Szeged is the third largest city in Hungary and an important cultural and commercial center located in the southern part of the country. Szeged sits near the meeting point of the Tisza and Maros Rivers and has a sunny transitional climate between oceanic and continental. Szeged has a total population of 161,642 as of 2023.
The first mentions of the town named “Szeged” date back to the 12th century during the early Hungarian kingdom. Szeged was an important town due to its strategic location on trading routes and the king had fortress walls built around it. Szeged prospered but was pillaged by the Ottomans in 1526. It was occupied by the Turks in 1543 and became an administrative center for the Ottoman Empire. The city reached its economic peak in the 18th century but was nearly destroyed by massive flooding in 1879. Emperor Franz Josef visited after the flood and vowed Szeged would be rebuilt. The reconstruction in the late 1800s gave Szeged wide boulevards, palaces, churches and buildings in various architectural styles like Art Nouveau.
Szeged offers visitors a variety of memorable things to see and do. One of the top attractions is Dom Square, a massive cobblestone plaza located downtown near the River Tisza. Visitors can explore the intricate Votive Church fronting the square, landmarks like the Gothic Dömötör Tower and statues honoring renowned Hungarians in the National Pantheon arcade. Dom Square transforms into an open-air stage hosting performances for the Szeged Open-Air Festival during summer. The time zone in Szeged is Central European Time (CET), UTC+1, with daylight saving time observed in summer when clocks move ahead one hour.
Listed below are the things to do in Szeged.
- Dom Square. Dom Square (Dóm Tér) is a large town square in Szeged, Hungary, covering 12,000 square meters. It was designed by Béla Rerrich and built between 1928 and 1930. It is surrounded by elegant, northern European-style buildings. Key landmarks include the Votive Church of Szeged and the medieval Dömötör Tower. The square has historical significance and houses the National Pantheon, with over 100 statues of prominent Hungarians. It also hosts the annual Szeged Open-Air Festival.
- Szeged Synagogue. The Szeged Synagogue is an ornate structure built in 1902 and 1903 to serve the Jewish community, blending Art Nouveau, Moorish Revival, Gothic and Byzantine elements. It has a massive 50-meter blue and gold cupola decorated with stars and flowers. Notable features include a marble Torah ark, Jerusalem marble altar, decorated menorahs and beautiful wall paintings of biblical plants. The synagogue also has excellent acoustics and houses a magnificent 2,000-pipe organ for Jewish services and concerts.
- Napfényfürdő Aquapolis. Napfényfürdő Aquapolis is a large water park and spa complex in Szeged, opened in 2010. It has indoor and outdoor pools and waterslides, including the longest all-year waterslide in Europe at 272 meters, starting from a 30-meter tower. There is also a 223-meter slide with a thrilling kamikaze drop. Other amenities include thermal pools, saunas, treatments, restaurants and sunbathing areas.
- Votive Church of Szeged. The Votive Church in Szeged is a neo-Romanesque cathedral built between 1913 and 1930. It is modeled after the Cathedral of Marseille and has twin 230-foot towers. Its interior can accommodate 8,500 people and features gold accents, religious paintings, two 9,000 pipe organs and Hungary’s largest 8-ton bell. Stained glass windows, intricately decorated surfaces and a crypt museum dating to the 11th century add to its splendor.
- Szeged Zoo. Szeged Zoo opened in 1989 as Hungary’s largest at 45 hectares. A nature reserve oak forest sets the backdrop for animal enclosures grouped by geographic region. Szeged Zoo houses many endangered species not found elsewhere in the country across around 200 species and 1,500 specimens.
- Kárász utca. Kárász utca is a 280-meter pedestrian shopping street and top attraction running through central Szeged, lined with historic architecture, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. It won a prestigious award for architectural restoration. Landmarks include statues at Dugonics Square and a famous interactive musical fountain.
- Botanical Garden of Szeged. The Szeged University Botanical Garden was established in 1922 and today contains over 5,000 plant species, ranking among Hungary’s most diverse. Highlights include the medicinal herb garden, arboretum, greenhouses, rose garden, Japanese garden and iconic Indian Lotus Pond – home to Central Europe’s largest outdoor lotus collection spanning 1,200 square meters.
- Museum of Móra Ferenc. The Museum of Móra Ferenc is a neoclassical 1896 building that serves as Szeged’s Palace of Culture and regional research hub. Permanent and temporary exhibits cover archaeology, ethnography, history, science and art related to the Szeged area or other cultures. The rooftop observation deck provides city views.
1. Dom Square (Dóm Tér)
Dóm Square or Dóm tér, is a large town square in Szeged, Hungary. It is one of the largest squares in the country, covering an area of about 12,000 square meters, equivalent to the area of Saint Mark Square in Venice. The square was designed by Béla Rerrich and built between 1928 and 1930. The name Dóm tér is derived from the Votive Church of Szeged, which lies on the square. The square is surrounded by elegant, northern European-style buildings. The square is also home to the medieval Dömötör Tower. Dóm Square has a history and a significant role in Hungarian culture. The National Pantheon, placed under the arcades, includes over a hundred statues representing the prominent characters of Hungarian history, sciences and arts. The square is also the venue for the Szeged Open-Air Festival, first held in front of the Votive Church in 1931. The festival has presented an abundance of theatrical shows, amusing audiences in what is referred to as the country's largest “star-roof theatre”.
Visitors to Dóm Square can explore the Votive Church, the National Pantheon and the university institutes. They can also attend the Szeged Open-Air Festival, which offers a variety of theatrical performances. The square is perfect for all visitors, including families, history enthusiasts and those interested in architecture and culture. There is no admission cost to enter Dóm Square. Certain attractions within the square, such as the Votive Church, may have their admission fees. The square is owned by the City of Szeged and is open to the public.
2. Szeged Synagogue
The Szeged Synagogue is located at 10 Josika Street in Szeged, Hungary. Szeged is a city in southeastern Hungary, near the Romanian border, known for its thriving paprika production, beautiful architecture and cultural scene. The synagogue was built in 1902-1903 to serve Szeged's large Jewish population. It was designed by the renowned Jewish Hungarian architect Lipót Baumhorn in an ornate Eclectic architectural style, blending elements of Art Nouveau, Moorish Revival, Gothic and Byzantine influences.
The massive domed structure, standing nearly 50 meters tall, makes a striking visual impression from the exterior. The blue and gold cupola rises 32 meters over the main hall and is decorated with stars and floral designs representing infinity and faith. There are twenty-four columns, symbolizing the hours of the day, supporting the cupola. Intricate stained glass windows designed by artist Miksa Róth allow colorful light to filter into the space. Some particularly notable features include the marble Torah ark, carved from acacia wood imported from the banks of the Nile, the Jerusalem marble on the altar, menorahs decorated with precious stones and the beautiful wall paintings depicting plants mentioned in the Bible. These botanical motifs were included at the suggestion of Rabbi Immanuel Löw, who took a scholarly interest in biblical flora. The synagogue is also admired for its excellent acoustics. It houses a magnificent organ with over 2,000 pipes used for concerts and events and the building's primary use is Jewish religious services.
Visitors to the Szeged Synagogue can admire the architecture and decorative details during open hours. Guided tours are available to learn more about the history and symbolism throughout the building. The synagogue also hosts occasional concerts and cultural events that the public can attend. The space is most appreciated by adults interested in religious architecture, Art Nouveau-style buildings, Jewish culture and heritage sites and lovers of ornamental beauty. However, all are welcome to visit and children can also enjoy the colors, shapes and sounds inside. There is an admission fee to enter the synagogue. Tickets are priced at 500 Hungarian Forints (2€, $2, 1£) for each person. Discounted group rates and packages are also available.
3. Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis (Sunshine Aquapolis Szeged)
Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis, also known as Sunshine Aquapolis Szeged, is a large water park and spa complex in Szeged, Hungary, at Torontál tér 1, 6726. Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis opened in 2010 and features indoor and outdoor pools and waterslides, including record-breaking attractions. The water park features the longest all-year-round waterslide in Europe at 272 meters, starting from a 30-meter high slide tower. There is also a 223-meter waterslide with a thrilling kamikaze drop at the end. There are 13 waterslides spanning 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in length.
Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis caters to those seeking relaxation and pampering. A “silent wellness” area has various pools and water features like bubble beds. The spa area offers amenities like saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs and treatments like massages. There is also a large outdoor sunbathing area during the summer months. There is a specific family wellness area, an adventure pool with smaller slides for kids and a “baby-mommy world”. The indoor spaces are open year-round so that the park can be enjoyed regardless of the weather. Several restaurants and food outlets are on-site so guests can refuel without leaving the park. The waterslides and adventure pools at Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis cater best to thrill-seeking kids, teens and young adults. Families with young children can enjoy the kids' areas. The medicinal thermal pools may also appeal to older visitors. Standard admission tickets to Napfenyfurdo Aquapolis are 7,600 HUF (20€, $19, 17£) per person. Discounted 3-hour and afternoon tickets are available. Visitors of the nearby Hunguest Hotel Forras get complimentary access to the water park.
4. Votive Church of Szeged
The Votive Church of Szeged is located in Szeged, the third largest city in Hungary, in the country's Southern Great Plain region along the Tisza River. Szeged has a long history, with archaeological evidence of human inhabitation dating back over 8,000 years. The city has endured many hardships, including a devastating flood in 1879 that destroyed much of the city. Citizens wanted to construct a church to signify their vow to God that the city would restore its wealth and glory. This led to the Votive Church being built between 1913 and 1930 in Szeged's downtown Klauzal Square area at Aradi Vértanúk tere 2.
The impressive structure of the Votive Church makes it a highlight for any visitor to Szeged. The church can accommodate up to 8,500 people with its immense neo-Romanesque interior. The architecture is modeled after the Cathedral of Marseille in France and features twin towers over 230 feet tall. The façade displays columns, arcades and intricate brickwork designs. Inside, the church gleams with beautiful gold accents, religious paintings, two organs with over 9,000 pipes and the largest bell in Hungary, weighing over 8 tons. Stained glass windows allow colorful light inside and intricately designed patterns decorate nearly every surface.
Visitors can enter the Votive Church daily to admire its impressive architecture and interior design. Guests can admire the sheer size and beauty of the sanctuary, observe details in the ornate chapels and side rooms, listen to organ concerts performed on the massive instruments, climb up into the towers and visit the church's crypt museum to see ruins of previous churches built on the site dating back to the 11th century. Attending a ceremony or mass allows visitors to see the church as it hosts religious gatherings and experience the resonant acoustics. Visitors should dress and behave respectfully inside. Guided tours may be arranged through the city's tourist information office for those wanting to learn more about the church. The remarkable atmosphere and history of the Votive Church appeal to visitors of all backgrounds. Adults and families often visit to appreciate the stunning architecture and take photos of the intricate details throughout the building. The museum and crypt satisfy history buffs interested in the church's past. Music aficionados enjoy taking in the powerful notes from the organs during concerts. There is no cost to enter the main church area for individual sightseeing and prayer during visiting hours. An admission fee applies to access the crypt museum and special events like concerts require paid tickets. Guided tours also come with additional fees. But the church graciously opens its doors for free general admission so all may enjoy its neo-Romanesque grandeur.
5. Szeged Zoo
Szeged Zoo is located in Szeged, Hungary, at Cserepes sor 47, 6725. Szeged Zoo opened in 1989, making it one of the youngest zoos in Hungary. However, despite its young age, it is also the largest zoo in Hungary in terms of land area, spanning 45 hectares. Szeged Zoo is notable for its focus on nature conservation and educational activities. The zoo participates in several international species conservation programs. One-third of the animal species housed at Szeged Zoo are involved in such programs, the highest ratio of any zoo in Hungary. The zoo's Nature Conservation Rescue Center treats nearly 1,000 injured or orphaned wild animals each year, mostly birds. It also houses confiscated animals in its quarantine facilities.
Szeged Zoo displays approximately 1,500 animals representing around 200 species from habitats around the world. Visitors can see many rare and endangered species that can only be found at Szeged Zoo in Hungary. This includes animals like the lesser rhea, lappet-faced vulture, Alaotran gentle lemur, pied tamarin, yellow-cheeked gibbon, giant anteater, maned wolf, clouded leopard, fossa and lowland anoa. Common zoo favorites like lions, meerkats, giraffes, harbor seals and Asian elephants can also be seen. Zoo species are grouped according to their natural geographic ranges. The South American, African and European sections are particularly significant. Animals live in spacious, naturalistic enclosures that respect their biological needs. Most can be viewed even in winter when they retreat indoors. The zoo is set within an oak forest in a nature reserve, providing a pleasant environment for visitors. Amenities include playgrounds, picnic areas, snack bars and a gift shop. Szeged Zoo appeals most to families with children, as there is a specific family wellness area, an adventure pool with smaller slides for kids and a “baby-mommy world”. The zoo experience can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Standard adult admission to Szeged Zoo is 1,480 Hungarian forints (4€, $4, 2£). Discounted group rates are also available.
6. Kárász utca
The Kárász utca is located in the heart of the city center of Szeged, Hungary. It runs for about 280 meters from Széchenyi Square to Dugonics Square. Its full address is 6720 Szeged, Kárász utca. The Kárász utca has a rich history. It used to be the route for tram line 1 until 1927. The street underwent complete renovation and reconstruction. Karász utca became Szeged's main pedestrian shopping street and one of its most popular tourist attractions. The beautifully restored pedestrian zone of the Kárász utca and adjoining Klauzal Square won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award for its exceptional architectural conservation and revitalization.
The street is lined with upscale shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafés and confectioneries. Many buildings date back to the 1870s and feature stunning historic architecture with ornate façades in a variety of styles, including Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau. The end of the street highlights the Dugonics Square, which features a bronze sculpture titled “Street Music”, depicting a street musician playing the violin while a little girl with a teddy bear and her mother enjoy the music. Another landmark on the square is a statue honoring Hungarian writer and Catholic priest András Dugonics. The circular fountain in the middle of Dugonics Square, with rhythmic country, jazz and Dixieland music, is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.
Visitors can shop at the various upscale boutiques, galleries and stores, relax at one of the many cafés and confectioneries, admire the historic architecture or simply stroll down the atmospheric pedestrian street. The area also serves as one of the performance stages for dancers from around the world during the annual Szeged Open Air Festival in summer. The activities and attractions along the Kárász utca are suitable for all ages. Families, couples, tourists and locals alike enjoy spending time there. It is open year-round and always free to access. The variety of shops, eateries and historic sites offer something for every interest.
Szeged's city center boasts historic architecture, stores, cafés and artistic sites for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Its remarkable renovation has turned it into an architectural gem and a thriving social hub of the city.
7. Botanical Garden of Szeged
The Botanical Garden of Szeged is located at Lövölde utca 42 in Szeged, Hungary. The botanical garden was established in 1922 when the University of Cluj (Kolozsvár) was forced to relocate to Szeged after World War I. The city donated 20 hectares (49 acres) of land to the university to create a garden for scientific research and education. The Szeged University Botanical Garden contains over 5,000 species and varieties of plants, making it one of the most diverse botanical collections in Hungary. It features several thematic sections, including a medicinal herb garden, arboretum, greenhouses, rose garden and lush Japanese garden. One of its most iconic attractions is the Indian Lotus Pond, home to Central Europe's largest outdoor lotus collection. The giant lily pads cover over 1,200 square meters when in full bloom.
Visitors to the Botanical Garden of Szeged can appreciate the diversity of the plant collections while learning about botany, conservation and the importance of biodiversity. Interpretive signs provide information on many of the species and their traditional uses. The garden also hosts educational programs, workshops, family events on weekends, seasonal floral displays and festivals. The botanical garden appeals most to nature lovers, gardeners, researchers, students and families, but its beauty can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and interests. The grounds provide over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of walking paths to explore. There are benches scattered throughout to stop and take in the floral splendor. A small café offers light refreshments. Entrance fees to the Botanical Garden of Szeged are 1,400 Hungarian Forints (4€, $3, 2£) for adults and discounted rates for senior citizens, students and children. Special group pricing is also available. The garden is open year-round from 9 am to 5 pm daily.
