Official Name

Pécs (pronounced "pairch"!). The German name of the town is completely different: Fünfkirchen, which means 'five churches'. During the Roman era, the place was known as Sophianae. Later, it was renamed Cinque Ecclesiae (yes, this means 'five churches' as well!). The Ottomans called the place Pecavi, so the recent names obviously derives from the Turkish word.

Location

Location of Pecs
Pecs

Pécs lies in the heart of Southern Transdanubia, which is a mostly flat and warmer-than-average region in the south-west corner of Hungary. Pécs is located between the river Danube and its tributary, the river Dráva. The town is only a few kilometres away from the forested Mecsek Hill Chain. The border to →Croatia is only 35 kilometres away; →Lake Balaton in the North is around 80 km away.

Population

Around 170,000 - one of the biggest cities of the country.

Orientation

Pécs offers an almost rectangular and well-preserved old town centre, with parts of the old city well remaining impact in the northern and western part of the city. The old town is dominated by the large Basilica of St Peter in the north-west corner in the old town. The absolute centre of town is the wide Széchenyi tér (tér = square), where almost a dozen of streets end - one of them is the pedestrian zone Király utca. The tourist information can be found at the south-west corner of the square. The train and bus station are a 15 minutes walk away from the city centre. To get to the station, walk down Jókai Mór utca southwards from Széchenyi tér. The historically most interesting part of Pécs stretches between the central square and the above-mentioned basilica. The centre itself is rather hilly. The biggest part of the new town stretches to the west.

The central square of Pecs
Széchenyi tér, the central square of Pécs

History

Pécs is an old city. In Roman times, the town was the capital of the province Lower Pannonia. Later on it became something like a religious centre. Because of that, five churches, giving the town its old name, were built. After the foundation of the →First Hungarian Empire, Pecs was chosen for the bishop's residence. In the middle of the 14th century, the first Hungarian university was found here.

After the devastating Mongolian invasion in 1241, city walls were erected and so the town was fortified. This didn't help when the Ottoman Empire advanced. They conquered the town in 1543 and stayed for almost 150 years. The Ottomans applied their own urban planning, and so Pécs today is the one and only Hungarian town with a certain oriental atmosphere. Additonally, Pécs is an important university town.

Getting there / transportation

Around 10 trains a day connect Pécs with the capital →Budapest. But there are no direct trains to the east, and so it's better to catch a bus when going to →Szeged or further. This takes around 3 hrs, the fare is 1,880 ft. There's also one daily direct train to →Osijek in Eastern Slavonia (→Croatia). However, it's an incredibly slow train. The fare from Osijek to Pecs is 94 Kuna (around € 13).

The train service between Budapest and →Sarajevo has been resumed in the year 2002. This train stops in Pecs as well. It leaves 20:42 and arrives in Sarajevo the next day at 05:43. Departure and arrival time are of course subject to change.

 

 

The first thing visitors will notice at the central square Széchenyi tér is the so-called Mosque Church. The name already tells the story: Once, the building was used as the Gazi Kassim Pasha Mosque - it's nothing less than the largest preserved building left from the Ottoman occupation in Hungary. After the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire, the mosque was transformed into a church without destroying the Islamic elements. The dome-shaped roof makes it the most characteristic building at the square.

Pecs: Mosque Church and Holy Trinity Column
Mosque Church and Holy Trinity Column at Széchenyi square

Right behind the Mosque Church stands the Archeological Museum. On the central square you will also find the statue of a horseman and next to it the Holy Trinity Column.

When walking north from the square, you will enter a network of small lanes, which are closed to traffic. One of them is called Káptalan utca, where several museums line up.

Pecs: Four-towered Basilica of St Peter
Four-towered Basilica of St Peter

At the end of the street and thanks to its dimension impossible to miss stands the Basilica of St. Peter with its four towers. Originally built during the 11th century, the church was often destroyed and rebuilt. Most parts of the basilica as it can be seen today date back to the year 1881. The church is almost completely surrounded by the remainings of the old town wall - among them the so-called Barbikan (a similar structure with almost the same name can be found in →Warsaw) marks the oldest part of the fortification system. The Bishop's Palace from the year 1770 stands next to the basilica.

