Hungary

10 Great Things to Do in Pecs, Hungary

(Last Updated On: 21/11/2021)

Pecs, Hungary is one of those places I’ve been thinking of visiting for years yet somehow it never was on my route. Finally, when I went for a trip to Hungary and Hungary only I knew I had to put Pecs in my itinerary.

As soon as I arrived in the city I realized what was I missing. I felt for the Pecs right away and quickly put the city on top of my list of places to visit in Hungary. I spent there 1,5 days and enjoyed every bit of it, so much that now I wouldn’t mind returning there one day.

And so today I’m sharing with you the list of the best things to do in Pecs so you can plan your own trip there too.

things to do in pecs hungary

Where is Pecs

Pecs, the fifth largest city of Hungary, is located in the southern part of the country, near the border with Croatia. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is around 240 km away from Pecs.

things to do in pecs hungary

Why visit Pecs

The main reason to visit the city is to admire all the great Pecs attractions you can find there, including the UNESCO-listed ancient necropolis, one of the most spectacular cathedrals in Hungary or the former mosque converted into the Catholic church. The city has a long and turbulent history (it was founded in the 2nd century under the name Sopianæ) and you can see the remnants of the centuries-old importance of Pecs all over the place.

But Pecs is more than just its monuments. The city has this cool, vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere that is so easy to enjoy. Even if Pecs sightseeing will take you most likely half a day it’s worth spending more time in the city, simply to enjoy it.

things to do in pecs hungary

How to get to Pecs

The easiest way to get to Pecs is by train from Budapest – there are frequent connections throughout the day and the journey takes under 3 hours. Unfortunately, if you plan to go by train from another destination within Hungary you still need to go via Budapest. You can check the train connections here.

There are also several buses running between Pecs and places in Hungary and Croatia. It’s best to check the schedule directly at the bus station (located some 10 minutes walking from the main square).

In summer 2021 I took the bus from Pecs to Szeged and there were several buses throughout the day, with the departures every 2 hours.

How to get around Pecs

Fortunately, all the Pecs attractions are located near each other and you can easily walk between them. The farthest point of interest is the train station and that’s still only some 15-20 minutes walking away from the center.

things to do in pecs hungary

Where to stay in Pecs

Since Pecs is a popular destination in Hungary there are several fine accommodation options in the city. Here are some recommended ones (with good location and ratings):

things to do in pecs hungary

Things to do in Pecs

And now, without further ado, let’s talk about all the best things to do in Pecs.

Enjoy Széchenyi tér

Széchenyi tér is the central square of Pecs where all the action takes place. It played an important role in the city already in the Middle Ages when it served as the main marketplace of Pecs.

Today you can find some of the most beautiful and important monuments of Pecs located around Széchenyi tér.

The one dominating the area is the Mosque of pasha Qasim the Victorious in the northern part of the square. On the opposite side, you will see the beautiful City Hall, The Fatebenefratelli Church from the first half of the 18th century, or the impressive Pécs County house. These are only the most important monuments but basically, every single building on Széchenyi tér is interesting.

In the middle of the square, there is the Holy Trinity Statue and the monument of János Hunyadi (the famous Hungarian leader from the 15th century).

Széchenyi tér is also the most vibrant place you can find in Pecs. The square is home to numerous cafes and restaurants that are always full of people, locals also occupy numerous benches around, enjoying the atmosphere of the place.

I also spent way too much time on Széchenyi tér, simply people-watching, absorbing, and falling for the vibe of the city.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Visit Mosque of Pasha Qasim

The Mosque of Pasha Qasim is one of the most distinctive buildings in Pecs, located on the north side of Széchenyi tér and catching your attention right away. What makes it interesting is the fact that the temple currently serves as the Catholic Church (which might be a bit confusing when looking at the architecture of the building).

The mosque was built in the 16th century and is the greatest example of Ottoman architecture in Hungary. When the country was again under Hungarian rule at the beginning of the 18th century, the Mosque of Pasha Qasim was converted into the Catholic Church and remained so until this day.

Once you are done with admiring the building from the outside, it’s worth visiting it inside as well. You will be surprised to see the Islamic features mixing with the Catholic ornaments – this peculiar combination gives the place a really unique look and feel. In the lower part of the building, you can find graves and memorial plaques of well-known locals.

You need to pay an entrance fee to visit the Mosque of Pasha Qasim, it is possible to buy the combined ticket for the mosque and the Cathedral.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Be impressed by Pecs Cathedral

As soon as I stepped inside Pecs Cathedral my jaw has dropped and I knew right away this place goes very high on my personal list of sacral buildings.

Originally it was built in the 11th century but over the years it went through numerous major renovations and changes – you can see models of all the cathedral’s versions in the basement part of the building. Today’s look dates back to the end of the 19th century when the building was restored to its Romanesque origins, with numerous ornaments in Rococo and Classicist styles.

