23 sights to see in Debrecen
Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary, also known as the capital of the Great Hungarian Plain (Alfölda). It is located at some distance from Budapest, but it is worth a trip to see Hungary from a different angle.
Debrecen is also called the “Calvinist Rome”: the history of the city is closely connected with this religious confession. There are not so many English-speaking people here compared to the capital, but the locals are always warm and kind to newcomers. The most interesting sights of Debrecen are presented below.
The large church of Debrecen is a symbol of Protestantism and the most important Protestant church in Hungary. It was built in the neoclassical style in the early 19th century and is easily recognizable among other city buildings. Later, Baroque elements were added to the tops of the towers.
Tourists can climb the cathedral’s west tower, climbing 210 steps, to enjoy a magnificent view of the city. At the top of the tower is the Rakoczi Bell, the largest bell in Hungary.
Address: Great Reformed Church, Debrecen, Kossuth tér 1, 4026 Hungary.
Hortobágy National Park
Hortobágy National Park.
Hortobágy National Park, the largest national park in the country, is easily accessible from Debrecen. The park is known for its rich cultural heritage and long tradition of farming.
Many visitors come there to learn about the development of farming in Hungary and the traditional way of life of Hungarian peasants. Rare breeds of livestock are still bred in the park, and the variety of wild animals and plants is amazing.
The protected area is home to a small population of semi-wild Przewalski’s horses, which are in danger of extinction. In order to preserve the species, they are under constant surveillance.
Address: Hortobágyi National Park, Hungary.
Nagyerdő Water Tower
The Nágyerdő Water Tower. | Photo: wikimedia.
For many years, the Nágyerdő Water Tower was just a reminder of the region’s bygone industrial era. But in 2015 a modern renovation of the entire building was carried out. The area beneath the tower houses a bar, a restaurant, and an exhibition hall. Concert events are also held here.
The central part of the tower has been converted into a cylindrical rock climbing wall with many climbing hooks. Visitors can also take the opportunity and climb the stairs to the top of the structure, which offers an unforgettable panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Address: Nagyerdei Water Tower, Debrecen, Pallagi út 7, 4032 Hungary.
The Egyptian collection of the Deri Museum.
The Deri Museum is located in the center of the city, in a majestic neo-baroque building. It contains the best collections of cultural and historical heritage of Hungary. The most famous works of art displayed in the museum are the paintings “Calvary” and “Ecce Homo”, which are part of the “Trilogy about Christ” by the artist Mihály Munkácsy.
Next to the museum, you can see four world-famous statues by the sculptor Ferenc Medjeschi, who won the grand prize for his work at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. Other exhibitions of the museum are devoted to the history of the city and the description of birds living in the region.
Address: Debrecen, Déri Museum, Déri tér, Hungary.
Ferenc Medjesa Memorial Museum
Ferenc Medyosz Memorial Museum .
Those impressed by the bronze sculptures at the entrance to the Déri Museum may want to visit the Ferenc Medyosz Memorial Museum, which is located in an old apartment building near the center.
It was opened on the centenary of the sculptor’s birth and gives visitors an insight into interesting aspects of Medjesa’s life and work.
Address: Debreceni Irodalom Háza és Medgyessy Ferenc Emlékkiállítás, Péterfia Street, Debrecen, Hungary.
Aquaticum Mediteran thermal complex
Aquaticum Mediteran thermal complex.
If you’re looking for something to see in Debrecen with the kids, be sure to visit Aquaticum Meditiran Water Park. The thermal pools of the Aquaticum complex differ from other, more traditional thermal springs in Hungary and are very popular in the city.
The dome-shaped room of the complex is decorated with tropical plants, creating a feeling of endless summer.
In addition to exciting attractions for children, such as water slides and an artificial wave pool, there are also plenty of places for adults to relax and unwind.
Whirlpools and cave pools are included in the ticket price, and a variety of wellness spa treatments can be enjoyed for an additional fee.