When you walk down the stairs from the basilica, you will get to Szent István tér, a square which should be rather called a park. In the middle of the park, an early Christian chapel has been excavated. The tiny underground chapel is very narrow and features highly interesting frescoes from the 4th century (!)

Besides the Mosque Church in the centre you will find many other buildings being left from the Ottoman occupation. Among them, the Hassan Jakovali Mosque in front of the city wall in the south-west as well as the ruins of an old Turkish Bath (Pascha Memi) are worth mentioning. Religious diversity is not limited to mosques and churches - there's also a large synagogue from the 19th century.

There's much more to see in town. There are many historical buildings, but Pécs has more to offer: It's a vibrant university town, and the size is just perfect for a beautiful walk. This town is definitely my favourite place in Hungary...

 

 

South of Pécs there are several thermal springs, most of them concentrating around Harkány not far from the Croatian border. If you have much time to spare, you can also hike to the green Mecsek hill. The second highest hill? mountain? in that area is the 534 m high Misina, featuring an almost 200 metre high TV tower. It's a real landmark.

 

The tourist information at Széchenyi tér offers private accommodation for 4,000 ft (€ 16) for a double. But it doesn't seem to work every time - we hadn't had a good map to find the place, so when we finally arrived, the room was already given away to another one (we were 15 minutes late!) The owner of the apartment eventually sent us to a friend of her, and so we stayed with a very old lady living in the suburbs...still, private rooms are the best option.

Hotel Diana

7621 Pecs · Timar street 4/a


Since:
Location: Map
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 22
Rates from: US$68
Rating: 9.7/10

More Information
Set in a prime location of Pecs, Hotel Diana puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. To be found at the hotel are Wi-Fi in public areas, car park, laundry service/dry cleaning, safety deposit boxes, family room. Designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, each room comes with air conditioning, internet access – wireless (complimentary), ironing facilities, complimentary bottled water, in room safe. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Friendly staff, great facilities and close proximity to all that Pecs has to offer are three great reasons you should stay at Hotel Diana.

Centrum Apartmenthotel

7624 Pecs · Damjanich Janos street 11


Since: 2008
Location: Map
Number of floors: 2
Number of rooms: 20
Rates from: US$62
Rating: 9.3/10

More Information
Located in Pecs, Centrum Apartmenthotel is a perfect starting point from which to explore Pecs. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Meeting facilities, concierge, family room, Wi-Fi in public areas, car park are there for guest's enjoyment. Guestrooms are fitted with all the amenities you need for a good night's sleep, including non smoking rooms, microwave, shower, internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary). The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. For reliable service and professional staff, Centrum Apartmenthotel caters to your needs.

Ananas Hostel

7626 Pecs · Erzsebet street 2/2


Since: 1900
Location: Map
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 6
Rates from: US$41
Rating: 9.3/10

More Information
Stop at Ananas Hostel to discover the wonders of Pecs. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. Salon, airport transfer, Wi-Fi in public areas, bicycle rental, laundry service/dry cleaning are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Guestrooms are fitted with all the amenities you need for a good night's sleep, including internet access – wireless (charges apply), balcony/terrace, hair dryer, internet access – wireless. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Ananas Hostel.

Forum Hotel

7622 Pecs · Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Str 14-16


Since:
Location: Map
Number of floors: 2
Number of rooms: 19
Rates from: US$73
Rating: 8.9/10

More Information
Located in Pecs, Forum Hotel is a perfect starting point from which to explore Pecs. The hotel offers guests a range of services and amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience. Service-minded staff will welcome and guide you at the Forum Hotel. Designed for comfort, guestrooms offer hair dryer, mini bar, air conditioning, non smoking rooms, television LCD/plasma screen to ensure a restful night. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. For reliable service and professional staff, Forum Hotel caters to your needs.