8. Móra Ferenc Museum
The Móra Ferenc Museum is in the heart of Szeged, Hungary, at the intersection of the River Tisza and the Downtown Bridge. It is a neoclassical building known as the “Palace of Culture”, constructed in 1896 to house the Somogyi Library and the city museum. The museum was renamed after Ferenc Móra (1879-1934), an archaeologist and director who greatly expanded the museum during his tenure. Móra Ferenc Museum serves as a cultural hub, conducting research and hosting archaeological, ethnographic, historical, scientific and art exhibitions related to the Szeged region. Permanent exhibits cover various topics like the life of Ferenc Móra, folk art and trades of the Szeged area, natural history, pharmacy history and contemporary Hungarian sculpture. The museum also hosts large temporary exhibitions on varying subjects from other cultures and periods, like “Pharaohs' Egypt”, “Pompeii”, and “Dinosaurs”. These blockbuster shows often attract over 100,000 visitors.
Visitors to the museum can explore the permanent and temporary exhibitions to learn more about the history and culture of Szeged and see artifacts from the region. They can also view works by renowned Hungarian artists like Victor Vasarely, Tivadar Csontváry and Mihály Munkácsy. Kids and families can participate in programs and tours tailored specifically for children. Anyone can take in beautiful views of Szeged from the museum's rooftop observation deck. The cost of admission to see the permanent collections and any special exhibitions is 1,490 Hungarian Forints (4€, $4, 2£) for adults. Special discounted tickets are available for seniors over 62 and youth ages 6-26. Children under 6 enter for free. Visitors can purchase tickets onsite or online through the museum's website. Additional facilities connected to the Móra Ferenc Museum include the Kass Gallery, Fekete House, Castle Museum, Stone Store and the Varga Mátyás Theater History Collection. These sites focus on art, decorative arts, local history and theater. Tickets to the main Móra Ferenc Museum also grant visitors entry to these locations.
9. Reök Palace
The Reök Palace is an iconic Art Nouveau building in downtown Szeged, Hungary, at 56 Tisza Lajos krt., 6720. The palace was designed by renowned Hungarian architect Ede Magyar and commissioned by hydraulic engineer Iván Reök. Its wave-shaped facade decorated with light blue water lilies makes the Reök Palace one of Hungary and Europe's most ornate and unique examples of Art Nouveau architecture. The Reök Palace originally served as a residential building with flats for the extended Reök family. Iván Reök asked Ede Magyar to incorporate water themes into the design, given Reök's background in water engineering, which is reflected in the aquatic plants, flowers and undulating surfaces throughout. The intricate wrought iron details of the staircase railings depicting leaves and lilies were specially crafted by local metalworker Pál Fekete based on Magyar's drawings. Ede Magyar died by suicide shortly after completing the Reök Palace and managed to leave an indelible mark on Hungarian architecture.
The Reök Palace houses the Regional Arts Center as an exhibition space, concert hall and cultural venue. Visitors to the center can view regularly rotating displays of modern art, including works by renowned painters like Picasso, Goya, Chagall and Rembrandt. Music performances, plays and other cultural events are also frequently hosted at the space. The Reök Palace Regional Arts Centre appeals to visitors of all ages, especially those interested in architecture, art nouveau-style buildings, modern art exhibitions, performing arts and music. Families will also enjoy the palace for introducing children to art and culture. Special exhibitions often require purchasing separate tickets. Guided tours may also be available seasonally for an extra fee. The Reök Palace is an artistic gem and a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city.
10. Szechenyi Square in Szegede
Szechenyi Square (Szechenyi ter) is in downtown Szeged, Hungary, at Szeged, Széchenyi tér, 6720. The western walls of Szeged Castle stood on the site of present-day Szechenyi Square. The barren area in front served as a parade ground for the castle guards and the Main Market Square. The City Hall was built on the square as the center of civic administration after the Turkish occupation when Szeged regained its rights as a free royal town. Szechenyi Square underwent a transformation in both appearance and function. Grand palaces were constructed along its southern edge. The old castle walls were demolished after the Great Flood of 1879 that devastated Szeged. Elegant residential buildings and public edifices were erected in their place and a park was laid out.
Szechenyi Square covers over 50,000 square meters. The square lines of the open plaza and green spaces are over a hundred-year-old plane trees, fragrant magnolias, ginkgoes and other ornamental plantings. Interspersed are statues honoring famous figures from Szeged and Hungarian history. Szechenyi Square hosts many events and festivals year-round, like the summer annual Christmas Market and Szeged Wine Festival. Visitors can go for relaxing strolls, picnic on the lawns, people-watch from sidewalk cafés or browse the seasonal craft booths. The open-air atmosphere makes it a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists. Szechenyi Square offers something for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Admission to Szechenyi Square is free. Some events hosted on the square may charge nominal entry fees. Food, drinks or items purchased from surrounding businesses would incur additional costs.
11. Heroes' Gate in Szeged
Heroes' Gate (Hősök kapuja in Hungarian) is in Szeged, Hungary. The gate spans Boldogasszony sugárút (Boulevard of Our Lady) at the entrance to Szeged's city center from the train station. It was constructed between 1936 and 1937 to serve as a bridge connecting two university buildings and a World War I memorial monument. The neoclassical structure was designed by architect Móric Pogány and incorporated art by sculptor Éva Lőte and painter Vilmos Aba-Novák. It features three arched gateways, the largest in the center flanked by two smaller ones on either side. Statues of a Dead Soldier and a Living Soldier by Lőte stand on pedestals guarding the main archway. The interior sides of all three arches are covered in Aba-Novák's monumental frescoes depicting religious motifs alongside scenes from World War I, including Hungarian soldiers in battle, carrying crosses and mourning their dead.
The most striking image is the 8-meter tall frontal figure of Christ in Judgment at the top of the central arch, his arms outstretched across the entire width of the ceiling. On one side of Christ is a symbolic scene representing Faith and Hope, with robed priests, mourning women and children by soldiers' graves. The other side shows an allegory of Action, with Hungarian Regent Miklós Horthy on a white horse leading soldiers back into battle, referencing his counterrevolutionary army's conquest of Budapest after World War I to establish an authoritarian regime. The dual functions of the gate to both commemorate the dead and call for territorial expansion reflected prevailing irredentist politics in Hungary between the wars. The nationalist message fell out of favor with Hungary's post-WWII Communist government. The frescoes were whitewashed in the 1950s and restored to their original condition in the late 1990s after the system change.
Heroes' Gate stands as a predominately artistic monument, valued for Aba-Novák's dramatic, modernist adaptations of medieval and Byzantine art blended with post-WWI expressionism and social commentary. Visitors can admire the imposing structure and artwork from the exterior sidewalks for free. Passing pedestrian traffic must pause for crossing cars since Boldogasszony sugárút remains an active thoroughfare. Visitors can walk through the arches when the crossing light indicates it's safe. Heroes' Gate merits a visit for all visitors to Szeged with broad appeal across ages. The monument provides a concentrated glimpse into Hungary's complicated 20th-century history with art that conveys profound human tragedy.
12. National Theatre of Szeged
The National Theatre of Szeged is located at 1 Vaszy Viktor Square in Szeged, Hungary. The theatre was built in 1883 by the renowned Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in an eclectic neo-baroque architectural style. It opened on October 14, 1883, in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I. On April 22, 1885, the theatre was destroyed in a fire. It was rebuilt by Fellner and Helmer with some design modifications to make it more fireproof. The reconstructed theatre reopened on October 2, 1886. The National Theatre features an ornate neo-baroque façade and interior details. The famous Viennese court painter Hermann von Kern painted the ceiling frescoes in 1885. Other design elements include gilded ornamentation, brass railings, chandeliers and mirrors that give the foyer and 680-seat auditorium a luxurious feel. The proscenium arch theater space features a horseshoe-shaped layout with three levels of boxes. State-of-the-art stage equipment allows for operas, dramas and ballet performances.
