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Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 | 100 comments

Szentendre: Day Trip from Budapest

During my stay in Budapest, I had the opportunity to visit the little town of Szentendre.

Sze…. what? you may ask. Where is that?

Szentendre (means Saint Andrew) is located 13.6 miles (about 22 km) from Budapest, on the left bank of the Danube.  The town can be easily reached by bus, train or bus.

You may have never heard about it but it is a popular day trip from Hungary’s capital.  Yes, it is located a stone’s throw from the big city.  But, there is more.  It is one of the few towns (or areas) in the country were a Mediterranean atmosphere can be felt.

On top of that, the aesthetics of the place are a big draw.  Think cobblestone streets, pastel colored buildings, cute squares, narrow alleys and churches with long spires. Szentendre is that and much more!

There is not a lot of information about what happened in the area during medieval times.  It is known the Magyars (founders of the Kingdom of Hungary) found the place inhabited and decided to rebuild the Roman remains found around.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

The population dwindled (or disappeared) during the Ottoman occupation. Once the Ottoman’s were expelled from the country, Serbs were invited to immigrate to Habsburg lands (since they fought on the Christian side during the war, Hungary ended being part of the empire after the Austro-Turkish War). It is estimated 37,000 families immigrated and many settled in Szentendre (where they were the majority).

There was also considerable Dalmatian immigration. The Dalmatian families settled on Donkey Mountain where Dalmát Street preserves their memory today. Even in the 1980s, this street was inhabited exclusively by descendants of the original Dalmatians. These descendants now live throughout the city.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

The slow rhythm of life, the river and the architecture started to attracted artists since the beginning of the 20th century. A well known colony of artists came into existence in 1929. Today, more than two hundred fine and applied artists, authors, poets, musicians and actors live in the city.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

If you stop by the city, there is a lot to keep you busy.  The best way to get to know Szentendre is by walking its streets and alleys.  The town is armed with many good services, therefore, start by grabbing a map in the visitor’s center.

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Then, I would suggest walking as many streets as possible.  The architecture is very charming in here.  Plus, the variety of colors gives the buildings a vibrant and youthful energy.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

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At one point, you are going to hit the town’s main square.  There is a considerable concentration of colorful buildings in here.  Some structures are adorned with banners, paper ornaments and umbrellas.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Remember the Serbs? They left enduring traces on the townscape and its culture. The buildings in the city center have tried to preserve this Serbian influence in their architecture. Out of seven churches (other sources cite nine churches) in town, only one was historically Roman Catholic, and all the others were built by Orthodox Serbs.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

These churches built in the Baroque style showcase different colors and architectural details. Try to see how many you can find.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

My favorite thing about Szentendre is the burst of creativity that can be seen in every corner.  Because of the many artists residing in town, there are a well regarded number of galleries, studios and show rooms.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

I visited during the weekend and they had an open market lining one of the principal streets.  There were paintings, mosaics and hand-made figures.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

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I saw garlands, wreaths and soap made with natural ingredients.  Even unique toys and trinkets designed for kids abounded. I spent some time looking at the many details found in the booths.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

For those on the gastronomic vibe, the town has stores selling Hungarian food and beverage specialties such as Tokaji wine, pálinka, paprika powder, and goose liver.  Other stores offer salami, ham and cheese tastings.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

If you are into sweets, the marzipan museum is for you. It has one room dedicated entirely to Hungarian personalities and artifacts. There is also a large collection of contemporary artists, cartoons and other well known figures.

img_5007Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

A big café is attached to the museum.  In there, you will find a big collection of cakes, tarts, cookies, drinks and, of course, marzipan.

There are other stores in town selling their own marzipan specialties.  You can skip the museum and its café if you want to avoid the crowds.

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

The ice cream parlors in town have a good reputation too.  I passed by some and their lines were long and steady.  That ice cream has to be good!

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre, Day trip from Budapest, Hungary

And, a visit to Szentendre must include a walk around the waterfront.  This is the place to observe one of the main arteries of the country, the Danube.  It would be nice to return to Budapest by boat (like we did). Szentendre’s many spirals will witness your departure.

Did you know about Szentendre?

Pin it for later?

Szentendre, a charming town located on the banks of the Danube River, is the perfect day trip from Budapest.

 

100 Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of this cute little town! I hope to visit Budapest again one day when the weather is sunny and warm, and I wouldn’t mind visiting some off the beaten path locations in Hungary! I’ll be saving this! #MondayEscapes

    • I want to know more about Hungary too. I am glad I visited Szentendre.

  2. It’s a lovely town isn’t it. You van also cycle there from Budapest (and get the train back), so so beautiful!
    Found you via #MondayEscapes
    Esther recently posted..Stockholm: schaatsen en skiplezierMy Profile

    • That would be a nice option. I would not mind cycling next to the river.

