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Miskolc

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Miskolc [1], with population of about 180,000 is the third largest city in Hungary, located in the north-east of the country, east of Bükk mountains.

Understand

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.


Get in

Miskolc doesn't have an international airport, the nearest ones are in Košice (Slovakia), Budapest and Debrecen.


By train

The main railway station is Tiszai Station (Tiszai pályaudvar in Hungarian.) The trains going through Northern Hungary all stop in Miskolc, the city can be reached by train from all the major cities (although if you come from the Transdanubian region, you might have to change trains in Budapest which means you have to find your way through the city to the Keleti station.)

See the website of Hungary State Railways [2] for information on trains, travel time and prices. The site is available in Hungarian, English and German (this link leads to the English version.)

You should try to take the Intercity trains, they're much cleaner than regular and international trains, they don't stop at every small town and a seat is reserved for you. Intercity trains are a bit more expensive and it's better to reserve your seat days before the travel, because they are usually full.

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.

By car

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 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.

By bus

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: [3] 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.

Get around

By bus

If you need info on bus lines, go to the mass transport company's site [4] 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:

  • Bus 1 connects the Tiszai railway station with the downtown and Diósgyőr district
  • Bus 2 starts at Búza tér and goes to Tapolca (30mn)
  • Bus 5 starts in Diósgyőr and goes to Lillafüred
  • Bus 15 also starts in Diósgyőr and goes to Ómassa.

Búza tér is the main bus station, east of the city centre.

Prices:

  • Ticket (for one travel only): 250 Ft (March 2010)
    • Same ticket bought on bus: 350 Ft
  • Ten tickets ("gyűjtőjegy"): 2000 Ft
  • General ticket (valid for all buses & trams for one day): 1100 Ft
    • Same for 3 days (tourist ticket): 2100 Ft
    • same for 7 days (tourist ticket): 2900 Ft

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.

By tram

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.

By car

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.

By taxi

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.

On foot

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 and more civilised 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. :)

Diosgyor castle

See

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 [miskolc@touristinform.hu]

Downtown

  • Main Street (Széchenyi st.) and City Hall Square (Városház tér) with 19th century houses and lots of shops
  • Ottó Herman Museum [5]
  • National Theatre of Miskolc
  • Protestant Church of Avas: a beautiful Gothic church on the Avas hill, one of the oldest buildings of the city (13th century)
  • Greek Orthodox church (18th century) with the largest iconostasion in Central Europe
  • Protestant "Wooden Church": or also Plank church is a beautiful church made of wood (built in 1998 as the exact copy of the original church that was burnt down in 1997)
  • Avas Observation Tower with panorama on the city
  • Lezerpont Latvanytar (Images museum) regroup many exhibitions including Traditional folk costume, History of office machine, Articles from the recent years (everyday stuff mainly from the cold war period), Minerals from Transylvania, After world war II, the communism period.

Diósgyőr

  • The partly restored ruins of medieval Diosgyor castle [6], surrounded by the modern blocks of flats. There are several exhibitions in the castle: archaeological findings in the area of a castle and the old Pauline monastery, mediaeval weapons and two waxworks, one shows the everyday life in Diósgyőr in the Middle Ages, another shows King Louis the Great and the envoy from Venice. Mediaeval castle plays are held in every May and August.

Get the tram line 1 or bus 1. See get around.

Miskolc-Tapolca

It takes about 30 mn by bus from Buza ter to get to Tapolca.

  • Cave bath [7] (thermal bath in a natural cave). This is a must do if you are in Miskolc. Open till 7PM, half price after 4PM (july 2012)
  • Before the cave bath there is a large, nice park with a boat lake
  • Rock chapel (a chapel in a small natural cave)
  • Akropolis is an adventure park for kids and grown up.

Lillafüred

  • Palace Hotel (Palota szálló) a beautiful hotel with Renaissance restaurant
  • Lake Hámori (an artificial lake; boats)
  • Narrow-gauge railway between Miskolc-Diósgyőr and Lillafüred with open carriages (closed in March 2010)
  • Anna Cave (Anna-barlang, also known as Mésztufa-barlang and Petőfi-barlang). It has evolved in travertino (freshwater limestone), that is a rare phenomenon. Near the cave entrance is the Szinva waterfall, with a height of 20 metres the highest in Hungary. Guided tours. (closed in winter, including March)
  • István Cave, a dripstone cave with guided tours. HUF 1000. Open 15 Oct-16 Apr 9AM-3PM, 17 Apr-14 Oct 9AM-4PM
  • Szeleta Cave. A half-an-hour walk from Lillafüred railway station, following the red square hiking sign. Prehistoric human remains were found here.
  • Museum of Metallurgy
  • Ancient foundry. One stop beyond Lillafüred by Bus 15 or the narrow-gauge railway. This 18th century foundry is supplemented with a little museum of science and technology.
  • Hiking. Lillafüred can be a good spot to start hiking. There is two tracks that follow the artificial lake for a little while, and on the other way, go up the hills within the village. Unfortunately, the local tourist information centre is no help to get info about hiking path on Bükk national park. Count about an hour to get there from the centre of Miskolc (see getting around).

