Earth : Europe : Central Europe : Hungary : Northern Hungary : Miskolc
Miskolc used to be one of the centres of heavy industry in 20th century. Today Miskolc is the regional centre of Northern Hungary. The city is surrounded by the beautiful Bükk Mountains. The most famous tourist attractions are outside the city, but one can find things worth visiting in downtown, too.
A quiet suburb of Tapolca, most famous for its cave bath (Barlang-fürdő), provides unique cave thermal spa. Bánkút is a popular ski resort.
The main railway station is Tiszai Station (Tiszai pályaudvar in Hungarian.) The trains going through Northern Hungary all stop in Miskolc. From Budapest, an hourly InterCity service runs from Keleti station to Miskolc-Tiszai, stopping only at Füzesabony along the way and taking 2 hours for the 182 km journey, with a 2nd class ticket costing HUF 3705 if booked at least a week in advance. There are also several semi-fast Sebes trains, but these are slower (approx. 3 hours) and cost the same.
If coming from Budapest airport, first take bus 200E to Ferihegy railway station (8 minutes). Change to a train bound for Budapest-Nyugati station and get off at Zugló (the station before Budapest-Nyugati). From there take local bus 5, 7, 7A, 7E, 107E, 133E or 233E to Budapest-Keleti station (5 min) and finally take an InterCity train to Miskolc-Tiszai. Total travel time from Budapest airport to Miskolc should be approx. 2 h 40 min.
See the website of Hungary State Railways  for information on trains, travel time and prices. The site is available in Hungarian, English and German (this link leads to the English version.), though bookings are largely in Hungarian regardless (use Google Translate for this). Also the phone customer service only has one (male) English-speaking operator, who is available on Mondays
The Tiszai station is well connected to the other parts of the city, both tram lines and many bus lines have their end station there.
Miskolc can be reached from the West on Highway M3, which recently reached the city. The highway connecting Miskolc with Debrecen has also been finished. You have to pay a toll/fee if you want to drive on a highway, which consists of going into any gas or petrol station and purchasing a Vignette (sticker) for your car windshield BEFORE you drive on the road.
If you come by car you may expect some trouble with navigation. There is really only one way to get into the village, and it goes through Miskolc, which is not famous for having good road signs. If you are very careful and have at least 2 spare eyes to read the signs, you may well succeed. Or simply ask locals for directions if you feel lost. The spa is about 3 miles south of Miskolc city center, west of the main road.
Since Miskolc is well connected to the rest of the country by railway lines, there are fewer bus lines connecting Miskolc to other cities. See this page:  on information on buses. Unfortunately it's available in Hungarian only. Here are the words you need to know to use it: "honnan": from (enter the city where you are), "hova": to (enter destination), "keresztül": through, "mikor": when (year-month-day), "keresés": search (click on it after entering parameters.) Now you get a page detailing time of departure, time of arrival and length of journey.
"naponta": every day, "munkanapokon": on workdays (Monday–Friday), "Munkaszüneti napok kivételével naponta": every day except Sundays.
You can also take the bus no. 2 which goes from Búza tér (large bus station in the centre of Miskolc) to Tapolca. You can buy bus tickets on the station (or on the bus for a somewhat bigger price). Bus tickets are 250 HUF (or 350 if you buy it on the bus), ten tickets are 2000 HUF.
If you need info on bus lines, go to the mass transport company's site  and click on "Menetrend". At "Viszonylat" choose the number of the bus to see the time tables. (1V and 2V are the tram lines.)
Bus lines important for tourists include:
Búza tér is the main bus station, east of the city centre.
Tickets are the same for bus and tram. General & tourist tickets are not valid on Bus 7 after it leaves Miskolc (Bus 7 is the only city bus that leaves Miskolc; it goes to the nearby town Felsőzsolca.)
You can buy bus tickets at several places, at the Tiszai, on Búza tér (where the intercity buses arrive) and at newsstands.
