Eger

Castle as seen from minaret

Eger is a historic town in Northern Hungary, capital of Heves County, situated between the Mátra and Bükk mountains.

Understand

Eger is mainly known for its castle, thermal baths, historic buildings (including the northernmost Turkish minaret) and, above all else, the best Hungarian red wines. When you plan your trip, it looks like a small town for which half a day is more than enough, but 3 days may not even be enough to enjoy it fully, even in the winter.

Tourist mix

The majority of travelers come for a single day (mostly Slovakians), not staying overnight. Ukrainians and Russians frequent the Castle, along with many Italians. Around the town you may run into many German-speaking travelers as well.

Get in

By train

Trains leave the Budapest Keleti station each hour. The ones leaving at odd hours are direct, the ones leaving at even hours require you to change trains in Füzesabony. Most of these trains are gyors (fast) trains and will take about two hours and 20 minutes to arrive. Hourly IC trains will take you directly to Füzesabony, cutting the total travel time to just under two hours, but a reservation is required.

If you come from Miskolc your options are similar, except there is no direct service and you will have to change trains in Füzesabony. IC trains take just under an hour to arrive.

By bus

Buses leave Budapest's Stadionok station for Eger twice an hour and the trip takes a little over two hours . Less if you travel with the express service. Most major cities in Hungary also have direct bus connections to Eger.

By car

The easiest way to arrive is to take the M3 as far as Füzesabony, then continue north on route 25. For a more scenic route from Miskolc you can drive through the windy roads of the Bükk mountains.

Get around

The train station is located about a ten minute walk from the downtown area and most attractions. Walk over to Deák Ferenc út and walk north until you reach the Basilica. You can also take buses #10, 11, or 12. If you arrived by bus, the town bus station is located downtown directly behind the basilica.

Once downtown, the city is small and best walked on foot. You won't need alpine boots, but high-heeled shoes are still not good as there is much cobblestone pavement downtown.

However, the town has a taxi service which is especially useful if you arrive by train or if your hotel is outside of the town center. (phones: 555-555; 333-333).

Also, if you go for some outdoor activities near the town there are some buses connecting the town with the suburbs. Check at the main bus station for schedules.

See

Churches

Servite Church
Immaculate Conception Church in Eger
Basilica of Eger
The interior of the Cistercian Church in Eger
Saint Nikolaus Orthodox Church
Church of St. Antony of Padua or Minorite Church

Museums

Panoramic View to Castle of Eger
Hungarian National Flag over Castle of Eger
Gothic Palace in Castle of Eger
Small synagogue of Eger- contemporary art exhibition space
Sports Museum named Ferenc Kemény, Eger

Other Attractions

Minaret of Eger

Further afield

Szilvásvárad area, a highlight of the Bükk National Park

Do

In the suburbs:

Others:

There's a non-crowded cloakroom on the 2nd floor.

Events

¤ Eger Spring Festival ( - late March to early Apr

¤ Agria Summer Games (Agria Nyári Játékok) - all summer

¤ Erlau Dance Festival (Erlau Táncfesztivál) - end of July, beginning of Aug

¤ The Bull's Blood Wine Feast (Az Egri Bikavér Ünnepe) - mid-Jul

¤ Medieval Marketplace (Középkori Piactér) - end of Jul

¤ Castle Festivities (Végvári vigasságok) - end of July

¤ Baroque Festival of Eger (Fesztivál a barokk Egerben) - Jul-Aug

¤ Festival of Szépasszonyvölgy (Szépasszonyvölgyi Fesztivál) - mid-Aug

¤ Wine Competition of Eger (Bormustra az egri Piacz-on) - mid-Aug

¤ Slow Film Festival - August

¤ Agria International Folk Dance Meeting (Agria Nemzetközi Néptánctalálkozó) - end of August

¤ Eger Festival (Eger Ünnepe) - mid-September - Civil festival

¤ Eger Castle Day (Egri Vár Napja) - October 17 - all museum of the Castle can be visited free of charge

¤ Every summer there is a small acrobatics workshop-week in Mikófalva, a village not far north from Eger (click on Mikófalva).

¤ See also: New Year holidays in Hungary.

Horseback riding

Buy

Definitely a good place for wine shopping. You can buy directly from the makers.

Other places for shopping:

Eat

Plenty of restaurants all over the town.

Visit some csárdas in Valley of Beautiful Women (Szépasszony-völgy). Some of them are constantly overcrowded as tourists are brought there by buses of partner agencies.

One of the specialties are pancake balls.

Cafes and Confectioneries

Restaurants

Onion soup is disappointedly non-traditional, but still good. Conqueror's soup is served in bread, and definitely worth tasting. Be careful with Sombrero--extremely hot, which is not indicated in menu.

Drink

Wine

Eger is the centre of one of the top wine regions in Europe. Egri Bikavér is most famous cuvee here, but there are several others definitely worth a sip.

Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood) is a strong red Hungarian wine which supposedly saved a clever Hungarian girl from her fate with a Turkish sultan. During the time of the Turkish occupation, it is said a young girl was summoned to become a member of the local sultan's harem. Not wanting this fate for his daughter, her father gave her a bottle of Egri Bikavér to take to the sultan. He told her to tell the ruler it was bull's blood, and would make him invincible. The sultan, being Muslim, was unaccustomed to alcohol, and proceeded to pass out, leaving the daughter unharmed. That's a legend -- but in real life, also be careful with Egri Bikavér. It's excellent, but strong stuff!

The real story is an important piece of Hungarian history: the "bull's blood" made there - is a cuvee (two type red wine mixed) - this name was given by the Turkish horde trying to conquer Eger - and than proceed towards Austria...etc But failed!...there were approx. 2000 Hungarians inside Eger, and 200,000 Turks outside. They had always seen the Hungarians drinking red wine, but they did not know what it was, and they assumed this must be bull's blood which makes these warriors so strong and fearless.

Wine shops

Valley of Beautiful Women (Szépasszony-völgy)

Sleep

Several camp sites are available along with plenty of small and larger hotels and private rooms all over the town. You will not have a problem finding accommodation there.

Go next

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