What to do in Debrecen?
This is a 5 best of.
1. Head to the top of the Yellow Church
This sparkling yellow church known as the Nagytemplom is the most striking sight in the city. It is the city's centre piece and focal point. It's unmissable to be honest and it sits in front of the main square where trams take you back in time 20 years. Debrecen hasn't got caught up in the commercial world quite yet. Shopping Malls are on the increase, but it was pleasing that the church is the most popular sight. You can pay to go up to the top for a great view over the city and it's sprawling suburbs. It's worth it. Only one of the two towers was open to the public when I went. The Nagytemplom is also referred to as "The Great Church" in English, and the locals also refer to a smaller church on the main street nearby as "The Little Church".
2. Watch Loki Play Football!
Loki are the local team in Debrecen and they have won the Hungarian League 6 times in the last 10 years so they are a good team to watch. The stadium might be hard to find but a trip there is worth it. The local fans are proud and they make some noise! Hungary were twice the runner up team in World Cup Finals.
3. Have a beer overlooking the Square
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. Head to the Theatre
The theatre is recommended - it's the Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen which is famous worldwide. Recent performers such as Noemi Linzenbold have danced away there. It's a top place to watch an opera too. There is always something going on.
Just in front (and to the left) of the Nagytemplom is also a statue of Csokonai, the famous Hungarian poet who grew up here, the theatre is named after him and has regular events on.
5. Head on a tram to the University
The University in Debrecen is excellent and the tram journey out there is a fantastic experience. It's free to walk around and you can also relax by a lake. Debrecen has more to it than meets the eye!
Another thing to do in Debrecen:
The Deri Museum - although hardly the most exciting museum of all time, it's a good way to pass an hour or two to get the history on Debrecen and Hungary.
Getting there, to Debrecen:
Bus or train from Budapest is the most likely option though you can also come in via Romania as an unusual alternative.
Get your flights booked and head to Hungary!
Places to stay in Debrecen:
Your best bet is to check online for decent hotels first up, then hostels. But if you want an authentic Debrecen experience then stay with a local family like I did!
Some odd facts about the city of Debrecen:
- Debrecen is close the Romanian border and was in fact once occupied by the Romanian Army! Post World War 1.
- Debrecen was once the capital city of Hungary (yes, I know, I didn't believe it either)
Food and drink in Debrecen:
I'll keep it short and simple here - try Hungarian Paprika Chicken. You'll love it. And for a snack buy some Turo Rudis! (a chocolate bar with cheese in it - loved them). It was also a shock to see (even in 2009) a McDonald's restaurant in the city centre.
Reasons for visiting Debrecen?
It's a real tourist gem which is unknown so worth seeing. My ex-girlfriend took me there so I got a local experience but head on your own and you will love it!
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