Szeged: From Blue Skies to Snow

To avoid the impending snow storm in Ljubljana we took to the road a few days before our hotel booking in Budapest. But the busy Christmas and New Year period meant almost everywhere was fully booked. So a last minute decision had us heading south to Szeged, just short of the Serbian and Romanian borders.

We arrived to blue skies and crisp air. Perfect winter sightseeing conditions. As per usual I’d done no research and had no plan but quickly discovered Dom Square and the dominating Votive Church.

Votive Church Szeged

Szeged is a gorgeous city, rivalling adorable Pecs, and the highlight for me was the Art Nouveau architecture. I took a liking to this flowery style of architecture during my stint in Paris. I lived in lower 16th district with its high concentration of Art Nouveau buildings designed by the famous architect Hector Guimard.

Comparative to Guimard’s work is the Reok Palace, a stunning pastel green and white building with purple flowers. I was completely in awe as it came into sight.

Art Nouveau Reok Palace

But there are plenty more architectural beauties to keep you interested including the unusual Art Nouveau Synagogue and the green roofed Town Hall which wouldn’t look out of place in the nearby Romanian city of Timisoara.

Szeged Art Nouveau Synagogue

Szeged Town Hall

Pretty Architecture on Szechenyi Square

More Art Nouveau

Szeged’s most famous cafe, A Capella Cafe, has the largest selection of Hungarian cakes I’ve ever seen. After stopping to sample the most mouthwatering, we continued along the main shopping street Karasz Utca which takes you to Szechenyi Square.

Karasz Utca Szeged

The Christmas markets were just finishing up in late December but there were still a few fairy lights shining. Szechenyi Square is also where you’ll find many of the city’s summer festivals.

Szeged Christmas Market

A quick downpour of snow blanketed the city with fresh powdery snow which added to its charm and cemented the city as one of my favourites in Hungary.

Blanket of Snow by the Tisza River

Snow Covered Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square Szeged

Pink and Blue Sunset in Szeged

If you have time check out the newly renovated Anna Furdo thermal baths.

Leaving Szeged for Kecskemet

After reading Kecskemet is another Hungarian city with an abundance of Art Nouveau, I hopped off the train half way between Szeged and Budapest and spent an evening exploring.

Perfect Kecskemet Sunset

The most noticeable building in the Art Nouveau style is the Ornamental Palace (Cifra Palota) which reminded me of Antoni Gaudi’s work in Barcelona.

Ornamental Cifra Palota in Kecskemet

The rest of the evening was spent filling up on langos at the Christmas market and watching the sunset over the city’s many churches and the Old Synagogue.

Kecskemet Main Square

So Many Churches in Kecskemet!

Sunset Over the Christmas Markets

Videos from Szeged and Kecskemet

While in Szeged and Kecskemet I filmed daily vlogs which cover everything I experienced.

Where to Stay

In Szeged I stayed at the Art Hotel Szeged and the Tiszavirág Hotel. Both are modern boutique hotels but if I had to choose I’d stay at the Tiszavirág Hotel again as the design and toiletries are a little more unique.

I wouldn’t recommend staying overnight in Kecskemet as there isn’t much to see. Visit on a day trip from Budapest instead or skip it entirely and spend more time in Szeged!

About Andrea

Andrea Anastasakis is the founder and author of road trip blog Rear View Mirror. She is currently driving her Fiat 500 around Europe. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram.


Comments

  1. Ooh, these look like beautiful places to explore! Pecs is on my list, too, so it sounds like I need to start planning a road trip!

    • Pecs is gorgeous and I loved Szeged too. I can’t wait to see more of Hungary. I know Riga is known for its Art Nouveau architecture but some of these Hungarian cities are just as amazing I think.

  2. I’ve never been a big fan of Hungary but that’s probably because I didn’t really like what I’d seen. But now I can see I should give it another chance as Szeged looks stunning! Thank you for bringing my attention to it! I was in Subotica, Serbia recently and I just loved the city, it looked like from the fairy tale. It was one of the biggest surprises of my last year travels! http://www.mywanderlust.pl/subotica-the-art-nouveau-pearl-of-europe/