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The Popular Szeged Travel Guide

Szeged, a university city known for its sunshine, paprika, and salami.

Transport | Things to Do | Travel Costs | Famous for | Fun facts | Food & Drink | Best time to visit | Where to stay

Your Szeged Travel Guide

Szeged is Hungarys fourth largest city

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (IATA: BUD, ICAO: LHBP), is commonly known as Budapest Airport.

Szeged has a small airport about 5km west of the city. The airfield is mostly used for private chartered jets and shows.

Szeged is about two hours by car from Budapest, give and take the traffic you may encounter in Budapest. Once you're on the open road it is an easy drive to Szeged. Because it is such an easy drive, you can easily rent a car without stressing about traffic in Szeged. However, I don't recommend doing so because Szeged has an excellent public transport infrastructure.

From the airport, book a transfer service through Zöld Transfer. See the review "Travel like a local".

Once in Szeged, there are taxis everywhere at affordable prices. Use the bus and tram network, which is super clean and safe. 

The length of the day in Szeged varies significantly over the course of the year. For instance, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 36 minutes of daylight. In contrast, the longest day is June 20, with 15 hours, 47 minutes of daylight. 

Summer has beautiful warm sunny days between June to August, generally ranging from the upper 20's to around the mid-'30s. Lately, even reaching the upper-30s. The humidity in July/early August can be quite high, sometimes exceeding your comfort level. For instance 80% plus.

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

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.

  • Szeged lies on Hungary’s southern border, about 2 hours drive from Budapest, on the banks of Tisza river.
  • The western side is generally referred to as “Szeged”, while the newer eastern side is called “Új-szeged” (“New Szeged”).
  • It is just 15 km from the Serbian border.
  • According to the 2022 World Population Review, Szeged is Hungary’s 4th largest city.
  • Known as the “City of Sunshine”, Szeged has the most sunshine hours in the whole of Hungary.  Szeged is famous for its Paprika production – more about that later…
  • The city and the surrounding area date to ancient times. The first recorded name of the city is Partiscum, according to Ptolemy. In a document written by King Béla III in 1183, the name Szeged was first recorded.
  • It’s one of Hungary’s main hubs for the food sector.
  • In July 1849, Szeged served as the final capital of the revolutionary government. The town’s leaders were chastised by the Habsburg overlords, but subsequently, the town started to develop once more. The railway arrived there in 1854, and in 1860 the town was granted its former status as a free royal town.
  • South Africans living in Hungary have described Szeged as the “Potch (Potchefstroom) of South Africa”, both being a university town with a similar look and feel. That said, Szeged’s population is much higher at an estimated 160,000 – about 4 times the size of Potchefstroom. So, I guess you can call Szeged the Big Brother of Potchefstroom!
  • Small but famously twinned with Cambridge, England, United Kingdom; Darmstadt, Germany; Kotor, Montenegro; Larnaca, Cyprus; Liège, Belgium; Łódź, Poland; Nice, France; Odessa and Rakhiv in Ukraine; Parma, Italy; Pula, Croatia; Subotica, Serbia; Târgu Mureș and Timișoara in Romania; Toledo, USA; Turku in Finland and Weinan in China.

The name Szeged might come from an old Hungarian word for 'corner' (szeg), pointing to the turn of the river Tisza that flows through the city. Others say it derives from the Hungarian word sziget which means 'island'.

The University of Szeged, founded in 1872, is famous for its research activities and prides itself on numerous notable scientists and researchers. Among them is the Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi. He discovered Vitamin C!

Students from across the world come to study at the University of Szeged where instruction is available not only in English but also in French, German, and other foreign languages – depending on the study field.

Eat & Drink

Hungarian cuisine is known for the use of paprika, onion, and black pepper. Chicken, pork, and beef are common. You seldom get turkey, duck, lamb, fish, and game meats unless it is a special occasion such as Christmas or Easter. Having lived in Szeged for a few years now, these are my personal recommendations as to what you must eat and drink while in Szeged.


How Expensive Is Szeged

The official currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). That said, your master or visa card will be accepted or payment in Euros.

One thing we all know only too well is the cost of living where we live. However, what we don’t know is how it compares to our dream holiday destination. Compare city to city on typical holiday expenses. Like the cost of dinner out, or the cost of groceries (self-catering holidays), or transport such as taxis, buses, and trains. 

Suggested Read: Step-by-step guide to planning your holiday trip.

16 Must-See Places & Must-Do Things in Szeged

The City Hall was revamped after the great flood in 1879. Go to the middle window of the staircase where you will see the decorated words “Szeged will be more beautiful than it used to be”.

Address: Széchenyi tér 10

Meander in Dugonics Square, in memory of the Piarist priest and teacher András Dugonics. In 1788 he wrote the first Hungarian novel, namely Etelka. Just like Széchenyi Square, Dugonics Square is known for all kinds of activities and festivals during the summer months.