Corso Hotel Pecs

7626 Pecs · Koller str. 8


Since: 2010
Location: Map
Number of floors: 4
Number of rooms: 81
Rates from: US$97
Rating: 8.7/10

More Information
Corso Hotel Pecs is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Pecs. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Meeting facilities, business center, elevator, laundry service/dry cleaning, disabled facilities are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Designed for comfort, guestrooms offer bathtub, DVD/CD player, mini bar, desk, hair dryer to ensure a restful night. Take a break from a long day and make use of garden. Corso Hotel Pecs combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance to make your stay in Pecs unforgettable.

Hotel Arkadia

7621 Pecs · Hunyadi u.1.


Since: 2010
Location: Map
Number of floors: 2
Number of rooms: 25
Rates from: US$74
Rating: 8.6/10

More Information
The 3-star Hotel Arkadia offers comfort and convenience whether you're on business or holiday in Pecs. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. Business center, safety deposit boxes, Wi-Fi in public areas, restaurant, elevator are there for guest's enjoyment. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Hotel Arkadia.

Hotel Palatinus City Center

7621 Pecs · Kiraly Street 5


Since: 1915
Location: Map
Number of floors: 5
Number of rooms: 100
Rates from: US$69
Rating: 8.3/10

More Information
Stop at Hotel Palatinus City Center to discover the wonders of Pecs. The hotel offers guests a range of services and amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience. Elevator, business center, room service, laundry service/dry cleaning, smoking area are there for guest's enjoyment. Designed for comfort, guestrooms offer bathtub, non smoking rooms, television, mini bar, air conditioning to ensure a restful night. To enhance guests' stay, the hotel offers recreational facilities such as massage, steamroom, sauna. Hotel Palatinus City Center combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance to make your stay in Pecs unforgettable.

Boutique Hotel Sopianae

7621 Pecs · Felsomalom Street 24


Since:
Location: Map
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 22
Rates from: US$77
Rating: 8.3/10

More Information
Set in a prime location of Pecs, Boutique Hotel Sopianae puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. Featuring a complete list of amenities, guests will find their stay at the property a comfortable one. Service-minded staff will welcome and guide you at the Boutique Hotel Sopianae. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Convenience and comfort makes Boutique Hotel Sopianae the perfect choice for your stay in Pecs.

Hotel Makar Sport & Wellness

7635 Pecs · Kozepmakar dulo 4.


Since: 2010
Location: Map
Number of floors: 2
Number of rooms: 60
Rates from: US$66
Rating: 8.2/10

More Information
Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Pecs, Hotel Makar Sport & Wellness promises a relaxing and wonderful visit. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Elevator, disabled facilities, pets allowed, smoking area, bicycle rental are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Guestrooms are designed to provide an optimal level of comfort with welcoming decor and convenient amenities like hair dryer, mini bar, bathtub, internet access – wireless (complimentary), air conditioning. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Convenience and comfort makes Hotel Makar Sport & Wellness the perfect choice for your stay in Pecs.

Hotel Millennium

7625 Pecs · Kalvaria str. 58


Since: 2000
Location: Map
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 38
Rates from: US$101
Rating: 7.6/10

More Information
Stop at Hotel Millennium to discover the wonders of Pecs. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. Wi-Fi in public areas, car park, bar/pub, pets allowed, 24hr room service are there for guest's enjoyment. Designed for comfort, guestrooms offer bathtub, internet access – wireless (complimentary), internet access – LAN (complimentary), satellite/cable TV, shower to ensure a restful night. Take a break from a long day and make use of indoor pool, massage, garden, sauna. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Hotel Millennium.

 

Do you have or do you know a good website about Pécs? Don't hesitate, let me know! After checking it, I would love to add it to the link list. You can submit a link by using the →contact form. Note that commercial websites will be treated differently.

 

 

 

 

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