Biggest cities

Budapest | |

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transportation centre. With its almost two million inhabitants, Budapest is the biggest and most densely populated town in the country. One in every five Hungarian citizens lives in Budapest, and over half of the nation’s GDP is generated here. Half of Hungary’s university students study in the capital, and the majority of professors work here, too. The proportion of researchers working in Budapest is even higher.
The town itself stretches along the banks of the Danube, which divides the city into 2 parts: Buda, dominated by hills and slopes, and Pest with its plain.
Budapest is a city of diversity, where you can find the marks of different historical eras: to feel the Turkish atmosphere go and see the burial monument of Gül baba, the historic streets and monuments of the Castle District are equally noteworthy, you can witness the rapid transformation that took place during the 19th century by walking along Andrássy Avenue or the boulevards. If you prefer undisturbed calmness, take a stroll in the villa quarters in Rózsadomb. The capital is rich in historical monuments and there are countless architectural treasures such as the Parliament or the Opera House, Szent István Basilica and the Buda Castle.
Apart from all this, there are numerous sites and various events to see: more than 200 museums and 40 theatres, festivals throughout the year, and around 80 thermal springs and spas. The list is really endless!


After Budapest, Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary with a population of 200,000. It is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the seat of Hajdú-Bihar County. The city has preserved its ancient mercantile character and also has a rich cultural life.
The symbol of Debrecen is the Great Church, built in classicist style, which is unique in the country. A flower carnival takes place in the city every year on 20 August.
Debrecen is home to the University of Debrecen, whose main building is a widely recognized work of architecture. The university has many departments and is a major research centre in Europe.
Debrecen also makes an ideal starting point for excursions to the Hortobágy National Park, or to the nearby homely towns of for example Jászberény or Mezőkövesd.
How to get there from Budapest?
By car: take motorway M3 towards Miskolc, then take highway M35 to Debrecen. The distance is approximately 230 km.
By train: the time of the journey by Intercity train from Budapest Nyugati Railway Station is 3 hours.


Miskolc is a town situated in North-east Hungary, and is mostly known for its heavy industry. With a population close to 190,000, Miskolc is the third largest town of Hungary. It is also the seat of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County and the regional centre of the Northern Hungary Region.
Miskolc is not a historical city, but already in the nineteenth century it was an important commercial centre due to its geographical location. Later, with the industrialization of the country, Miskolc became an industrial centre thanks to the coal and ore mines in its vicinity.
From Miskolc, the famous Tokaj wine region is within easy reach, or you can take nice excursions to nearby towns including Eger, Sárospatak and the beautiful Szilvásvárad. The World Heritage site of Aggtelek lies also near.
The University of Miskolc is a relatively young higher education institution: it was founded in 1949. The ‘University Town’ is located to the southwest of Miskolc, along the road to Miskolctapolca. The university was built in the fashion of the American campus model and it is surrounded by a large park and sports facilities.

How to get there from Budapest?
By car: take motorway M3, then follow highway M30. The distance is approximately 180 km.
By train: the journey takes approximately 2 hours by Intercity train from Budapest Keleti Railway Station.


Szeged is the fourth largest town of Hungary. With a population of 175,000, it is the regional centre of South-eastern Hungary and the seat of Csongrád County. Szeged and its area have been inhabited since ancient times. The name Szeged was first mentioned in 1183, in a document issued by King Béla III.
The city’s most impressive monument is the Cathedral, which is located in the town centre. Every summer the square in front of the Cathedral transforms into a huge open-air theatre to host the Szeged Open-Air Festival.
Szeged is the sunniest town in the country: it boasts of the highest amount of annual sunshine. The charming warm weather invites you to take excursions to the town of Kecskemét, the Kiskunság National Park or the National Historical Memorial Park of Ópusztaszer.
The University of Szeged was founded in Cluj (currently situated in Romania and called Kolozsvár in Hungarian) in 1872 and was moved to Szeged in 1921. At present, the University consists of 12 faculties, where you can study almost everything ranging from humanities to business studies or health sciences.
How to get there from Budapest?
By car: take motorway M5. The distance is approximately 170 km.
By train: the journey takes approximately 2 and a half hours by Intercity train from Budapest Nyugati Railway Station.
Trains from Budapest Nyugati Railway Station stop at Liszt Ferenc Airport station in Ferihegy so you can get on a train to Szeged right after arriving in Hungary by plane.


Pécs is located in the south-west of the country. It is the administrative and economic centre of Baranya County. The area of the town has been inhabited since ancient times, with the oldest archaeological findings dating back to a history of 6000 years.
The town lies on the southern slopes of the Mecsek Hills, and has a moderate, almost Mediterranean climate. When Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire, the Romans founded several wine-producing colonies at this place.
Pécs has a rich cultural life, hosts a wide variety of galleries and museums as well as boasts of numerous historical buildings such as the Basilica of Pécs, an eleventh century Christian monument. Several Turkish monuments dating back to the age of the Ottoman Empire (16th-17th centuries) give the city a cross-cultural character.
The town of Pécs was selected as European Capital of Culture for 2010.
The surrounding countryside is also well worth discovering: the Villány wine region, the Harkány spa, the Lake Orfű, and the historical fortress of Siklós are all famous tourist attractions.
The University of Pécs was founded in 1367: it is the oldest university in Hungary, and ranks among the first European universities. It has 10 faculties and offers a wide range of training programmes covering nearly every possible field of study.
How to get there from Budapest?
By car: follow motorway M6 then highway M60. The distance is approximately 230 km.
By train: the journey takes approximately 3 hours by Intercity train from Budapest Déli Railway Station.


 Győr is located in the north-western part of Hungary, close to the Slovakian and the Austrian borders. The seat of Győr-Moson-Sopron County is situated on one of the important roads of Central Europe, halfway between Budapest and Vienna.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. The first large known settlement, named Arrabona by its Celtic inhabitants, dates back to the 5th century BC. Győr has an enchanting centre and is abundant in beautiful Baroque buildings. The oldest part of the town is Káptalan Hill at the confluence of the Danube, Rába and Rábca rivers. Today, Győr is one of the most important administrative and cultural centres of Hungary. The city is also a university town and a popular tourist destination.
The nearby Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma is well worth visiting.
How to get there from Budapest?
By car: take motorway M1. Győr is 125 km away from Budapest.
By train: the journey takes one and a half hours by Intercity train from Budapest Keleti Railway Station.

Source: Tempus Public Foundation