Szeged. In the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Szeged was also known under its German name Szegedin (famous for a dish called Szegedin Goulash). In Roman times, the settlement was called Partiscum.
Szeged is located in the Southern Great Plain right at the confluence between the river Maros and the Tisza (Theiss). The latter comes from the Forest Carpathian Mountains in the →Ukraine and flows into the river Danube in Serbia. The border to →Serbia in the south as well as the border to →Romania in the south-east are only a few km away. To →Budapest in the north it's more than 150 km.
Around 170,000 - Szeged is one of the biggest towns in Hungary.
Szeged stretches along the right (western) bank of the river Tisza. The central, rectangular square is called Széchenyi tér (tér = square). This square is rather large and not far from the rivershore. Some radial roads surround the square semicircularly - the biggest of them is divided into several segments. The segments are named after some European cities, and so there's a Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, London, Moscow and Viennese Ring.
|The pedestrian zone Mikszáth Kálmán utca|
There's a good reason for this. Those are the capitals of the countries that helped to rebuilt the town after the 'Great Water' (see the chapter on history below). After the flood, the town was rebuilt within a few years. Modern (and interesting) urban development was applied consequently, and so Szeged is very homogeneous, which is quite unusual for a Hungarian town. There's a lot of green in the spacious town centre as well as along the river Tisza. From the central square, Mikszáth Kálmán utca runs north-eastwards. It's a vibrant pedestrian zone with many shops. Running to the south-east, there's the Híd utca (Bridge St), leading straight to the Belvárosi híd (Inner city bridge). The tourist information can be found halway on the right side. When you cross the bridge, you will eventually enter the new town.
The train station is quite far away from the centre in the southern suburbs. However, tram No 1 runs straight to the station. The bus station is much closer - it's located at the end of the pedestrian zone Mars tér.
Szeged was already founded in Roman times and known as Partiscum. Excavations showed, that king Attila might have ruled his short-lived Kingdom of the Huns from Szeged. For many centuries, the town was an important local centre. After the 13th century, Szeged became a trade centre. This shouldn't even change during the Ottoman occupation. One of the reasons for the quick development of the town might be the location at the confluence of Maros and Tisza. Goods were easy to transport and the city itself was easy to protect. But the location was also fatal. In the year 1879, a huge wave rolled downstream the river Tisza and virtually washed away the entire city within one night. This desastrous event is simply referred to as 'the Great Water' by the locals.
Soon after the flood, an impressive wave of international solidarity swept over the city, and so Szeged rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Everything was completely remodelled, including the layout of the streets. Architects from many different countries helped to rebuilt the town and left their characteristic traces. After the Second World War, a university was founded. Today, visitors will soon notice that they are in a university town.
Getting there / transportation
Many buses and trains connect Szeged with the rest of the country. Several trains a day run to →Budapest Nyugati (1,500 Ft., around 2½ hrs). There are also local trains to Subotica in →Serbia. When going to →Pécs in Western Hungary, it's better to take the bus (1,820 Ft., around 3 hrs). The same can be said about trips to Arad and Timişoara in →Romania.
Due to the big flood desaster, not many houses built before the year 1879 are left. Which doesn't matter, since many of the buildings built after the flood are impressive, too. My personal favourite in Szeged is the Reök Palace, which was built in 1907 (it faces Kölcsey utca) and is a masterpiece of the Art Nouveau style, see picture below). Today, the 'palace' houses a bank. The interior of the palace is even more impressive than the outside!
|The Art Noveau style Reök-Palast in Szeged|
In contradiction to that, the Votive Church in the southern part of the centre is surprisingly ugly, The construction of the church was started right after the big flood, but it wasn't completed before 1930. The twin-towered monstrosity looks like a gingerbread fortress.
|Votive Church in the centre of Szeged|
Right behind the Votive Church there's the Serbian-Orthodox Church, which was built in 1778. It's one of a few buildings that managed to survive the flood without greater damage. The interior features an impressive iconostasis. Another interesting building is the Great Synagogue from the year 1903. Some people say that it's not less than Hungary's most beautiful Synagogue.