Visitors to the National Theatre can take in a show or performance like opera, contemporary dance, musicals and theatrical dramas staged by the resident company. The theater's opera, drama and ballet ensembles put on productions year-round. There are also occasional guest performances by touring artists and acts. Even just exploring the lavish lobby areas offers a glimpse into the rich cultural history. the National Theatre appeals to adults interested in the arts, particularly theater, opera, ballet and classical music fans. However, some family-friendly programming also makes it suitable for older children. Ticket prices vary depending on the performance and seat location, ranging from 10€ ($11, 9£) and above. Guided tours may also be available to show visitors the ornate architecture and backstage areas when productions are not ongoing.
13. River Tisza
The River Tisza flows through the city center in Szeged, Hungary. The Tisza has played an integral role in the history of Szeged. The river used to follow a winding path through marshlands around the city, prone to flooding. After a devastating flood in 1879 that nearly wiped Szeged off the map, the Tisza was regulated into a straightened canal running through rebuilt downtown Szeged, with protective dams constructed. River Tisza defines the city of Szeged, bisecting it into a western and eastern side. The riverbanks have been developed into attractive riverside parks and promenades. Footbridges and roads cross the Tisza, connecting the two sides of town. The river also enables leisure boating and river cruises.
The open expanse of the Tisza through Szeged serves as a venue for water sports like rowing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding during summer. Riverside beaches have volleyball courts, play areas and outdoor workout equipment. The shaded parks alongside the river provide a space to relax or picnic. The ice-covered surface of Tisza becomes an urban skating rink during winter. The river turns into an extended public park area running through the middle of Szeged that locals enjoy year-round. The banks of the Tisza in Szeged appeal to all ages and interests, families, youth, students, athletes and recreational users. Visitors can enjoy a variety of active or passive activities along the river or simply soak in views of the water and passing boats. Accessing the River Tisza or using the adjoining parks and paths in Szeged is free. Only equipment rentals or food/drinks from nearby cafés would incur additional charges. Guided boat tours are also available seasonally for sightseeing along the river.
14. Grof Palace (Palatul Gróf)
The Gróf Palace is located at 20/B Tisza Lajos körút in Szeged, Hungary (6720). The palace was constructed between 1912 and 1913 designed by architect Jenő Raichl. It is named after Árpád Márton Gróf, who served as the attorney general of Szeged at the time. The building stands out for its vibrant Secessionist architectural style featuring elaborate ornamentation and corner balconies embracing the stories. Blue, yellow and golden hues adorn the facade and ceramic wall decorations evoke an Eastern atmosphere. Gróf Palace is the largest protected monument in Szeged, designed in the Secessionist style. The impressive four-story structure occupies a prominent triangular corner lot bordered by three streets. Its varied rooftop silhouette incorporates frontispieces, towers, balconies and niches. Folk art designs from the Hungarian countryside are artfully combined with the striking facade.
The Gróf Palace is not open to the public for tours. Visitors can view and photograph the remarkable exterior along Tisza Lajos körút and appreciate the ornate architecture. The building is the main highlight rather than any specific exhibits or attractions. The stunning Secessionist facade, with its use of colors and textures, appeals architecturally to adults interested in design. The interwoven folk motifs also showcase Hungarian culture and heritage. Viewing the Gróf Palace from the exterior along the public boulevard is free. Visitors cannot go inside unless they have a business within the building. Guided tours are not offered. The striking facade serves as the attraction, which can be seen at no charge from the sidewalk.
15. Ungár-Mayer Palace in Szeged
The Ungár-Mayer Palace is located in the heart of Szeged. The palace was built between 1910 and 1911. This ornate Art Nouveau-style apartment building and corner landmark dominantly shapes the cityscape at the intersection of Kárász Street and Dugonics Square. The Ungár-Mayer Palace showcases the flamboyant creativity of the late Art Nouveau period. Its capriciously animated pink facades feature flowing curves, wrought iron vines, onion domes, tiered tower turrets and beaked roof ridges decorated with fanciful tin sculptures. The building's most dominant feature is the corner cupola adorned by five dancing maidens sculpted of patinated sheet metal, guarding the entrance to the inner courtyard. The palace's whimsical exterior gives way to more sober and elegant interiors, with the original Art Nouveau-style decor preserved in the main staircase and courtyard galleries. The Ungár-Mayer Palace first served as one of Szeged's luxurious residential properties before conversion into apartments after World War II.
Ungár-Mayer Palace still functions as an apartment building with shops occupying its ground floor spaces. Visitors can admire its exterior and peek inside its entranceways to view the original decorative details. The intersection where the palace is situated contains several outdoor cafés where one can sit, relax and take in the spectacle of its ostentatious architecture while enjoying a coffee or meal. Ungár-Mayer Palace is an actively used residential building; no guided tours are available and there is no admission fee to view the exterior or public interior spaces. Visitors of all ages interested in Art Nouveau and architecture can appreciate this ornate building, which represents the creativity and innovation of its style. Szeged's tourism office offers walking tours and extensive information on the city's abundance of Art Nouveau buildings and attractions. The Ungár-Mayer Palace stands as one of Szeged's most iconic structures, offering a glimpse into the artistic imagination and local pride of its Art Nouveau heyday, preserved for all to enjoy. Its fanciful facades and copper-capped towers make this animated building a beloved and unforgettable highlight for visitors and residents alike.
16. Taste Fisherman's Soup (Halászlé)
The city of Szeged is renowned for its version of halászlé, the spicy, paprika-infused fisherman's soup that is a beloved dish across the country. Halászlé originated along the rivers and lakes of Hungary, prepared by fishermen cooking the day's catch over open fires right on the banks. The hallmark of Szeged-style halászlé is that it contains a mix of at least four types of freshwater fish and is run through a fine sieve to strain out fish bones before serving.
Szeged has a long history intertwined with fishing and fishmongering along the Tisza River. Fishermen selling fresh catches on the banks of the river were documented as far back as the Middle Ages. Szeged-style halászlé typically contains a mix of fish like carp, catfish, pike and perch. The recipe itself is a closely guarded secret. Locals claim that every family makes it slightly differently. The soup is known for being intensely spicy due to abundant additions of paprika grown in the Szeged region, considered some of the finest in Hungary. Diners can add heat with hot chili paste and slices of spice peppers on the side. Bowls come piled high with noodles or white bread to soak up the addictively rich, fiery broth swirling with tender chunks of fish fresh from the River Tisza.
Visitors to Szeged who are eager to taste authentic halászlé can sample it at local restaurants along the river that still prepare the soup to order over open fires for full flavor. Top spots like Új Sipos Halászkert even cook their soup in mini cauldrons called bogrács brought right to the table for serving straight out of the steaming pot. Other restaurants staffed by award-winning chefs put their creative spins on the classic recipe, such as Tiszavirág Restaurant in downtown Szeged. Halászlé tastes best paired with a glass of crisp white wine, making it an ideal dish to linger over. Outdoor riverside restaurants in Szeged provide a perfect atmosphere for sipping wine while gazing over the Tisza and imagining the generations of fishermen who once cast their nets in these same waters. Visitors can also work up an appetite before meals by strolling along the riverfront paths. The Szeged fish soup makes for a warming, convivial meal to enjoy with friends and family, locals and tourists alike. Most restaurants do not charge admission fees; it is simply the cost of ordering food and drinks off the menu.
17. Dugonics Square in Szeged
Dugonics Square (Dugonics tér) is located in downtown Szeged, Hungary at 6720 Szeged, Dugonics tér. Dugonics Square was the site of the city's wheat market. It was rebuilt in grand style along with the rest of downtown Szeged in the late 19th century. The square was named after Piarist priest András Dugonics, writer of the first Hungarian novel published in 1788. A statue honoring Dugonics was erected through public donations in 1876, making it the first public monument in Szeged. On the east side of Dugonics Square sits the main building of the University of Szeged, built in Eclectic architectural style in 1873. In front stands a statue of famous Hungarian poet Attila József, who studied at the university in the 1920s. On the south side of the square is the eye-catching Art Nouveau Unger-Mayer Palace, with lead female figures dancing on its dome.
