Two trams on Széchenyi street, Miskolc, Hungary
Two trams on Széchenyi street, Miskolc, Hungary. Photo by József Birincsik.

Miskolc, Hungary (pronounced “Mish-koltz”) is Hungary’s third-largest city, located in the northeastern region of the country, near the picturesque Bükk mountains. Many of the buildings display the city’s background in heavy industry, particularly metallurgy, which peaked during the Socialist era. The area has evidence of being inhabited from 70,000 years ago, in the Paleolithic period.

Attractions

Diósgyőr – Quite the popular tourist destination, Diósgyőr is a historical town that now has become part of Miskolc. The partially renovated castle ruins at Diósgyőr used to be a favorite vacation spot for many of Hungary’s royalty. The first castle in this spot was built in the 1100’s, but destroyed in a Mongol invasion. The one standing now was rebuilt at the same location of the first one in the 13th century. A trip inside the castle offers several exhibitions, including a medieval weapons exhibit and some early archaeological findings from the region.

Cave Bath – The Cave Bath is a thermal bath located inside a cave in Miskolctapolca, in Miskolc. The water stays around 86°F (30°C), throughout the year, and is popular among locals and tourists alike for its relaxing and medicinal benefits. It has a reputation of curing joint pain, and since the salt content is much lower than other natural thermal baths, bathers can stay in the water much longer. Outside the Cave Bath is a beautiful park and a boating lake.

Gothic Protestant Church of Avas – The Gothic Protestant Church of Avas was built as a Romanesque-style church, and later it was expanded to a larger Gothic-style church. Avas is the name for an area in Miskolc based on the Avas hill in the center of town. The Gothic Protestant Church of Avas is located on the northern part of the hill, close to downtown Erzsébet Square. There are still signs of the Ottoman Turks setting the church on fire from back in 1544.

Szinvapark Mall – Szinvapark Mall is a modern shopping mall located in downtown Miskolc near Miskolc Plaza. Enjoy such things as shopping, bowling, catching a movie, and even gambling. The mall is actually two buildings that straddle Szinva stream, its namesake. The two buildings are connected by a beautifully-constructed enclosed glass bridge.

Anna Cave– There are so many caves in and around the Miskolc area. From caves under the Church of Avas used to store wine, to the caves with thermal waters, there are many different caves to see. One of the best to see is Anna Cave, located in Lillafüred, which has the Szinva waterfall located near the cave entrance. The Szinva waterfall is noted as being Hungary’s longest waterfall, with a height of 20 meters.

Lillafüred – Though part of the city of Miskolc, it is actually about 12 miles away. It is a popular resort area, and is where the Anna Cave, Szeleta Cave, and István Cave are located. The famous Palace Hotel with its beautiful Hanging Gardens are both also found here.

National Theatre of Miskolc – The first and oldest theatre building in Hungary, it hosts the International Opera Festival there every year with famous international opera stars.

Wooden Church– The Wooden Church of Miskolc was originally erected in 1724 and stood until 1937, when it was rebuilt and that one lasted until arson destroyed it in 1997. The one that replaced it and stands now is an exact replica and was completed in 1999. You might think churches are not that interesting, but don’t forget our churches in Europe are more remarkable and older than in the U.S. Sorry, but they are! Besides, Americans have more religions going on, while 90% of Hungarians are Christians, so churches are important cultural and historical places where everyone goes to on Sundays.

Tourist Information

A tourist information center is conveniently located in the center of the city. The staff is fluent in Hungarian Magyar, English, French, and German, at least.

Getting Here

Air – Miskolc does not yet have an international airport, and the small airstrip that they have is unpaved and rarely used by the public. International visitors could fly to Kosice(77km/48mi), Budapest(144km/89mi), or Debrecen(90km/56mi).

Train – The primary rail station is Tiszai Station, or Tiszai pályaudvar in Hungarian Magyar. Almost all trains going through Northern Hungary stop in Miskolc, so rail is a great option.

Car – Recently, the Highway M3 was connected to Miskolc, which is an interstate that goes west from Miskolc. There is also a highway that connects to the city of Debrecen. Entering and driving on any highways in Hungary requires that a toll be paid, and one must usually go to any petrol station and purchase a sticker for their windshield prior to entering the highway.

Bus – Miskolc is not very well connected by bus to other cities, because of the train being much more convenient, fast, and available. However, a bus to Tapolca can be easily boarded from the center of the city.

Getting Around

Bus – There are several different city bus lines, all covering a generous portion of the must-see sites and attractions in and around Miskolc. Purchase a 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day pass to maximize your money while you are there.

Tram – There are two tram lines, both of which terminate at one end at Tiszai Station. Tram 1 goes to Diósgyőr, a district in Miskolc famous for its castle ruins. Tram 2 goes to a metal factory.

Car – It may be difficult for a foreigner to get around Miskolc by car. The locals can be relentless and intense in their driving.

On Foot – Many of the areas in Miskolc would be easier to reach on foot, including the Cave Bath spa. Széchenyi Street is also a very picturesque road to stroll down, as cars are rare here, though the tram does run along this street. Many other tourist attractions are located quite far from the city center, so obtaining a map and planning routes are advisable ideas.

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. One reliable company is Nonstop Taxi, which unfortunately is only available in Hungarian, but you can find contact information on the site and the dispatcher should talk English or German.

This is a guest post written by Renata Czina

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