Eger is a town that combines almost everything Hungary is famous for, its wine, old castles and, of course, thermal baths. The fact that the town is located not too far away from the capital makes it a perfect day trip destination from Budapest.
How to get to Eger from Budapest?
The fastest and easiest way to reach Eger is by car or bus if you don’t have an option of driving a car. The buses are clean, fast and they often have a wi-fi which can be quite handy on a 2-hour trip to Eger.
All the buses leave from Puskas Ferenc Stadion bus station which you can easily access from M2 metro line and a few trams, buses. As for the tickets, you have three options to get them: a) online, b) from the ticket office or c) from the bus driver.
You can purchase online on Volanbusz website which is the main bus provider in Hungary. Also, if you’re in the bus station more than 30 minutes before the trip, you can purchase a ticket from the ticket office there. The very last option and probably the most popular one among locals is to buy the ticket from the driver.
A one-way ticket to Eger cost around 2400 – 2900 HUF (around 7 – 9 EUR) for an adult. There are various discount options for seniors, children and students.
The bus station in Eger is right in the centre of the town, so you will have no trouble reaching the most important spots of Eger.
What to do and see in Eger?
Even though the town is quite little compared to Budapest, it still has a wide variety of activities and things to do for different kinds of people and wishes.
Castle of Eger
On top of the hill stands Eger castle, a medieval fortress dating back to 13th century. It is mostly known for its importance in 1552 defense against the Ottoman army.
Today you can climb up the hill to see several exhibitions in the castle, look around the dungeons and have a splendid view of the town. There are different types of tickets for various parts of the castle but you can also purchase an all-in combined ticket if you want to get the most out of your visit.
The prices start from 1400 HUF (5 EUR) for adults but there are also some discounts for seniors and students. Just keep in mind that all exhibitions are closed on Mondays. More information here.
During the Ottoman ruling of Eger dating back to early 16th century, they have build 10 minarets around the city. Now only one is left standing near the castle of Eger.
It is a tall 14 sided polygon form tower with a spiral staircase inside. You can climb 97 steps up to the balcony of the minaret to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the town if you don’t mind an extremely tight and spiral staircase.
This is the main square in Eger located right in the middle of the town’s historical part. Once you reach the square, you can instantly see that this is the most lively spot in the town.
The square itself is a beautiful representation of Mediterranean and Baroque architecture for any art lovers out there. You can sit and relax on one of the benches scattered all around the square, admire the fountain show, lots of monuments dedicated to historically important figures such as Saint István or Mór Jókai.
If you’re a fan of the Beatles, then this museum is a must for you. It is placed in Hotel Korona which is in the historical part of the city. You can take a guided tour around the museum to learn more detailed facts and insides about the life of each member or simply wander on your own while admiring the collection of records, media publications, posters and photos. Also, you can watch a short movie about the band and even listen to the most popular songs through headphones.
Also known as the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle is the third largest church in Hungary. It is a neo-classical style building built in 19th century.
The most impressive part is probably the entrance with huge columns and guarded by two saints on each side. There is a lovely park nearby in which you can relax and admire the building from the side. Or you can head inside and appreciate its beautiful interior that was made in order to awe people.
Eger thermal bath
On the outskirts of the town, you can find outdoor water attraction that will appeal to every age group. There are seven pools in total, three of them thermal water pools with a nice amount of natural radon in them.
Since we didn’t have much time while visiting Eger, I haven’t tried this particular thermal bath. But I have heard lovely things about it, so I’d say it would be a nice end-of-the-day kind of activity while in town.
Valley of Beautiful Women
Apart from history and thermal baths, Eger is also known for its wine. This valley – also called Szepasszonyvolgy in Hungarian if you fancy a tongue-twister – is one of the major attractions in the town.
You can reach the valley in under 20 minutes walk from the main bus station but you can also hire a taxi if you’re short on time. The valley has around 200 wine cellar lined one after another which is an impressive sight to see.
You can taste various kinds of wines while there but the most popular and recommended one to taste is Egri Bikavér or sometimes called Bull’s Blood. It is a robust red wine perfect spicy food and red meat if that’s your thing.
Tips for visiting Eger
I have to say that Eger was probably my favourite day trip of all that we did while in Budapest. Though a trip to Visegrad is quite high on the list as well.
So if you’re thinking of having a day trip to Eger, these are some of the tips for you:
- Take the bus as early as you can. Even though 2 hours is not that long, it does add up in the end, so make sure that you have plenty of time to explore Eger.
- Don’t be afraid to get intentionally lost. I’d probably give this tip to all the destinations if I could. Don’t stick to popular routes and the most known streets. We found the most beautiful tiny passages and streets in Eger while walking anywhere we felt like and trying to get lost as much as possible.
- Check your return bus times beforehand. It is good to know how much time exactly you have in the town so that you could enjoy your time without stress. Also, off-season buses run less frequently and earlier in the evenings, so keep that in mind.
Have you visited Eger?
What is your favourite day trip to date?