Saturday, June 28, 2014

Budapest - Vaci Utca, a shopping street

Date of shopping: 10th April 2014

Immediately after the boat cruise, I had some kind of "toilet urgency" situation where I told the ladies to just follow my run whilst at the same time help me to locate for 1. Not knowing where I was heading to, I saw a Hard Rock cafe from a distance and seek a permission to use their "CLEAN" toilet. It was a very nice 3 or 4 levels (including lower ground) building that Hard Rock cafe cum merchandise outlet is occupying. The cafe was quite crowded with dine-in as it was a dinner time. 

Vaci Street at night

After I've done and the thing gets very clear to see, I've just realized that we were indeed at the Vaci utca or Vaci street, where the place was intended in our itinerary list. Vaci utca is one of the main pedestrian thoroughfares and perhaps the most famous street of central Budapest. In fact it is located not far from K9 residence, within a walking distance.

Opposite a Hard Rock Cafe/Boutique is a big H&M Store

Since Vaci stretches parallel with the Danube river (no wonder I able to reach the place easily from the boat cruise station), you may reach the river should you want to go for your cruise using the small side street. At Vorosmarty Square, there's the M1 underground (yellow line) station, but the street is not far from  Deakter (M1,M2,M3 metros). The tram 2 line along the Danube is also a good way of getting there. Infact both M1 yellow line and the tram seated just a few steps from K9 residence, the apartment that we stayed in.

ZARA boutique building. Advice to Malaysian, please shop ZARA back home as it is much cheaper in Kuala Lumpur

The steet features a large number of restaurants and shops catering primarily to the tourist market, a right place for people like us to visit. The "Lonely Planet" quote the street as "it's tourist central, but the line of cafes and shops are worth seeing, at least once".  Vaci utca is of the main shopping streets in Budapest, being famous among it's local folk art product too. Some of the retailers located in here are, Zara, H&M, Mango, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Nike, Apple shops and many others.

For those who saw the sign, just take an escalator down and get all local souvenirs item in here. Worth for money!

In the medieval era, the boundary of the city stretched there in the present day vaci utca, along the Deak Ferenc utca was the city wall. The predecessor of the established street lead the Vaci gate which stood today on Vorosmarty Square. The remains of the gate can be seen at the beginning of the street, a few steps from the square (we did not know about this, hence, we pay no attention to it). The street became a main thoroughfare of Pest in the 18th century. Many beautiful mansions still stood proud and grandeur till now.

Until the 1880's, the main promenade of Pest (Korzo) was the walkway lining the Danube between Eotvos Square and Vigado's square. Turning into the 19th to 20th centuries, Vaci utca took over the role of the shopping street from Kiraly utca as well as the role from the Korzo of the Danume embankment. Most of the protected buildings date from this period.

We went there again the next day for coffee and last minute shopping before heading to Budapest Keleti station for our train to Vienna. It was a great day for shopping there after all 4 of us agreed/voted not to explore the Parliament House. If we opt to stay for 3 days 2 night, it would be an ample time for us to cover both Parliament House as well as Citadel. Perhaps next time, if we can come back, we might....

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