Besides that, Szeged is famous for two other things: The so-called Szegedin Goulash (some sort of hot stew with cabbage) and Pick-Salami - Hungary's most famous salami.
Private accommodation, hotels, students' dormitories etc - everything is possible. Between July and August it's possible to stay in one of the dormitories. One of them is the nice Loránd Eötvös College at the southern edge of the city centre opposite the Votive Church. Well, inside it looks like a typical students' dorm. The price for one person a night is 1,850 Ft only. Here's the address: Tisza Lajos körüt 103, Tel.: 310 641.
|Szeged · Maros Utca 1|
Number of floors: 8
Number of rooms: 130
Rates from: US$71
|Located in Szeged City Center, Novotel Szeged Hotel is a perfect starting point from which to explore Szeged. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Facilities like babysitting, laundry service/dry cleaning, bar/pub, car park, tours are readily available for you to enjoy. Designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, each room comes with air conditioning, coffee/tea maker, non smoking rooms, internet access – wireless (complimentary), daily newspaper. Access to the hotel's massage, sauna, jacuzzi, garden will further enhance your satisfying stay. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Szeged, Novotel Szeged Hotel will make you feel instantly at home.|
|6720 Szeged · Bajza str.6|
Number of floors: 2
Number of rooms: 16
Rates from: US$111
|The 4-star Hotel Dom offers comfort and convenience whether you're on business or holiday in Szeged. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. All the necessary facilities, including family room, car park, valet parking, meeting facilities, disabled facilities, are at hand. Bathrobes, non smoking rooms, internet access – wireless (complimentary), hair dryer, air conditioning can be found in each guestroom. Enjoy the hotel's recreational facilities, including sauna, massage, jacuzzi, before retiring to your room for a well-deserved rest. For reliable service and professional staff, Hotel Dom caters to your needs.|
|6722 Szeged · Szentharomsag street 38.|
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 9
Rates from: US$45
|Set in a prime location of Szeged, Mosoly Apartman 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. Service-minded staff will welcome and guide you at the Mosoly Apartman. Designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, each room comes with air conditioning, microwave, separate shower and tub, non smoking rooms, internet access – LAN. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Friendly staff, great facilities and close proximity to all that Szeged has to offer are three great reasons you should stay at Mosoly Apartman.|
|6721 Szeged · Zarda street 8|
Number of floors: 2
Number of rooms: 11
Rates from: US$77
|Hotel Matrix is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Szeged. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. Wi-Fi in public areas, 24hr room service, car park, pets allowed, meeting facilities are just some of the facilities on offer. Designed for comfort, guestrooms offer internet access – wireless, television, shower, desk, internet access – wireless (complimentary) to ensure a restful night. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. For reliable service and professional staff, Hotel Matrix caters to your needs.|
|6720 Szeged · 16 Somogyi street|
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 71
Rates from: US$149
|Stop at Art Hotel Szeged to discover the wonders of Szeged. The hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Wi-Fi in public areas, restaurant, valet parking, laundry service/dry cleaning, safety deposit boxes are there for guest's enjoyment. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. Recuperate from a full day of sightseeing in the comfort of your room or take advantage of the hotel's recreational facilities, including jacuzzi, sauna, massage, steamroom. Friendly staff, great facilities and close proximity to all that Szeged has to offer are three great reasons you should stay at Art Hotel Szeged.|
|6725 Szeged · 47 Petofi Sandor Avenue|
Number of floors: 1
Number of rooms: 6
Rates from: US$45
|Ven Diofa Guesthouse is a popular choice amongst travelers in Szeged, whether exploring or just passing through. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Car park, smoking area, family room, Wi-Fi in public areas are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Designed for comfort, guestrooms offer internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, internet access – wireless, television, desk to ensure a restful night. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Discover all Szeged has to offer by making Ven Diofa Guesthouse your base.|
- www.visitors.hu/07_07_en.html Interesting website about Szeged, with some pictures. Here's the English version.
- szeged.ohb.hu Website of the town with travel information and hotel tips.
Do you have or do you know a good website about Szeged? 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.