With its Danube setting and proximity to Budapest, Szentendre is a popular location to visit for tourists looking to escape the city and see more of Hungary. Well known for its galleries, art and museums, this is a cultural hot spot. The list of things to do here really is endless. Here is the list of our top 10 things to see and do in Szentendre.
The Szamos Marzipan Museum is one of Szentendre’s most visited attractions. Dedicated to Matyas Szamos, the founder of the Szentendre Marzipan Factory, this museum offers visitors an insight into the wonderful world of confectionery. Exhibition pieces are found on the 1st floor of the building, surrounded by glass cases, and they include a whole manner of sculptures including scenes from Disney films to a number of world famous buildings and attractions. The lower floor is also home to a shop in which guests can buy marzipan pieces in an array of shapes and colours.
The Margit Kovács Museum is one of Szentendre’s best known attractions, dedicated to the work of artist Margit Kovács (1902-1977). The collection consists of a number of clay pieces including plates, pots, statues and tiled murals, many featuring images of the artist’s mother. Kovács’ works are a tribute to her Hungarian roots and this exhibition is definitely a must visit for anyone interested in the contemporary culture of the county. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to take any photographs, but the distinctive style is memorable enough.
This town’s marvellous main square is situated in the very heart of Szentendre. This is the point from where everything in the town begins, and it is surrounded by a selection of shops, restaurants and churches. A medieval town that was rebuilt in the 17th century, Szentendre is shrouded in history, clearly portrayed in the main square with its cobbled streets and old style buildings. For those seeking to visit and explore Szentendre, this is the place to start.
Located just off of the main square, Blagovestenska Church is probably the best known of the nine churches within Szentendre. It is a Greek-Orthodox church built in the 18th century by settlers living in the town’s Greek Quarter. With its baroque-rococo design, this church is certainly something to be marvelled at. Although the church does not look very ‘eastern’ from the outside, the beautiful interior decor is breath-taking. Visitors are greeted by wooden frescoes of St Constantine and St Helene whilst the interior features a beautiful iconostase. Paintings by artist Mihailo Zivkovic are seen within the church and can appear quite daunting as the eyes follow you on your tour.
The Hungarian Open Air Museum is perfect for those who wish to learn about and explore the history of the Hungarian way of life. The Museum is home to a collection of houses and artifacts that aim to educate visitors about the life and traditions of different Hungarian regions. Visitors get a chance to learn about the seven Hungarian regions from the Great Plains to Balaton Uplands. With petting farms, craft stalls and a number of events (including the mangles pig festival), this is a brilliant summer or family day out.
This unique little gallery is found in the very heart of Szentendre. The artist behind the pieces found here uses the elements of nature as inspiration for many of her works, a number of which are painted onto silk using a batik technique. Love of nature is found in all paintings with bright colours are combined with delicate images to create something very special. Visitors can buy certain of the hand-made pieces if they so wish. Ur Eleonóra Batik Galeria is a wonderful gallery and although small, creates a large impact on visitors.
The Retro Design Center is a brilliant collection of items dating back to the 1970’s. With a collection of items such as cars, kitchen items, electrical equipment, furniture and toys, there is definitely something here that will catch the interest of everybody. Cars are beautifully renovated and many items will actually be recognisable to those who grew up around this era. It is just like stepping into a time portal and with a brilliantly priced entry fee, it is no wonder it is so popular.
The Szentendre Art Mill is dedicated to amazing art and is well worth a visit from anyone exploring Szentendre. Located in an old mill, the gallery’s large exhibition of works are spread across three floors. Works vary from paintings and sculptures to applied arts and graphics, from local to international artists. A great way to experience a slice of Hungarian culture.
Castle Hill is a worth-while trip, especially for those with an interest in history. This area was originally the site of a fortress from the Middle Ages but has since been destroyed. The Gothic church of St. John the Baptist is all that remains The church contains many beautiful frescoes that were painted by the members of the artist’s colony in the 1930s. However, the most impressive point of Castle Hill would definitely be the magnificent view. Guests will have the opportunity to take in the splendid views of the whole town which is worth a visit in itself.
Located in the Danube River, the island is found between Budapest and the Danube Bend. It is a truly magical visit and one that all visitors to Szentendre should take. At 31km long, the island is home to a number of villages including Kisoroszi and Horány. It is also known as priest’s island and is regularly hosts the Lipizzan Horse Show. It provides a taste of true Hungarian life and the way it used to be many years ago. There is a ferry service that can take visitors here from Tahitótfalu.