Szeged is sure to entertain you throughout the duration of your visit. The university vibes make the atmosphere of this small city young and fresh, creating the ideal mix between current culture and history.
Szeged is the third largest city in Hungary and has much to offer culturally and intellectually. One of the most distinguished universities in Hungary, the University of Szeged is located here. After WWI, when Hungary’s southern region became Romania and Serbia, Szeged became the southernmost city in Hungary and is now the most important city in the area. It is located on the Tisza river.
The most convenient option to get to Szeged from Budapest is the train. It is a quick two and a half hour ride leaving from Nyugati Pályaudvar. There are also buses, but these take longer and are only marginally cheaper, so we recommend the train.
As with any trip from a big city to a smaller one, the most remarkable thing when first arriving to Szeged is the less metropolitan feel of it. Its main square is surrounded by greenery, making it a pleasant relief from the sometimes noisy and unpleasant buzz of Budapest. Szeged definitely has the vibes of a student city, making it sufficiently lively despite its small size.
What to see
Szeged Synagogue- Featuring spectacular and highly detailed architecture, this synagogue was built in 1907 and designed by a Jewish-Hungarian architect. It is in the unique Magyar style which blends Art Nouveau and Historicist styles. It is the 4th largest synagogue in the world.
Votive Church- Located in Dóm tér, this Catholic church features ornate architecture on the exterior and beautiful frescoes in the interior. If you’re ready to climb stairs there is a great view of the city from the towers. Also on Dóm square is the National Pantheon, check it out to learn more about the historically relevant figures of Szeged.
Dömötör tower – Yet another important landmark located in Dóm square, this tower is the oldest building in Szeged and was built in the 11th century. It was once part of a larger church, but the rest of it has since been destroyed.
Szeged Open-Air Festival- This was one of the first summer theaters launched in Hungary over 70 years ago. The performances at the festival are definitely the main attraction of Szeged during the summer season. The church square – where the event is organized – provide the perfect location for open air theatrical performances with excellent acoustics. Here is this year’s program.
University of Szeged Botanical Gardens- If you catch these gardens at the right time you can find flowers blooming and birds chirping, but other times of year are beautiful too. The gardens include outdoor areas, a butterfly house, and numerous greenhouses with plants from all over the world. It is located outside the city centre, but you can access it easily with the bus.
Szeged Zoo – An expansive zoo with high quality presentations and information about the animals. It is well-maintained, clean, and the animals are kept in good conditions. This is a fun place to spend a sunny afternoon looking at cute furry friends.
Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis – If you’re visiting Szeged for a longer period of time, this spa makes for a fun day for the whole family. The waterpark has a large variety of slides to suit all age groups, a spa area with thermal waters, and a silent spa section for adults wanting some peace and quiet. It has both indoor and outdoor sections so it is a suitable activity for anytime of year.
Where to Eat
If you’re looking for the classics then this is your place! They serve delicious traditional Hungarian food at reasonable prices.
This restaurant and cafe is known for their burgers and beer. They have wonderful variety for both and their food is presented on an insta-worthy rustic platter.
For an upscale dining experience, this is your place. Modern and chic interior design creates a classy and relaxing indoor atmosphere and the food is presented beautifully. More expensive than the other options, but completely worth it if you’re a foodie.
After visiting one of the tasty restaurants above, go to this little cafe for dessert! Guests mention their retes and cheesecake as being particularly delectable, but they also offer crepes and soft-serve ice cream.
Overall there is much more to do in Szeged than you would expect from such a small city. It is definitely a town that can be visited for more than a day trip. If you’re looking to travel within Hungary, Szeged should be the first destination on your list!