Address: Aquaticum Mediterranean Pleasure Baths, Debrecen, Nagyerdei park 1., 4032 Hungary.
White Rose of Revolution Monument
Monument of the White Rose of the Revolution.
This beautiful monument was erected on the campus of the University of Debrecen to commemorate the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the people who died in that struggle. The attempted revolution was made to free the Hungarian people from Soviet influence, but the uprising was suppressed by Soviet troops.
The sculpture was created by Miklós Melocco, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
Address: Debrecen, Debreceni Egyetem, Egyetem tér, Hungary.
Botanical Garden of the University of Debrecen
Botanical Garden of the University of Debrecen.
The botanical garden of Debrecen brings together all the rich flora of Hungary as well as some plant species from other regions of the world. Visitors have a huge space for walks: about 8 hectares with shaped gardens, orangeries and garden sculptures, surrounded by natural local flora.
Approximately 2 hectares of land are occupied by the pristine oak forest of Nagyerdő. The Botanical Garden also has a greenhouse with the largest collection of succulents in Central and Eastern Europe. The garden is open all year round – opening hours are shortened only in winter.
Address: Debrecen, Botanikus kert Debreceni Egyetem Természettudományi Kar, Egyetem tér, Hungary.
The Flower Clock was first presented to the public in 2009, marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jean Calvin. The opening of the installation also coincided with preparations for the Debrecen Flower Carnival.
The hands of the clock are decorated with elements in the form of phoenix wings, which are one of the symbols of Debrecen. The sundial is now located on the grounds of the house where Ferenc Kölcsey, the author of the words of the Hungarian national anthem, once lived.
A trip to Lake Fancika near Debrecen is a great vacation option for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is home to many different fish, although most anglers mostly come to catch the local carp. Next to the lake there is a wooden fortress, a playground and a huge park area where you can retreat for a rest and a bite to eat.
Address: Debrecen, Fancsika I. víztároló, 4002 Hungary.
Debrecen Reformed Theological University
Museum of the Debrecen Reformed Theological University.
The Reformed College has existed for over 450 years. More than once the fate of a nation has been decided behind its doors. In 1849, for example, the Declaration of Independence, aimed at overthrowing the Habsburg dynasty, was adopted in the building.
Its alumni include prominent Hungarian scientists, writers, and political figures. In the building there is a memorial museum, dedicated to the college itself, as well as the history and religious art of Hungary.
Address: Debrecen, Debreceni Református Hittudományi Egyetem, Kálvin tér, Hungary.
Saint Anne’s Cathedral
Saint Anne’s Cathedral | Photo: wikimedia.
Although the Reformation has strongly influenced Debrecen’s religious past, the city also has a Catholic church, the famous St. Anne’s Cathedral. It’s amazing that this huge Catholic church still exists: there are so few Catholics left in the city that this faith has all but disappeared here.
The church houses an exhibition on the history of Catholicism in Debrecen, and inside you can see a reproduction of the Shroud of Turin.
The address is: St. Anne’s Cathedral, Debrecen, Szent Anna u. 15, 4024 Hungary.
Photo: András Májinka / Flickr.
The lake is located 13 kilometers from the center of Debrecen. It is an ideal place to relax in the countryside on a day off. Veceri is very popular among fishing enthusiasts. However, in order to fish on the lake, you need to buy a fishing permit.
The most favorite entertainment of the locals in the warm season is to rent a boat or take a walk on horseback along the shore. Every summer a small music festival is held here. For those who want to spend a few days on Lake Vekeri, there are camping sites on the shore of the lake.
Address: Debrecen, Vekeri-tó, 4002 Hungary.
Nine-arch bridge.| Photo: szotsaki / Flickr.
The Nine-arch bridge is the most famous landmark of the Hortobágy National Park and the surrounding area. This arched stone bridge was built between 1827 and 1833 and was considered to be the longest bridge of its type in the whole country (including territories that are not currently part of Hungary).
The bridge has nine arches and is approximately 168 meters long. The beginning and end of the bridge are wider than its central part. This is done so that herds of domestic animals can safely cross it.