  3. I was disappointed to only hear of Szentendre after my first visit to Budapest, but this post makes me think I do need to return so I can see both. As a big fan of historic architecture, the town looks like a great place to explore and admire the sights. The view along the riverbank looks lovely, especially with the stunning weather you had. I’m sure I could force myself to visit the Marzipan museum and cafe 😉

    • It felt difficult to leave Budapest but I wanted to see a bit more of the country. I visited as part of a Danube Bend Tour.

  4. A fascinating and fun town …so much to see. I like that green umbrella installation a lot.

    • I like that installation too. Creativity rules in here.

    • Isn’t that cool? Love when towns are full of history.

  5. I just can’t get over those windows framed by red walls and the white artistic details – or the sunken stairway! These photos are so lovely. Thanks for sharing. #MondayEscapes

    • Thanks a lot. The architectural details in the town are lovely. I like the town is well kept and preserved.

  6. Unknown town for me.Happy to explore here from your blog.Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you learned about Szentendre thru this medium. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Oh yes, it is a charming place! And, the location next to the river makes it extra especial.

  7. Love the different colours of the houses. Nice shots.

    • Thanks! That is one of the things I like the most about the town. I like colorful places a lot.

  8. My kind of town. I would love to bring home the mosaic tiled artwork. It’s almost difficult to include a visit to nearby small towns or villages when planning on a trip overseas due to time constraints, but glad you were able to fit this in.

    • Agree with you. Timewise, it is not easy to plan daytrips. However, we decide to stay extra days in certain cities in order to see a little bit more. Of course, that makes us slow down but we are ok with that.

  9. The coloured buildings and the cobblestones are so beautiful! I’d never heard of Szentendre before, although I can’t say that I’d done much research on Budapest. Thanks for introducing me to it!

    • Your welcome Kat! I really like to explore small towns like this.

  10. Oh wow what a fabulous place to just wander around and explore. I love the art exhibitions on the streets and the colourful buildings. Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes
    Lisa recently posted..Monday Escapes #47My Profile

    • The colorful buildings and atmosphere are some of the things I enjoyed the most about this city.

  11. It looks a wonderful side trip. I particularly loved that set of steps. Well done for venturing outside the main city and glad you were rewarded. Wilbur.

    • We discovered those steps by mistake. We were just wandering around when we noticed a quiet side of the town. That particular area was very lovely.

    • I am glad you would consider this town. When possible, I trip to step out of the city.

  12. We floated past Szentendre on our Danube cruise this summer, we could have cycled there but chose to see Budapest, shame it looks beautiful! #CityTripping
    Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays recently posted..YARNBOMBING IN PASSAUMy Profile

    • Yes, cruises pass by. It is great the company offers the opportunity to cycle around. But, I see how Budapest wins!

  13. Wow, this town has such a different feel than any of the Budapest neighborhoods we have seen. I wish we would have had the time to see it ourselves. It looks so pretty and interesting.

    Thanks for explaining the meaning of the town’s name. Once I realized it meant Saint Andrew, it was easy to figure out how to make it roll off my tongue. 🙂
    Linda Bibb recently posted..Why You Should Put Litomysl on Your Czech ListMy Profile

    • It took me some time to remember the name of the town due to the mix and max of letters and sounds. I couldn’t pronounce Hungarian at all. You have to see how one old lady in the metro was laughing at me while I was butchering the language.

  14. I haven’t heard about Szentendre before either but it looks like a really charming place! I love all the colourful buildings!

    • Seems like this is a hidden gem. As I mentioned in the post, it looks like a hidden gem but there were actually a lot of visitors.

    • It looks great, doesn’t it? The location is very nice. Like you mentioned, an ideal hideout for creative types.

  15. Looking at all the architecture here I never would have guessed this was in Hungary! You’re right, it looks very Mediterranean! I love all the colorful buildings and cobblestone walk ways. Such an awesome day trip:D

    • The Serbian and Croatian influences are notable. That is part of the charm of the town.

  16. What a beautiful town. The cobblestone steps was amazing to see, as well as all the wonderful art work for sale.

    • I fell in love with the art. There were so many cool pieces. People are really creative around the area. I can give testimony to that.

  17. I had no idea about this place. It looks very quaint and colourful. Interesting to hear more about the history of the area too. I do like the sound of the marzipan museum! Thanks for joining #citytripping

    • The marzipan museum was gorgeous. I was pale pink on the outside and vivid pink on the inside. It looks like the set of a movie.

  18. What a fascinating and colorful place. I love that crooked old stairway. We are considering a visit to Budapest so I’m glad to know about this day trip from there, too.
    Sharon recently posted..Viewing and Visiting Westminster AbbeyMy Profile

    • Hope you can make it to Budapest. There is a lot to see inside and outside of the city.

  19. What a lovely place!I love anywhere with cobbled streets to wander around. Lovely photos.#mondayescapes

    • We are on the same page! Old towns with cobble stones and colorful buildings are always a hit for me.

  20. Beautiful pictures! I love how your posts are always so vibrant and colorful, or I suppose it’s also you travel to vibrant and colorful places! 🙂

    • Ahhh, thanks a lot! Well, I think my post reflects the kind of places I like and a bit of my personality. Color is a thing I absolutely adore. That means I am on a constant chase to find more of it.

