As in Hungary itself, Pecs tourism has increased dramatically since the end
of the Soviet Era, and there are ample Pecs
hotels and Hungary apartments
that are available for longer stays. The hills surrounding the city are quite
beautiful, and boast some Pecs hotels with excellent restaurants. When you go
to Pecs travel into the Mecsek Hills for some of the best dining
and hiking in the region.
The ancient city of Pecs Hungary has a multicultural heritage that includes rich Hungarian traditions and a history dating to the Romans, who called it Sopianae. UNESCO has recognized the early Christian Necropolis of Sopianae, a remnant of the Roman Empire, as a World Heritage Site, and Hungary’s first university was founded here in the mid-fourteenth century.
Pecs Hungary will join Essen, Germany,
and Istanbul, Turkey, as a European
Capital of Culture in 2010, so vacations here will truly give you insight into
Hungarian culture. The Turks, under Suleyman the Magnificent, defeated the King
of Hungary in the 1526 battle at Mohács, and they ruled thereafter for 140 years.
There are many mementos left from the Turkish occupation. The Parish Church
was once the Pasha Gazi Kassim Pasha mosque, and is today Hungary’s largest
example of Ottoman architecture. It fact, it still looks very much like a mosque,
despite functioning as a Christian church since the Turks were driven out in
1686. There is also a striking four-towered Medieval cathedral.
You may decide that when to go should coincide with the grape harvest. With the end of communism, wine producing (including champagne) and viticulture have had a remarkable renaissance. Pecs tourism benefits from the very Mediterranean climate in this part of Hungary, despite being far from the sea. This climate is great for grapes, and this is one of the prime regions for Hungary wine making. One of the things to do in Pecs is to set off on a champagne tasting trip through the city’s wine cellars. Then spend some time exploring the vineyards in the surrounding countryside.
Another of the things to do in Pecs is simply stroll around the Old Town with its elegant central Széchenyi Square, Holy Trinity column, baroque Bishop’s Palace, classicist and art nouveau houses, and the dominating bulk of the mosque-like Parish Church. When you’re spending time here, Pecs travel and transportation is fairly simple—what can’t be done on foot is easily accessible by public bus.
Other Pecs attractions include the Zsolnay Museum, containing significant tile, ceramic, and porcelain pieces made under the guidance of favorite son Vilmos Zsolnay, who gave his name to the town’s main square. During the reign of the Habsburgs, Pecs Hungary was a center of ceramic making, and many of the buildings display examples of the art. Shopping in town provides opportunities to purchase many unique Zsolnay designs as well as traditional Hungarian souvenirs.
All of Hungary has a rich Jewish heritage, and Pecs Hungary is no exception. The grand old wooden Synagogue, built in 1869 and with a lovely interior paneled in rich red mahogany, is open to the public from May to September. One of the important annual events in Pecs is held here in July to commemorate the deportation of the town’s Jews to Auschwitz.
All of this has fed the thriving Pecs tourism industry, and Pecs travel can easily be planned around events and festivals, of which there are several from spring through autumn. Many vacation packages include the town in their itineraries, and if you’re arriving from one of the Danube River cruises do make a stop at Novi Sad in Serbia to explore the ancient Petrovaradin Fortess. It’s set impregnably high on an outcrop overlooking the Danube River, and was fortified to (unsuccessfully) repel the Turkish advance. Along this stretch of the river, the Danube itself is the border between the two countries, and many river cruises disembark on the Serbian side to make the day trip to Pecs.