There is something charming and romantic about European markets. Whether you’re an expat or a tourist just passing through, a visit to the farmer’s markets is a great way to absorb the local culture and get a taste for the regional cuisine.
Mosonmagyaróvár – known as Óvár amongst locals and Moson by foreigners – lies along the Hungarian border with Slovakia and Austria. The market is located along Ostermayer Street by the Chapel Square. Unlike the large central markets in Vienna and Budapest, this quaint little weekly market caters mostly to locals.
The Moson market – known as Mosoni Piac – is a feast for the senses. Breath in the pungent aroma of smoked paprika, feel the texture of ripened fruit in your hands, watch market-goers chat with the vendors while they fill their wicker baskets, and listen to the intoxicating sounds of Hungarian folk music as you indulge your taste buds with juicy sausage or deep-fried lángos (traditional flat bread) slathered in garlic and topped with grated cheese.
When to Go:
Throughout the year, local farmers and vendors arrive in the wee hours every Saturday morning to set up shop and prepare for the day ahead. The market runs all day, but the best time to visit is between 8 to 11 am as many vendors start shutting down around noon. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather. While the market takes place rain or shine, you’ll find the best results when the weather is fine and vendors expect a good turn-out.
What You’ll Find:
Making your way through the kiosks, you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables, honey and bee pollen, strings of garlic and dried peppers, and copious amounts of sweet, hot and smoked paprika. Other local delicacies commonly found at the market include mangalica pork and rolls of parenyica (a traditional smoked cheese). Depending on the season, you’ll also find savoury wild mushrooms or lush bundles of fragrant wild garlic leaves (called Bärlauch in German).
At the other end of the market, you’ll find a small flee market with a large selection of kitchenware, used books, clothing, hand-made wooden furniture, bicycles and other random items for sale.
What to Eat:
Take a break from shopping and grab a bit to eat by the town clock in the heart of the market. Here you can find grilled sausages, savoury lángos or satisfy your sweet tooth with chimney cakes baked on a spit over an open fire.
Things To Do:
Why not combine your visit with a wellness retreat. Take advantage of scenic bicycling routes, thermal baths, or visit one of the many massage parlours or beauty salons. With costs significantly less on the Hungarian side of the border, the town has also become a popular spot for low-cost dental tourism with more than 150 practicing dentists.
Have you been to Mosoni Pia? I’d love to hear your thoughts!