  21. What a charming little town Szentendre is. I would love to visit Budapest and will definitely put this day trip on my must see list. Your photos are delightful.

    • Thanks Kathy. I am glad you liked the town.

  22. I was in this town in July. It really is beautiful place, but full of tourists 🙂

    • It was crowded when I visited but not as crowded as other places I have visited. I went on a weekend and there were a lot of people around. I imagine the week is slower in here.

  23. It’s such a picturesque town! I had not heard of it before, so thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard, will keep it in mind for when I am back in the area – I love Budapest and hope to make it back.

    • Oh yes, this is a good option if you go back to Budapest. I recommend the entire Danube Bend area. Will write more about it later.

    • That is right! Artists towns are the bomb.

  24. Ruth, are you following me? (LOL!) It seems that everywhere I go, you go too. I’ve been in Szentendre only once, although we went to Budapest many times before. The weather wasn’t as great as when you went there, but I loved the village just the same. Those cobbled streets and the little souvenir shops were so charming.

    • We are like twin traveling minds! LOL! That is funny but I think we appreciate the same great places. I am glad I discovered Szentendre.

  25. What a beautiful place, and steeped in history! Visited Budapest for the first time earlier this year and said I’d love to go back. Return visits are the perfect time to venture further afield, right?! 😉 #FlyAwayFriday
    Keri | Ladies What Travel recently posted..LWT life lately – November 2016My Profile

    • Keri, I visited Budapest recently too. I will like to visit again and discover even more places. Do consider this town if you go back.

    • Great! There are many places to go on a day trip.

  26. Ah, thank you so much for sharing! We’re headed to Budapest in January (cold!) and I haven’t been able to find much in the way of “day trips.” This was a super helpful post. 🙂 #flyawayfriday

    • Hope you enjoy your time in Budapest. I am glad you found this post helpful.

  27. What a picturesque town. Your photographs really show off the colours and architecture of the buildings – it looks like a wonderful place to visit!

    • I am glad the pictures give that impression. It is nice to show the nice face of a place.

  28. Szentendre looks like such a charming town! I’m not a big fan of marzipan, but I can imagine spending some happy hours wandering those cobblestone streets, taking pictures, and stopping for ice cream!

    • Marzipan is not my thing neither. But, there was a lot of cake options in the museum. Plus, there were other sweets options in the town.

    • Hope you are able to go back!

  29. I am not familiar with this town. It looks inviting and lovely. I hope to make it back to Hungary someday.

    • Hope you go back one day. I feel like revisiting every country I have visited in Europe.

    • Budapest is so cool! I love the city too. Hope you make it to Szentendre next time.

    • Yes, very cute and easy to visit.

  30. Lovely photos of this colourful town. The history is always interesting in this part of the world and in the not so distant past also. I would definitely return by boat, I can never resist a boat trip.

    • You are like me. Boat trip are the way to go for me. I was delighted by all the sights seeing while returning to Budapest.

  31. My husband has visited Budapest so many times while on business that he is looking to branch out to other cities to explore on the weekends. Szentendre looks like a nice prospect, especially since my husband’s name is Andrew. That must be a sign. I like that the town is more than just the old architecture and cobblestone streets, but has a vibrant arts community as well. If he goes, I think I may ask that he brings me back some of those painted tiles you pictured.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Tibetan Monks Debate at Sera MonasteryMy Profile

    • That is so cool! He he visits Szentendre it would be like visiting his own time. I hope he gets a chance to stop by.

  32. How stunning and an archetypal European town. I did say, what is Szentendre? Now i know

    • I like the meaning behind the town name. I had to include it in the post.

  33. Cheerful place to visit with all the colorful buildings and arts and crafts. It would be a great place to walk.

    • Oh yes, it is a great place to walk. There are a lot of things to see even though the town is small.

  34. This town has the look and feel of a weekend destination from your photos. Really lovely and laid back with just enough to do. We would almost certainly have come home with a puppet and a wine cork.

    • It is like you said. There are things to do in town and there are other activities such as swimming, biking and boating. Plus, there is an open air museum located nearby.

  35. I love this kind of European town. Your photos are beautiful and I loved reading about the town. Thank you so much!!

    -Soma

    • I am so glad you enjoyed the post. I love towns like this too.

    • I am glad you discovered it in here. It is a very loving place and I think it deserves some attention.

  36. This looks like the very definition of charming – love the cobbled-stone streets and colorful buildings. Seems like such a happy place. Day trips are the best. #mondayescapes

    • Agree! I love day trips. That is why I try to stay at least 4 days in a big city.

  37. Love all the bright colored photos! Budapest sounds like such a fun place! Love having you on #FlyAwayFriday!

    • Kana, you are so sweet. Thanks a lot for your words.

  38. Oh my goodness, what a cute town!! I love all the colorful buildings!!! Can’t wait to see what you share tomorrow on FlyAwayFriday!

    • If you like color, I think you would love my next post.

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