The most visited attraction on the square is the musical fountain, built in 1979 for the 100th anniversary of the Great Flood. The fountain provides a pleasant backdrop to the open pedestrian area while playing classical melodies at scheduled times during the day. The shady square serves as a popular gathering spot and venue for various cultural events and craft fairs. Visitors can go for relaxing strolls, have a picnic lunch, people-watch from sidewalk cafés or browse the stalls at the markets. Dugonics Square appeals most to adults such as tourists, university students and staff and locals. Visitors of all ages can enjoy its activities and amenities. Families also often visit the square when events or markets are taking place. There is no admission fee to access Dugonics Square, as it is a public space. Visitors would only need to pay for any shopping, food or drinks purchased from the businesses surrounding the square or events held there. Some restaurants may have table charges depending on the time of day.
18. Szeged Open-air Festival
The Szeged Open-air Festival is an annual summer theatre festival held in Szeged, Hungary, on the Dóm Square in front of the Votive Church of Szeged. The festival started in 1931 during a celebration for the consecration of the Votive Church and took place each summer until 1939. The Szeged Open-air Festival resumed in 1959 and has since continued as an annual tradition for over 70 years. The open-air theatre set up on the cobblestones of Dóm Square creates a magical atmosphere reminiscent of Venice's St. Mark's Square, with seating for 4,000 spectators.
The festival features an outstanding diversity of performance genres spanning opera, operetta, musical theatre, plays, dance, symphonic concerts and more. Around 70,000 visitors attended productions held on the open-air stage for several weeks in July and August. Some of the recent popular shows have included musicals like Sister Act, Chicago and Mamma Mia. Premieres of original theatre and musical productions also regularly debut at the festival. The festival's opening night starts in July with a gift concert by the Szeged Symphony Orchestra.
A key highlight for visitors is the spectacular outdoor setting and staging. A massive temporary stage structure and auditorium with covered seating rise directly in front of Szeged's ornate cathedral, set against the picturesque backdrop of historic city sights and buildings. Attendees can take in world-class theatre productions under the open night sky. The location also makes the Open-air Festival a highly immersive cultural experience, as visitors can easily explore the lovely streets, architecture and monuments of central Szeged before showtime or during intermissions. The Szeged Open-air Festival can appeal to a wide audience. Musical theatre performances often attract younger adult crowds in addition to traditional theatre-goers. The event also draws regional tourists and locals, especially among arts enthusiasts looking to experience high-caliber theatre in the one-of-a-kind open-air setting that has made Szeged famous. Most shows are suitable for teens and adults; some operettas and ballets may also entertain children depending on personal tastes. Admission prices to performances vary depending on the date, show and seat location. Concert events by celebrity musicians can run at a higher cost. Visitors should purchase tickets well in advance online as many shows, especially premieres and special concerts, routinely sell out each festival season.
19. Climb to the top of Dömötör Tower
Dömötör Tower is located in Szeged, Hungary, in Dóm Square at Dóm tér, 6720. Dömötör Tower is believed to have been initially constructed in the 11th century, making it the oldest building in Szeged. It was part of the castle walls of the medieval town. The tower was named after a Hungarian mythical figure, Dömötör, who was said to be the protector of the Szeged region. The tower has remarkably survived conquests, wars and natural disasters. It was restored to its current form in 1931. Dömötör Tower has a deep history and offers panoramic views of Szeged from the top. It serves as an important architectural and cultural relic. The tower rises to a height of 27 meters (89 ft), allowing visitors to climb to the top to take in sights of the city and surrounding areas. Key landmarks visible include the Szeged Cathedral, the Tisza River and the Town Hall.
Visitors can climb the 153 spiral steps within the brick tower to reach the observation deck at the summit. Visitors can visually explore the layout of Szeged while identifying its notable monuments and buildings. Informational signs point out essential sites. The tower also contains a small exhibition about its history and reconstruction. The viewing platform can accommodate up to 12 people at a time. The Dömötör Tower appeals most to adults interested in history, architecture and sightseeing. The staircase is relatively narrow and steep, so caution is needed. But the tower can be manageable for most ages and fitness levels wanting a workout with rewarding city views at the top. Admission to enter and climb Dömötör Tower costs 3€ ($3, 1£). Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday between April and October from 10 am to 6 pm. The tower is closed in the winter months. Guided tours may be available upon request.
20. Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs (Sóhajok hídja in Hungarian) is located in Szeged, Hungary, connecting two buildings in Széchenyi Square in the city's heart. The bridge was constructed in 1883 to connect the Town Hall building with the neighboring Bérpalota building as a replica of the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. It was designed by renowned Hungarian architects Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos and built in a neo-Renaissance style featuring decorative pillars and arches. The bridge spans a small canal between the buildings around 10 feet above the water. The Bridge of Sighs in Szeged gets its name from a legend; the “sighs” came from merchants heading towards the tax office in the Town Hall, sighing over the high taxes they had to pay. The Bridge of Sighs remains open to pedestrians as a link between the two historic buildings.
Visitors can walk through the enclosed bridge to experience its architecture and take photos of the views of the canal and square from its windows. It provides a scenic and quaint backdrop for pictures in this city center. The bridge is busiest during the day when people explore Széchenyi Square and couples also pass through in the evening for romantic photos. Visitors range from international tourists discovering the city's sights to locals showing friends around the iconic landmark. There is no admission cost to access and view it. Visitors can simply walk through while exploring the area. It is suitable for visitors of all ages and backgrounds to view and photograph quickly in downtown Szeged. The bridge provides a scenic backdrop to complete any photo portfolio from this riverside Hungarian city.
What are the best museums to visit in Szeged?
Listed below are the best museums to visit in Szeged.
- Móra Ferenc Museum. The Móra Ferenc Museum in Szeged was renamed after Ferenc Móra (1879-1934), an archaeologist and director who greatly expanded the museum during his tenure. Móra Ferenc Museum serves as a cultural hub, conducting research and hosting archaeological, ethnographic, historical, scientific and art exhibitions related to the Szeged region. The museum hosts large temporary exhibitions on varying subjects from other cultures and periods, like “Pharaohs' Egypt”, “Pompeii”, and “Dinosaurs”. These blockbuster shows often attract over 100,000 visitors.
- The Reök Palace. The Reök Palace in Szeged is an ornate art nouveau structure near the city center housing the works of the Szeged Artists' Colony. This early 20th-century group took inspiration from local architecture and folk motifs. Their paintings reflecting life, culture and landscapes around Szeged at the turn of the century made the city a vital art colony. Exhibits change periodically but always include works by the colony's masters like Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, István Nagy and János Thorma to appreciate Hungarian post-impressionism and pointill.
- Open Air Ethnographical Collection. Open Air Ethnographical Collection in Szeged allows visitors to step back into a traditional Hungarian village. Authentic peasant houses, barns, wells and workshops were transplanted to a park in northwest Szeged to showcase historic folk life. Costumed guides add to the immersive experience. Wanderings through the homesteads, farm buildings and gardens provide insight into Hungarian villagers' agriculture, customs and self-sufficient lifestyles in past centuries.
What are the best things to do in Szeged with kids?
Listed below are the best things to do in Szeged with kids.
- Szeged Zoo. The Szeged Zoo opened in 1989 and is the biggest zoo in Hungary, spanning 45 hectares of forested grounds. The zoo has the most diverse collection in the country, including rare endangered species. Kids can observe exotic animals like snow leopards, lemurs, anteaters and fossas in natural enclosures mimicking their native habitats. Interactive zoo exhibits and educational programs also teach children about wildlife conservation.
- Napfényfürdő Aquapolis Water Park. Napfényfürdő Aquapolis is an indoor/outdoor water park in Szeged, drawing visitors across the region with its thrilling slides and family-friendly pools. The complex contains 13 waterslides totaling over 1 kilometer long, including record-breaking chutes like the 272-meter all-season slide. Kids can enjoy splash pools and smaller slides in the adventure zone while parents relax in lounge chairs around the activity. Napfényfürdő Aquapolis also has wellness areas, treatments, dining options and summer sunbathing lawns.
- Botanical Garden of Szeged. Szeged Botanical Garden has cultivated over 5,000 plant species across 49 acres of thematic gardens. The grounds provide 5 kilometers of walking trails to explore collections like the medicinal herb garden, arboretum, greenhouses and iconic Indian Lotus Pond. The garden runs kids' programs like botanical scavenger hunts to engage young visitors. Families can picnic while the kids play games on the sprawling lawns.
