Travel-and-Home uses affiliate links at no extra cost to you. Please see the disclaimer link at the bottom of this article and scroll to “Advertiser Disclosure”.

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

Szeged is Hungarys fourth largest city

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'.

Szeged lies on Hungary’s southern border, about 2 hours’ drive from Budapest. 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…

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!

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.

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 2 hours’ drive 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. Szeged has excellent public transport infrastructure. For the most part, you will probably use the bus and tram network. Alternatively, there are taxis everywhere at affordable prices.

  • The Votive Church and Cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary is a twin-spired church situated 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. Address: Dóm tér 15
  • The Szent-Györgyi Albert memorial room, located in the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Medicine, 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.
  • Saint Demetrius Tower, outside the Votive Church on the side of the Dóm Square, is the oldest architectural relic of the city. Interestingly, the square is the same area as the St. Mark Square in Venice, namely 12,000 square meters. Address: Dóm tér
  • The musical clock can be seen from the 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
  • The Serbian Orthodox Church, with its traditional orthodox interior, is on the northern side of the Dóm Square towards the River Tisza. The rococo iconostas embellished richly with gold is one of the most beautiful pieces in Hungary. Address: Somogyi u. 3
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.