Difference between revisions of "Gödöllő"
Revision as of 18:23, 10 February 2007
Gödöllő  is a city in Pest County, Hungary, about 30km east of Budapest. It is often visited as a daytrip from Budapest, or as a stop off while travelling to Eastern Hungary. It is among the most popular destinations for Austrians visiting Hungary, largely due to the royal palace, former home of Emperor Franz Josef and Queen Elizabeth.
Gödöllő is located on the Budapest-Hatvan line and 2 to 3 trains leave the Keleti train station hourly. Riding a személy, or slow train, takes about 40 minutes. A gyors, or fast train won't stop before Gödöllő and takes roughly 30 minutes. A full price ticket costs 450 ft.
Note that Gödöllő has three train stations: Gödöllő-Állami telepek, Gödöllő, and Máriabesnyő. The Állami telepek stop is near the Arboreteum and Beekeeping museum, 3.5 kilometers outside of town. Gödöllő's main train station is located right outside the Alsó park (lower palace park) and is about a 15 minute walk away from the palace and downtown area. The Máriabesnyő stop is outside the pilgrimage temple. The személy trains will stop in all three, the gyors only at the main Gödöllő station. Make sure you get off at the right stop!
Gödöllő is also connected to Budapest by the HÉV commuter rail. The station is located at Örs Vezér tere, just outside the last stop of the red metro line. HÉV trains are less comfortable, cost slightly more, and take slightly longer to reach Gödöllő than the normal train, but as a plus you'll be dropped off closer to the downtown. Tickets can be bought at Örs Vezér tere or from the inspector on the train. Note: Budapest public transport tickets are only valid within the boundaries of Budapest and you will need to buy an additional ticket if travelling all the way to Gödöllő.
Gödöllő has four HÉV stops. The first is Erzsébet park, right in between the Felső Park (upper park) and the scenic Erzsébet park. The second is Szabadság tér, located in the heart of downtown and steps away from the royal palace and city museum. The third is Palotakert, which drops you off near the Palotakert housing development, and the last stop is the Gödöllő train station.
Buses leave from the Budapest Népstadion station daily. Typically there are several buses an hour, but the trip takes anywhere in between 40 minutes and an hour, depending on how many stops the driver makes. Buses stop at the city bus station, a few blocks east of Szabadság tér and the palace.
Gödöllő is accesible by the M3 motorway and road 3 out of Budapest.
Most of the main sights are within walking distance of Szabadság tér. The HÉV can be used within Gödöllő, at a cost of 90 ft a ticket. If travelling to Máriabesnyő trains leave every hour from the main station, or take either bus 1 or 2 which leave frequently from the main bus station, a few blocks east of Szabadság tér. A complete local bus schedule can be found at Volánbusz's website .
Grassalkovich Kastély (Grassalkovich Palace) , located across the street from the Szabadság tér HÉV stop, the royal palace is Gödöllő's main attraction. Built in the 1740s, the baroque mansion was later home to Emperor Franz Josef and Queen Elizabeth. Besides a tour of the royal apartments, there are also the Baroque theater and the royal chapel. Concerts are also frequently held here.
Gödöllői Városi Múzeum (Town Museum of Gödöllő) , is located on Szabadság tér, close to the HÉV station. The exhibit focuses primarily on the Gödöllő artists' colony from the early 1900s, and has several excellent examples of Hungarian Art Nouveau. There is also an ethnographic exhibit on Oceania, collected by Ferenc Ignácz, who worked at the university in Gödöllő. Another small room houses the private collection of Zoltán Mihály Csupor, a Catholic priest.
Gödöllő is considered a city of parks. The three main parks are all located around the palace: Alsó park (lower palace park), Felső park (upper palace park), and Erzsébet park, named after Queen Elizabeth.
Alsó Park is located directly in front of the palace and has a giant tree sculpture called the "World Tree."
Felső Park is located directly behind the palace and is mostly easily accessed from the Szabadság tér or Erzsébet Park HÉV stops.
Erzsébet Park was built in memory of Queen Elizabeth, nicknamed Sisi, who was very popular in Hungary. The park entrance is a long trail of lindens leading to her statue. Turning right at the entrance you'll find the Kálvária monument, which depicts the crucifixion and was commissioned by Grassalkovich and built in 1771.
Máriabesnyő Pilgrimage Temple 
Szent István Egyetem  is the largest agricultural university in Hungary. The university is located directly east of the main train station. The area around the main building is well decorated, with a variety of flowers. Inside the assembly hall is the monumental mural "Apotheosis of the core" by sculptor Imre Tót. The universitz is also the home of the Museum of Agricultural Tools and Machine Development , a small exhibit displaying reconstructed agricultural tools and still working technical rarities. The city sports arena is also located on the campus and the local volleyball  and futsal  teams play here.
Méhészeti Múzeum (Beekeeping Museum) is located on Isaszegi u. a few kilometers south of the downtown and is most easily reached from the Állami telepek train stop.
Arboretum is located on Isaszegi u., near the Beekeeping Museum and Állami telepek train stop. There are many old trees and buildings in the area, as this used to be part of the palace complex.
Gödöllői Repülőtér (Gödöllő Airport)  is located southwest of the city on Repülőtéri u. They offer sightseeing, hang gliding, and parachuting opportunities.
Petőfi Sándor Művelődési Központ (Sándor Petőfi Cultural Center)  is located in a large space-ship looking building near Szabadság tér. Local performances including theater, dance, puppets, and concerts are often held here.
Trafó Club  is the city's only true club or disco and it is located directly next to the Palotakert HÉV stop. Local DJs and tribute bands often perform here on the weekends.
Városi Filmszínház (City Movie Theater)  Located next to the Town Museum. It is a small movie theater that shows 2-5 different movies a day on one screen. There is never a line and the theater is never crowded. Prices are typically cheaper than in Budapest with discounts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The downtown mostly has a few gyros and hamburger bars, as well as some small pizzerias. There are, however, a few restaurants of note.
Szélkakas Étterem (Weathervane Restaurant)  Bajcsy-Zsilinszky u. 27. Good atmosphere with typical Hungarian fare. It can get fairly busy on weekends, so reservations may be needed.
Pizza Max Caffe  Dózsa György út 36. Decent pizziera also offers soups and sandwiches, and they'll give you a bowl of peanuts to munch on while you wait.
Yellow Pub és Étterem on Dózsa György út 64. Traditonal Hungarian dishes and beer. Located a short walk out of the city center.
Gödöllő is close enough to Budapest you probably won't need to look for accomadation here. If you plan on staying, however, here are some options.
Panzió Sissi  Dózsa György út 36.