- Tisza River Promenade. The Tisza River intersects Szeged, with pedestrian paths and recreational parks lining its banks through the city center. Kids can bike or stroll the trails while watching rowing teams glide by on the water. Riverside playgrounds, sports courts and equipment keep kids active. Shady groves offer space to picnic or observe waterbirds nesting along the shoreline. The riverfront green space provides free, family-friendly outdoor activities all year, suitable for short visits or full days enjoying Szeged's natural side.
What are the best activities for a business traveler in Szeged?
Listed below are the best activities for a business traveler in Szeged.
- Reök Palace. The Reök Palace, designed by noted Hungarian architect Ede Magyar, stands as an iconic landmark in central Szeged. The building houses an arts center displaying rotating fine art exhibitions, including works by famous painters like Picasso, Goya and Chagall. Business travelers can take a short break from meetings to admire the architecture and world-class art that offer a glimpse into Szeged's cultural past.
- Széchenyi Square. Széchenyi Square provides over 50,000 square meters of open plazas and manicured gardens dotted with statues and historic buildings in central Szeged. The pedestrian zone offers business travelers a relaxing spot for a casual stroll. Business travelers can also grab lunch al fresco at one of the many sidewalk cafés encircling the square while people watch the steady flow of residents and tourists. Széchenyi Square offers a pleasant outdoor respite between meetings to embrace local culture.
- Tram tour of Szeged sights. Szeged's antique tram system offers sightseeing tours looping to top attractions around the compact city center, like Dóm Square, the National Theatre, the Synagogue and more. The terms provide transportation and guided commentary about Szeged's history, architecture and culture, allowing business travelers to take in the sights while learning about the city. Tram Tour is a good activity to do with work colleagues.
- Thermal bathing at Napfényfürdő Aquapolis. Napfényfürdő Aquapolis is Szeged's immense water park and spa complex containing over a dozen thermal pools, massage jets, saunas and steam rooms. Its indoor and outdoor pools, filled with the city's naturally warm, mineral-rich waters, offer relaxation for jet-lagged or sore business travelers.
- Riverfront stroll and coffee on Széchenyi Square. Business visitors can take a relaxing stroll after meetings along the scenic banks of the River Tisza, near the iconic Széchenyi Square in central Szeged. The riverside paths and adjoining outdoor cafés offer fresh air and picturesque views of the waterfront to recharge. Széchenyi Square contains several cafés and confectioneries with outdoor seating to relax and enjoy coffee.
Where is Szeged?
Szeged is located in southeastern Hungary, on the banks of the Tisza River. It is the regional capital of Csongrád-Csanád county and the third largest city in Hungary. Szeged lies near the southern border of Hungary, north of the Maros River, as it flows into the Tisza River. Szeged spans both sides of the Tisza. Szeged is located 171 kilometers (106 miles) south of Budapest. Its location near the meeting point of the Tisza and Maros Rivers has made it an important crossing point and commercial center for centuries. Its location gives Szeged a transitional climate between oceanic and continental, with cold winters, hot summers and a ray of relatively high sunshine. The city's borders lie close to Serbia to the south and Romania to the east.
What is the history of Szeged?
The area of Szeged has been inhabited since ancient times. The Romans had a settlement called Partiscum on an island in the Tisza River during the 2nd century AD. The first mentions of the town named “Szeged” date back to the 12th century during the early Hungarian kingdom. Szeged was an important town due to its strategic location on trading routes and the king had fortress walls built around it. Szeged prospered but was pillaged by the Ottomans in 1526. It was occupied by the Turks in 1543 and became an administrative center for the Ottoman Empire.
Szeged was rebuilt and started flourishing again in the 18th century after being freed from Turkish rule in 1686 during the reconquest of Hungary. Maria Theresa granted Szeged “free royal town” status. Szeged became an important food industry center and was referred to as “The Home of Paprika”. Disaster struck in March 1879 when massive flooding on the Tisza River destroyed nearly the entire city, leaving only 265 intact buildings and 165 dead.
Emperor Franz Josef visited Szeged after the flooding and promised the city would be rebuilt to be more beautiful than ever. Architect Frigyes Schulek led the reconstruction efforts to create a modern city with wide avenues, public parks, palaces and impressive buildings in various architectural styles. This included Szeged's iconic dual-spire Votive Church. Szeged continued to prosper into the 20th century. Szeged was transformed into an important industrial center and university hub, which it remains today.
What language is spoken in Szeged?
The predominant language spoken in Szeged is Hungarian. Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language unrelated to most European languages besides Finnish and Estonian. Szeged is home to one of Hungary's most prestigious universities and a regional center of culture and economy, which is why inhabitants also speak foreign languages such as English, German, Serbian, Romanian and Russian. Szeged's educated populace means basic communication in English or German is generally possible.
What time zone is Szeged in?
Szeged is in the Central European Time zone, UTC+1. Hungary does observe daylight saving time and the local time in Debrecen is UTC+2 during the summer period. The time zone abbreviation for Central European Time is CET. The time in Debrecen is CET (UTC+1) during winter and switches to CEST (UTC+2) along with the rest of Hungary during summer.
How many people live in Szeged?
Szeged has a total population of 161,642 as of 2023. The male population is 77,034, while the female population is 84,607. There are 31,319 residents aged 0-14 years old, comprising 19.4% of the total population. The working-age population between 15 and 64 years old is 132,458 or 82% of the total. There are 7,865 elderly residents above the age of 65, making up 4.9% of Szeged's population.
The gender split in Szeged is 47.7% male and 52.3% female. There are 16,073 boys and 15,245 girls in the youngest age group of 0-14 years. The gender ratio evens out in the working-age group of 15-64 years, with 66,391 men and 66,067 women. Among the elderly over 65, there are 2,335 men and 5,526 women, reflecting the longer life expectancy of females.
What are the most interesting facts about Hungary and Szeged?
Listed below are the most interesting facts about Hungary and Szeged.
- Currency. The official currency of Szeged and all of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Banknotes come in 500 HUF, 1000 HUF, 2000 HUF, 5000 HUF, 10,000 HUF and 20,000 HUF. Coins come in 5 HUF, 10 HUF, 20 HUF, 50 HUF, 100 HUF and 200 HUF denominations.
- Time Zone. Szeged is in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1. It observes Daylight Saving Time from late March to late October when clocks are set 1 hour ahead to UTC+2.
- Language. Hungarian is the official language spoken by over 98% of the population. Other languages like English, German and Russian are spoken, especially in tourism, business and education. Some basic Hungarian phrases are still helpful to know.
- Power Plugs. The power sockets used in Szeged and Hungary are the standard European Type C and Type F with 230 V and 50 Hz frequency. Visitors outside Europe need a power plug adapter and sometimes a voltage converter to charge their electronic devices.
How many days are needed to see Szeged?
It is recommended to stay for 2 to 3 days, which is enough time to see the highlights of Szeged. Two to three days is the ideal length of time to experience Szeged's top attractions and flavors. Visitors will have enough time to see all of the major landmarks like Széchenyi tér, the prominent churches, the riverfront and the architecture along Palace Row while also soaking up the relaxed pace and culture. This number of days allows visitors to visit museums and learn about the region's history, folk life traditions and even art nouveau bathing culture without feeling rushed. It gives more opportunity to savor Szeged's food scene, from sit-down meals of rich paprika-laced stews and fisherman's soup to casually wandering the central market and sampling local delights like kolbász sausages. The unrushed time of two to three days allows visitors of Szeged to experience the city’s culture.
Is Szeged worth visiting?
Yes, Szeged is worth visiting. Szeged is Hungary's third-largest city and an important cultural and commercial center. Szeged is known as the “City of Sunshine” due to its bright, sunny weather throughout the year. Key attractions include the River Tisza, which offers water sports and boat trips, the Open Air Theatre Festival in the summer that draws crowds from across Europe, the historic Old Town with beautiful avenues and palaces rebuilt after a devastating 1879 flood and the city's famous fish soup called Halászlé. Szeged has something for all types of travelers, as it features a wealth of Art Nouveau architecture, cathedrals, delicious regional cuisine and an abundance of sunny days for sightseeing. Szeged is known for one of the top places to visit in Hungary.
