I will be spending several days in Budapest in September, with a quick 2 day trip to the Subotica area of Serbia. My question is, where will my time be better spent - stopping in Szeged for 2-3 hours on my way back to Budapest, or taking a quick 2-3 hour trip out of Budapest to Szentendre? I will not have a car and am relying on public transportation. Thank you in advance for any info!
Do you prefer "grand" city with architecture dating back to the 14th century or artist "village"? And, actually both probably will take (or deserve) more than a couple of hours. I haven't been to Szeged but its on my "list". What a grand old city! If I thought i would never get that way again then I would go to Szeged. Its generally more likely that people get back to Budapest than such a remote part of Hungary. Szentendre from Budapest will take you about 30 minutes on the interlocal train. Then count on maybe 3 hours around the town, shops, food, etc. Then I would suggest you take the boat back to Budapest so another hour. Entering Budapest on the river is a very special event. Essentially this is a half day trip but easy using public transportation. I don't know how you are getting from Serbia to Budapest so I cant comment on how easy the Szged side trip would be. Sorry I wasn't much help.
Szentendre - On All Angles! The Architecture is AMAZING! The Best of the Best of engineers, designers, artists, etc, called this area, for hundreds of years were calling this their home! Very little damage was done in the 2 big wars. The just a 1/2 hour down stream, is Budepest! Szentendre is a MUST!!
I can't comment on Szeged. A few hours in Szentendre should be sufficient (it's small). I wasn't as taken with it as Arpad (and others). It's very crowded with tourists, and I preferred Vac (also on the Daunube bend on the other side of the river). It's not in Rick Steves' books - I found out about it in Frommers Budapest, and was very glad I went. James's point is a good one - Szeged is several hours from Budapest, while Szentendre is an easy day trip. So, if you think you'll ever get back to Budapest on another trip, see Szeged on this one.