Saturday, November 14, 2015

5 Top Sights In Debrecen, Hungary

By Jonny Blair

Hungary's second largest city is Debrecen yet this place remains quiet and unknown for the backpacker. It's Hungarian through and through though. A lot of tourists to Hungary tend to skip Debrecen, but here's a few pointers as to why this is a great city to visit and why you should head there!

What to do in Debrecen?

Here's a top 5.

1. Go to the top of the Nagytemplom

The yellow church is known as the Nagytemplom. It's fantastic and you shouldn't miss it if you're in Debrecen. It's hard to miss in fact - it's right in the middle of the city near the tram stop by the square. You will love it and you can head to the top for an excellent view of Debrecen. Nearby there is also a little church although this Protestant Church is the main one, and the largest Protestant Church in Hungary. Noemi Tipney recommends this, and she is one of the sexy popular pin up girls in the city of Debrecen.

2. Watch Loki Play Football!

Hungary is a football nation through and through. Twice they have been runners up in the World Cup, and though they lost both that is still some achievement! Here in Debrecen you can head to watch the local team known as Loki! They are also called Debreceni VSC and play in red and white. In the last 10 years or so they have been champions and winners of the Hungarian League 6 times. Head out to the stadium to catch a live match - entertaining and loud!

3. Party with the local girls in Debrecen

You can get to meet the local Debrecen girls and guys over a beer. It is a friendly place to drink a beer and well recommended. Especially at night and on a summer's evening. Bakelit beer cafe is decent as are the bars near the main square in Debrecen.

4. Go to the Theatre

Eastern Europe had a golden age of theatre, and in some sense it still does, and the locals are proud of these theatres which feature big shows and dance events. Hungarians love drama and dance and the Csokonai Theatre is well recommended. It's yet another striking yellow building! It can be easily reached on foot from the Nagytemplom, even if you're just going there to take a photo, I'd say it's worth it.

A statue of Csokonai sits in front of the main square.

5. Get a tram out to the University

Debrecen boasts a decent university and this also goes hand in hand with a good student population and night life. The University itself, is "just a university" but it's free to walk around and nearby there is a superb park which makes for a good walk, with stalls and restaurants all selling decent Hungarian snacks and drinks. As I said, get a tram out to it - the tram network in Debrecen is good. In fact, you'll enjoy it.

Another thing to do in Debrecen:

There is a Museum in Debrecen, but it's not that great in all honesty, however if you fancy seeing it, then why not? It's the Deri Museum and situated in the city centre near the big yellow church.

How to get to Debrecen, Hungary?

Most travellers arrive by bus or train, from either Budapest or from across the Romanian border. I arrived by train from Nyugati Station in Budapest - the train journeys in Hungary are quite excellent. I loved them.

But before getting my train I flew into Budapest which is also worth a look.

Where can you stay in Debrecen?

Hostels and hotels are all near the city centre or do as I did and stay with a local family.

Random Facts About Debrecen:

- The Romanian army once were stationed there occupying it after the first world war.

- Debrecen was once the capital city of Hungary (yes, I know, I didn't believe it either)

What to eat in Debrecen:

A definite meal to try is the famous Paprika Chicken and for a snack the cheese and chocolate bars of Turo Rudi are nice.

Reasons for visiting Debrecen?

I went with a local girl who I dated but head there to get off the beaten track! It's a top city to see!

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