Budapest, and all of Central Europe is a well known destination for antiquing. The wars of the 20th century, the looting that followed, not to mention the shady economic and legal dealings of the following regimes, right up until nowadays, left a lot of houses and the furniture and treasures they held, in a gray zone, with no distinct ownership. This, coupled with the fact that we have an extremely ageing population, of course led to a booming antique market, one that has now gained an international reputation.
Falk Miksa utca
One of the main streets that deals with antiquing and the antique business is Falk Miksa street. This street is located parallel to the Danube, in between the Parliament and the prestigious Jászai Mari square. It is located at the meeting point of the 5th and the 13th districts, and as such is very easy to get to at any time of the day. The entire street is filled with galleries, antique shops, and sellers on the streets as well. This is the gallery street, the street where you can find surprising paintings and artifacts, and where you can dig through the incredible array of antiquities that are available.
What they have
In high demand are the old Communist and Nazi memorabilia, including papers, passports, medals, weapons and bullets, as well as pretty much anything with a swastika or a red star printed on it. The antiquities also stock old, pre-war memorabilia, and these are a tad bit more interesting, too. Many vases, cutleries, plates and glasses, as well as led enforced glass, a staple of the post-Monarchy gentry lifestyle, are always available. Decor from this period, including quaint porcelain dolls and figurines, paintings and embroidery, along with wallpaper even, can be seen in these shops. Usually all galleries have a bunch of walking sticks as well, another indispensable piece of antique store charm. And of course, what would an antique shop be without books? Although Budapest has a variety of stores that are dedicated only to antique books, most antique shops will have a selection of old books to choose from, and many times in many different languages as well.
Other antique shops
Other places that also sell antiques can be found in Buda on the Margit körút near the Margaret bridge. These places usually specialize in books and paintings. The central market, located on Fővám square is also home to several first class antique shops, and you can find pretty much anything you want that is old in one of them.