Pécs

Hassan Jakovali's mosque in Pécs
Not to be confused with Peć.

Pécs (PEH-ch) is a town in the south-west of Hungary. Pécs is the administrative and economical centre of Baranya County The city has Mediterranean atmosphere and a treasure-house of science, arts and sacrality. It had famous and glorious periods. Here are several values of the Roman times, the Middle Ages, the Turkish occupation and the development of the middle-class are built on one another or next to one another such as Gothic, Renaissance, baroque dwelling houses, Christian churches and Islamic houses of prayer, djamis and minarets, baths and public buildings.

Understand

Located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains. The heritage of the past goes back to the neolithic age. The territory always provided good essential conditions for the different ethnic groups who settled down here, which is proven by the arcaheological findings excavated here. Founded as Sopianae 2000 years ago by the Romans (most relics date back to the this period) and known as Fünfkirchen by the Germans.

After the period of migration, St. Stephen founded an episcopate in Pécs around 1009.

Pope Urban signed the foundation document of the university during the reign of Lewis the Great, in 1367, - consequently the town of Pécs became the seat of the first university of Hungary.

Today's Pécs is a pleasant small (but still one of the largest in Hungary) university town that has largely escaped the ravages of both communist-era architecture and modern-day mass tourism. In 2000, the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2010.

Get in

By train

By bus

By plane

Get around

The core of Pécs is small enough to cover on foot, but for those who wish to explore the town, there is a cheap and efficient bus service, single tickets are available for 360 HUF from the driver or HUF280 from the many kiosks dotted around the city. Make sure you have tickets, the bus inspectors have no mercy and will fine clueless foreigners.

Volan Taxi and Euro Taxi are both safe.

See

Holy Places

Inside the Catholic Church on the main square (once the Mosque of Pasha Ghazi Quasim)
Love padlocks in down-town

Museums

Ancient Christian tombchapel 'gave' World Heritage title to the City
Garden of Zsolnay Museum

Others

Further afield

Baja
Castle Siklós

Do

The La fanfare en pétàrd roams around the town during the University Days since 2009.

Festivals

Colourful lights on the walls of the Barbican of Pécs during Sétatér festival in September.

Buy

Markets

Shopping Centres

Eat

Splurge

Drink

Even in a country of oenophiles, Pécs is known for its wines and sparkling wines. The famous wine of the Mecsek hills called cirfandli.

In the early evening students gather in Király street, Széchenyi square, and Kossúth square in the city centre. For late night clubbing you should ask the taxi drivers at Kossúth tér where to go. They are the most up-to-date source about night life. Bars close around midnight, while clubs are open until around 4 or 5 in the morning.

Although beer is not as important culturally as in Germany or in the Czech republic, these days younger generation drinks more beer than wine. Pécs has its local beer Szalon and Pécsi beer.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget HUF10000
Mid-range HUF10000-19000
Splurge HUF19000

Budget

Private rooms and apartments are widely available. There's also a number of small hotels in the centre. Enquire at the tourist office.

During the summer months some student dormitories open for foreign visitors, this is the cheapest accommodation (~HUF3800 per night incl. tax). There is five really cheap and nice hostels in Pécs, see below.

Mid range

Splurge

Stay safe

Generally, Pécs is rather quiet during the night compared to other European cities, and crime to tourists is limited to pickpocketing or possibly prices, bills and taxi fares cheats.

Downtown is safe to walk, even after midnight. Even though it is forbidden by law, there are some beggars on the streets of downtown. They might be annoying to some, but they are polite and do no harm.

Learn

Pécs is a very active city, partially because of its educational base. The University of Pécs offers wide range of programs including Arts, Economics and Business Administration, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Music, Pharmacy, Life Sciences and Education. Throughout the year students from all around Hungary and around the world come here to study.

The city also has a wide range of high school programs, most of which are highly specialized in areas such as humanities, sciences and engineering and more.

Stay healthy

As everywhere in Hungary, tap water is drinkable.

Private health care providers are high quality, dentistry and physiotherapy are cheaper than in Western Europe, but check the price with the provider before you confirm the appointment. Most doctors have some English or German skills.

Pharmacies are everywhere, many can not maintain an adequate reserve of medicines. Another problem might be communicating with the pharmacist as most of them speak only Hungarian. Some rusty Latin might come handy quite unexpectedly.

Connect

Broadband Internet access is widespread. It's quite usual to find free Internet access (wifi) in down town. Most cafes and pubs have their own wifi for customers. Look for the "wifi" signs, you may have to ask for the access password, however, if you consume, it will be freely given.

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, October 31, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.