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Budapest's range of shops has expanded massively in recent years, as big international names such as Mango and Benetton have appeared in its streets, and more especially in its malls. Most shops are open Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, and Saturday until 1pm, with most foodstores opening from 8am to 6 or 7pm. Recently some shops in the centre of the city have been staying open later on Saturdays. The new shopping malls on the edge of the city also tend to have longer opening hours, and are open on Sundays as well. You can usually find a 24-hour - non-stop - shop serving alcohol, cigarettes and some food in the centre of town, though in the residential parts of Buda they may be harder to find.

Main shopping areas are located to south of Vörösmarty tér in central Pest, in particular in and around pedestrianized Váci utca and Petofi Sándor utca, which have the biggest concentration of glamorous and expensive shops. The main streets radiating out from the centre - Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, Andrássy and Rákóczi út - are other major shopping focuses, as are the two ring boulevards, the Great Boulevard (especially from Margit Bridge to Blaha Lujza tér) and the Kiskörút, while the small streets inside the Nagykörút are also worth exploring.

Modern shopping malls , combining major shopping centres with entertainment facilities under one roof, have now spread right across the city - though with prices high by Hungarian standards, it's a mystery how they survive. Two of the closest to the centre are the Mammut by Moszkva tér, which has recently doubled in size with the opening of Mammut II, and WestEnd, by Nyugati Station. Further out are Duna Plaza, XIII, Váci út 178 (Gyöngyös utca metro), and Polus Center, XV, Szentmihályi út 131 (special buses run from Keleti Station).

Budapest has three flea markets : Petofi Csarnok (Sat & Sun 7am-2pm) in the Városliget, which has expanded fast and is probably the best in town; the expensive Ecseri piac at XIX, Nagykorösi utca 156 (Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 7am-noon; take bus #54 from Boráros tér in Pest near the Petofi bridge), where sellers are aware of the money to be made from rich foreign tourists, but where there also are bargains to be found, either early on a Saturday or at closing time; and the newcomer on the flea market scene, the Nowák piac at Dózsa Gy. utca 1-3, behind Keleti Station (head up Verseny utca), which has excellent bargains and shady characters, although it is still weak in the snack department.

The most popular souvenirs to bring home are wine, porcelain, foodstuffs (such as paprika, salami and goose liver) and CDs. The emergence of a thriving wine industry is reflected in the number of new wine shops in the city. The Budapest Wine Society at I, Batthyány utca 59, near Moszkva tér, has a good selection and the English-speaking staff know their wines (Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, free wine tastings on Sat afternoons; tel 1/202-2569). Another good outlet is La Boutique des Vins at V, József Attila utca 12, near Deák tér (Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-3pm; tel 1/317-5919). Outlets for the main porcelain makers are Haas & Czjzek, at VI, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 23, opposite the Arany János metro station, which stocks all the main brands, or the shops of the producers, such as Herend at V, József nádor tér 11, or Zsolnay at V, Kigyó utca 4. For rock, pop and jazz records and CDs (including bootlegs), try DOB Records, VII, Dob utca 71, Indiego in the courtyard at VIII, Krudy Gyula utca 7 or Lemezkucko, VI, Király utca 67. The best place for folk CDs is the shop in the Fonó concert hall (Tues-Sat 10am-11pm). For classical music, try Hungaroton at V, Vörösmarty tér 1, Fotex Records at V, Szervita tér 2, or the Amadeus CD shop by the Danube behind the Inter-Continental Hotel . The friendly Rózsavölgyi at V, Szervita tér 5, has an excellent selection of classical music, with pop and folk downstairs, plus sheet music. The best selection of second-hand classical records is at Concerto Records, VII, Dob utca 31 (Mon-Fri noon-7pm, Sun noon-4pm).

Budapest's Antiques Row is Falk Miksa utca, at the Pest end of the Margit Bridge. Shops in the Vár are almost exclusively given over to providing foreign tourists with folksy souvenirs , embroidered tablecloths, hussar pots, fancy bottles of Tokaji wine and so forth. Another good source of presents are the market halls in Pest: the spectacular Great Market Hall (Nagycsarnok), or smaller ones on Hold utca (behind the American Embassy) and on Rákóczi tér. Other interesting shops include Hephaistos, at V, Molnár utca 27, which sells beautiful wrought iron items, from candle holders to bookshelves; Lekvárium, VII, Dohány utca 39, which has a range of locally made and unusual jams and preserves, as well as delicious elderflower syrup; and the puppet shop in the courtyard at V, Haris köz 2, which has marvellous glove puppets.

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