Here you’ll see traditional orthodox interior. The rococo iconostas embellished richly with gold is one of the most beautiful pieces in Hungary. The church is on the northern side of Dóm Square towards the River Tisza.

Address: Somogyi u. 3

This free sightseeing attraction is an absolute must-see with war-theme frescos painted by Vilmos Aba-Novák, in memory of Szeged’s soldiers who died in World War I.

Address: Boldogasszony sugárút (opposite Arad Martyrs Square)

Alternatively, enjoy a game of tenpin bowling at the Bowling alleys and Szeged center – Szeged TE (Szegedi Teke- és Bowlingcentrum – Szegedi TE). They’re on Derkovits fasor 1-5, and you can check availability by telephone – +36 362 401 410.

Outside the Votive Church on the side of the Dóm Square, is the oldest architectural relic of the city, namely Saint Demetrius Tower.  Interestingly, the square is the same area as the St. Mark Square in Venice, namely 12,000 square meters.

Address: Dóm tér

Go to Dóm Square on the opposite side of the Votive Church’s main entrance. You would want to be there at 12h15 or 17h45 to hear the tunes of this unique piece of art, dating back to 1936.

Address: Dóm tér

To quote Luther Vandross: “The best things in life are free”. There are many things in life that are FREE and breathtakingly beautiful. One of those is a walk on the banks of the river Maros.

The popular Széchenyi Square has a history going back to the 13th century when the western walls of the castle were built on the bank of the river Tisza in the square. Since then, it has been reshaped completely. Despite all the well-preserved historical buildings, the square has a youthful atmosphere with all the students from the various surrounding campuses and is a hub of activities during the summer months.

You will find plenty of sculptures of great significance everywhere in Szeged. For instance, the statue of Lajos Kossuth on Klauzál Square and an unparalleled golden tie pin. The pin is held in the gold spectacle of the Ferenc Móra Museum. Lajos Kossuth was a political reformer who inspired and led Hungary’s struggle for independence from Austria. The controversial Kossuth visited Szeged in 1848, giving two speeches to about 10,000 residents. “The cheers, music, and cannons had no length-end,” they wrote of the glorious day. Kossuth gave his legendary speech on this day: “The people of Szeged, the pride of my nation, the pillar of my poor betrayed country, I bow deeply before you!”  Later, in 1902, the statue was inaugurated.

Szeged is the city of festivals. Have a look at the events calendar and plan your trip to join in the celebrations and experience Hungarian culture.

This twin-spired church sits on Dóm square next to the Dömötör tower. Construction began in 1913. The outbreak of World War I caused construction to pause. Subsequently, construction only ended in 1930.

“It is a cathedral, a family-friendly church, a destination of pilgrims, a sacred space, an exclusive conference and concert venue, home of the Szeged Open-Air Festival, and an open and receptive community magnet.”

Address: Dóm tér 15

At the New Synagogue (built 1903), find the biblical commandment in Hebrew and Hungarian that reads “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

Address: Jósika u. 10

Indoor activities for rainy days. There is no shortage of indoor activities when the weather is not ideal for being outdoors. Go to one of the many thermal baths, like Anna Thermal Baths.

Address: Szeged, Tisza Lajos krt. 24, 6720

You’ll find Thai massage parlors all over the city, like Thai Massage Szeged.

Located in the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Medicine, the Szent-Györgyi Albert memorial room is a sight of great significance. In short, Albert Szent-Györgyi won the Nobel Prize “for his discoveries with reference to vitamin C”. An achievement that Hungarians are very proud of.

Address:  University of Szeged Faculty of Medicine, Tisza L. krt. 109.

The construction of Reök Palace is an exemplary piece of Hungarian Art Nouveau, constructed in 1907. Today it is a popular place to have coffee and enjoy art exhibitions.

Address: Magyar Ede tér 2.

Best things to do in Szeged Places near Budapest worth seeing min

Suggested Read: Szeged in bloom – Follow the Flowers – Part 2

Snow Time!
You can expect snow in the winter season, subject to the impact of climate change! December 2019 and January 2020 had almost no snow - certainly not enough to throw salt!
Szeged is the city with the most sunshine hours in Hungary. Temperatures are rarely below -12°C or above 34°C.For warm-weather activities visit Szeged from late May to mid September.
On the Maros River Bank
The Maros River is one of two primary rivers flowing through Szeged.
Autumn in Full Swing
In 2020, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 36 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 15 hours, 47 minutes of daylight.
Winter Wonderland
Winter lasts from end November to March 1. Expect temperature averages between 8°C and -4°C.

Szeged Classifieds

Anything under the sun...

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