(You can buy bus tickets from the driver too, but it's a bit more expensive and the driver won't have change, you have to pay the exact amount. Generally it's not recommended to buy tickets on the bus.)
Penalty if you don't have valid ticket: 3000 if you pay immediately, 6000 if you don't have money with you and have to pay later.
Buses usually open the first door only because it is part of the driver's job to check if everyone has tickets. They open the other doors only if someone wants to leave the bus at that door, and if you get on the bus through those doors, the driver might ask you through the loudspeaker to show your ticket.
There are only two tram lines, 1 & 2. The end station to both of them is at Tiszai station. Tram line 1 goes to Diósgyőr, its end station is near the castle. Tram line 2 goes to the metal factory. Be sure to leave Tram 2 at latest at Újgyőri főtér' and change trams if you want to go to Diósgyőr. The castle is much prettier than the factory. ;-)
Note that the whole tram line is experiencing reconstruction in 2010-11, and certain sections may temporarily be out of service.
Foreigners sometimes find it hard to find their way in the city. City maps are sold in every bookstore and at some newsstands. There are some road signs, but not too many.
Moving around by taxi in Miskolc is an easy way to explore the city or get to your destination. Cabs are not hard to find, especially in the downtown area or around the busy tourist attractions. Prices vary by company, but they average around from $1.00 - $2.00 per km that adds up to the basic fee of $1.50 - $2.00 per ride. Most dispatchers should talk English or German and possibly French, in addition to Hungarian Magyar.
Probably the best way to see the spa is on foot.
This is recommended for the downtown only. Many of the tourist attractions are quite far from the city centre.
Széchenyi Street is mostly a pedestrian precinct, the tram lines go along it, but cars use it only occasionally.
Drivers in Miskolc are usually not as polite as in smaller towns like Eger (i.e. they don't give way to pedestrians), but they are not as close to kamikaze pilots as drivers in Southern countries.
Tourist information centre
You can get some useful informations in one of the tourist information centre of the city. The staff speak at least english and French. Some of the most interesting thing to take is a map of the region with panoramic view, things you can see/doo around, as well as a small map of the city with everything to see and do indicated. The first one is situated in Városház tér (at the beginning of the main street) and the other is a little bit hidden in Gorgey Artur Ú [email@example.com]
Get the tram line 1 or bus 1. See get around.
It takes about 30 mn by bus from Buza ter to get to Tapolca.
During the late 1990s–early 2000s several bigger and smaller shopping malls were opened in Miskolc (and because of them, many small shops disappeared because couldn't keep up with them.) The two largest shopping malls are Miskolc Pláza (behind the Centrum supermarket and department store, close to Búza tér; with cinema) and Szinvapark (Széchenyi street, close from Centrum; the tram stops near it.) There is a large supermarket and lots of different shops in both. Two smaller malls are Batóház and Metropol, opposite to Centrum. There is a new shopping mall Auchan on the main road to the east.
There are many smaller shops, Chinese restaurants with cheap food. Julia Chinese restaurant (menus from 490HUF) in the Buza ter (behind the Marketplace building) and a cheap Chinese restaurant opposite Szinvapark are examples. Fozelekbars offer Hungarian type of food for around 400-500HUF, there is one in the Szivapark Food Court.
"Tusculanum" (restaurant): not easy to find. In the summer, you can sit in the restaurant's garden. Food is pretty good (don't miss the "Grandmother's Meat Soup", and don't expect to be able to eat much more after you are done). Fair prices, service varies widely with the waiter who serves you.
Cafe du Boucher  is an excellent eatery. It is a Belgian Beer Cafe with many different Belgian Beers and Cigars. Food is excellent and English is spoken. Make sure you leave a good tip so that the bell is rung as you leave the place.
Enjoy wine in some of the restaurants in Avas hill.
Miskolc info, hotels in Miskolc, events in Miskolc 
There is a free Wifi hotspot at Heroe's Square and Szinva terrace as well as at some other places like Szinvapark and the Miskolc Plaza Shopping Mall.