Photo: © ChiccoDodiFC
If you’re after a unique vintage piece, Buda’s bustling second-hand scene offers shoppers an eclectic mix of the striking, the wonderful and the bizarre.
If DIY, upcycling, or snagging a bargain sounds like your thing, Buda offers abundant vintage loot, and is home to several underground boutiques and bustling flea markets guaranteed to overwhelm even the most experienced of shoppers. From the bold to the beautiful, here is our guide to Budapest’s best-kept ‘vintage’ secrets:
Probably the largest flea market in Central Europe, Esceri Piac is huge, loud, and waiting to be explored. There’s almost nothing that you won’t be able to source from here – whether it’s a top hat, a piece of priceless art, or a battered Soviet army watch, the selection is extensive and the competition fierce – get there early on a Saturday morning if you’re determined to walk away with a prize.
Displaying rails upon rails of velvet, leather and suede items from the 50s to the 70s, Iguana Retro is a great starting point to start off your vintage haul. Flip through the current collection alongside local enthusiasts and feel free to ask any of the staff help you pick out your next perfect piece.
Much like the costume cupboard of a retro film diva, Cydonia offers everything from authentic vintage designer clothing to retro cosmetic brands and beyond. Other interesting features include an adjacent tea room offering snacks and local specialities, heaps of costume jewellery, rows of floral teacups, and silken scarves pouring out of vintage trunks.
Considered the largest vintage shop in Budapest, Retrock enjoys a league of its own. Apart from stocking hordes of retro and kitsch glamour, this outlet also specialises in refurbishing and upcycling several second-hand pieces. Swing by their sister store, Retrock Deluxe, if you happen to be in the area which offers an extensive range of designer vintage items.
Pesca Flea Market
Look beyond the clustered foliage of Buda’s City Park and you’ll be sure to spot Pesca, one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Over here, one man’s trash is quite literally another’s treasure, with punters bargaining with merchants and foraging through piles of, well, practically anything you can think of! The market opens on weekends from 7am, and we all know what they say about the early bird.
Take a turn down the discreet and narrow steps on Dohány Street and you’ll stumble right into Jajica – a beautiful cove crammed with some of Budapest’s finest vintage treasures. Explore the hidden corners of this inconspicuous outlet, plough through stacks of plush furs, retro leather jackets, and authentic vintage wedding dresses.