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Szentendre?

Hi - i was looking for what was close to Budapest and this town came up and looks like it might be interesting. Can anyone comment on it and say how many hours one needs there to be worth the trip?
Thanks!

Posted by
2157 posts

I've been to Budapest 3 times and twice made a 1/2 day trip to Szentendre, very easily done on the HEV (rickety suburban train line)from the Batthyany ter metro station. Go to the ticket window and if you have a transit pass they will just charge the supplement, extremely cheap, and I get my return at the same time as you can get on any train. Trip takes about 45 minutes. You can also return via boat during the pleasant weather months but I haven't done that.

Some people will say it's crowded but that has not been my experience at all, visited both times on a Friday (Aug 2014 and May 2016) when they had crafts and food stands down the main street. I usually arrive by 11 and leave around 4 after having lunch outdoors at a restaurant on the main square. It's a very charming little town to explore, interesting architecture, little twisty cobblestone lanes and while there's plenty of souvenir shops of the usual variety there's also a few with more quality and unique items, and handcrafted goods. There are some little museums, and my favorite is the one devoted to the works of ceramicist Margit Kovacs--I love it so much I've been twice. It's a nice getaway from Budapest for an afternoon, poke around a bit and have lunch, walk along the Danube.

Posted by
12383 posts

I enjoy Szentendre, but it can get crowded at times; but less so than Prague and Cesky Krumlov.
As Christa points out, you take the suburban railway ( HÉV) to get to Szentendre. I never saw it as rickety, somewhat “historic” possibly. But I love the old carriages. So, the trip is from Batthyány tér on the Buda side of the river. You can reach Batthyány tér on the M2 metro line or on the 19/41 Tram line that runs the Buda side of the river.

The train is identified as the H5 line. Since a portion of it is within the boundaries of Budapest you will get a discount if you present a Travel Card or a Budapest Card when you purchase the ticket (there is ticket window at the station). The train runs about every 20 minutes all day long. The cost is 500 or 600 forints if I remember correctly. (<$3.00)

For the return, I suggest the boat. There is nothing more impressive than entering Budapest on the river; and you don’t have to do a river cruise to do it. http://www.mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-excursion-boat-lines/budapest-szentendre/ For 2.200 forints it’s a deal (<$9.00)

Some other options are Vác by innercity train out of Nyugati station on the M3 Metro line and Gödöllő on the H8 suburban rail out of Örs vezér tere which is the terminus of the M2 Metro line.

You see why I always encourage people to stay near Deak Ferenc ter where the M1, M2 and M3 all cross……

Posted by
2157 posts

James--yes, historic is a good word for the train, I say rickety because it sort of rattles along at a pleasant, not-so-swift pace.

Posted by
12383 posts

The last time i was on the M3 they were still running the '70 vintage (older?) Soviet Metrowagonmash rolling stock but I think now, after at least one false start, all the rolling stock has been "refurbished" or replaced by "new" Metrowagonmash stock. I hope they keep a few of the old "Stalin Express" cars on the tracks. They had so much character.

Posted by
2157 posts

I love the old cars on the M3 line, definitely makes you feel you might be in an episode of the Twilight Zone--and I mean that in a totally good way.

Posted by
12383 posts

On another thread the Webmaster made the statement:

From Budapest, trains and ferries both make easy day trips to the
Danube Bend area

"EASY" is a depender.

Some Options:

A. Via Vac = 4 hours of travel time to see four very interesting towns. Figure another 2 hours of going back and forth to train stations and an average of 2 hours per stop if you want to do the trip justice. So that’s 14 hours out of the day. Great in the summer when there are long days.

Train from Budapest (Nyugati) to Vác: <45 minutes
Train from Vác to Štúrovo / Esztergom: <45 minutes
Bus (880) from Esztergom to Visegrád: <60 minutes
Bus from Visegrád to Szentendre: <45 minutes
HEV from Szentendre Budapest-Batthyány Tér <45 minutes

B. Direct to Esztergom = 4 hours of travel time plus about 1.5 hours of back and forth to the train station and an average of 2 hours at each stop = So 11.5 hours out of your day to see three very interesting towns. Another long day.

Train from Budapest (Nyugati) Esztergom: <90 minutes
Bus (880) from Esztergom to Visegrád: <60 minutes
Bus from Visegrád to Szentendre: <45 minutes
HEV from Szentendre Budapest-Batthyány Tér <45 minutes

C. Just Szentendre < 90 minutes of travel time plus about 1 hour going back and forth to the train station and 2 hours in town or 4.5 hours or a nice afternoon trip.

Train to Szentendre and back: <90 minutes round trip.

D. Just Esztergom. Well worth a solitary trip. <180 minutes round trip, 1 hour back and forth to the train station and 2 hours of visiting (maybe more). So 6 hours for a good full day trip.

E. While there is no train between Visegrad and Esztergom, there is a train between Visegrad and Budapest. So Pairing Esztergom and Visegrad also works as does paring Szentendre and Visegrad. Figure an eight hour trip for either…….

To sweeten the trip, take the boat back into Budapest from Szentendre. For that add about 15 minutes more to the total time. Its bigger travel difference but because the boat docks right in the heart of the old town it’s not much longer than walking back to the train station and riding the faster train home. And it’s a lot more fun and beautiful when entering Budapest on the water.

Posted by
12383 posts

IF you have at least 3 full days (wake up and go to bed in a town is a full day in a town) in Budapest, then Szentendre makes sense for half of one of those days. Four full days in Budapest, do an all day trip.