The interior is bright, colorful and so very rich in decorations that at first, you will not know what to look at, everything is just the prettiest.

Don’t miss the basement part of the cathedral too, with its symmetrical, picturesque arches. You can also go up to the tower (it’s included in the ticket) to see Pecs from above.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Visit the UNESCO-listed Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs

Near the Pecs cathedral, you can find the remnants of the ancient, Early-Christian burial site from the 4th century. It was part of Sopianae – the settlement that dates back to the 2nd century, located in the area of today’s city, that used to be an important center of Christianity.

The burial site consists of two parts: the underground crypt and the memorial chapel erected above. What makes it even more special are the decorative motives and murals with Biblical themes.

The first burial chamber was discovered here already in 1782 and in 2000 the site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a remarkable example of late Roman burial practices and funerary cult. Today it is possible to visit the burial site and see this centuries-old historical place.

things to do in pecs hungary

See remnants of city walls

Even if only a small part of the city walls remains in Pecs to this day, it is still an interesting sight to see. The city walls date most likely to the 4th century but, together with a big part of the city, were badly destroyed in the mid-17th century.

Today the most distinctive remnant of the city walls is the lone barbican tower, located near the cathedral. You can even go up to its upper part to get a view of the surrounding. Another part of the city wall can be found near Calvary Hill, north of Széchenyi Square.

The remnants might be not big but still, they can give you an overview of how grand the medieval Pecs used to be.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Visit Pecs Synagogue

The Synagogue in Pecs is among the most beautiful synagogues you can find in Europe. It was built in 1869 in Hungarian romantic style and is located on the side of Kossuth Tér – the busiest commercial square in the city back then. The building was badly destroyed during World War 2 but shortly after it was renovated and today this is one of the three still operating synagogues in Hungary.

The Pecs Synagogue is beautiful both from the outside and inside (although it’s not as spectacular as the jaw-dropping synagogue in nearby Szeged) and fortunately, it is possible to visit the building inside too. What catches the attention outside is the clock located above the entrance with the Hebrew sentence “The house of worship for all people” on top of it.

The interior (entirely original) is divided into three distinct areas with the main nave and two aisles. It is also possible to go to the upper galleries for a better view and feel of the synagogue.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Enjoy the center of Pecs

The central part of Pecs, with the Széchenyi Square and surrounding streets, is a vibrant maze of lanes that are bustling all day long. This was actually one of my favorite things to do in Pecs – just hanging out there and enjoying the atmosphere of the place.

There seem to be always people around (of course many more of them in the evening) and a simple people-watching activity was a real pleasure there. Combining it with beautiful architecture and the center of Pecs was the main reason why I enjoyed this city so much more than I expected!

By the way, if you feel like declaring your love to your significant other you can find the designated areas for love locks in Pecs’s center. They are located on the wall at Janus Pannonius street, connecting the cathedral area with Széchenyi Square.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Visit local museums

I must admit I didn’t visit any museums in Pecs (mostly because it was Monday when I visited and they were closed) but there are pretty many of them to choose from. Many of the museums are located on Káptalan street, known also as the Museum Quarter of Pecs.

You can find there Modern Hungarian Gallery, Mining Museum, Vasarely Museum, or Zsolnay Museum. Other Pecs museums worth checking include House of Arts and Literature, Csontváry Museum, Local History Exhibition, and many more.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Enjoy the local cafe scene

Just like many other cities in Central Europe, Pecs has a really good cafe scene that you can properly enjoy. There are numerous cafes in the center so if you want to relax over a cup of black drink (or any other drink really) you will have plenty of fine places to choose from.

Some of the best cafes are located either on Széchenyi Square or in surrounding streets, especially Király str, Jókai Square, or Irgalmasok str.

things to do in pecs hungary

things to do in pecs hungary

Go for day trips

Pecs can be also used as a really good base to explore the surrounding area of Hungary and even Croatia. Many of the places can be easily reached by public transport but of course, having a car makes it so much easier to travel around.

Some of the best places to visit near Pecs include Danube-Drava National Park, Harkány (a popular spa town), Siklos (with the 13th-century castle), or Szigetvár (with the castle and numerous other monuments). You might even hop across the border and visit Osijek in Croatia since it’s located only 85 km away from Pecs.

things to do in pecs hungary

best places to visit in Croatia

Final thoughts on visiting Pecs

As you can see above, Pecs really has a lot to offer. But as much as monuments are more than fine there, the city is worth visiting for its great vibe too. This really is a beautiful city, one of the best in Hungary, and you shouldn’t think twice if you have a chance to visit Pecs. I bet you will enjoy it as much as I did!

things to do in pecs hungary

Travel Resources

Revolut bank card is the best way to save money when traveling. It’s a pre-paid service that offers very good exchange rates and no fees for ATM’s use. Click here to learn more and order your Revolut card.

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Pecs

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Hungary here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


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things to do in pecs hungary


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