[[image:nagytemplom.jpg|thumb|400px|The Great Church of Debrecen in winter]]
[[image:nagytemplom.jpg|thumb|400px|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 imporatant city in Hungarian protestantism.
'''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 city in Hungarian protestantism.
Revision as of 06:57, 30 August 2014
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.
Main Train Station in Debrecen
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.
There is an airport , but commercial traffic is low. There is a discount airline (Wizz Air) flying from München, Eindhoven and London. It is planned to extend the air traffic through involving more cheap-flight companies. Charter flights come regularly to the airport.
There are trains from Budapest to Debrecen frequently. InterCity trains, the fastest type, takes 2.5 hours to reach Debecen, and also stops at Budapest Airport (Ferihegy station). Cost is HUF 4485 (2nd class) or HUD 5475 (1st class)
Tram outside of Debrecen Train Station
Roads are okay. The city is small enough though that you could easily get around by foot or by public transportation.
Public transport uses local tickets. Don't try to use Budapest tickets; they won't work.
The tram  carries people to the most visited places. It starts from 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, 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.
There are many nice streets around, however there are many less attractive ones as well. Test your luck.
Try Nagyerdő (the Big Forest): it is beautiful.
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
Nagytemplom (Great Church) on Kossuth tér is Debrecen's most recognizable building and a symbol of the city. It is the centerpiece of what was once called "Calvanist Rome." Visitors can tour the interior, as well as go up in the tower to see the Rákóczi bell, the largest bell in Hungary, and excellent views of the city.
The Déri Museum, the largest museum in the city
Déri Museum on Déri tér 1. (right behind the Great Church, take tram #1) is a place to see. It's a national museum with all kinds of arts. There is a nature display showing the animal life of the region, another collection featuring historical items from the region, and an art gallery featuring works from Hungarian artists. It's most famous work is Hungarian Mihály Munkácsy's Christ trilogy, three large paintings depicting Christ before Pilate, the Crucifixion, and Ecce Homo!
Ferenc Medgyessy Memorial Museum on Péterfia u. 28. (just behind the Debrecen Plaza and most easily reached by tram #1) displays the works and life of the artist.
László Holló Memorial Museum on Holló László sétány 8. (located in Tócóskert, take bus #19) is housed on a one-acre park featuring a cottage housing the artist's works and a statue garden.
Delizsánsz Kiállítóterem - Postamúzeum (Post Museum)  on Múzeum u. 3. (across the square from the Déri Museum in the main post office).
Debreceni Irodalmi Múzeum (Debrecen Literary Museum)  on Borsos József tér 1. (just north of the downtown, take bus #12, 15, 31 or 32) has a permanent exhibit from the 1890 Csokonai literary circle. It also houses occasional temporary exhibits.
Kölcsey Központ (Modem) - a recently built modern centre for high-profile art exhibitions and musical/theatrical performances.
Nagyerdő - The City Park
Located just north of the downtown is the 2280 hectare city park which offers fine walks as well as several opportunities for fun and entertainment.
Vidámpark (Amusement Park) on Ady Endre út 1. is not as large or impressive as the park in Budapest, but nevertheless boasts to be the largest such park this side of the Tisza. There are 15 rides including a fantasy castle, ferris wheel, and a children's railroad.
Állatkert (Zoo) on Ady Endre út, together with the Vidámpark forms the Culture Park.
Aquaticum on Nagyerdei Park 1. is the major resort of the town. It features a water park, public pool, bath house, hotel, and restaurants.
Műjégpálya (Skating Rink)
DVSC Stadium is where the local soccer team plays (nicknamed "Loki"). They most recently won the Hungarian championship in 2005 and 2006.
Kossuth Lajos University  located on Egyetem tér, just west of the park, is one of the largest universities in the region and good for a stroll, or for taking Hungarian language classes in the summer.
Debrecen Plaza  located just north of the city center and easily reached by tram #1 is a small shopping mall. There is, however, a multiplex movie theater, supermarket, arcade, and food court with McDonalds.
Forum shopping mall. A newer mall just a block east of Debrecen Plaza. It also has a food court and many stores - being larger and more diverse than Debrecen Plaza.
Flower Carnival (Virágkarnevál): 20th August, every year there's a whole day of celebrating the summer and national holidays, with moving pictures or statues mad of flowers, and lots of other mardi gras.
Military Band Festival (Katonazenekari fesztivál)
Exchanging money can be cheaper here than in Budapest.
Avoid everything in Kálvin tér (the square on the right of the Big Church, in the middle of the circle of houses), like Gara cukrászda or Gilbert Pizzéria. They emphasize style over flavour.
Near the big church is where you can find nice cafes.
There's Csokonai restaurant, main steak house of Hungarian style, located in Kossuth street, right in front of Csokonai Szinház (opera house).
Try Flaska restaurant by the Apollo movie theater in the heart of the city. They have nice Hungarian dishes. For desert, head to the Mandula cukrászda (one of the best bakery in town) near Ember Pál street.
Calico Jack Pub and Palma Sorozo are two of the best restaurants in the town. Very popular with people visiting the town on business. The latest restaurant, Cafe Melange located on Egetem Sugarut is a very fine restaurant with amazing decor.
There are three Indian restaraunts. Kashmir, the only Indian restaurant in Debrecen open in the evening is not too bad, if you've never had Indian food before. For those who have, do not have high expectations, and be prepared to be paying over the odds for food which all seems to taste the same.
Another is Govinda, which is a pure Vegetarian restaurant. However, it is only open for lunch.
'Cívis Grand Hotel Aranybika The Cívis Grand Hotel Aranybika is located in the heart of Debrecen, next to the Reformed Cathedral. The present Art Nouveau building was built in 1915.
'Hotel Italia is actually a kind of youth hostel. Cheap, filled up with students. 10 min. walk from the station.
'Stop Pension - situated in a calm and pleasant area in the centre of Debrecen.
Cívis Hotel Kálvin lies in the historic city centre of Debrecen, near the Reformed College and the Great Calvinist Church.
Hotel Platán is the newest four-star hotel in Debrecen. It is located five minutes from the town centre, near the airport.
HUNGUEST Hotel Nagyerdő is situated in the green heart of Nagyerdő, the most beautiful part of Debrecen in idyllic and peaceful surroundings.
Sport Hotel is right next to the DVSC stadium on Olah Gabor Street. Clean rooms, fairly inexpensive.
Nyíregyháza, a smaller city with several parks and squares and the water resort of Sóstó.