I will only be in Budapest for a few days and don’t want to get too much Hungarian Ft that I can’t use on the rest of my trip. I do plan on going to The Great Market Hall and buying some souvenirs. Am I correct in assuming I will need cash for shopping here?.
Sure, go to an ATM and pull out 20,000 to have cash in your pocket, but you will have a hard time finding a business in central Budapest that won't take your credit card.
On my first trip, I took out more cash than I needed, knowing I could used whatever was left to pay part of my hotel bill before I left. On my second trip, I just kept them for my next visit. It's been 4 years, but I'm going to spend it next week :-)
James - last time, I found a good place for souvenirs and gifts in a small street that I think was somewhere between Kadarka and Szimpla but I can't remember exactly where. They were local artisans. It was probably only there on weekends. I found several items that I didn't see anywhere else and I'm sure that I had to pay cash because I ran out and had to make a trip to an ATM.
You were probably at Gozsdu Udvar. Turn right down Kiraly utca and it will be about half way down on the left. Maybe around 26 Kiraly utca. And yes, I guess street vendors might be the exception to the credit card rule. There is an ATM in the Udvar.
Now that I think about it I have seen vendors by the Rumbach Synagogue and on weekends there are vendors in the Klauzál Market (by Mazel Tov)