Is Szeged expensive to visit?
No, Szeged is considered an affordable destination for travelers. Accommodation options are reasonably priced, with hotel rooms available from 30€ ($32, 25£) to 56€ ($61, 48£) per night and Airbnbs renting apartments for a similar nightly rate. Dining out and sampling local cuisine is also wallet-friendly, with typical restaurant meals costing between 5€ ($5, 3£) to 10€ ($11, 9£).
There are additionally inexpensive street food options for eating on the go. Most famous attractions in Szeged, like the grand Széchenyi Square, ornate Votive Church and fascinating Synagogue, offer free entrance fees. Museums typically have small entry fees of 2€ ($2, 1£). Getting around the compact and walkable city center is accessible on foot or via affordable public transport options like buses, trams and taxis that cost only a few € per ride. Guided tours and sightseeing activities also come with budget-friendly rates. Szeged offers an affordable getaway.
Is Szeged safe to visit?
Yes, Szeged is very safe to visit. Szeged is generally considered a very safe city to visit. Szeged sees many foreign visitors every year without major safety incidents. The city center and tourist areas have low crime rates, even at night and violent confrontations are rare. Travelers should follow basic precautions in any city, like being aware of the surroundings and not leaving valuables unattended. Issues with pickpocketing and petty theft do exist but are relatively uncommon. Visitors, including solo female travelers, feel comfortable walking around Szeged day and night. Szeged makes visitors feel secure visiting the city's sights, restaurants, shops and neighborhoods.
Is Szeged easy to visit with kids?
Yes, Szeged is easy to visit with kids. Szeged features sunny weather and an abundance of open plazas and parks, like the River Tisza waterfront that allow for comfortable outdoor sightseeing and playing for kids. Szeged has many pedestrian zones and walkable streets in the compact city center, which are closed to vehicle traffic, making it safe for kids to get around. Szeged’s main attractions, like the Zoo, Botanical Gardens and hands-on science museum, all cater directly to children with interactive exhibits. The city also has plenty of dining options for picky eaters. Szeged inhabitants are welcoming of families traveling with kids. Between kid-focused activities, pedestrian accessibility, dining options and its sunny climate, Szeged has all the ingredients for an enjoyable family city break suitable for children of different ages. The manageable size also prevents it from being overwhelming.
What is Szeged famous for?
Szeged is most famous for its sunny weather, called the “City of Sunshine”. The city enjoys more annual sunny days than any other Hungarian city. Secondly, Szeged is also renowned for its thriving cultural scene and Open Air Theatre Festival each summer, attracting visitors across Europe. Thirdly, Szeged is known for its distinctive regional cuisine, especially its signature fish soup, Halászlé, which is celebrated with its dedicated festival each September. Fourthly, Szeged is famous for its magnificent cathedral, the abundance of Art Nouveau buildings and beautiful reconstructed palaces and avenues dating back to after a devastating flood in 1879. Lastly, Szeged is famous as a gateway to southern Hungary's Great Plain region with its sunny climate, cultural events, historic architecture and delicious local dishes.
Who are the most important people born in Szeged?
Listed below are the important people born in Szeged.
- Albert Szent-Györgyi. Albert Szent-Györgyi was a biochemist born in Szeged on September 16, 1893. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937 for his discoveries related to vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle. He made fundamental contributions to biochemistry, medical research and nutrition science. Albert Szent-Györgyi is considered one of the most famous Hungarians.
- Zoltán Kodály. Zoltán Kodály was a composer, ethnomusicologist, pedagogue, linguist and philosopher born on December 16, 1882 in Szeged. He is known internationally as the creator of the Kodály Method, which incorporates folk songs and music into children's education. He aimed to preserve Hungarian folk song traditions while using music education to increase literacy.
- Ferenc Móra. Ferenc Móra was a novelist, journalist, archaeologist and museum director born in Szeged on July 19, 1879. He was an important figure in 20th-century Hungarian literature and known for works depicting life in Hungary's Southern Great Plain region. His novels brought folk themes and regional character types into contemporary literature.
- Menyhért Lakatos. Menyhért Lakatos was a mathematician born in Szeged on September 16, 1926. He made significant contributions to recursion theory and computability theory. His work focused on computability and the logical limits of formal mathematical systems. He taught at the Moscow State University for over 30 years.
- Sándor Szalay. Sándor Szalay was an Olympic champion sprint canoer born on March 16, 1949 in Szeged. He won 3 gold medals in the K-1 1000 m event at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. He was one of the most successful canoe sprinters in history and the only paddler to win 3 Olympic titles in the same event.
What to eat in Szeged?
Listed below are what you can eat in Szeged.
- Fisherman's soup (halászlé). Fisherman's soup (halászlé) features carp, green peppers and paprika in a rich broth and is a typical Hungarian soup you'll find on menus across Szeged. Locals like to add hot paprika paste to give this soup an extra kick. Fisherman's soup (halászlé) is one of the most traditional food to eat in Hungary.
- Szegedi Sausage. Szegedi Sausage is a spicy, paprika-flavored pork sausage made with mangalitsa pork and special spices according to a traditional Szeged recipe. It is usually grilled or fried and served with bread, vegetables or rice.
- Paprikash Stews. Paprika stew in Szeged uses the city's famed red gold and paprika spice to build flavor. Iconic variations feature chicken, veal or game that simmers with onions, bell peppers and plenty of paprika into a comforting, velvety stew. It is served with small dumplings.
- Kőrömpörkölt. Kőrömpörkölt starts by rendering fatty meat drippings down and melding it with onions into a rich sauce, then served spooned over soft potato pieces to soak up the lingering flavors from the caramelized drippings. This local delicacy is a must-try in Szeged.
- Hortobágyi Palacsinta. Hortobágyi Palacsinta are sweet or savory stuffed pancakes filled with cottage cheese, sour cream, beef goulash or minced meat originating from the nearby Hortobágy region but are also popular in Szeged. They make for hearty, comforting meals. Hortobágyi Palacsinta is one of
- Töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage). Töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage) is a beloved Hungarian dish of cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling of rice, tomatoes, onions, parsley and minced pork, then simmered in a paprika-tomato sauce. It is a specialty in the region and the city of Szeged.
- Lecsó. Lecsó is a rich vegetable stew made from tomatoes, peppers, onions and paprika that can feature eggs, sausage or pork chops. Lecsó can be found at many restaurants around Szeged.
- Rétes. Rétes is a traditional Hungarian strudel dessert with sweet fillings like apple, cherry, cheese, poppy seed or nut inside flaky phyllo dough. Rétes from Szeged tend to be made with homemade strudel sheets stretched paper thin.
What are the best places to eat in Szeged?
Listed below are the best places to eat in Szeged.
- Régi Híd Vendéglő. Régi Híd Vendéglő is located in a historic building in Szeged. This casual Hungarian restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with exposed brick walls and rustic wooden furniture. Régi Híd Vendéglő is known for its excellent traditional dishes like goulash, stuffed cabbage and schnitzel, made from high-quality ingredients. The restaurant offers reasonable prices, generous portions and outstanding service. It is a favorite among both tourists and locals. Régi Híd Vendéglő is also one of the best restaurants to eat in Szeged.
- John Bull Pub. John Bull Pub is set in an upscale historic building near the river in Sezged. John Bull Pub is an elegant British-style restaurant and pub serving international cuisine with a creative twist. The restaurant specializes in grilled meats and seafood and offers dishes like herb-crusted lamb, duck confit and bacon-wrapped scallops. John Bull is one of Szeged's finer dining options, with beautiful architecture, white tablecloths, an extensive wine list and polished service, albeit at higher prices.
- Kiskörössy Fish Tavern. Kiskörössy Fish Tavern in Szeged is a casual, affordable restaurant celebrated for its fresh local river fish. Hungarian specialties like hearty fish soup, fried carp and catfish paprikash are standouts. Kiskörössy offers excellent value with large portions, moderate prices and a relaxed riverside setting.
- Roosevelt téri halászcsárda. Roosevelt téri halászcsárda in Szeged is a long-time favorite among locals for its authentic Hungarian fare-focused fish dishes. Roosevelt téri halászcsárda serves flavorful fish soups, crispy fried fish and paprika-laced catfish in a casual setting. It continues to draw devoted regulars after over 20 years in business.