Do

Inside the Cave Bath at Miskolc-Tapolca
  • The Cave Bath [8] A unique experience to swim (well, you can't really swim there), splash, play and walk around in a large cave system, which has water temperatures from 20-36 Celsius (thermal water), and has warm, wet air inside even in the winter. The caves are around 150 meters long but naturally nothing is straight, and it's all quite dark (it's a cave, after all). The bath also has pools outside the cave. The Cave Bath is surrounded by a large park which has an artificial lake where you can row boats.


  • Miskolc Plaza [9] is a large shopping mall located close to downtown and Buza square. Bowling, gambling, The Movies
  • Szinvapark [10] is the other large shopping mall in the downtown, there are a tramstop as well with same name. Bowling, cafes
  • Miskolc Zoo [11], find at the last stop of bus number 1. You have to climb up to the hilltop. Not so many exotic, but many domestic and hungarian animals. Children usually like it :-) 980HUF for adults, 780HUF for children , 50HUF for children under 3
  • Queen Spring 22 May. Renaissance season opening in the castle of Diosgyor.
  • Bartók + in June is an international opera festival with opera and ballet performances at the theatre and additional localities presented by international guest artists and companies.
  • Medieval commonalty joust in the court of king Louis the great. 14th-15th August in the castle of Diosgyor.
  • CineFest is a week-long international film festival in September, organized for the 7th consecutive year in 2010. Expect somewhat obscure but very interesting feature and documentary films, rollercoaster sessions of half-amateur short films of inapprehensible quality, and a haphazard but invariably watchworthy selection of short animations, almost all with English subtitles; also workshops and talks with foreign guests.

Buy

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.

Eat

Budget

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.

Mid-range

"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.

Splurge

Cafe du Boucher [12] 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.

Drink

Enjoy wine in some of the restaurants in Avas hill.

Sleep

Downtown

  • Hungária Panzió and Restaurant [13] (website in Hungarian, English)
  • Hotel Lido [14] (website in Hungarian, English, German)
  • Hotel Kolibri [15] (website in Hungarian, English and German)
  • Hotel Bástya
  • Zenit Panzió[16]
  • Hotel Anna [17] (website in Hungarian only)
  • Fortuna Panzió [18] 18 rooms (website in Hungarian, English, and German)
  • Tapolca Fogadó [19] (website in Hungarian)
  • Hunguest Hotel Palota


  • City Hotel Miskolc [20]*** in downtown, distance from main shopping areas is a few minute by bus. 15 minutes walk from the main high street. (Though the hotel itself is also a few minutes walk away from the closest bus stop). A nice modern hotel in Miskolc. The staff are friendly and speak English. Rooms are between €60-120 depending on level of room.
  • Hotel Old Miskolcz [21]*** is situated in one of the small old streets in the heart of the historic downtown, Hotel Öreg Miskolcz (Old Miskolc) with its art deco style fits in the surrounding buildings radiating the atmosphere of the early 20th century.
  • Levay Villa Pension The three-stars Lévay-Villa-Pension in the vicinity of downtown of Miskolc, close to the Népkert-Public Garden is located in a friendly environment. The building was built in the most beautiful part of the city, in a green belt garden suburb in 1916, according to the architectual plans of Josef Seiler, the master-builder from Vienna. Very close to City Hotel. English is spoken well. A good friendly hotel only 15 minutes walk from the main Miskolc high street.

Diósgyőr

  • Várkert Panzió in Diósgyőr, close to the Castle of Diósgyőr (castle can be seen from some windows); distance from downtown is about 20 minutes by bus or tram.

Miskolctapolca

  • The familiar Zenit Pension is found in the centre of Miskolctapolca next to the main street and about 100 meters from the watering place.
  • Kikelet Club Hotel Miskolctapolca [22]*** is located only 500 m far from the Europe-wide unique Cave Bath, which is waiting those who wish to relax and refresh by the recently excavated pools and sterilized air. Near the cave bath a boating lake and parks contribute to the entertainment possibilities. The hotel is located 10 minutes far from the centre of Miskolc.

Lillafüred

  • Hotel Palota *** [23] The neo-Renaissance hotel is one of the best known buildings of Miskolc-Lillafüred, in a picturesque valley about 10 kilometres from the city proper. Choose this hotel only if you have a car, because city buses don't visit Lillafüred very often. (Time table of bus 5: [24])

Contact

Miskolc info, hotels in Miskolc, events in Miskolc [25]

Wifi

There is free Wifi hotspot at Heroe's square and Szinva terrace as well as at some other places like Szinvapark and miskolc Plaza (Mall)


Get out

There's a narrowgauge train to Lillafüred - a nice village in Bükk mountains sitting in a valley by Hámori lake, where you can visit several caves.




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