Hungary

What to See in Szeged, Hungary – the Art-Nouveau Gem of Europe

(Last Updated On: 18/03/2022)

When planning my recent trip to Hungary, Szeged was one place I knew I just have to visit. I’m a big fan of the art nouveau architecture and this city seemed like a paradise full of buildings in that style.

The reality exceeded my expectations! I was over the moon with all the beauty around me.

Besides art nouveau I was so much looking forward to, Szeged turned out to be yet another underrated Central European city with the architecture and vibe typical for the region that I enjoy so much.

If you are planning to visit Hungary don’t skip Szeged. I’m sure you will appreciate the city just as much as I did and all the amazing things to do in Szeged will keep you busy during your time there.

what to see in szeged hungary

Where is Szeged, Hungary

Szeged, the third-largest city in Hungary with a population of around 160 thousand inhabitants, is located in the very south of Hungary, right at the border with Serbia and Romania. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is around 170 km away from Szeged.

what to see in szeged hungary

Why visit Szeged

Szeged is yet another underrated and overlooked Central European city with beautiful architecture typical for the region. What makes it special is the outstanding art nouveau architecture that the city is full of.

The city has a long history, dating back to medieval times, but since it was badly destroyed in the flood in 1879 the majority of Szeged attractions you can enjoy today date to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century (the time when the cities in Central Europe really flourished).

Since Szeged University is one of the most important higher education institutions in Hungary, you can expect the large student population in the city and everything that comes with it: a wonderfully vibrant atmosphere, numerous cultural events, cafes, etc.

This is such a pleasant city to visit, one of the best places to visit in Hungary.

what to see in szeged hungary

How to get to Szeged

Reaching Szeged is actually really easy. From Budapest there are trains more or less every hour, the journey takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes.

If you plan to arrive from another city in Hungary bus might be a better option (otherwise you might need to travel via Budapest and it doesn’t always make sense). I came to Szeged from Pecs by bus, there were a few connections per day available.

You can also get to Szeged by bus from Timisoara in Romania or Subotica in Serbia but the connections are rather limited (only 1-2 per day) so you need to plan your trip accordingly.

what to see in szeged hungary

Where to stay in Szeged

Szeged offers plenty of accommodation options of various kinds so if you are wondering where to stay in Szeged here are some recommended places:

what to see in szeged hungary

What to see in Szeged

While there are not that many Szeged attractions and monuments, the city is such a lovely place that staying there is a pure pleasure. I enjoyed every moment of visiting Szeged.

what to see in szeged hungary

My personal highlight of Szeged (or even of Hungary) was the New Synagogue, dating back to the very beginning of the 20th century. This is a true architecture masterpiece, both from the outside and inside. As soon as I saw the building my jaw has dropped and it got only better once I stepped inside.

The monumental building (one of the largest of that kind in Hungary) was designed in the art nouveau style with a bit of regional twist and looks very similar to the synagogue in the nearby Subotica in Serbia or Timisoara in Romania.

As soon as you step inside you will be in awe with all the overwhelming beauty around and a peculiar mix of Art Nouveau and Moorish Revival styles, with a bit of Gothic and Roman influences and beautiful painted stained glass windows.

Once you are done with admiring the lower level of the synagogue be sure to go upstairs too to see the place with a different perspective and appreciate it even more. And don’t miss a beautifully decorated cupola!

The Szeged Synagogue is a real gem and it’s impossible not to be impressed with this place.

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

The New Synagogue might be the most outstanding art nouveau building in Szeged but the city offers so many more beautiful examples of this architecture style. There are many stunning palaces and houses all over the city center that you will easily stumble upon. All of them were built at the very beginning of the 20th century when art nouveau was at the peak of its popularity therefore Szeged architecture is a true testimony to this decorative architecture style.

Some of the most beautiful art nouveau buildings in Szeged include Reök Palace, Ungár-Mayer Palace, Raichl House, Beregi House, Gróf Palace or Forbát House. And these are only a few examples of stunning art nouveau in Szeged! If you have a chance visit these beauties inside too as the interior is also designed accordingly.

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

There are also buildings of public use designed in art nouveau style, such as the water tower that opened in 1904 and still is used for its original function.

what to see in szeged hungary

Yet another architecture highlight is the City Hall, designed in the neo-gothic style but still with some art nouveau details. The building, dating back to 1883, is the third one in this very place that serves its function.

