Miskolc gained importance after Hungary lost Kosice to Slovakia. It 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 provides unique cave thermal spa. Bánkút is a popular ski resort.
Proximity to other cities
Miskolc doesn't have an international airport, the nearest ones are in Budapest and Debrecen.
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 for information on trains, travel time and prices. The site is available in Hungarian, English and German (this link leads to the English version.)
I recommend 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.
Miskolc can be reached from the West on Highway M3, which recently reached the city. From the Eastern parts the situation is somewhat worse, since the highway is still under construction, and it takes a long time to get to Miskolc from, for example, Debrecen. You have to pay toll if you want to drive on a highway.
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 weekends (don't have a clue how is this different from "on workdays" but it's possible it means that on Saturdays too.)
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:
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: 1500 if you pay immediately, 3000 if you don't have money with you and have to pay later. There's a chance they'll let you go when they see you're a foreigner, but don't count on it, many of the ticket inspectors are already learning languages.
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. ;-)
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.
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 civilized 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. :)
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) and Szinvapark (Széchenyi street, not far from Centrum; the tram stops near it.) There is a large supermarket, a cinema and lots of different shops in both. Two smaller malls are Batóház and Metropol, opposite to Centrum.
Enjoy wine in some of the restaurants in Avas hill.