Sopron, Hungary is yet another charming Central European city that the majority of travelers have no idea about. Until recently I also knew next to nothing about this place. The name sounded familiar but that’s mostly due to the location of Sopron, right on the border with Austria.
If you had asked me about what to see in Sopron my mind would have gone blank. But then I was planning my first proper trip to Hungary, where I wanted to see something else than Budapest, and as soon as I googled Sopron pictures I knew I wanted to go there.
Sopron didn’t disappoint. Quite the opposite, actually. The city turned out to be so much better than I expected.
I was immediately enchanted with beautiful architecture, winding lanes, and numerous Sopron attractions. Even if I spent only a few hours in Sopron (I went there as a day trip from Gyor), I fell for the place and I believe it’s one of the most underrated destinations in Central Europe.
Why visit Sopron
The area of Sopron was inhabited already in the Roman Empire times before Hungarians arrived on this land. Once they settled, they developed the place by adding the castle and town walls, among other improvements in the town.
Sopron was mentioned in the 12th century as one of the most important centers in the region. Over the centuries the importance of Sopron only grew. Today you can find numerous monuments and ruins that are great proof of the long and rich history of Sopron.
The Old Town might be small but it’s the prettiest with cobbled streets and beautiful houses. It reminded me a bit of Sighisoara in Romania as both places have a bit of an edge under all the beauty.
It’s worth wandering around to enjoy the old-times vibe of the town, this is Central Europe at its finest and remnants of various architectural styles, from Roman Empire to Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque structures.
While there is so much charm and beauty outside don’t miss some of the interiors, especially of the sacral buildings like the Blessed Mary Benedictine Church or the synagogue.
And don’t focus only on the Old Town. Outside of it, you will find some of the finest examples of the architecture from the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century, such as Petofi Theater, the post office, or numerous palaces.
Since Sopron is located right at the border with Austria you can get a multicultural vibe there, it feels like the town is at the crossroads of two worlds which is kind of appealing.
If you are looking for an unusual day trip from Vienna, Sopron is a good option with direct and frequent trains and the journey times just a bit over an hour.
What to see in Sopron
While for me one of the best things to do in Sopron was simply wandering randomly around and getting to know the place at a leisure pace, there are actually pretty many Sopron monuments that are worth checking.
Here are some of the most important ones that you shouldn’t miss:
- Firewatch Tower, and especially the view of the city. There is also a museum of local history here if you would like to learn more about Sopron
- The eclectic City Hall from 1895
- Beautiful houses at the Main Square, such as Storno House, Gambrinus House, or Kossow House
- Holy Trinity Column, a perfect example of the Hungarian Baroque, from 1701
- Blessed Mary Benedictine Church – the oldest church in Sopron, worth visiting inside for the frescoes, the lancet windows, and the unique Capistran pulpit
- Széchenyi Square with beautiful palaces and the statue of Széchenyi
- Old Synagogue from the 13th century and the Synagogue from the 14th century, both located at the Új utca in the courtyards
- Houses at Új utca, a great overview of how the architecture of Sopron has changed over the centuries
- Templom utca with important sacral buildings (such as Great Lutheran Church or Former Benedictine convent and impressive Baroque houses
- Scarbantia Archaeological Park
- The Castle Wall Promenade
But Sopron offers so many more places to visit. Basically, every house in the Old Town hides a long history and there are numerous spots worth checking outside of the center too. Sopron really is packed with monuments and I’m honestly surprised the city isn’t more popular among tourists.
I could go on and on about all the great Sopron monuments but I believe images are more appealing than facts. Below you can find some of my favorite Sopron pictures that will hopefully inspire you to visit Sopron too!
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