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Authentic Hungarian Souvenirs: Top 10 to Buy in Hungary

ramblingtravel
January 24
5 min read
Captivating landscape of Hungary, showcasing Budapest's iconic landmarks, historical beauty, and vibrant culture. Plan your Hungarian adventure today; authentic Hungarian souvenirs
Table of Contents

    Bring home a piece of Hungary with this list of authentic Hungarian souvenirs to buy when visiting Hungary! While it may be easy to visit the typical souvenir shops, the products in these stores are usually not made in Hungary and tend to be three times the price of buying the same products from local stores that sell handmade Hungarian goods, from markets, or even grocery stores. Resist the urge to pop in and buy all your souvenirs in the tourist trap and take the time to scoop out prices and search for authentic shops. Continue below for my list of the top 10 authentic Hungarian souvenirs.

    Porcelain

    Hungarian porcelain is extremely sought and often referred to as the porcelain of royalty after with the top 2 brands being Herend and Zsolnay. The porcelain is made from hard-paste porcelain from a mix of kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. While this is a more expensive souvenir, a purchase is an investment. If you’re looking for Herend and Zsolnay products at a fraction of the price, I recommend searching in antique shops.

    Unicum

    A bitter herbal liquor that is made from over 40 spices, and aged in oak barrels, giving this drink the dark amber color. Unicum was originally brewed as a medical cure for Emperor Joseph II in 1790, and today many Hungarians still swear about its’ medical powers. Today the drink is served as an aperitif and digestif for Hungarians to sip on. If you’re interested in purchasing this drink, purchase it from a liquor store or supermarket. Otherwise, you will be hit with the tourist price.

    Paprika

    The majority of Hungarian dishes contain some amount of Paprika in it and it is the national spice of Hungary! Additionally, the spice contains vitamin C and a lot of antioxidants. The peppers are grown in Hungary, dried, then ground up, and packed to be sold in stores. Not all paprika is the same, and to get the best paprika, I recommend purchasing from an open-air market or market hall.

    Captivating landscape of Hungary, showcasing Budapest's iconic landmarks, historical beauty, and vibrant culture. Plan your Hungarian adventure today; authentic Hungarian souvenirs

    Pálinka

    A traditional fruit brandy liquor, that is one of the most popular drinks in Hungary. Originating from the Carpathian Mountains, all palinka must be distilled in Hungary in accordance with the European Union’s regulations. This drink is very strong and has an alcohol content between 37.5%-86% ABV. I will give the same advice as with unicum, if you wish to purchase this drink to bring back home, go to a liquor store or grocery store. The tourist shops do extremely high price markups on Palinka.

    Painted Easter Eggs

    These masterpieces are available all year round, not just during Easter. The tradition was that a man would visit his beloved on Easter Monday to sprinkle water on her. In return, she would give her love a painted egg. Today, the eggs are handpainted on a variety of eggs and designs to be sold. The price ranges depending on the type of egg and the intricacy of the design.

    Tokaji Wine

    If you have visited Slovakia, you may have heard of or already tried Tokaji wine. Originating from the Tokaji Mountain region, this is the most popular wine in Hungary. There’s even Tokaj city in Hungary which wine lovers visit every year for a wine valley experience in Hungary. Tokaji wine tends to be on the sweeter side, so I recommend doing a wine tasting before purchasing. Again, I recommend purchasing this souvenir from a liquor store or grocery store to avoid the tourist prices.

    Rubik’s Cube

    Okay, it may not be a handmade gift, but you’ve probably noticed different types of Rubik’s Cubes all over Hungary. That is because the inventor, Erno Rubik, was from Hungary. This souvenir can be found all around the country, making it a great gift for any Rubik’s Cube or puzzle lover.

    Captivating landscape of Hungary, showcasing Budapest's iconic landmarks, historical beauty, and vibrant culture. Plan your Hungarian adventure today!

    Ajka Crystal

    Often referred to as “The Romanov Collection” in the United States, the Ajka Crystal Factory was founded in 1897 and has been producing this famous colorful crystal ever since. The crystal is made by a master glass blower who then etches the design into the crystal by hand. Prices range depending on the color and design of the crystal. You can buy anything ranging from figurines to wine glasses, to large chandeliers.

    Secret Box

    What may seem like a jewelry box upon first glance, will actually surprise you to be a mysterious puzzle. These handmade and painted boxes require the user to slide secret panels to uncover a hidden key and lock in order to open it. Inside you can store treasure possessions or in the secret hidden compartment. Prices range depending on the size and design of the box. Some shopkeepers will even offer engravings at no additional cost.

    Embroidery

    A traditional gift that helps preserve Hungarian culture and heritage is folk-style embroidered blouses, tablecloths, towels, and pillowcases. These gifts boat a variety of stitchwork and designs that are popular in different regions of Hungary. Embroidered gifts can be found in markets or different stores around the country. They come at a range of prices depending on the clothing or accessory, and the intricacy of the embroidery. While it is cheaper to buy factory-made, a purchase of handmade embroidered goods helps support the artists and is of higher quality.

    Exploring Hungary is not just about witnessing its stunning landscapes and rich history but also about immersing yourself in its authentic culture. When it comes to bringing a piece of Hungary back home, opt for the true essence with authentic Hungarian souvenirs. Avoid the tourist traps, delve into local markets, and discover treasures that carry the craftsmanship, history, and spirit of this beautiful country. These souvenirs not only serve as mementos but also as a connection to the heart and soul of Hungary, making your travel experience truly unforgettable.

    Planning a visit to Hungary? Visit my complete travel guide!

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