Hungary beyond Budapest

May 13th, 2004, 02:00 AM
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Hungary beyond Budapest

A habitual advisor to others, I now seek advice on: Hungarian sights outside the capital.

I have been to Budapest twice in 2004. My fiance likely has to make 2 more trips to Budapest, in late summer and/ or autumn.

I have seen traditional nearby sights (Szentendre, Godollo)and would travel to Hungary again this year only if we could make a tour by car or train from Budapest (a few days' duration) to see something new and fascinating.

I have been told that Balaton is dated and tacky. I do not think I am interested in the Great Plain. I like charm, scenery, historic architecture, good food. Not terribly spa-oriented.

Research on the internet gives very spotty impressions. Pecs? Eger? Sopron? Please give me the benefit of your experiences.
tedgale is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 02:21 AM
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I would recommend the Pecs area down near Croatia. Nearby you have the wine town of Villanyi [as well as the sculpture park], Siklos, a small charming medieval castle and Mariagyud -- the Loudres of southern Hungary. Pecs is also the home of Zsolnay porcelain and has an old bastion as well as a Romanesque style cathedral, several interesting museums interesting Ottoman remnants and a champagne cellar! You could very easily take a train to Pecs and then rent a car.

I have a lot of information on my Pecs page at Virtual Tourist:
sfowler is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 03:45 AM
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I second sfowler's Pecs recommendation. If you need more information, there's a nice discription of the place at

I would also recommend Lake Batalon. The south has, as you said, become a little bit tacky, but the north has remained a tranquil getaway, with a simply beautiful landscape.
Mariannah is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 04:43 AM
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We enjoyed a day or two in Eger; however, we were not particularly impressed with the much hyped wine caves.

If you really want to see and do something different, drive in to Romania. It is gorgeous countryside and shows you a whole different type of life style. The communist era really destroyed a fascinating place. Do not go i to Romania if you are primarily interested in fine lodging and dining and in pampering yourself. The tourist infrastructure is very poorly developed there. We flew into Budapest and rented a car and spent 10 days in Romania (never visited Bucharest however because we had heard nothing good about it).
julies is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Good insights so far -- and by saying "so far" I don't mean to denigrate advice received -- but I'm hoping to get a range of options.

Second, any Pecs, Balaton or Romanian hotels to recommend?
tedgale is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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I've never been to Hungary, but here's a good thread:
cmt is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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We spent two nights in Sopron last fall. The old town is very pretty and charming and can be seen in half a day. We drove to Koszeg, a smaller town,in the afternoon. It is also very attractive and, considering both the old town and newer areas, is perhaps more uniformly attractive than Sopron. We also enjoyed good food at very reasonable prices while there. I can't speak to other attractions in the area.
dcdee is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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Last time we stayed at Hotel Palitinus, a member of the Danubius group. Rooms were so-so, but the public areas were incredible and you are right on the walking street near the main square.

Avoidthe Patria -- it's ugly modern and not really central.
sfowler is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:42 PM
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Slow Foods recently did an issue about the Tokaj region and the production of Tokai, which I thought very interesting. You might be able to get a back issue from them.

Also, what about Fertod - the Versailles of Hungary (?).
marktynernyc is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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I enjoyed Eger for its baroque architecture. It has a minaret, too! I'm not a wine person, so I didn't go to the wine caves. It also has a small folklore museum about the local Palots people, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

I only spent a day on the north shore of Lake Balaton in autumn, but I agree, the Tihany peninsula is really quite lovely. And Baltonfured, which I had to visit to make bus connections to Tihany, was actually rather charming in a decayed grandeur sort of way. It depneds upon your taste.

I liked Sopron, too, but I really don't recall that much about it, except that on an evening walk I chanced upon a small cemetery full of graves of Russian soldiers, all with red stars on their tombstones, and all dead within a few days of each other during WWII.

I'm afraid I didn't make it to Pecs.
KT is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 06:50 PM
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We drove to Eger in late April 2004 for a day trip outside Budapest.

We started at the wine caves- not exactly the Napa Valley. This is where the locals by cheap wine in a recycled soda bottle! The caves are kind of neat and if you like slumming it a little, definately worth a peek. A couple inexpensive restaurants are right there.

The town square of Eger is nice with a a few gorgeous Churches. We walked up to the Castle and peered over the town. We had lunch right off the main square at an outdoor cafe- good and cheap.

Good day trip.
blackdogphoto is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Thanks to all contributors to this thread. I had, in particular, forgotten about Fertod -- a useful suggestion. It seems I will be able to put together a good itinerary. Again, thanks.
tedgale is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 01:31 PM
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tedgale: Sorry for the late post. I don't get here very often anymore.
I disagree with the opinions about the Lake Balaton area. Especially since from there, you could easily take in Pecs and Villanyi (particularly if you enjoy good wine) which are delightful. The village of Tihany is good touring, especially the views of Balaton from the park on the hills above the village, the 12th century church and the thatched roof houses further up on the hills. The Festetics Palace at Keszthely is as beautiful as the Esterhaza Palace at Fertod. It has one of the most beautiful hand carved and constructed oak libraries I have ever seen. Marvelous!
Having said that, I can make an equally compelling case for Fertod, the Pannonhalma Abbey near Gyor, Sopron and my favorite village in Hungary, the little walled village of Koszeg.
Either way, you are in for an enjoyable trip. It would be a shame not to do this by car in my humble opinion. There are so many interesting stops along the way in either direction. I have written here about most of these places. Do a search on each of the places and you will get a good deal of additional information, mine and others'. Have a great trip.
joegri is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Pecs was very nice. we also went to Szeged and then into Romania. Coming into Romania from the west was not a good idea we weny from Arad to Deva in Romania and decided to leave. walking in the streets did not feel safe, most of the street light were out and bands of dogs were roaming. Gypsie kids kept pulling at us for money. The hotel one of 2, had no hot water in the morning, staff didn't seem to care.
Eger is also a beautiful city as well as my namesake,
aeiger is offline  

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