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What to bring from Hungary as a gift – 20 best souvenirs


Hungarians are very proud of their traditions. The state is doing everything possible to preserve folk crafts and ancient industries. To understand what such a policy leads to, just look at Nagyvásárcsarnok – the Central Metropolitan Market, located on Vaci Street.

Experienced travelers advise not to rush and start shopping with a visit to a cafe, tasting national dishes. Such a simple method will help you gather your thoughts after the belly feast, figure out where to start shopping.

Foie gras

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Goose or duck liver pate, including canned, is not a purely French invention. An aristocratic dish 1,000 years ago in Hungary was common. Wealthy peasants prepared it for the holidays. In order for the liver to acquire a special taste, the birds were placed in cages, fed heartily, they were not allowed to run and fly.

The ancient Egyptians knew this secret, and in ancient treatises one can find information about the healing properties of the liver of birds fed in this way. In the last century, it was scientifically proven that it is a storehouse of vitamins, microelements, amino acids, and contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular and immune diseases.

In Hungary, production technologies and preparations of foie gras are strictly regulated by law, which completely eliminates the risk of purchasing a low-quality product in retail outlets, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Foie gras is of 2 types: from pressed minced meat and containing whole pieces of the liver.

The second version of the pate is more expensive, but it is even more refined. The national Hungarian dish goes well with Tokay wine, fruit, and onion confiture. Locals manage to eat their favorite pâté even with Hungarian chocolate.


What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Gourmets call the seasoning one of the symbols of the Hungarian national cuisine. Real paprika comes in many varieties: super-sharp (Erős), sweet with a slight spice and fruity aroma (Különleges), reminiscent of oriental hot spices (Édesnemes), sweet-spicy symphony of mouth-watering aromas (Rózsa).

Hungarians smoke and pickle hot peppers (paprika savanyúság) in all sorts of ways. Experienced travelers advise: in order not to be mistaken with the spiciness of the seasoning, you need to pay attention to its color. The rule is simple: the softer it is, the hotter the pepper. In any case, real Hungarian paprika is a properly dried and ground hot pepper that retains its healthy taste and healing properties in dishes.

It is an excellent antidepressant, a remedy for viral diseases, various colds. Conventionally, all paprika packaging options can be divided into 2 groups: practical and souvenir (gift). In the first case, the spice is placed in bags, in the second – in beautiful linen bags or tin cans, decorated with floral ornaments, images of men and women in national clothes.

Tihany cheese

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Competitor of French cheeses. Hungarian Tihany is characterized by softness, tenderness and a special charm. Cheese with white mold is produced only from natural ingredients. It does not contain dyes, all kinds of chemical additives hazardous to health. Homogeneous cheese mass has a piquant taste. To emphasize it, manufacturers add local spices to many varieties of Tihany. Cheese mass can be mixed with onions, garlic, herbs.

Soft cheese is traditionally served with wine. There are versions that it is named after the peninsula of the same name on the lake, where world-famous attractions are located: Tikhany Abbey, monuments to the Hungarian king Andrei Bely and his wife on Anastasia of Kiev (daughter of the legendary Yaroslav the Wise), local echo. The latter is recognized even by skeptics as a very mystical phenomenon. And gourmets draw their own analogy and consider the aftertaste of Tihany cheese … also an echo.

Salami Pick

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The famous brand is over 150 years old. The founder of the production, Jew Mark Pick, worked as an ordinary butcher, but he had an ambitious dream: to make the Hungarian sausage variety world famous. To establish mass production, he borrowed money, invited Italian specialists to create the largest plant in Europe.

His family supported the ambitious project, and most importantly: the idea to produce sausage from local raw materials (meat and paprika) provided the residents of Szeged (the town where the company is located today) with stable incomes, and the brand gained worldwide fame. The fate of the Pick family was not so rosy, but it was her recipes that became the basis for the production of modern premium sausage.

The real Hungarian "winter" salami is completely different from the sausages of the same name, which are produced under this name in the states of the former USSR. Its basis is lean pork, fat, hot pepper. After smoking, the meat mixture placed in the shells “ripens" in the cellars for 3 months, covered with noble white mold.

The resulting product is stored for a long time, it can be taken with you on the road even in the summer heat. Won't disappear. The Hungarians equate the secret of the combination of spices added to it with a state secret. And one more sign of a real Salami Pick sausage: it always has a medal on it – confirmation of the authenticity of the product.


What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The country is the birthplace of the "king of marzipan" Karoly Szabo, whose culinary techniques are recognized as classics. In the capital of the state and in the most remote settlement, none of the tourists will be able to forget about the delicacy. And in the suburbs of Budapest (the town of Szentendre) is one of the most famous marzipan museums.

