The Great Church of Debrecen in winter

Debrecen is the "capital city of the Great Hungarian Plain", and the county seat and largest city of Hajdú-Bihar county in eastern Hungary. It is the second largest city in the country with about 200,000 inhabitants and historically the most important city in Hungarian Protestantism.


They used to say "who in their sane mind would build a city in the middle of nowhere where there are no mountains, forests, water or roads?". Still, the answer is a mystery, but Debrecen is the second (or third, depends on the census) largest city of Hungary.

It used to be Europe's largest Calvinist city (was called "The Calvinist Rome"), and the Grand Church (Nagytemplom) is a reminder of the city's heritage.

Debrecen also has a university with all kinds of science areas. It has about 25000 students. The main building at the Nagyerdő is beautiful.

Get in

Main Train Station in Debrecen

By car

It can be easily accessed from Budapest by driving on the M3 highway and then the M35 (about at 186 km sign) highway but vignette is required. It is about a 2-hour drive. Or follow the main road 4 from Budapest or anywhere except east (more than 3 hours travel from Budapest), but it is not recommended because main road 4 is overcrowded and accidents are common.

By plane

There is an airport , but commercial traffic is low. There is a discount airline flying to München, Germany, so via that Debrecen can be reached from all Europe. It is planned to extend the air traffic through involving more cheap-flight companies. Charter flights come regularly to the airport.

There are cheap flight connections between Debrecen and London, Milano and Eindhoven by The airport bus takes you to the city centre (train or bus station).

If your flight is to or from Budapest Ferihegy Airport, you can take a train to Debrecen from Ferihegy 1. (If you arrive at Ferihegy 2, take bus 200 E to Ferihegy 1.)

By train

There are regular trains app. every hour from Budapest Nyugati Station. The duration of the trip is 2.5 hours. Check the following site for timetables.

By bus

Get around

Tram outside of Debrecen Train Station

By foot

There are many nice streets around, though there are many less attractive ones as well. Try your luck.

Nagyerdő (the Big Forest) is beautiful.

By public transportation

Public transport uses local tickets. Don't try to use Budapest tickets; they won't work.

The 'DKV', the council public transport company two tram, five trolleybus and sixty bus lines operated in Debrecen. The tram carries people to the most visited places. It starts at the railway station, goes along the main street, turns at the Grand Church a bit, goes to the Old Forest, the Zoo, Theme Park and Public Bath, then around to meet the Universities, and then back. A cheap way to see most of the city is to get a ticket at the train station, get on, and enjoy the trip until you're back where you started.

Bus lines are fair. You may expect to be able to reach nearby places fast.

By car

Roads are okay. The city is small enough though that you could easily get around by foot or by public transportation.


Despite being the second largest city in the country, Debrecen has very few attractions to show for it. The Nagytemplom is a must see and easily accessible. As for museums, the Déri Museum is definitely worth a trip, but all the others really depend on how much Hungarian art interests you. Most of the major attractions are in the city park, or Nagyerdő, where you could easily spend a pleasant afternoon.

Places of Worship


The Déri Museum, the largest museum in the city

Sculptures, Monuments

Other attractions

Further afield

The Nine-holed Bridge, Hortobágy.




Exchanging money can be cheaper here than in Budapest.





Other stores


Avoid everything in Kálvin tér (the square on the right of the Great Church, in the middle of the circle of houses), They emphasize style over flavour. Near the Great Church is where you can find nice cafes.




Post Offices


Go next

Lake Tisza
Routes through Debrecen

Nyíregyháza  N  S  Becomes Békéscsaba
Füzesabony junction to Becomes Hortobágy  W  E  Nyírbátor Mátészalka
Miskolc Nyékládháza junction to  N  S  End

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 26, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.