“I’m planning on visiting Budapest in the summer, I know that you lived there, apart from the obvious ones, are there any places I shouldn’t miss?”
“If you have time, you should take the train to Szentendre.”
I wasn’t planning on going to Szentendre. I had reserved around 6 days to explore Budapest, but as always, big cities overwhelmed me and I was curious why my friend suggested Szentendre.
I took a train to Szentendre with my friend who was travelling with me. The both of us had purchased a transportation ticket that would last us a week in Budapest. The ticket allowed us to take all the public transport in Budapest.
We read that we could take the HÉV train from Batthyány tér. We thought that the ticket included the suburban railway line.
We got on the train confidently and when an officer checked our ticket, in broken English he explained to us that we couldn’t use the ticket on this train. Thankfully, the officer was nice and told us we could buy it off him.
When we arrived, the station was quite empty. The road across the station was also empty. We were quite hesitant at first but decided to follow a few people in front of us.
Szentendre turned out to be lovely and charming. No wonder my friend suggested it to me. If you have any doubts on whether or not you should give this place a visit during your stay in Budapest, maybe I can convince you.
Lazy Summer Vibes
While Szentendre may be a little crowded during the summer, it doesn’t make this place any less interesting. As I entered the centre of the city, I could see some stalls decorating the cobblestone street. Locals (I presume) were selling jewellery, art works and also food. It smelled amazingly delicious. You could tell that this was not a big town. People were wandering around, enjoying the sun, I even spotted some couches put randomly on the side of the street filled with people eating, laughing and enjoying themselves. This is definitely a place to put your hair down and just be lazy, as one should do during a holiday 😉
Szentendre actually means “Saint Andrew”. Around 1690, a number of Serbian refugees crossed the Danube in search of a better life. A lot of them settled in Szentendre, hence this town became the centre of culture, history and political for Serbs in Hungary. Today, though the traces of Serbian influences can still be seen, the population of Serbs are not as many as it was in the past. Personally, I absolutely love the old buildings and the churches, including the famous Belgrade Cathedral. Szentendre is definitely a change of air from Budapest’s metropolitan bustle.
Szentendre is an artsy town. When I was there in the middle of summer, the shops were decorated with bright flowers and I saw a few artists sitting in the town’s square creating masterpieces. Though I didn’t visit any galleries while I was here, there are several that you can visit.
What now? Yes! Szentendre is quite famous for its marzipan, it even has its own marzipan museum called Szamos Marcipán Múzeum. To be honest with you, I didn’t visit the museum. Don’t ask me why. Maybe because I was lured into the cafe on the ground floor. Apparently inside the museum, everything is made out of marzipan. I did get a bite and an iced coffee at the cafe and ate it outside while enjoying the summer breeze and embracing the beauty of Szentendre. While in Budapest, I enjoyed the many different sweet pastries on display in its many cafes, and at Szamos, it was no different. It was absolutely delicious!
I only spent a day in Szentendre, no doubt that I missed a few places but I had such a great time strolling around the town. If you are in Budapest and have some extra time, give this little town a visit! You won’t regret it.
This week’s theme: Underrated Cities to Visit