It is in this area that another famous confectionery house Szamos, named after a Parisian culinary specialist, was opened. The descendants of Szabo own the production of sweets in the capital, but favorable conditions have also been created for the new business in Szentendre, Budapest (as elsewhere in the state). The Samosh factory also specializes in the manufacture of chocolate (a separate museum has been opened in honor of the delicacy).

One of her most popular souvenirs among adults and children: marzipan mass. You can make treats from it yourself. They turn out to be just as tasty as the masterpieces of famous confectioners. The factory has its own points of sale in the capital, an online store. Delicacies created by her chefs can be seen in the best cafes and shopping centers.

If you want to see how professionals create delicious treats, go boldly to Szentendre. Here, confectioners in the workshops and visitors are separated only by transparent glass. And a few more reasons to visit the factory: only in its museum you can see Cinderella's carriage, figures of world stars, famous politicians, fairy-tale characters made of chocolate and marzipan.

ChocoMe chocolate

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

An exclusive delicacy is the dream of true gourmets and everyone who wants to compare ordinary chocolate with handmade masterpieces. The ChocoMe brand is very young by European standards. He is just over 10 years old and already recognized in Switzerland. This fact speaks for itself. Moreover, Hungarian chocolate is very popular in the Principality of Monaco, whose residents and guests, it would seem, will not be surprised by anything.

The brand was created by ordinary economist Gabor Messaros. One day he decided to make the dream of a new Hungarian world-famous product a reality and mastered the new profession of chocolatier. Each ChocoMe tile is handcrafted by experts.

Production team: two dozen master chocolatiers. They carry out all the procedures themselves: from mixing ingredients to packaging products. Elite handmade chocolate fillings: grains, flowers, nuts, fruits, berries, gold, silver flakes. Today, ChocoMe produces over 100 types of gourmet chocolates.

Buying it in the capital is a 100% guarantee that you will get the original. And more experienced travelers advise not to save on a sweet souvenir with combined toppings. They acquire a special taste in handmade chocolate, and, believe me, coarse sea salt goes well with nuts, berries, candied delicate flower petals.

Esterhazy cake

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The delicacy is often called the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The attitude of the locals towards it is not the simplest. Hungary fought for its independence for centuries, repeatedly tried to secede from the empire. However, the Hungarians speak of the same Empress of Austria Sissi with great respect, souvenirs with her image can be seen everywhere in Budapest.

The famous Esterhazy cake is named after the prince, a representative of the ancient princely family of the same name, equated to this day in the European hierarchy with monarchical dynasties. Esterhazy, like his ancestors, served in the army. He entered the history of the Old World as one of the most prominent politicians. The prince was a gourmet, and it is quite symbolic that the famous Hungarian cake is named after him.

There are many Esterhazy recipes, but the right dish can only be prepared from natural ingredients. The classic delicacy consists of 5 meringue cakes connected with butter cream (with the addition of cognac). It is customary to cover the top of the delicacy with sugar icing and apply a chocolate mesh pattern.

Zwack Unicum liqueur

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The famous herb-infused bitter liquor is often called Hungarians' pride. Zwak Unicum was created by the court physician of the Austrian emperor. For a long time, the privilege of drinking a healing drink to improve the functioning of the stomach, strengthen the body, and treat colds was available only to representatives of the Habsburg dynasty.

It is the descendants of the court physician Zwak that the secret of making the drink belongs to. Produced with the coming to power of the communists, the Unicum liquor had nothing to do with a miracle cure. Only after the fall of the socialist system in Hungary did they start producing the original Zwack Unicum again.

Important to know: the Italian bitter liqueur of the same name is also real. There are 3 main drink options and two additional ones. All of them have a pronounced bitter taste and, indeed, stimulate the activity of the digestive tract.

In the new century, a lot of scandalous stories turned out to be associated with a famous brand. The fact is that the drink has a “close relative”: the German liqueur Jägermeister. However, they are completely different drinks. And another nuance: real Zwack Unicum is poured into a special glass spherical container. Its color, wall thickness allow alcohol to retain medicinal properties longer.


What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Many tourists compare alcohol with brandy or fruit vodka, and thus offend the Hungarians very much. It has analogues in neighboring states, but the Hungarian palinka tastes different from its closest "relatives". For the production of the drink, organic fruits are used.

Palinka fortress is fixed at the state level and regulated by law: it can vary between 40-43 ° depending on the implementation option. Each region of the state is famous for its types of palinka, among whose fans there are many monarchs. Fruit vodka has
medicinal properties if it is used in moderation and the right type of drink is chosen correctly.

For example: apricot perfectly strengthens the immune system, but it is not used to improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. For the second purpose, a drink made from grape pomace is better suited. To get a quality palinka, it takes a minimum of 3 to 6 months of aging. An interesting nuance: the bottles where the finished drink is poured are also a kind of souvenir: they are distinguished by a fantastic variety of shapes.

