In 2015, Budapest was named as a member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network after an application submitted by agency Design Terminal succeeded. The Hungarian capital is now the second city (Berlin was the first) in the Central European region to be awarded the title “City of Design.” This tour with an Insight Cities urban historian helps you to explore the sophistication and creativity, and the diverse cultural influences that play thorough Budapest's cutting-edge design scene. We focus on the 5th district and vast warehouses such as Magma, a flagship for Hungarian design from jewelry to tableware (only items by Hungarian designers are to be found there). Nearby, high up on the floors of the Paris courtyard lies the workshop of Je Suis Belle duo: Tibi and Dalma, fashion designers who graduated from Moma (the prestigious Budapest applied design school) and started their own brand in 2005.
Closer to the Danube, we visit another great workshop: Tipton eyewear. Zachary, its founder, is a Hungarian who grew up in the USA and started by making glasses frames out of his father vinyl collection! Since then, he even began a line of frames out of celluloid film (the collection is now sold out but we can see them!). Heading east, we walk the delicious smaller streets of the 5th district to stop in front of In Situ, another popular Hungarian design shop and several intimate boutiques. From there we move back to the boulevards to enter Paloma. Launched in 2015, this courtyard is now home to some 40 Hungarian designers of all kinds (jewelry, bag, shoes). The pastry shop-café next door is a wonderful place to have a break. Our last stop is the Tisza shoes shop of Astoria. The logo of Tisza was reshaped as in the beginning of the 2000 but Tisza used to be the shoe brand that everyone wore during Hungary's communist decades, as there was nothing else available. It is thus fascinating to see the come-back of Tisza on the quality shoe market and the brand’s re-emergence as iconic of Hungary's hipster youth. If we are lucky enough to tour with you during the weekend, we’ll make sure to end at one of Budapest's two great weekend design markets: Gouba or Wamp!