Great Market Hall is located in Pest at the end of the historic Chain Bridge. The market was built in 1897, and is the largest of all Budapest market halls. The cast-iron Chain Bridge which was built in 1849, spans the Danube just under the Royal Palace on Castle Hill. I always tried to combine a visit to a thermal bath on the Buda side of the bridge with lunch or a snack at the Great Market Hall on the Pest side. Thus, by walking over the bridge, I was able to periodically enjoy stunning views of the Danube and the Hungarian Parliament Building, sometimes at sunset.
Food stalls and eateries are located on the second level of the market. They get packed during lunchtime with tourists and locals. The main attraction of the stalls is langos, a national street-food dish of deep fried dough topped with sour cream, garlic butter, and cheese, plus just about anything else you want to put on it. Due to the calorie count of this food, I usually opted for the more healthy, traditional goulash soup.
Browsing the colorful market was always a delight, offering everything from foodstuff to clothing, cookware, and souvenirs for the tourists. The smell of Hungarian paprika was always in the air. Fresh-baked apple strudel in the bakeries was hard to pass up. Language was never a problem here for me due to the fact that most of the young people working in the shops spoke English. The older people in the shops knew enough words in English to communicate with English-speaking customers.
Following are a few photos to say goodbye to the dynamic city of Budapest. I’m off to the Central European country of Ukraine, where I will visit Kiev, Lviv, and Odessa for a few weeks.
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