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EGER, A BUCKET LIST ITEM

Eger panoramic view over the town from the castle walls, Hungary, sightseeing, day trips from Budapest min

When you talk about wine to Hungarians, they are quick to point out that you simply must explore Eger, also known as “The Baroque Pearl” of Europe.

Hungary boasts several wine regions, with Tokaj and Eger being the most renowned. Tokaj is famous for its sweet Tokaji wines, while Eger is known for its full-bodied reds, most notably Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood).

How to get to Eger from Budapest

Eger Hungary Travel TravelAndHome

The nearest international airport to Eger lies in Budapest.

The drive by car will take you about 90 minutes from Budapest to Eger (132 km, via the M3).

Eger is famous for

In addition to Eger’s superior wines, the town is known for healing and family-friendly thermal baths (dating back to 1932), noteworthy monuments and sightseeing, and beautiful baroque buildings. For instance, the County Hall, with its fine wrought-iron gate, and Minorite Church (constructed in 1771) dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua.

It’s also known for its 4-kilometer underground cellar system, The City Under The City.  Keep reading…

Best time to visit Eger

This charming city is one of the travel bucket list destinations of Hungary. You’ll know you’re nearby when out of nowhere, the vineyards start popping up on the outskirts of the city. Indeed, a beautiful sight in the summer with juicy grapes hanging from the vines, ready to be turned into wine.

You’ll enjoy warm sunny days between June to August, generally ranging from the upper 20s to around the mid-’30s. The humidity in July/early August can be quite high, sometimes exceeding your comfort level. 

In autumn (September to November) you have the warm autumn-colored leaves (especially around end-October / mid-November), putting on a spectacular display.

Autumn in the Bükk Forest near Eger

Above: Sourced from our Facebook Group – join us!

Winter is most definitely not a season for tourism in Hungary. Days are grey, there’s little sunshine, daylight hours are short, and it is cold. In addition, most noteworthy attractions close during the winter months. The Christmas markets throughout Hungary are the highlights of winter.

EGER WEATHER
Travel Tip(s)

Sightseeing in Eger

  • The Marzipan Museum is an amazing collection of marzipan pieces sculpted to sheer perfection. (Address: Harangöntő utca. 4) 
eger cathedral, sightseeing
  • When arriving in Eger, it’s almost impossible to miss the beautiful Neoclassical building that is home to the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle. A visit to the Basilica is a must-do for cathedral-lovers and one of the best places where you can regain your quietude. 
  • Dobó István Square (Dobó István tér) is well-positioned for a stop at one of the many outdoor cafes with a view of the summer fountain and the Baroque Church of Anthony of Padua.
Sightseeing in Eger, beatles museum, minaret landmarks min
  • Egri Road Beatles Museum is a fascinating exhibition of the world-famous music band, their performances, souvenirs, magazines featuring the Beatles, photo galleries, a few outfits, and more…  (Address: Csiky Sándor utca 30)
  • Go up the 40-meter high Minaret, a cultural heritage that dates back to 1596 (during the Ottoman Empire), and climb the almost 100 steps to the top for exquisite views.  (Address: Knézich Károly utca)
  • Go up the 40-meter high Minaret, a cultural heritage that dates back to 1596 (during the Ottoman Empire), and climb the almost 100 steps to the top for exquisite views.  (Address: Knézich Károly utca)
Sightseeing in Eger, castle, museum min
  • Eger Castle is a fascinating medieval castle overlooking the city. For this excursion, you need to plan your trip to have a half-day allocated for sightseeing. Also, the castle’s history is exhibited in a picture gallery in the István Dobó Castle Museum, on the very same grounds. (Address: Vár 1)
  • Now, for a bit more about the City Under The City. Having enjoyed the tranquility of the cathedral, turn to your left as you go down the stairs. Look out for a small entrance, which is where you enter the former cellar used by the Bishop to store the tax wine. Unfortunately, none of the up to 12 million liters of wine that he stored, are there today! 
  • Thermal baths to Hungarians are a way of life. They grew up with them. After all, in Budapest alone, there are more than 1,300 thermal water springs! Therefore, live like a local and find out what’s it all about at the Eger’s Thermal Baths(Address: Petőfi tér 2.)
 
 

Have You Had Your Lángos Today?

When in Hungary it is almost compulsory to try the country's national street food.

UNESCO World Heritage sites near Eger

Perfect day-trips

#TravelAndHome recommendation: Before you embark on a road trip to any one of the below sites, first click on the links to find out what you can expect.

