While Kecskemet may have the most beautifully
preserved Art Nouveau center in the country, Szeged Hungary has a collection
of the grandest architecture outside of Budapest.
It boasts Roman ruins, Turkish thermal
spas, and baths, as well as the largest university in the country. There’s
good theater, nightlife, and excellent dining
at a variety of restaurants. The city is located to the south of Kecskemet and
also on the Great Hungarian Plain known as the Putsza. It’s the most cosmopolitan
Hungarian city on the southern plains. All this provides many things
to do in Szeged and the surrounding countryside, and the growing Szeged
travel and tourism industry continues to bring more vitality to the city.
Yellow is the color of the Austrian Habsburgs, who played such an important part of Hungarian history and ruled the country after the Turks were driven out. The signature attraction of Szeged Hungary is the lovely main square with its elegant classical yellow buildings. After the great flood of 1879 virtually destroyed the city, Austrian Emperor Franz helped rebuild the city along the same graceful lines as Vienna Austria, his own capital city. Like Vienna, Szeged’s main square is bisected by wide boulevards and lined with beautiful buildings and monuments.
Take one of the many organized Szeged tours available or simply stroll around the main square, also called Cathedral Square, to explore this glorious Art Nouveau treasure on your own. The twin-towered Cathedral with its five bells dominates the city’s skyline. You’ll also see the lovely City Hall and National Theatre, as well as the fanciful water tower and the simpler Demetrius Tower. There are ornate palaces and the stately Ferenc Móra Museum, dedicated to the favorite son of Szeged and one of the country’s greatest literary and intellectual giants.
There are many Szeged attractions other than the popular Cathedral Square. Budapest has its Great Synagogue, but Szeged Hungary has its own Grand Synagogue located in the old, once-thriving Jewish quarter. A Moorish Art Nouveau structure, it has an extraordinary tabernacle carved from acacia wood. If all this isn’t enough, even the lively pedestrian-only shopping area of Szeged’s Klauzel Square is lined with attractive neo-Classical buildings.
Szeged travel has always been important. Once located in the center of the country and on the navigable Tisza River, it was a crossroads of cultures and on a major trading route. After World War II, Hungary’s southern territories were ceded to Serbia and Romania. Therefore, Szeged became an important border town. Today, there is reliable transportation from Budapest both by highway and on Hungary’s extensive rail system.
As befits such a cosmopolitan university city, Szeged dining opportunities are many and varied. Don’t forget to order some Hungary wine to complement your meal. Look for Szeged tours that take advantage of the country’s thriving wine producing industry. Proximity to the river means that fish is a city specialty; you will find good restaurants and cafés serving the signature fish soup and fresh perch and carp all over town. The best are down by the river. Spend some time in the university area, and you’ll find other great dining venues, all tested by students looking out for both their taste buds and wallets.
The history of Hungary and the fabric
of its culture are intertwined with the cultivation of that fiery spice, paprika.
Paprika is an integral ingredient of many traditional Hungarian dishes. If you’re
enjoying Szeged travel you’re going to taste it, because the region is the center
of paprika cultivation. Paprika isn’t used the way most Americans use it—for
deviled eggs and potato salad decoration. The Hungarians use it as a full-fledged
ingredient. Paprika a spice made from red chili peppers, and while some is extremely
hot (csispos), most is sweet and quite mild. This and liberal use of garlic
makes authentic Hungarian cuisine and dining quite exquisite. Around the area
of the Alsovarosi Church is a neighborhood full of traditional paprika growers
whose drying peppers drape entire houses.
Many vacation packages include Szeged tours and this is also a good extension after one of the cruises on the Danube River. Other Szeged travel opportunities exist in the wide-open spaces of the surrounding countryside, for the city is in the Great Hungarian Plain.