Some great bookstores in Budapest

There are quite a few great books you can buy about Budapest and Hungary in English. Besides the guide books, there are also many Hungarian authors' books that gained international appraisal, and have been translated into English and other languages.

The best place to start looking for books in Budapest is Múzeum körút, as there are many second-hand bookstores here. Walk from Kálvin tér on Múzeum körút, on the side opposite from the museum. The Központi Antikvárium (Central Second-Hand Bookshop) is under Múzeum körút 13-15, offering books in Hungarian and English.

Passing by Astoria, on the corner of Károly körút and Dob utca, is Budapest's biggest and newest bookstore, called Alexandra. It is a member of a chain of bookstores, with a large collection of new books, featuring a comfortable café and reading space on the second floor.

Note that they have a small used books section, but the selection is mostly books in Hungarian. Their English-language section has the latest literature, though. But your best bet is really the Red Bus Bookstore, in a quiet side-street at the corner of Gerlóczy utca and Semmelweis utca, as this is a specialized, English-only second-hand bookstore, with a surprisingly large and ever-changing selection of books, cleverly catalogued.
Books we recommend

  • TÖRÖK, András: Budapest - A critical guide (the ultimate insider's guide to Budapest)
  • LUGOSI-LUGO, László - Jewish Budapest (pictures of the past and present about Hungarian Jews)
  • ÖRKÉNY, István - One-minute stories (a cultic book, with short, grotesque stories)
  • MOLNÁR, Ferenc - The Pál street boys (a classic piece of Hungarian literature for children, the storyline is from 1889)
  • KERTÉSZ, Imre - Fateless (from literary Nobel-prize winner, about the Holocaust)
  • LŐRINCZI, Zsuzsa - Budapest in detail (large-size pictures, with commentary in English and Hungarian)