What: A gorgeous, covered market that dates to the turn of the 20th century and is a focal point for city life.

Why it Works: The spectacular building has been lovingly renovated and sits in all its glory just steps from the Danube on the Pest side, at the foot of the Liberty Bridge (itself a lovely structure). Not only is it beautiful, it is completely wheelchair accessible. Plenty of local people shop for their daily fare here undaunted by the hundreds of tourists roaming up and down the aisles. The second floor contains the handicrafts and souvenirs so dear to visitors hearts: embroidery, leather work, hand-carved chess sets, matruska dolls from Russia. The lower level is devoted to food – there are aisles of fresh vegetables, stands of fowl and meat, a couple of shops with wine and liquor. The only problem a guest faces is trying to choose from the salami, strings of red peppers and packets of saffron. Far in the back, a few small farmers come in from the country with honey, peppers and fresh berries in season.

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GREAT PUBLIC SPACES: Central Market Hall (Budapest, Hungary) was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Tom Peyton