Budapest’s and Hungary’s real luxury shopping street is Andrássy Boulevard. The Boulevard, which is close to Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, was modelled after streets in 19th-century Paris.
Hungarian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Count Gyula Andrássy, was impressed by the modern developments in Paris that were commissioned by the French Emperor Napoleon III and undertaken by Baron Hausmann. Medieval buildings were demolished and dirty alleys removed to build wide boulevards lined with elegant palaces.
The old city centre of Pest also was enhanced by urban planning, the most striking example of which is Andrássy Boulevard. The Boulevard is interspersed with Italian-style Neo-Renaissance palaces from Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street to Bajza Street and, thereafter, mainly aristocratic villas with gardens until Heroes’ Square.
Luxury shops are located on the upper part of the Boulevard. The first international brand was Zegna and the location was given a big boost when Louis Vuitton opened a boutique next to the Hungarian State Opera House. Since then, Gucci, Moncler, MaxMara, Jimmy Choo, FreyWille, Rolex, Hublot, Breitling and TAG Heuer have established shops here. The premium segment is represented by Michael Kors, Pinko, MAX&Co and Guess. s.
The Herend Porcelain Manufactory brand store and the Omorovicza salon, which uses Budapest thermal water for its products, are also worth visiting. If you are tired from all the sightseeing, we recommend the Művész Café for a rest, combined with a dessert. Try the Őrség Zöld Aranya (Green gold of County Őrség) cake, which won the title of Hungary's best cake in 2016 in an annual poll.
Budapest’s most famous shopping area is around Váci Street, which is very close to the hotel, and includes Vörösmarty Square and Deák Ferenc Street or, as most people call it, Fashion Street. It is on the same street as Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest. This development is special in East Central Europe in the sense that an investor dreamed big, bought most of the buildings on the street and created a new shopping area in the city with luxury or premium stores, such as Boss, Massimo Dutti, Tommy Hilfiger and Falconeri.
Allow us to recommend one more street that you will surely enjoy during your time in Budapest, and which is located next to the Parliament building, running from Kossuth Square. Falk Miksa Street is a gathering place for antique shops, where rare jewellery, valuable porcelain and many other treasures that can be easily packed into a suitcase are waiting for a new owner. The most elegant store on the street is undoubtedly Bardoni Interieur, but we also recommend visiting the showroom of BÁV (Auction House and Gallery), which is 250 years old this year, on the corner of Grand Boulevard. The auction house and pawnshop were founded by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Queen of Hungary and the Czech Republic, and is considered the oldest Hungarian company still operating today (they also have a fairly large showroom on Bécsi Street, which is very close to the hotel). Falk Miksa utca also offers novelties.
One of the most patinated Hungarian porcelain manufactories, Hollóháza Porcelain, has a brand store there, along with the Ralph Lauren Home/Yves Delorme multi-brand store, which can be interesting to look around.
Our guest writer, the Budapest Curator by Kempinski Corvinus: Balázs Pécsi, publisher of The Gentleman's Review luxury & society magazine