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To Gyor or Not to Gyor, that is the question

Hello!
Planning a trip to Central Europe May 2024. This is a reboot of a trip I wanted to do mid pandemic. Regrouping to do 4N Budapest 4N Vienna 3N Prague. Looking for a small town to do a 1N in between Budapest and Vienna. I've been reading a little about Gyor. Some say it's a hidden gem, some say industrial blah and don't bother. I know 1N stays are generally frowned upon, but if it happens to be on the way from Budapest to Vienna, maybe it's worth it to experience a small town. I guess Bratislava is another option, but that seems like a larger city that is worth way more than 1N, and I just can't spare more than 1N unfortunately.

I don't really like just day trips. I like being there at night and seeing what towns are like after the daytrippers leave. Although, it does not sound like Gyor has daytrippers to begin with. I'd appreciate input from anyone on this forum who has been there.

I've read there is a nice Cathedral of the Virgin Mary and the Gyor Synagogue. Although, maybe because is not a big tourist spot, those places are not open. Like, here in Denver, I would not expect every church or synagogue to just be open for random people to walk in whenever they want. Probably only open during services? There is a City Hall, a nice square (like literally every other town in Europe, probably).

What do you think? Worth an overnight? Thank you!

Posted by
9898 posts

I wouldn’t stop between Budapest and Vienna, they’re just too easy to get between.

If you want to do a one-nighter “out” somewhere (like more small town than these big cities), you might consider Melk or somewhere else out in the Wachau Valley outside Vienna. You can go out by train, come back the next day by boat or something.

I’ve been to Gyor many a time. I don’t know that I would specifically stop to spend a night there (and to me, it’s not a “small town,” either, it’s a decently sized city. And I don’t personally think Bratislava is worth spending a night in either, but I know I’m a bit of a snob about Bratislava.

Posted by
27443 posts

I liked Gyor. It has an attractive historic center and a bunch of small museums (many art-related) I found interesting. It's a good base for a visit to the Pannonhalma Archabbey, too.

Posted by
4003 posts

We stayed in Bratislava for one night, it was enough to see the small old town. Not much outside of this area. We took a lovely ride down the Danube from Vienna. You could go the opposite direction obviously. If you decide on this route, the Slovakian boat was 1/4 the price of the Austrian and while not as nice, it was nice enough. It’s a short ride. We got there early and sat in the front seats.

Posted by
18843 posts

Gyor is on the Budapest to Vienna Train line, so it's not a detour. You would want to arrive early and stay at the Hotel Klastrom in the old district. The hotel is a converted 18th-century convent. Check in and call a taxi to take you to the Pannonhalma Archabbey. That's 3 to 4 hours of sightseeing. Check the website for tour details and the history. In some ways, it's better than Melk. Then late afternoon and evening in the historic center. Early train the next day to Vienna. I would do I, have done it, in a heartbeat.

Posted by
194 posts

Thank you for the replies. What I am hearing you say is that it may be worth staying a night in Gyor, but especially so if I visit Pannonhalma Archabbey, about a 30-min car ride from Gyor. This looks like an amazing place. 300K books in the library, including the oldest Hungarian language book. I think we are onto something here...
Also - I've not posted on the Austria thread yet, but we are planning to visit Melk as well, when we are in Vienna.

Posted by
18843 posts

The differences are that Melk is a bit larger, but Pannonhalma is religiously more active. Both are beautiful.

Oh, and Melk is a side trip and Pannonhalma is on the way.

Posted by
9898 posts

I am aware that Gyor is on the train line between Budapest and Vienna, since I started going to Gyor in 1993. I still consider that stopping over there breaks up what is a terrifically easy (when not all things are) journey between Bp and Vienna on a visit that already is not that long. If I had 11 (or 12) nights in Central Europe, I wouldn't use one of them for Gyor. That is all my answer reflected. I enjoyed my times in Gyor very much, but I lived in Hungary two different times, so I had more "nights" at my disposal.

And the fact remains that Gyor doesn't meet this stated criteria at all:

Looking for a small town to do a 1N in between Budapest and Vienna.

Enjoy Pannonhalma, indeed it is very cool. And your visit to Gyor will give you the flavor of a mid-sized Habsburg city, which is fun in and of itself..

Posted by
194 posts

Thank you, Kim! I see that Gyor is actually one of the largest cities in Hungary. So when I said "small town" I guess I meant small-ish compared to Budapest and Vienna and Prague. It does not sound like Gyor will be riddled with tour crowds, unless everyone reads this thread and heads there next May. Ha!
I'm still working out the itinerary, but I feel like my heart is set on staying in Gyor, for better or worse. But I am one that tries to put a square peg in a round hole, if that makes sense.

Posted by
18843 posts

Yes, it's a city, but staying in the historic center and the train station is near the center, so you won't be aware of the size of the city. Tourism was there on my visits. But wasn't bad. Tourism in Budapest has been light this year too, who knows in the Spring.