Address: Hortobágy, Kilenclyukú híd, Hungary.
Kossuth Square. | Photo: wikimedia.
Kossuth Square is one of the main squares in Debrecen. It serves as a place for public events and festivities. In winter it hosts the city’s Christmas tree, and in summer it hosts gastronomic festivals.
On the square there is a majestic monument-memorial to Lajos Kossuth, who was an important figure in the history of revolutionary Hungary in 1848.
Address: Debrecen, Kossuth tér, 4025 Hungary.
The Craftsmen’s House is a historical museum dedicated to the development of craftsmanship in Debrecen. The museum features exhibitions of various types of crafts and handicraft items. There are exhibitions that introduce visitors to tailoring, pottery, lacemaking and fabric dyeing.
A separate place is occupied by the exhibition of traditional embroidery and applique, which decorates the Hungarian folk costumes. In the museum there are workshops, where you can see how craftsmen work and learn the secrets of each profession.
Address: Debrecen, Tímárház – Kézművesek Háza, Nagy-Gál István Street, Hungary.
Kerekesztalep thermal spa complex
Kerekesztalep thermal spa complex.
A thermal spa complex with spa treatments and pools located in a natural environment, designed for quiet rest and relaxation. There are two main thermal pools with a water temperature reaching 43℃ and one multilevel pool with cold water.
The thermal pools surrounded by lush, colorful greenery are perfect for summer relaxation. There is also a tennis court, camping area and restaurant.
Address: Debrecen, Kerekestelep Thermal Camping, Szávay Gyula Street, Hungary.
Zoo in Debrecen.
Debrecen Zoo has about 1500 individuals of 165 different species of animals. On the territory of the zoo on an area of 17 hectares there is also an amusement park. Visitors have the opportunity to see a variety of animals from all over the world, as well as some of the local fauna.
The zoo visitors are most impressed with the house of butterflies, where you can see the most colorful insects in the world. When you are done admiring the animals, you can go to the entertainment zone and let off steam at the attractions, among which is also a race track.
Address: Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park, Debrecen, Ady Endre u. 1., 4032 Hungary.
Choconaiai Theatre. | Photo: Istvan / Flickr.
The Cokonaia Theater is a beautiful place for cultural leisure activities in the heart of the city. The theater building was built in the 19th century and serves as a venue for various theatrical performances.
Foreign visitors might be more interested in going to see an opera, as operas are usually performed in their original language.
The address is Csokonai Theater, Debrecen, Kossuth u. 10, 4024 Hungary.
Debrecen Football Club
Debrecen soccer club.| Photo: wikimedia.
In this century, the Debrecen soccer team made the history of Hungarian soccer by winning the national championship eight times. Subsequently, the team won silver and bronze three more times in the Hungarian championship.
Despite the fact that the soccer club failed to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, Debrecen remains a well-recognized player on the European soccer scene. Tickets for a home game are inexpensive, so it’s worth taking the chance and going to the match.
Address: Nagyerdei Jégpálya, Debrecen, Nagyerdei krt. 100, 4032 Hungary.
Small Reformed Church
Small Reformed Church.| Photo: wikimedia.
The original Little Reformed Church was built in the 17th century, but in 1727 most of the cathedral was damaged in a fire. In 1907, during a violent storm, the church was damaged again: the onion dome of the tower was destroyed. The dome was never rebuilt, and the building was nicknamed the “Decapitated Church.” The cathedral is open to visitors from June to September.
Address: Reformed Small Church, Debrecen, Piac u. 35, 4025 Hungary.
Laszlo Holló Memorial Museum
Bust of Laszlo Holló. | Photo: wikimedia.
The Laszlo Hollo Museum is another place for art lovers. Visitors to the museum can admire the artist’s works as well as learn interesting facts about his life. From time to time, paintings by other painters are also exhibited here, including works by the surrealist artist Ernő Hrabéczy.
Address: Holló László Emlékház, Debrecen, Holló László stny. 8, 4031 Hungary.
