Lovely architecture plus chill vibe in the evenings, made my stay in Szeged very enjoyable. My first time on the south of Hungary was a blast. I am sharing now a little guide on the best things to do in Szeged as well as 3 things you need to know before coming to Szeged.
3 things you need to know before coming to Szeged
First of all, coming to Szeged, you need to know that it’s a capital of paprika, a spice made from dried, powdered capsicum fruits. Being there one week, I ate as much pepper as I normally eat during few years. Starting from breakfast, when we often had the pepper paste – also famous in Balkan countries. For lunch and dinner there could be grilled pepper or as an addition with the sauce or salad.
Secondly, Szeged is a well-known students city with lots of universities and local as well as international students. Therefore, exploring the city of Szeged, you will feel like a constant party is happening as people love to drink beer along the river or in the old town’s pubs. As I am a fan of local breweries and support local producers when I travel, there I didn’t have much of choice. Wherever I went I saw Czech beer. Surprisedly, Hungarian people don’t like Hungarian beer too much, they drink beer from Czechia, because it’s simply better. I cannot complain though, as Czech beer is in my opinion the best in the world!
Third, the main attraction of Szeged is the Open Air Theater Festival every May. This is when calm city of Szeged becomes crowded and a lot of events are happening. A unique musical clock you can find in Szeged city center, which first was heard at the Open Air Festival in 1936.
Things to do in Szeged, Hungary
Szeged is a lovely city on the South of Hungary, which could be a perfect stop for a weekend. During summer there are many festivals held in Szeged. Apart from the main Open Air, there are beer and wine festivals or even a fish soup festival. Therefore, summer is definitely the best time to visit south of Hungary.
Visiting the old part
Old part of Szeged is lovely architectured area, with few pedastrian streets full of cafes and restaurants. You can chill on the square in front of the University building, where the fountain is. The old part has few architectural gems, such as secessionist Jószef Móricz house or Twin Villas.
See Szeged from above on the Cathedral Tower
Moving from the main square, you will see cathedral towers. The Cathedral is a huge baroque building with beautiful interior. It’s also possible to climb up the tower and see all the city and river from above. Highly recommended to have an overview on the city.
Cathedral Tower in Szeged ticket price 600 Ft (~1,5 €)
Hungary is famous for Thermal Baths. There is one old bath in Szeged, called Anna. It’s in the city center, withing few minutes walk from the main square. From all things to do in Szeged, this one is my absolute fav! You will find several pools with mineral water in different temperatures, sauna, jacuzzi and ordinary pool for swimming. The great thing about the Anna Bath is that during the week it’s also open by night, from 9 pm until midnight. The evenings there are mostly young people, socialising, couples dating while during the day you will find the majority of elders.
Anna Bath ticket price is 1200 Ft – around 3 € for unlimited time.
Just in front of the Anna Bath going direction to the center, you can find a fountain with little statue of Anna on the top. It’s actually a tap with hot mineral water, which you can drink. The water is really hot and tastes disgusting, but it contains precious minerals.
Synagoge of Szeged
Szeged used to have lots of Jewish before II World War. They either were caught by Hitler’s troops or run away to another country. The sinagoge is Szeged nowadays gathers a little Jewish community, which still come for every Saturday Shabbat celebration. The synagoge inside is just stunning! Baroque dome, Roman columns and Byzantine-inspired bellows. On both sides of the nave, beautiful stained-glass windows count out the Jewish holidays. The aron and bimah are made out of the marble from Jerusalem, while the menorot are made from ormulu set in semi-precious stones. Jews prospered here thanks to commerce and the wood and paprika industries.
Synagoge in Szeged Ticket price 1200 Ft/person to visit inside with a guide.
The water tower in Szeged
Interesting building – over hundred years old water tower, stands on Saint Steven Square. You will reach it in around 15-20 min walk from the main square. You can also climb up to the top during the summer.
Water Tower in Szeged ticket price – 610 Ft.
Móra Ferenc Museum
The museum itself has a great location: on the bank of the river, next to the lovely park with fountains, castle ruins and picturesque sign of Szeged. You will find permanent and temporary exhibitions of region’s history, archeology, ethnography and natural science.
Mora Ferenc Museum ticket price – 1.990 Ft/person.
Eat Kürtőskalács – Hungarian sweet
From the things to do in Szeged. I have to mention eating traditional Hungarian sweets. Kürtőskalács is a chimney cake, which is apparently not only Hungarian. The origin of this delicacy was Szekely Land – Hungarian speaking part of Romania. Besides, Kurtos is widely spread around Europe. You can eat it on every corner in Prague as well as in many places in Poland.
When are you planning to visit south of Hungary? See the highlights of Hungary.