Central Vörösmarty tér is flooded with crowded café terraces; it’s worth stopping to savour the sweet delights on offer at the Gerbeaud patisserie, a favourite fin-de-siècle high-society haunt. By Gerbeaud’s terrace is the entrance to the Underground Railway (Földatti Vasút), the first metro line on the continent, and the second in the world after London’s, when it opened in 1896.

Váci utca, a mix of chic shops and tourist tat stalls, runs south from Vörösmarty tér. Past the Pesti Theatre, where the twelve-year-old Frank (Ferenc) Liszt made his concert debut, Váci utca continues south to the Central Market, a grand high-roofed hall whose stalls are laden with paprika, pálinka, local wines and enough sausages and hams to satisfy the most voracious meat-eater.

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