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Basks in the glory of its past is the small historic town of Eger located in northern Hungary. The claim to fame of the town is its famous castle but is also equally known for its red wines well stocked in the cave wine cellars. And what more, just like the Hungarian capital Budapest you can also enjoy the thermal baths.
Getting to Eger
Train to Eger: Eger has an excellent connectivity with Budapest, with trains running every hour. Take the regional train from Keleti station from Budapest. The regional train are cheaper than IC and provides you the direct connectivity. The journey time is about 2.5 hours.
Bus to Eger: Get the bus to Eger from Budapest’s Stadionok station. The journey takes about two hours to complete and is relatively faster option than train.
Eger Top Tourist Attractions
A large square named after the Hungarian hero István Dobó, the general who commanded the successful defense of Egér Castle during the Turkish siege. Stands right in the center of the square is the statue of the same hero. The two famous building facing the square are the Castle and the Minorite Church.
The square remains busy with activity all around the year, summers are particularly jovial with live music in the evenings. Kids can enjoy the water fountain that lits up in the night. And to top it off you can use the free wifi to update your selfies on your favorite social network.
Eger Castle (Egri Var)
Eger Castle is the numero uno travel attraction of this tiny town. The huge complex has several sections and plays host to a number of museums.
The history associated with the castle is equally fascinating, as in 1952 the castle faced an expected siege where 2000 Hungarians stood strong against a Turkish army of 50000; something like the movie 300. The siege lasted for 38 days and Eger was successfully able to defend itself. Because of the same reason Eger castle holds a special place in the Hungarian history. During the summer holidays you’ll find the castle overrun by groups of school children. As the history goes, the castle finally fell to the second attempt of Turkish siege in 1599.
Inside the castle complex check the Hero’s hall for a replica of István Dobó’s tomb. The castle art gallery houses important work from Hungarian artists, Munkacsy in particular. The tunnels and the prison are also open for the tourists to explore. But to visit weapon and minting museum you’ll have to bear an extra cost.
Due to its location up on the hill, Eger castle treats you with some of the best views of the city. The exhibit at the nearby Bishop’s palace will hold your interest if you are further interested in the history of castle. The castle has a decent café serving snack and coffee.
Ticket: HUF 1400 and 50% discount for students. For guided tour you need to shell an extra HUF 800.
The Minorite Church
Situated near the Dobo Square is the Minorite church, worth checking out for its baroque architecture. The church was constructed in 1767 and is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padova.
Constructed in the year 1836 Eger Basilica holds the ranks as the third largest basilica in the entire country. Located right in the heart of the town, the basilica is about 20 minutes’ walk from the train station.
The artwork inside the church is quite impressive with stained glass windows and ceilings painted beautifully with scenes from the bible. You can’t miss the twelve apostles painted in a circle right in the center of ceiling just under the dome.
Be there for the organ concert which takes place every day from May till October.at 11:30. The admission, however, is not free costing HUF 800; student get a discounted price of HUF 500.
Torok Kori Minaret
Torok Kori stands tall as a reminder of the Turkish rule in Hungary. To get to the top of the minaret you need to climb around 100 odd steps but be warned the staircase is narrow and winding. It can get really tricky if someone is coming from opposite direction, one of you have to backtrack; definitely a no if you hate closed spaces.
But for the ones who successfully complete the dare, they are rewarded with excellent panoramic views of the city. However, if you have already been to the castle, the views are no different and you can save a few bucks by choosing to skip the minaret.
Egri Road Beatles Museum
Who’d have thought that you will find a museum in some corner of Hungry dedicated to the legendary British band. But there you go! A small but a nicely done museum is home to a private collection displaying memorabilia, black and white pictures, magazines and personal items related to Beatles that the owner has collected over the years. Tour begins with a short movie clip focusing on the childhood of the group members, after which you go through different rooms with exhibited items.
On the downside entrance ticket to the museum at 2000 HUF is bit steep. To add to that, the museum is located on the outskirts of the city.
Valley of the Beautiful Women
Home to more than fifty wine producers the beautiful countryside is a place where all wine aficionados in Hungary head to. The cellars are neatly arranged in a semicircular pattern next to each other making it easy to just hop from one to another. You’ll find the quality good and prices reasonable. Some of the wine merchants offer free samples while some others charge a small price of 200-400 HUF a glass. “Bull’s Blood” a blended red wine is worth a ‘shot’. If nothing else come here to enjoy the great Hungarian countryside and to take a peek in the local customs.
To get here take a train which leaves from near the hotel Estella in Eger. You can also come here from Budapest as a day trip; the journey takes about 2 hours by train.