The chemist János Irinyi, famous for inventing safety matches, lived in this house between 1872 and 1892. During the Hungarian uprising of the time, Irinyi supported the protesters and headed the production of ammunition and explosives. After serving time in prison, he returned to science and became a famous Hungarian chemist.
23 best sights of Debrecen – descriptions and photos
Debrecen is the second largest city in modern Hungary, and not far behind Budapest in historical significance. It has been repeatedly besieged by the Turks and the armies of the Austrian Empire. Not surprisingly, it can’t help but have its own peculiarities.
Golden Bull Hotel
Everyone who has just arrived in Debrecen, one way or another wondered what this amazingly elegant light gray building rises on one of the central squares of the city? It seems to combine the features of a Gothic medieval castle and, at the same time, a Renaissance palace.
University of Debrecen
Debrecen is a city with a long and glorious history, a city of beautiful views and amazing sights, a place where no one will be bored. It is also one of the major spiritual centers in the country for both Catholics and Protestants.
In Debrecen, a city rich in glorious history and with it, no less glorious sights, everyone will probably find something to their liking. There are historic churches from different periods and in different styles, beautiful palaces and manor houses.
The Hungarian language is mysterious to the average Slavic ear. One can never even guess what the intricate conjunction of consonants, slightly spiced up with a few vowels for spiciness, might mean. What, it would seem, could the word “nadjorde” mean?
St. Anne’s Cathedral in Debrecen
The old Hungarian city of Debrecen is a true “pearl” of the country. It boasts an amazing history and culture, which emerged at the junction of different traditions. There are many interesting temples and churches of different denominations, and all of them are beautiful in their own way.
Debrecen is a city with a rich and rich history, with a long history of free traditions and customs. It is not without reason that Hungary’s independence was proclaimed here by Loiusz Kossuth. The streets of Debrecen, especially its historic neighborhoods, look very original. It should be noted that on the facades of buildings there are practically no architectural elements that serve for decoration. It is an influence of Calvinism, one of the Protestant movements, whose followers have played an important role in Debrecen since ancient times and make up a large part of the local population. But despite the lack of frills, the buildings look very aesthetically pleasing and unusually monumental.
An example of this is the largest Reformed Church in Hungary, whose history is associated with a lot of interesting events. At this temple is located and another architectural object – it is an old Calvinist college, which has a magnificent library collection. We should not forget the fact that another part of the townspeople adhere to Catholicism, which means that there must be a temple in the city for members of this denomination as well. And there certainly is one. It is the beautiful Baroque St. Anne’s Cathedral. Its slender towers crowned with domes can be seen from different points of the city.
There is an absolutely unique architectural object in Debrecen – this is the best and oldest hotel of the city called “Golden Bull”. Its modernist forms began to decorate the already beautiful city at the beginning of the 20th century.
After walking around the hospitable city and tasting the local delicacies, you should definitely take a light promenade in the university garden. Here you can wander through wide alleys, sit on idyllic benches by the pond, enjoy the aroma of flowers and admire the amazing skill of local gardeners. Another attraction of the city is one of the favorite places for recreation and entertainment Naderdő Park, or, in Russian, “Big Forest”. Here is a complex of thermal springs, which easily allow you to combine business with pleasure.
Debrecen is a city with rich and rich history, with old free traditions and customs. Not without reason, it was here that the independence of Hungary was proclaimed by Loyusz Kossuth.
Talking about all sorts of attractions of the city, it is impossible not to mention the amazing museums of Debrecen. First of all – it is one of the most famous collections in the country – the Deri Museum. It is located in a beautiful historical building, and its exposition is very broad and diverse. Here are exhibits related to a variety of subjects. Archaeology, zoology, history, ethnography, works of Hungarian masters of painting and sculpture, you can see the objects of everyday life and crafts. In a word, visiting this wonderful collection, you can greatly expand your knowledge, get acquainted closer with Hungarian customs and traditions and simply have an interesting and useful time.