Sparkling wine Törley

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The company of the same name occupies a leading position in the Hungarian market. Törley products are well known to gourmets of the Old and New Worlds. The founder of production, Jozsef Terlen, belonged to an ancient Austrian knightly family, whose descendants abandoned a military career and chose winemaking. He, like many European winemakers, adopted French technology for the production of champagne.

However, Turlen developed his own unique methods, which allowed his sparkling wines to acquire a special taste and be recognized even in Champagne. His business was inherited by his nephews. During the reign of the communists, the plant was nationalized, but the production of sparkling wine did not stop.

Today TM Törley belongs to a German concern, Hungarian wine, like 100 years ago, is aged and stored in cellars. In the process of making the drink, experts mix wines obtained from different grape varieties. Today, the plant produces products according to the traditional (secondary fermentation in bottles) and transvasion (the process takes place in metal vats) methods.

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Tokay wines

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The world-famous spirits are named after the region where they have been produced for many centuries. Tokay wines are not red, they are only white. According to Hungarian law, drinks are allowed to be made from 6 grape varieties. Most Tokay wines in the region are made from the Furmint grape variety. In total, there are 8 types of tokaya.

The strongest of these is Szamorodni Tokaji (native wine). Száraz Tokaji (native dry wine) is one of its varieties. The drink is created using a unique technology, whose important stage is the short exposure of grapes under the yeast layer. And the elite Tokaji aszu is one of the 8 types of Tokaji wines. Berries from bunches for him are harvested by hand.

Each of them must be covered with a noble mold. Only in this case, winemakers will be able to get a premium sweet drink, for which a special classification of sugar levels has been developed. How to deal with it? Just look at the label with the image of puttonos (wooden containers for grape harvesting). The number of icons varies from 3 to 6 (as the degree of sweetness of the drink increases).

Porcelain Zsolnay and Herend

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Less than 200 years ago, a new page was opened in the history of the state's industry: the beginning of the production of handmade porcelain. Soon Hungary, whose craftsmen initially only copied European and Oriental patterns, began to create unique sets for crowned persons and the richest people on the planet. Among the trademarks of Hungarian products, a special place is occupied by Zsolnay, Herend.

The Zsolnay porcelain manufactory traces its history back to the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Experts often say that its unspoken motto is "Diversity!". Today, the manufactory has the status of a joint-stock company, and its masters do not stop experimenting with forms, colors, do not limit their creativity to dishes and services.

Zsolnay dishes, figurines, accessories are especially popular with tourists, whose style solutions are limitless. Herend porcelain combines 2 main qualities: elite and traditionalism. Thanks to them, he is very popular with politicians, world stars, representatives of the ruling dynasties.

It is recognized even in Asia, where Japanese porcelain has been and remains the standard. The Herend brand combines Western and Eastern traditions. Business cards for painting such porcelain: butterflies, flowers, birds, gilding.

Crystal Ajka-Crystal

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Another standard of luxury. Handmade crystal, even if you see it only once in your life, you will never confuse it with “stamping”. Elite products are made according to ancient technologies. To get masterpieces, craftsmen use transparent colorless and multi-colored glass mass. The patterns on the finished things they cut exclusively by hand.

The only difference between modern crystal and ancient crystal is that the technologies for processing raw materials have become more advanced, they allow you to apply unique ornaments of any degree of complexity to dishes and accessories. Masterpieces created under the TM Ajka-Crystal can be found in royal palaces, in the villas of billionaires, in the collections of high fashion houses. An important advantage of such crystal: it is exclusive and versatile at the same time. Ajka-Crystal harmoniously fit into any interior style.

Ceramic jugs Miska kancso

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Pitchers-mugs of this are often called the visiting card of the country. Amazing dishes are easy to recognize: they are made in the shape of a figure of a charming shepherd or a brave hussar. These are very romantic souvenirs, because they have special holes where you can hide notes with declarations of love. These products are made by hand. Masters put a special meaning into the images, often leaving folk proverbs and popular expressions on the dishes.

For example: on many jugs you can see the image of a snake. A very ambiguous character. It serves as a hint that wine poured into a jug has healing properties, but it can harm the body if you get carried away with alcohol. Miska kancso belong to the category of ritual utensils: Hungarians still make it, buy it for certain events in families (birth of children, christenings, weddings, meetings of important guests).

Rubik's Cube

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The cult puzzle toy of the 80s of the last century was invented by the engineer-architect Erne Rubik. He was born, raised, educated in Budapest and began his teaching career at a university. Rubik faced a pedagogical problem: students did not perceive well the information about the basic principles of three-dimensional planning.

