Top 5 souvenirs of Hungary
However, for the determined shopper, there are always lots of great items to buy in Hungary, from high fashion creations to the perfect souvenir. Here are some ideas:
These are the long hanging rolls of salami, made famous by the Pick company of Szeged. There are lots of different types with different flavours and levels of spice, but winter salami is a good soft introduction that everyone will enjoy. If transported and kept unopened, it will last a long time. One piece of advice is to pop into the Pick shop opposite the Parliament, or simply keep an eye open behind the deli counter in any supermarket. The price may be a little lower than in the souvenir shops!
This strongly alcoholic drink has been a home-made brew across the country since the Middle Ages and can be tasted and purchased in many bars across Budapest. It is made with local fruits, like pear, peach and plum, though honeyed variants are not uncommon. Similarly to wine, the time period and method of ageing is important to the quality, so the names Kisüsti, érlelt (aged), Ó (old) and ágyas (lit. bedside) denote increasing quality.
Another favourite take-home item is the wine grown from grapes basking in Hungary's great climate. Two types are particularly popular: Bull's Blood of Eger, the strong red wine drunk to fortify the inhabitants of the Northern town of Eger during the Turkish siege, and Tokaji, a dessert wine, that is to say, a sweet, white wine with relatively high alcohol content, originating in just one region, Tokaj.
Of course not all souvenirs are meant to be consumed. Hungary has some other fine products, such as the lacework of Halas, the beautiful porcelain works from towns like Herend and Kalócsa, where the folk art in general is both famous and unique.
Art or Antiques
For those with expensive tastes and plenty of funds to go with it, there are some excellent opportunities in Hungary. In fact, one particular shop in Budapest, Falk Miksa utca, is well known for being crammed with antiques shops of all ilks and levels, interspersed with art galleries, where one can view and purchase fine quality works, by famous Hungarian artists.