The Best Independent Bookstores in Budapest

© EliFrancis/Pixabay
© EliFrancis/Pixabay
Photo of Alex Mackintosh
27 June 2017

Bookworms in Budapest won’t be disappointed with its literary offerings: Hungary‘s capital is home to a number of great independent bookstores. Whether you’re looking for English language texts or want to expand your Hungarian repertoire, take a look at our round-up of the best.

Bestsellers

Bookstore, Shop, Store
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Bestsellers bookstore Budapest
Bestsellers bookstore Budapest | Courtesy of Bestsellers
The go-to foreign language bookstore in the city, Bestsellers has been providing local residents and visitors with great literary reads since 1992. Operating both online and through their store in downtown Budapest, they carry a combination of academic and general titles, thanks to the shop’s former function as the bookstore for the Central European University. Staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and if there’s a book you want to read but don’t see in store, they’re happy to order it for you where possible.

Yellow Zebra Bookstore

Bookstore, Shop, Store
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A second-hand English bookstore in central Budapest, Yellow Zebra offers an extensive range of literary titles – the shop is home to over 15,000 books, meaning there’s plenty to choose from. Tucked away behind the Hungarian State Opera House, the bookstore also operates a café in which to relax with a book from the store; a bike rental service; and city tours. Fiction and non-fiction, mystery and crime, romance and young adult…all tastes are catered for, while a kids corner keeps the little ones occupied.

Massolit Books & Café

Cafe, Pastries
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Massolit Books & Café in Budapest
Courtesy of Massolit Books and Café
A café and bookstore popular with locals and students for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious cakes, Massolit is something of an institution in Budapest. Its interior is cosy and welcoming, while the walls are lined with both fiction and non-fiction books to be enjoyed over a coffee (or taken home for later). The bookstore makes an effort to stock titles you may not usually find in Hungary – such as those focused on gender, Jewish studies and progressive politics. There’s also a small outdoor garden to enjoy during the warmer months.

Atlantisz könyvsziget (Atlantisz Book Island)

Bookstore, Shop
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Founded in 1990 alongside the Atlantisz Foundation, this bookstore in Budapest’s 7th district works to promote humanities and social sciences in Hungary. To that end, visitors can find plenty of fascinating reads here covering fields including philosophy, psychology and art theory. There are also a number of fictional titles nestled among the shelves of this two-storey book shop with a cosy, old-world atmosphere.

Írók Boltja

Bookstore, Store
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Located on Budapest’s iconic Andrássy Avenue, this popular bookstore is one of the city’s most renowned and a go-to for Hungarian literature. There are also a number of English titles, covering topics such as travel, architecture and photography. As well as offering a great range of books, the store also holds regular literary events – such as poetry readings, author-reader meetings and more.

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