grabbing bright colours. Tablecloths are a traditional purchase that your loved ones can cherish, but this iconic embroidery can also be found adorning clothing and other textiles, so you can take your pick.
Historically, a spice only grown by aristocracy after it was brought to Hungary via the Balkans, paprika is now a staple of any Hungarian diet. Used to flavour national favourites like goulash soup and Lecsó, Hungarians are more than partial to a bit of spice. It’s a nifty little gift for friends back home as it’s actually useful (unlike many garish fridge magnet souvenirs) and it won’t take up too much room in your luggage. And if you’re really into paprika, the country is home to two dedicated paprika festivals as well as two paprika museums.
Pálinka is a fruit brandy that has been consumed for over 500 years – as a medicine, a digestive and of course, a delicious drink. Available in a variety of different flavours such as apricot, plum and cherry, you are bound to find a fruity flavour to take your fancy. Finish off a meal with a shot of it and if your taste buds are sufficiently satisfied, you can pick up a bottle in a local supermarket to accompany you home.