Although only the fifth-largest city in Hungary, Pécs is undoubtedly worth the 2-hour car ride from Budapest. Upon arrival, you’ll find a charming collection of photo-worthy architecture, including the Romanesque Pécs Cathedral and green-domed Mosque of Pasha Qasim. It’s also well set up to support the intrepid explorer with a slew of hotels drawing on the rich history of the city.
This refined boutique hotel is located in the heart of Pécs’ old town, a few minutes’ walk from Széchenyi Square. Polished rooms come in a muted-yet-stylish colour palette, or you could upgrade to book the chic apartment. A sauna, a relaxation area and a mini-gym are found in a tunnel-like room with exposed stone, while a glass-enclosed dining room is a light and airy place to enjoy the complimentary continental breakfast.
Next to Széchenyi Square, this stately Art Nouveau hotel is a little landmark in itself. It was built in 1915, despite the outbreak of World War I, and included a fetching concert hall, which now bears the name of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. It now has 100 traditional rooms and suites spread over five floors, plus a restaurant serving Hungarian classics and a crowd-pleasing selection of international dishes.
Set between the old town and the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, this laid-back hotel makes for an unfussy base if you want to hit the city sights. A short walk will take you to those two landmarks, plus the Mosque of Pasha Qasim and the early-Christian burial vaults. Upon return, you’ll rest up in a modern hotel with clean, comfortable rooms and a relaxed restaurant with a bar.
With a privileged spot on a lofty slope just outside of Pécs centre, Bagolyvár Inn has arresting panoramas at practically every turn – the best of which are found at the restaurant terrace, accompanied by a classic Hungarian dish. The charming first-floor rooms draw heavily on Hungarian folk art, while the top-floor lodgings pay homage to the Transylvanian regions; all have handcrafted wooden furniture from Istvan Either, a master craftsman from Balatonmagyaród village. For an extra special stay, book one of the Wine Cellar apartments, which (despite the name) sit in quirky cabins with stretching views from individual terraces.
With squash and tennis courts, a handy lap pool and a selection of fitness classes, Hotel Makar is well suited to wellness warriors. Post-sports cooldowns are sorted thanks to a venerable spa, where you’ll find a cold plunge tub, a hydromassage Jacuzzi and a salt-brick sauna. Refuel at the in-house Obester restaurant, where you can enjoy Hungarian cuisine accompanied by a glass of wine from a local vineyard.
The simple, clean lines of the Bauhaus-style façade belie a hotel with homely guest rooms, which are more cosy than stylish. Design nods include Le Corbusier-style armchairs in the lobby and replica artworks of Pécs Bauhaus artist Jenő Gábor. But, it’s the proximity to the main attractions that’s the real draw here. It’s just a short walk to Széchenyi Square and Museum Street, and you can spot the green dome of the Mosque of Pasha Qasim at the end of the street.
If you love a good pizza, this charming red-roofed hotel is a slice of history you’ll adore. Főnix was the first pizzeria in Pécs when it opened in 1984, and the original restaurant is still next door. The 13-room hotel was added some years later, providing cosy lodgings by Széchenyi Square. A three-bed family room is a great choice if you’re bringing the kids, or, for a grander stay, book the Phoenix Suite, which has a large outdoor balcony.
For a budget-friendly break in the heart of Pécs, Nap Hostel is a trendy retreat that won’t break the bank. It sits in an imposing late-1800s building on the bustling Király central thoroughfare, a 5-minute walk to the main square. The interior has a youthful vibe; painted in a lively melange of shades and with the odd graffiti mural. Shared rooms have parquet floors and bathrooms, or you could opt for the apartment, which has a separate entrance and a private kitchen. Don’t miss the terrace with its panoramic city and mountain views.
Laterum sits in a quiet neighbourhood outside the city centre – ideal if you’re looking for a more peaceful visit to Pécs. There’s a handy wellness area with a finnish sauna, a whirlpool, and an “adventure pool” with high-pressure water jets that you can swim against. A laid-back restaurant with a bar offers traditional Hungarian and international dishes, while families are catered for with a kids’ playroom.
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