In order to explain a complex topic to the students, he brought wooden cubes with multi-colored faces to the audience, and began to show how one can create a single object from them. After the lectures, the designer continued to experiment… Then he placed a mechanism inside his creation that allows the faces to move. Rubik patented the invention and decided that a visual aid for students could make a great puzzle toy.

He guessed or calculated everything correctly. The Rubik's Cube is the best-selling toy in the world. In the last century, 20% of the inhabitants of the planet had the experience of assembling the edge of a puzzle. The cube remains a popular Hungarian souvenir today. In Budapest, literally at every step you can find different versions of puzzle toys, whose formats vary from 2x2x2 to 12x12x12.

Board games

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Even in the era of all kinds of virtual tournaments, games from the famous Hungarian brand remain popular. Products are made from environmentally friendly materials, they meet the most stringent European requirements for the safety of children's toys. The exciting Marbushka games are great for families. They do not know age limits, because adults with great pleasure join the children, remember their childhood.

The famous brand was created by the spouses Beatrix Bohoni and Laszlo Söld, inspired by their daughter's requests. Thanks to a close-knit family, games were born that develop logic, imagination, and imaginative thinking among representatives of the younger generation. They not only immerse children and adults in a fairy-tale world, but also help the first to learn more about various professions, holidays, representatives of flora, fauna, water spaces, vehicles and much more.

Perfume Viktoria Minya

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The Hungarian perfumer, after whom the perfume is named, has revolutionized the industry of sorts by eschewing conventions. Victoria has created a brand that is associated with provocativeness, sex appeal, and elitism. The perfumer is an ardent opponent of universal fragrances. She boldly experiments with woody, floral flairs, mixes coniferous, herbal, fruity, wine notes.

In her creations, one can easily guess the influence of Eastern traditions, because Victoria actively uses spices and incense in her perfume compositions. The brand is often called Parisian (the perfumer's workshop is now located in France), but connoisseurs of elite perfumes always have the opportunity to purchase original products in Budapest.

It is important to know: the master develops sketches of bottles for her perfumes herself. Elite perfumery is easy to recognize by the sparkling crystals inside the bottles and boxes for it. Those are created by hand using natural snake skin – such a very unambiguous hint of temptation, seduction.

Cosmetics Omorovicza

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

A relatively young TM is rapidly gaining popularity in the Old and New Worlds. The founders of the Hungarian brand decided not to reinvent the wheel, but to use the centuries-old experience of folk cosmetology. This is how the lines of new most delicate skin care products based on thermal water were born. Its sources have healing power.

Hungarian thermal water accelerates regeneration processes, rejuvenates the skin, helps to get rid of wrinkles without surgical intervention, improves metabolism in the body. To enhance the effect of natural ingredients of branded cosmetics on the skin, special combinations of components have been developed.

They accelerate the transport of useful trace elements, vitamins, minerals to different layers of the skin. One of the confirmations of the recognition of the quality of Omorovicza products by professionals is the fact that spas at elite hotels, where millionaires, billionaires, world stars stay, cooperate with this brand.

Soap Zador

What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

The name of the premium cosmetic product and the world famous Zador Castle is not a coincidence! The Zador manufactory operates in a village not far from a powerful defensive structure. The workshop is located in a traditional large Hungarian house, where all interior items are made of natural wood, comfort, an abundance of white light, and tranquility reign.

Soap Zador Zador is brewed from organic raw materials and added to the product during the manufacture of water from the thermal lake Hevis, rich in useful substances, trace elements, minerals. Soap-making tools today are almost the same as those used in France over 300 years ago.

It was from this state that Hungary came to Hungary with the technology of triple grinding of raw materials, reusable rolling of almost finished soap, so that its structure would become uniform. The resulting cosmetic products have a delicate aroma of flowers, medicinal plants, berries, fruits growing in the vicinity of the castle. Due to the unique combination of components, the soap contributes to the treatment of dermatological diseases and perfectly rejuvenates the skin.


What to bring from Hungary as a gift - 20 best souvenirs

Products created with its use are very popular among tourists and local residents. A bag of dried lavender is a very practical souvenir. It allows you to get rid of moths, mosquitoes, prevent the appearance of harmful insects, improves the energy of the apartment (house), drives away evil spirits, treats diseases of the central nervous system, respiratory system, relieves insomnia.

Local craftsmen make bags for their favorite plant from natural materials and decorate them with skillful embroidery. In Budapest, you can buy everywhere and high-quality lavender essential oil, packaged in interesting bottles. In Hungary, innovative and traditional technologies are used together to obtain this product.

The combination of methods allows you to maximize the preservation of useful minerals, vitamins, microelements of the substance in the essential oil, which have a beneficial effect on health. Other lavender souvenirs are also popular among travelers: soap, shampoos, handmade candles. And lavender honey, syrup, tea impress even the most capricious gourmets. Another pleasant moment: the prices for such goods in the capital are quite affordable.

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