- Fasor Vendéglő és Semiramis Kávézó. Fasor Vendéglő és Semiramis Kávézó combines indoor refined dining rooms with a popular outdoor garden. The extensive menu features Hungarian specialties alongside international dishes like pasta, salads and sandwiches. Fasor Vendéglő és Semiramis Kávézó is a favorite local spot for both meals and drinks.
What are the best areas to stay in Szeged?
Listed below are the best places to stay in Szeged.
- Szeged City Centre. Szeged City Centre is near to major landmarks like Dóm Square and Votive Church. This area has many hotels, restaurants and shops and is convenient for first-time tourists. It offers easy access to attractions and public transit. The neighborhood is perceived as safe, lively and tourist-friendly.
- Odessza/Tisza-Part. Odessza/Tisza-Part is a recreational area along the Tisza River banks, known for its natural scenery. This family-friendly neighborhood in Szeged has playgrounds, opportunities for outdoor activities like biking or boating and a peaceful atmosphere. It is perceived as the perfect for relaxation and bonding with family.
- Felsőváros. Felsőváros is an elevated, historic area near universities, known for its beautiful architecture, affordable accommodations and student culture. This neighborhood in Szeged is perceived as having a young, vibrant energy along with historic sights. It offers budget-friendly hotels, cafés, markets and accessible.
- Alsóváros. Alsóváros is a peaceful area in Szeged near green spaces and the Tisza River. This nature-rich neighborhood offers opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking, cycling, fishing and wildlife spotting. It is perceived as a scenic paradise ideal for nature lovers seeking solitude.
- Északi Város. Északi Város in Szeged is a community-oriented neighborhood that offers an authentic local experience. This area provides opportunities to engage in beloved resident activities and often has family-run accommodations. It is perceived as having a strong community spirit, where tourists can embrace Hungarian culture.
What are the best accommodations to stay in Szeged?
Listed below are the best accommodations to stay in Szeged.
- RIVA Szeged. RIVA Szeged is a contemporary 4-star hotel near the top attractions like the ornate Votive Church and pedestrian shopping areas. The hotel has sleek, air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, a trendy lobby bar and 24-hour front desk service. RIVA Szeged offers both convenience and comfort in a prime downtown location that guests highly praise. RIVA Szeged is one of the best hotels to stay in Szeged, with its prime location, great facilities and high-end accommodations.
- Mozart Hotel Szeged. Mozart Hotel Szeged is set in the historic 19th century and is located at the iconic Cathedral Square in the city center. This refined 4-star hotel features traditionally decorated rooms with free WiFi and air conditioning, a quaint piano lounge and friendly staff that deliver attentive service suited to the Mozart Hotel's refined historic ambiance.
- Art Hotel Szeged. Art Hotel Szeged is a contemporary downtown option at the magnificent Votive Church and bustling pedestrian shopping streets. The hotel features a sleek, modern glass exterior housing contemporary-styled rooms equipped with balconies and free WiFi. This 4-star hotel also boasts free parking, air conditioning and an on-site restaurant praised for its delicious breakfast included with rooms.
- Novotel Szeged. Novotel Szeged is a modern 4-star hotel offering amenities like free WiFi, parking, two restaurants, a bar and a well-equipped fitness center with spa access. Novotel Szeged is especially beloved for its scenic riverfront location, abundant breakfast buffet and relaxing rooms with river-view balconies available.
- Dóm Hotel. Dóm Hotel is an intimate boutique located at Szeged's iconic Votive Church. The hotel features elegant rooms, air-conditioned and free WiFi. The Dóm Hotel also grants guests exclusive access to an on-site spa and adjacent gourmet restaurant run by a renowned local chef serving Hungarian specialties.
How to get from Szeged to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport?
There are a few ways to get to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. These are by train, bus and driving. Firstly, take a direct train from Szeged train station to Budapest Keleti Railway Station. The journey takes 2.5-3 hours. Take the 200E airport shuttle bus to Budapest Airport. Secondly, take a bus from Szeged bus station to Budapest Népliget bus station. Buses run frequently and the ride takes 2-2.5 hours. Take the 900 airport shuttle bus to Budapest Airport. The shuttle takes 30-45 minutes. Lastly, drive from Szeged to Budapest Airport via highway M5 and the M0 motorway. Take exit Ferihegy from M0 and follow the signs to the airport. The drive takes 2.5-3 hours, depending on traffic. The fastest option is to drive directly from Szeged.
How to get from Szeged to Budapest?
There are a few ways to get to Budapest from Szeged. These are by train, bus and driving. Firstly, take a direct train from Szeged train station to Budapest's main train stations like Keleti, Nyugati or Déli. Trains run frequently and take 2.5-3 hours. Take the 200E airport shuttle bus to get to Budapest Airport. Secondly, take a bus from Szeged bus station to Népliget bus station in Budapest. Buses run often and the trip takes 2.5 hours, then take the 900 airport shuttle bus to Budapest Airport. Lastly, drive from Szeged to Budapest Airport via highway M5. Continue on the M0 beltway or exit towards the city center and expect a 2-3 hour drive time. Parking options are available at Budapest Airport. Both public transportation by train or bus and driving directly provide regular options to get between the cities.
Where to go shopping in Szeged?
There are several great places to go shopping in Szeged. These are Szeged Plaza, Árkád Szeged, Korzó Bevásárlóközpont, Szent István tér and Mars tér Market. Firstly, Szeged Plaza is a large shopping mall in the city center with over 120 shops, restaurants, a cinema, a supermarket and more. Popular clothing stores include H&M, C&A, Reserved, Deichmann and others. Secondly, Árkád Szeged is a downtown shopping center with around 100 stores and eateries. Visitors can hop at international brands like Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho and many others. Thirdly, Korzó Bevásárlóközpont is a shopping mall on Tisza Lajos Blvd that has major retailers like Spar, DM, Rossmann, Hervis, specialty stores and restaurants. Fourthly, Szent István tér is a pedestrian zone around Szent István Square in the heart of the city that features shops, cafes, the market hall and the beautiful Votive Church. Lastly, Mars tér Market is an open-air market selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods and more. It is a great place to find local specialties and is open year-round.
What festivals or events are taking place in Szeged?
Listed below are the festivals or events that are taking place in Szeged.
- Szeged Open-Air Festival. The Szeged Open-Air Festival takes place every summer in Szeged. It started in 1931 and features dance, opera and concert performances on a mobile stage set up in front of the cathedral in the city center. The Szeged Open-Air Festival runs for two months, beginning in early July and ending in late August. It draws audiences from all over Europe to its nightly performances. Thousands attend the open-air festival each summer. It is one of the much-awaited festivals in Szeged.
- Szeged International Jazz Festival. The Szeged International Jazz Festival is held every November and brings jazz musicians from Hungary and around the world for a series of concerts and jam sessions across the city. Venues include bars, concert halls and theaters throughout several nights. Jazz fans from near and far come to enjoy the music, with attendance in the thousands.
- Szeged Half Marathon. The Szeged Half Marathon has become a major sporting event attracting runners across Hungary and Europe. Races include a half marathon, 10K run and 5K run winding through Szeged’s streets. Thousands of runners take part, with many supporters lining the route. The event brings an energetic atmosphere to the city for the day.
- Szeged Wine Festival. The Szeged Wine Festival is an annual event held each August showcasing wines from the Szeged region and top Hungarian winemakers. Located in the Partfürdő recreation area along the Tisza River, this outdoor festival spans several days and includes wine tastings, food, music performances and activities. From lively music to relaxed riverside views, the Szeged Wine Festival offers a vibrant summer atmosphere and draws thousands of wine enthusiasts.
- Szeged Beer Festival. The Szeged Beer Festival celebrates beer and brewing culture with a wide selection of Hungarian and international beers. This lively open-air festival, hosted in downtown Széchenyi Square, features beers on tap from over 50 breweries, food trucks and stands, live music performances on stage, contests and more. Popular among university students and young adults, the Szeged Beer Festival sees tens of thousands of attendees enjoying cold beer, music and summer fun.
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