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5 Unmissable Bookstores in Budapest

When visiting Budapest, the Hungary capital and you happen to need a book because you are done reading the one you brought with you or in need of a new read; we have a list of 5 bookstores that will cater for your needs while in the city.

No need to worry about language; some bookstores specialize in English language books.

There is also some interesting independent bookstore in this city that stock books ranging from English language books to Hungarian literature.

When visiting this beautiful cultured city in central Europe, literary work is one of its forte among other historic sites, impressive architecture and relaxation places.

Here is a list of the 5 unmissable bookstores in Budapest.

1. Bestsellers Bookshop

First on the list is bestsellers bookshop that is known for its wide range of books in a foreign language.

This bookshop was the first in the city to stock up multi-lingual books back in 1995 when it first opened its doors as a bookshop.

They expanded the selection of books in their bookshop in 2004 to stock academic books alongside their general selection.

If you want to catch up on the news around Europe, there are foreign newspapers and magazines sold as well as a good selection of DVDs in English.

The selection of books in the store is well curated by both the store owners and buyers that select books directly from the publishers, university presses and independent publishers.

These carefully selected titles in the book store reflect the unique and interesting taste of their regular patrons.

If you are interested in classics and curios to get one to take with you, the store owners have a list that they can recommend from their collection.

This has made them maintain a good relationship with their customers who can rely on them to recommend one of the best reads.

They have an online shop where one can place an order and have it delivered to their doorstep.

2. Antikvár.hu-Used Bookstore

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This is a second-hand bookstore in Budapest along 39 Múzeum krt. Its is a small cosy and friendly bookstore that stocks a range of genres one may be interested in. The Store specialises in selling used antique books to readers.

The bookstore opened its doors in 2010 and instantly became a favourite of many bookworms.

They are open six days n a week and also have a website where one can check for ‘new’ books that have been stocked, recommended book of the month, and all the available genres.

The staff at the store are more than ready to assist you to find a book or suggest a genre that might interest you.

One can find a rare book from the wide selection of antique books and leave with a good bargain.

3. Yellow Zebra Bookshop

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Next on our list is the Yellow Zebra bookshop located behind the Hungarian State Opera building.

This bookshop sells second-hand books written in the English language. It doubles up as a bike shop and offers city tour services too.

Among the more than 15,000 books available in the store include; romance, business, travel, self-help, crime fiction and bestsellers. There is a good selection of children’s books available.

They trade with readers that want to sell their already read books. One can also get a special discount on a book they buy when they trade with the book they no longer need.

The store does not have a reading nook, but once you find that book that you needed, there is a café within the store where one can get a drink while reading your new find.

4. Massolit Books & Café

Courtesy of Massolit Books Facebook page

This is another independent bookstore in Budapest near Krakow’s old town centre that sells books written in the English language. They sell both new and used books.

The store’s focus is on popular and academic books that are sold at discounted prices.

Their online store has a collection of more than 20,000 titles. If you love browsing through physical books, then visiting their store will give you the satisfaction of going through shelves of different genres including journals, international newspapers and magazines.

Massolit has a dedicated reading area at the back that is furnished to make it welcoming and comfortable enough for their customers, there is also a café where one can grab something to eat or drink while reading their book.

The bookstore and café offer such a relaxing atmosphere and is frequented by students, local and ex-pats.

Some unique titles that one can find in the bookstore include; titles that focus on gender, Jewish studies Polish and Central/East European Literature and History, and Asian Studies, and progressive politics.

On warmer seasons, one can enjoy their drink or meal while reading at the bookstores’ outdoor garden.

There are cultural events, book readings, art exhibitions, lectures and informational meetings held at the bookshop. All these events are posted on their social media pages. They buy used books mostly in the English language

5. Atlantisz Book Island

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The final bookstore on our list is the Atlantisz book Island bookshop located in the Jewish Quarter of Budapest. It is in a beautiful two-storey historic building.

The bookshop was founded in 1990 together with the Atlantisz foundation, it specialises on literature focusing on humanities and social sciences.

There is a wide selection of books for one to surf through such as social and human sciences, visual arts, architecture and travel written by some of the best and award-winning writers in the world.

One can also find a great selection of literature from central and eastern Europe, and other international collections of both fiction and non-fiction books.

The store also translates and publishes classic manuscripts of the western norms together with manuscripts that highlight on philosophy, history, religion, art, psychology and cultural studies. Such genres are a hard find in Hungary.

They liaise with research centres and publishing firms in the country to publish continue to enrich the field of social sciences.

A visit to this bookstore will give you the most recent local and international literature in the mentioned subjects.

They make these publications available to university students at very affordable prices.

All one need while visiting this bookstore is enough time to peruse through the shelves.