Hungary is an excellent place to shop for high-quality products. These include folk art, cutting-edge fashions by local designers (particularly in Budapest), custom-made footwear, and folk-music CDs. Foodies may wish to take home a selection of excellent local wines, salamis, paprika, potted fois gras and other local foodstuffs.
Books and folk-music CDs are affordable, and there is an excellent selection, especially of much-loved classical music. Traditional products include folk-art embroidery and ceramics, pottery, painted wooden toys and boxes, dolls, basketry and porcelain (especially that from Herend and Zsolnay). Feather or goose-down pillows and duvets (comforters), ranked second only to the Siberian variety, are of exceptionally high quality and good value.
Hungary has some excellent designers and local fashions and accessories are good things to take home. Quality leatherwork is another: in Budapest in particular, you can have your shoes custom-made.
Some of Hungary’s ‘boutique’ wines make good, relatively inexpensive gifts; a bottle of dessert Tokaj always goes down well. Pálinka (fruit-flavoured brandies) and Unicum are stronger options.
Foodstuffs that are expensive or difficult to buy elsewhere – potted goose liver, saffron, dried forest mushrooms, jam (especially the apricot variety), prepared meats like Pick salami, and the many types of paprika – make wonderful gifts (that is, if you are allowed to bring them into your home country).