Last weekend in Hungary, we found ourselves in the thermal spa town of Hevis. We were just in time for the Saturday weekend market downtown. This was definitely a lucky strike for us, as we love hunting for antiques and collectibles at flea markets.
There are weekend markets everywhere in Hungary on Saturdays and many locals make it their hobby to visit these every weekend. It’s a favorite pastime of locals and also a top tourist attraction in any Hungarian town.
So after breakfast that Saturday, our guide asked: “Would you like to go to the weekend market of Hevis before we head for the thermal spa?”
THE THERMAL SPA TOWN OF HEVIS
Hevis is famous for its thermal spa, which is really one large lake with warm healing waters. It’s completely natural and it’s the most famous thermal spa in Hungary. It’s also supposed to be the biggest body of thermal waters in the world, sourced from deep under the ground.
Many people come from all over Hungary to bathe in the thermal lake of Hevis. It’s also very popular with tourists who are interested in health and wellness. So this is also why we had traveled all the way here. We wanted to bathe in the thermal waters of Hevis and experience swimming in the world’s largest natural hot springs pool.
SATURDAY WEEKEND MARKETS IN HUNGARY
However, when our guide suggested a stopover at the weekend market, we immediately said yes. Of course we wanted to do this, we replied.
The weekend market of Hevis takes place from 9 AM until about 1 PM every Saturday. It’s actually a parking lot filled with people selling old things.
Many sellers are professional antique dealers but others are hobbyists who like buying and selling antiques and secondhand curios. There are also a few sellers who are simply cleaning out their home of clutter.
BUYING AND SELLING ANTIQUES
Most sellers simply park their vehicles in their designated spaces and set up a table full of antiques and curios. Some of the things on sale are really beautiful pieces while others are just pure junk. Most of the fun comes from hunting out the treasures among the junk.
There are many porcelain and pottery pieces, as well as old necklaces, earrings and accessories. Then there are a few large items for the home. I found one or two were things I really would have loved to take home, including a beautiful porcelain planter box. However, it was impossible so I just admired it from afar.
THE BEST SOUVENIR FROM HUNGARY
Fortunately I did find some other beautiful things for reasonable prices. For example, I found a lovely glass candy dish that was the color of brandy and amber. It was elegant and graceful. I fell in love immediately.
Initially, the seller wanted 15,000 Hungarian florins for this glass candy dish. Then, after some negotiations, we settled on the price of 10,000 Hungarian florins.
PERFECT NEGOTIATION TIMING
This agreement came just in time, too. Just as I said “yes” to the price of 10,000 Hungarian florins, a lady came up to us. She asked if I was serious about buying the candy dish because otherwise she wanted to buy it. And she looked like she was happy with the original price of 15,000 Hungarian florins.
So I said, with a smile: “Yes! I am buying it!”
I was so glad to find this antique candy dish for a reasonable price at the weekend market of Hevis. It was the best souvenir to place in my living room and remember my wonderful visit to Hungary by.
Read more articles about traveling in Hungary in Travelife Magazine.