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September in Hungary, but where in Hungary?

Definitely Budapest. That's a given, since I've been there before so I know I really really want to go back.

I'm soliciting opinions on Pécs and Eger, but I'm open to other suggestions. Also recommendations for day trips from Budapest. Rick's guide book has too many!! - Godollo Palace, Lazar Lovaspark, Holloko, Danube Bend, Szentendre, Visegrad, Esztergom. If you've done them, which 2-3 would you recommend?

Posted by
10985 posts

I will probably get in trouble for this, but I'm not going to answer the "which 2 -3" part of the question because I'm not sure what you would enjoy and I don't know your budget or means of transportation. Some are great by train, some do better with a car. Some are exhausting and some are laid back.

So here is my list and few observations:

Pécs is a very enjoyable place for an early morning train down and a late train the next day or early morning the following day. Its pretty unique. Its one of those places we run to when the September weather in Budapest turns cold early cause its generally a few degrees warmer in Pecs.

Eger is a great overnight trip. Longer if you are into wineries and wine cellars. You can pair it with Holloko (not too impressive in my book).

Gödöllő really isn’t an out of town trip. It’s a suburb trip. Best done in the spring when the flowers are blooming in the gardens.

You can do all three towns on a Danube Bend tour but it’s too fast for me and a bit tiring.

Szentendre is a good half day trip that I enjoy. Do Buda in the morning then catch the commuter to Szentendre in time for lunch there then catch the boat back to Budapest (about 5pm – look it up). Budapest is beautiful to enter on the water.

Visegrad is “okay” and much better if an event is going on.

Esztergom is one of the great overlooked destinations by tourists. It’s a very long day trip or an overnight event. I’ve only been once and I need to return for at least an overnight.

Vác is also a nice little typical village with some interesting history and mummies.. Stop and feed the bears on the way back (day trip)

Panonhalma and Győr well worth the effort (long day trip or an overnight stay either on its own or when traveling between Vienna and Budapest)

Tihany; considered by many the enjoyable and prettiest part of Balaton. I love it. Its an overnight or a two night trip depending on if you want to visit some of the other Balaton towns (all are good one way or another).

Komárom; one of the more fascinating place I have visited. But you have to be into old forts to enjoy it.

Etyeki, especially if you can be there for one of their Piknik’s A lot of fun.

A couple I haven’t been to yet, but on my menu are

Kecskemét (day trip to an interesting town)

Lillafüred, beautiful old hotel surrounded by a late and forests, forest narrow gauge railroad, caverns, nature.

Lázár Lovaspark I have never been to. Waiting until I want to deal with the tourists.

Okay, I highlighted a few of the more favorite stops.

Posted by
2096 posts

I visited Godollo last May and found it to be a nice 3-4 hour change (including train travel) from Budapest; I had become intrigued by Sisi and Franz Joseph in Vienna and touring this smaller palace was a good choice, it had a much more intimate feel, especially if you know about Sisi and her love for the Hungarian people. I didn't linger in the town itself as I wanted to get back to Budapest for an event that evening.

I have visited Szentendre twice now, probably won't do it this trip in April because I have less time and will likely make a long day trip to Pecs instead. I really like Szentendre, very laid-back feel to it, nice to stroll the river and poke around the twisty little lanes. If you go I hope you visit the little Margit Kovacs museum off the main square--her work resonates with me and I went both visits, along with finding more of her work around Budapest. 1/2 hour will do it. I also like a restaurant on the square--can't recall the name, outdoor seating--and an antique shop where the proprietress and I have had some good chats about life, antiques and men. She was pleased to see me again and recalled exactly the piece I bought the year before.

Taking the HEV trains for both was very simple.

I am Hungarian on my mother's side and would love to visit Holloko, but getting there seems confusing, especially without a car. Will have to work on figuring it out.

Posted by
10985 posts

More information on Hollókő is at: http://www.holloko.hu/en/events/ This is the link to the events page, because it isn’t a place I would go unless there were an event going on. There are direct busses to Hollókő, but I believe they take a few hours each way and Hollókő just isn’t worth a 2 hour trip in my mind. BUT, if you have a car its just over an hour away from Budapest. You might check this gentleman for rates. You might find it affordable: http://www.silverwings.hu/

Easier is the archabbey at Pannonhalma. http://bences.hu/ Again, try and find an event but even if you cant its worth the trip. This you do by train to Gyor and get a taxi to the Archabbey and the winery. The hotel Klastrom is good and well situated in the old part of town. Great history too, it is a converted 18th century monastery.

Oh, and on Szentendre, you have to take the boat back. That's like the icing on the cake. http://www.mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-excursion-boat-lines/budapest-szentendre/

Posted by
14004 posts

Thank you both for the wealth of information. Now it's time for me to do some homework ☺