One of its unique features is the Bridge of Sighs, built for Emperor Franz Joseph who inaugurated opening the new City Hall. The building is located at Szechenyi Square, a pleasant green oasis in the very center of Szeged.

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

Besides these outstanding architecture pieces, the rest of central Szeged is equally beautiful, lined with townhouses and buildings of public use typical for Central Europe. If you enjoy this region you will quickly feel at home in Szeged.

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

Szeged is also known for its sacral buildings. Besides the already mentioned synagogue, there are also many churches, with Votive Church (Cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary) being the most famous and impressive one.

The works on it started in 1913 but it wasn’t completed until 1930. The church, being the fourth-largest church in Hungary, dominates the Dóm square and is one of the symbols of Szeged, its two high towers clearly visible in the cityscape.

what to see in szeged hungary

The beautiful interior of the cathedral is just as impressive, among numerous valuable addition, you can find there Europe’s third-largest church organ with over nine thousand pipes or the statue “Christ on the Cross” by János Fadrusz which won Grand Prix in Paris in 1900. But before you notice them you will be in awe with all the mosaics, frescoes, and other decorations that the cathedral is packed with.

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

While you are visiting the Votive Church, don’t miss the St. Demetrius Tower located right in front of it. This is the oldest building in Szeged, with its foundations dating back to the 11th century.

The Dóm Square itself is also worth checking. It is one of the largest squares in Hungary, surrounded by university buildings and Votive Church. In the summertime, the square serves as the venue for the popular Open Air Theatre Festival – if you would like to see a play here be sure to get the tickets in advance!

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

One of my favorite things to do in Szeged was simply wandering around the center or sitting in one of the numerous cafes and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the city. I visited Szeged in the summertime when it was warm and sunny, and spending time outside was a real pleasure.

The center (especially its pedestrian part) was lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants, the place was busy with locals enjoying the beautiful weather and the vibrant atmosphere of Szeged just stole my heart. I can only imagine the city gets better when the students are back (Szeged is an important university center in Hungary).

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

And if you enjoy green areas and cultural institutions, Szeged has plenty to offer in these aspects too. There are a few really lovely parks in the center and along the Tisza river where you can relax during your Szeged sightseeing.

If you would like to visit Szeged museums there are plenty of options too, with Ferenc Mora Art Museum (focusing on Hungarian art) being the most important cultural center of the city.

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

At the end of your trip to Szeged, you can enjoy one of the most typical Hungarian activities – visit baths. There are a few options in the city but the most beautiful one is Anna Bath, located in the center in the eclectic style building from the end of the 19th century.

what to see in szeged hungary

Final thoughts on visiting Szeged, Hungary

Even if Szeged doesn’t have any major attractions the city still has plenty to offer with its beautiful architecture and vibrant atmosphere. And if you ask me, the New Synagogue itself is a very solid reason to visit Szeged.

I spent one day in Szeged and even if I’ve seen all I wanted to yet I left the place with a heavy heart as I simply wouldn’t mind hanging out there a bit longer, simply to enjoy the city. There was something indescribable about this place that clicked with me and put Szeged rather high on my list of my favorite Central European cities.

When you plan your trip to Hungary or if you are visiting nearby Romania and Serbia, be sure to visit Szeged too! This is really such a pleasant place and it would be a pity if you miss it. I have no doubts you will find it just as enjoyable as I did!

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged hungary

what to see in szeged 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 …

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


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin to get updates about the new posts
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to … too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!

LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!

what to see in szeged hungary


love, kami 2

If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 27.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss new posts sign up to my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Valentin
    31/03/2022 at 14:08

    I was in Szeged twice. Both times only for a day. First time with agency, second time by myself. I enjoyed the city. Didn’t have much time to explore whole city. I would like to come again for 2 days.
    The cathedral is beautiful from outside and from inside. Square in front of it could be empty or could be full of people. Depending if there is a festival or not.
    There is a nice sweet shop in center with tasty cakes.
    I hope to return to Szeged sometimes this year to explore more of it.

    • Reply
      kami
      04/04/2022 at 14:28

      Fingers crossed you will return there soon, it’s a wonderful city to visit!

Leave a Reply

Let’s become friends!

Join me on Facebook for even more travel updates!