By Aletta Morariu
I recently took a trip to check out the Ecseri Flea Market at Nagykőrösi út 156. Although I was unlucky to get caught in the rain, it was one of the best experiences I have had in Budapest. After you end up getting a little bit lost and asking a postman for directions, and then after you look at the market from the overpass and ask yourself why you even came, you finally step through the gates of Ecseri Flea Market and see all there is. You should never judge a book by its cover, and I can honestly say I am happy I didn’t turn around and leave when I only saw it from the outside, because once inside, you realize what a good find the market really is.
Even though at first it may appear a junkyard, it’s not difficult to find hidden treasure at every stand. Furthermore, you can negotiate the price and strike a bargain, getting an item at half of its original price. There are all kinds of objects that come from different periods of time; from used swords, handmade clothing, and sparkly jewelry to old pictures, analog cameras and antique furniture, there is something for everyone and you end up finding things you didn’t even know you wanted or needed.
It is a relatively large market, with two parts. One is in the open and the vendors have stands to showcase their goods, while the other section is filled with regular shops in which you can go inside of to take a look around. If you get tired from all the treasure hunting, there is an eating section where food is available to buy and eat, so that shoppers can catch up on some much needed rest. It is one of the biggest flea markets in Central Europe, so it’s important to set aside a good amount of time to explore the entire market.
One thing that surprised me was the friendliness of the shop keepers and vendors, who were nice in providing information and always asking if they could help. Some of them even started making jokes and dancing around when I looked at their products, making it a fun and entertaining experience. This is a good marketing strategy, as the nicer they are, the more likely you are to buy, and in the end both the buyer and the seller get away with a good deal.
The flea market is open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, Saturday from 6 am until 3 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm. If you want to catch all the stands open, and truly enjoy the whole experience, I would recommend making a trip on the weekend, as the market will be somewhat more subdued on the weekdays.
It is quite easy to get there. You have to take the 4 or 6 (Yellow) tram to Petőfi hid stop. Then you have a 5 minute walk to Boráros tér and from there you can take the 54 or the 55 bus to Naszód utca (Használtcikk piac). From there you have to take the pedestrian overpass and you will see the market right in front of you.
I hope others decide take a trip to see Ecseri Flea Market and enjoy it as much as I did!