  • Hortobágy National Park – the Puszta.
    • A cultural landscape of plains and wetlands.
    • Distance from Eger: 1 hr (66.4 km) via Route 33.
    • #TravelAndHome review: This is an excursion for passionate conservationists.
  • The old 16th-century village of Hollókő and its surroundings.
    • A living example of rural life during the 17th and 18th centuries.
    • Distance from Eger: 1 hr 24 min (87.1 km) via Route 23.
  • Baradla Aggtelek Cave (Entrance).
    • Over 712 caves provide insight into our geological history over tens of millions of years.
    • Distance from Eger: 1 hr 28 min (84.9 km) via 25-ös főút/Route 25.
  • Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape.
    • Distance from Eger: 2 hr 12 min (167.0 km) via Route 37.

Wine Tourism in Hungary

Wine tourism in Hungary is gaining popularity but is not as well-established as in other countries, such as South Africa. However, you can still ‘visit wineries’, sample traditional Hungarian dishes, and explore historical cellars. The scenic landscapes, including rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, add to the overall experience.

It’s about a half hour’s walk from Dobó István Square. Alternatively, catch a taxi or take the sightseeing train that leaves every 15 minutes from Egeségház Utca 4. Whatever you do, don’t drive there if you intend to do some wine tasting. Hungary has a very firm zero-tolerance policy as far as drink and driving is concerned. 

There are several cellars where you can do wine tasting. If you’ve done wine tasting in South Africa or Napa Valley in California, don’t expect the same. Instead of visiting a single wine estate at a time, here you have several cellars in quaint cave-like little hides. Here, instead of pub crawling, you do cellar crawling.

At this point, you must know that should a Hungarian find out you were here, the first question will most probably be: “So how did you find our famous Bull’s Blood?” Therefore, make a point of tasting Egri Bikavér, with a rich history going back to the 16th century.

Legend holds that the very same István Dobó after which the city’s square is named, thought to give the soldiers a bit of motivation by giving them red wine. Lots of it. The disheartened soldiers made good use of it, dripping it onto their beards, and the enemy, the Turks, interpreted it as bulls’ blood, not knowing it was actually wine. Needless to say, the Turks were too scared to attack the soldiers of Eger because, after all, the soldiers were believed to have the power of the bull, having drunk the blood! But, alas, all of this is only a legend. Today, we’d call it fake news.

In addition to the cellars, there are a wide variety of street cafes.

Valley of the Beautiful Women, travel and home

And if you were wondering about the language factor? At this valley, they’re keen to explain which wine is which.

Beehive stones at the southern foot of the Bukk Mountains Hungary archaeology ancient

Photo above: Beehive stones at the southern foot of the Bükk Mountains

The stone culture refers to the installations that the population here made out of stone or carved into stone: cave homes, wine cellars, pens for hundreds of sheep. The most intriguing ones are the hive-stones: man-made niches of an unknown purpose, which are under natural and archaeological protection.

Recommended: Walk in the Bükk Mountains with an experienced hiking guide and make new friends – reserve now and pay later.

Hiking near Eger

Hiking in the Bükk Mountains near Eger

Level: Moderately difficult. 

Starting Point: The trail often begins in the town of Eger, located at the foothills of the Bükk Mountains in northern Hungary. One of the possible starting points for the hiking trail in the Bükk Mountains near Eger is Kossuth Lajos Street. This street is a prominent thoroughfare in Eger and serves as a gateway to the mountainous terrain. From Kossuth Lajos Street, you can follow the designated hiking paths that lead into the Bükk Mountains and begin your outdoor adventure.

Distance: The total distance of the hiking trail can vary depending on the specific route you choose and the duration of your hike. A popular route covers approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles), but there are longer and shorter options available to cater to different fitness levels and preferences.

Trail Highlights: As you embark on your hike, you’ll encounter various highlights along the way. Some notable features of the Bükk Mountains hiking trail include:

    • Scenic Forests: The Bükk Mountains are known for their dense forests, consisting mainly of beech trees. As you walk through these enchanting woodlands, you’ll experience the tranquility and serenity of nature.

    • Karst Landscape: The Bükk Mountains are characterized by their unique karst topography, featuring limestone formations, caves, sinkholes, and underground rivers. You might have the opportunity to explore some of these geological wonders during your hike.

    • Lookout Points: Along the trail, you’ll come across several viewpoints that offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. These lookout points provide excellent opportunities for rest and photo-taking.

    • Wildlife: The Bükk Mountains are home to diverse flora and fauna. During your hike, keep an eye out for various bird species, deer, foxes, and other wildlife that inhabit the region.

End Point: The hiking trail usually concludes back in Eger, where you can relax and reflect on your adventure.

Best lodging options in Eger

It was a toss-up to stay between the two hotels featured below. Hotel Eger & Park won in the end (and with no regrets, at all). My next booking will be at the equally highly recommended Hunguest Hotel Flora. 

Travel Tip(s)

When you look for places to stay, keep in mind that Hotellook compares prices including that of Booking.com . So you really get the best deal. 

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