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Kecskemét

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Town Hall in Kecskemét

Kecskemét is a town in central Hungary and the county seat of Bács-Kiskun county, half way between Budapest and Szeged, almost equal distance from the two big rivers of the country, Danube and Tisza. The city is well known for its secessionist architecture, museums, and for being the birthplace of composer Zoltan Kodály.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

Kecskemét is pretty much equidistant from the capital metropolis Budapest (in the northwest) and the southern university city of Szeged (in the southeast), about 90 km from both cities.

By air[edit]

From Budapest's Ferihegy Airport, Kecskemét can be reached in 58 minutes by train from the recently opened Ferihegy train station near Terminal 1 (from Terminal 2, you can catch a bus (12 mins., 300 ft (ca. 1,20 € or 1,85 $) to the train station). The trains from Budapest usually stop at Ferihegy at twelve minutes past the hour and reach Kecskemét at ten minutes past the next hour. A ticket for this train is 1350 ft (ca. 5,30 € or 8,30 US-$).

By train[edit]

Kecskemét train station

Direct service from Budapest leaves from Budapest Nyugati station hourly, always ten before the hour. Prices currently are 1460 ft (5,75 € or 9 $) one way and a reservation can be purchased for an additional 520 ft (2,05 € or 3,20 $). The entire journey takes an hour and twenty minutes.

Trains also leave from Szeged every hour, always on 42 minutes past the hour. The trip is an hour and four minutes and costs 1350 ft (5,30 € or 8,30 $). Online timetables [1]

By bus[edit]

Direct service leaves from Budapest's Népliget bus station. Travel time varies between an hour and twenty minutes and two hours.

By car[edit]

The M5 freeway connects Kecskemét to Budapest.

Get around[edit]

The main train and bus stations are located about 10 minutes east of downtown, where most of the attractions are and can easily be reached by foot. If you need to take the bus, Kunság Volán [2] runs the local bus company.

See[edit][add listing]

Cifra palota in Kecskemét
Synagogue in Kecskemét

Architecture[edit]

  • Cifra Palota (Ornamental Palace) on the East side of Szabadság square. One of the finest examples of Hungarian secessionist architecture, the building was completed in 1902 based on the designs of Hungarian architect Géza Márkus. Formerly an apartment building, it now houses the Kecskemét Gallery.
  • Old Synagogue across the street from the Cifra Palota on Szabadság square this fantastic moorish-style synagogue now houses the House of Science and Technics.
  • Town Hall

Museums[edit]

  • Bozsó Gyűjtemény (Bozsó collection) Klapka u. 34. 76/324-625. Features Hungarian folk art and furniture from local artists.
  • Magyar Naiv Művészek Múzeuma (Museum of Hungarian Naive Artists) [3] Gáspár A. u. 11. 76/324-767. A survey of the Naive, art produced by untrained artists that typically reflects peasent life. The collection includes several colorful, surreal or somewhat medieval paintings, as well as some sculptures. The museum is located near the Toy Museum and is closed during the winter months.
Sample from Toy Museum
  • Szórakaténusz Játékmúzeum és Műhely (Szórakaténusz Toy Museum and Workshop) [4] Gáspár A. u. 11. 76/324-767. Displays peasent toys of Hungary, some of the more fascinating ones include wooden churches and a wooden pinball game. The museum is fun for all ages. Workshop can be visited for an additional fee.
  • Kecskeméti Képtár (Kecskemét Gallery) [5] Rákóczi u. 1. 76/480-776. Housed in the magnificent Cifra Palota the gallery hosts a history of the city (though with no explanations in English) and several modern paintings from Hungarian masters. Also of note is one exhibition room that is decorated similar to the exterior of the palace.
  • Ráday Museum of Calvinist Ecclesiastical History [6] Kálvin tér 1. Excellent museum hosts examples of Calvinist Architecture, including the ceiling and pulpit from a Transylvanian church, a collection of chalices, an exhibit on clocks, local sculptures depiciting biblical stories, and a mineral collection.
  • József Katona Memorial House Katona József u. 5. 76/328-420.
  • Zoltán Kodály Music-Pedagogy Institute Kéttemplomköz 1. 76/481-518. Housed in a former monastery complete with a wooden tower is the institute founded by composer Kodály. Inside is a small exhibit (the length of a hallway) featuring music books, pictures, and other items regarding Kodály's life. There's very little in English, in fact there's very little at all, and it's probably best appreciated by fans of the composer.
  • Leskowsky Musical Instrument Collection Zimay László u. 6/a 76/486-616. The personal collection of Leskowsky can only be visited by prior arrangement. Leskowsky will take you around personally and show his collection of instruments from around the world.
  • Hungarian Photography Museum Katona József tér 12. 76/483-221. Hungary's only Photography museum is housed in a former synagogue (before that it was a dance hall). The well-restored ceiling features Jewish themes. Besides the photography itself there's a wonderful collection of cameras, ranging from older giant boxes to modern sleek designs.
  • Collection of Hungarian Folk Art Crafts
  • Museum of Medicinal and Pharmacy History
  • House of Science and Technics
  • Zwack Fruit Brandy Distillery and Exhibition

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Tavaszi Fesztivál (Spring Festival) held every March, usually coinciding with Budapest's annual Spring Festival. Features local art, theater, as well as plenty of music from Kodály.
  • Élményfürdő és csúszdapark [7] (Kecskemét Fun Baths and Water Slide Park) Csabay Géza krt. 2. Open late May to September.
  • Kecskeméti Repülőnapok (Air show of Kecskemét) is a major air and military airshow, also displaying tanks nad several kind of armoured wehicle and artillery pieces. The air show not only displays hungarian aircrafts but is attended by several foreign air forces.(20 in the year 2010 including Austrian, Belgian, French, Dutch, Croatian, German, Romanian, Swiss, Spanish, Serbian, Turkish, US, Ukrainian, Israeli Air Force) It takes place in august, often on the 7-8th every 2 years.

[8]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Besides buying pálinka or postcards, the town is wanting in any souvenirs specifics to Kecskemét. There are several places to buy folk crafts, especially during the Spring Festival in late March.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Fruits. The town is in the centre of a fruit growing region.

  • Restaurant DIÓHÉJ, Kecskemét Rákóczi út 30., +36 70 619 84 74, [9].  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

Kecskemét is the home of palinka (Hungarian fruit vodka).

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Háry Hotel [10]*** is situated close to the centre and the coach station and can be easily reached by car, bus and train.
  • Hotel Pálma Kecskemét [11]** is situated in the centre of the city, close to the main square and the railway station. The hotel provides convenient accommodation all the year round under favourable conditions.
  • Hotel Aranyhomok [12]**** is directly overlooking the main square of Kecskemét.

Get out[edit]

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