Citygraph prints of Budapest
Budapest gets a graphic makeover in these colourful prints from Hungarian artist Béla Magyar. Imagined from a bird’s eye view, the city’s landmarks are all visible – from the Chain Bridge to the Hungarian Parliament Building. Digital prints, posters and t-shirts are all available, with black-and-white renderings alongside more colourful designs created by the artist. As well as being available to purchase online, prints can also be found at fairs in Budapest throughout the year and at the artist’s gallery.
Hungary’s folk arts and crafts are steeped in tradition, and there are few better ways to take a little piece of this back home than by purchasing some handmade Hungarian embroidery. The Great Market Hall is a good place to go to find handcrafted designs at reasonable prices; alternatively, take a walk along the pedestrianized Váci útca, which is lined with shops selling Hungarian souvenirs.
Popular at markets around Christmas and Easter, hand-decorated gingerbread cookies are a traditional Hungarian souvenir that are easy to find, and take up little to no luggage space. From colourful folk-inspired designs to simpler white pipework, these handmade mementos aren’t only available at seasonal fairs, but in stores across the city: the Great Market Hall, Váci utca and Memories of Hungary all stock them.
Creating hand-painted porcelain jewelry that combines traditional patterns with modern designs, family business Zema crafts unique pieces which make for great souvenirs. Rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets are made from porcelain by hand, before being decorated with patterns from a number of artistic styles: Art Nouveau and Baroque designs are two of those used.
Typically found around springtime, painted eggs are a Hungarian Easter tradition (although they’re also available throughout the year). Brightly decorated with motifs common in folk art, they can be purchased at the Spring Fair in downtown Budapest’s Vörösmarty tér , or at souvenir stores across the city year-round.
Combining traditional Hungarian folk art with modern designs, Matyodesign was born from a desire to keep the culture of the Matyó community (found in northeastern Hungary) alive and relevant in today’s world. Working to boost the economy of the area, through employing local seamstresses, the company creates unique, handmade clothing and accessories embroidered with traditional Matyó patterns and motifs. These can be found online, and at a number of stores throughout Budapest: the brand’s store locator has a full list.
Quintessentially Hungarian, Herend is known for its hand-decorated porcelain products, produced in the eponymous town of Herend since the company’s creation in 1826. Traditional methods of production remain in use, and Herend porcelain has become a luxurious handmade souvenir for visitors looking for something truly special to take home. There are a number of stockists in Budapest; a full list can be found here.
Printa Design Shop
An eco-friendly design shop, this is a great place to find a slightly more unique handmade souvenir. Environmentally friendly materials are used in the creation of the small range of Budapest mementos, which include notebooks, tote bags and prints. Silk-screen printing is the chosen technique to create the patterns that adorn the range of objects, which are available online and in store.
Traditional food and drink
To take a taste of Hungary back home, there’s no better place to go than one of Budapest’s numerous market halls, home to a wide array of culinary delights. From the iconic Great Market Hall to the smaller Hold utca Market, vendors sell homemade goods such as kolbasz (a traditional Hungarian sausage) and wine, making for brilliant handmade souvenirs of the country’s foodie scene.
The Hungarian Secret Box
Beautifully painted and hand-carved, these intricate wooden boxes are more than simply a place to store jewelry or trinkets: the Hungarian secret box can only be opened by those who know how, with a combination of hidden panels and locks guarding its contents. They can be found in a number of souvenir stores, but the Great Market Hall is one of the best places to find them.
Created according to traditional methods, Vass Shoes have gained a reputation as one of the places to go in Budapest for quality, handmade men’s shoes. The company was founded by László Vass, and has gained a reputation around the world as a reliable place to get high quality footwear. However, nothing beats buying them from the man himself; his shop can be found in downtown Budapest, and while the price point is definitely investment rather than impulse, they’re a luxurious and long-lasting souvenir from the city.
Hungary is known for a number of traditional arts and crafts; one of these is the time honored art of lace-making. Beautifully patterned and embroidered Hungarian lace is an authentic memento from a trip to the country – from intricate stamp-sized pieces to larger, colourfully decorated works.