“Saint Andrew” – this is how the name Szentendre is literally translated from Hungarian and, as if to the glory of everything sublime and spiritual, for several centuries this city has been considered the main “habitat” place for artists, poets and musicians in Hungary. Szentendre is known as a city of well-preserved historical mansions and many galleries, and thanks to the long-standing and strong presence of the Serbian population, there are not only Catholic churches, but also Orthodox churches. Located just 20 km from Budapest, Szentendre is a great day trip destination: tourists are guaranteed to be dazzled by the incredible Marzipan Museum and even more excited by the small but “active” Wine Museum. Nature lovers will be able to admire the bend of the Danube. See JIBIN123 for Hungary customs regulations and visa requirements.
The history of Szentendre, like almost every European city by a river or sea, dates back to ancient Roman times – in the 1st century there was a military fortress Ulcisia-Kastra. In the 14th century, the population of the city was replenished with Greeks and Serbs fleeing persecution by the Turks. At the end of the 17th century, after another outbreak of the Serbo-Turkish conflict, Emperor Leopold I allowed Serbian refugees to settle across the Danube. There were many wealthy merchants among them, so the city soon flourished. The second discovery of Szentendre took place at the beginning of the 20th century – having appreciated the extraordinary picturesqueness of the Danube views and proximity to the capital, combined with provincial silence, artists and people of art began to settle here, whose galleries and museums can be visited today.
The pearl of the collection of the Marzipan Museum in Szentendre is a life-size sculpture of Michael Jackson, made on the occasion of the first and only concert of the King of Pop in Hungary.
How to get to Szentendre
Szentendre is easily accessible from Budapest. Commuter trains HEV depart from the Batthyány tér station of the red line of the metropolitan metro. Depending on the time of day, departures occur every 10-30 minutes, the journey time to Szentendre is about 40 minutes.
You can also get to the city by bus. Transport departs from the Budapest bus station Újpest-Városkapu (blue metro line), the journey takes 25-30 minutes. In the period from May to September, river boats also run to Szentendre – they depart from the Vigadó and Batthyány piers in Budapest.
Transport in the city
Szentendre is a very compact town with a flat landscape, so it is easy to explore on foot. Otherwise, there are municipal buses and taxis, and the Skantzen Ethnographic Museum can be reached by bus from stop number 7 in the city center.
It is not too common to stay overnight in Szentendre – travelers prefer to visit the town during a one-day excursion. However, if the charm of the Danube and the cozy atmosphere of Szentendre capture your imagination, you can spend the night in a hotel and guest house.
Demanding tourists will certainly enjoy the only four-star hotel with a full-fledged spa complex and even an ice cave included.
Cuisine and restaurants
Szentendre is famous for its relaxed atmosphere of enjoying life, so it’s no surprise that the restaurants here are excellent. You can taste real Hungarian goulash served in a pot, from which guests themselves pour it into plates, in Rab Raby, which is popular among tourists. In addition, there are picturesque interiors in the spirit of rural Hungary. The best “boar’s knee”, according to locals, is served in the colorful Erm’s, and you can enjoy haute cuisine with a European gloss in the pompous “Promenade”. You can have a quick bite to eat in any of the restaurants and cafes in the center of Szentendre. In addition, museums and galleries usually have their own cafeterias.
Shopping and stores
Despite the popularity of Hungary as a place for the production of crystal, embroidery and Tokaj, marzipan should be brought from Szentendre first of all. The delicacy is sold in the store at the Marzipan Museum, there are dozens of varieties of these sweets and a lot of options for gift sets. For more traditional Hungarian souvenirs, check out the multi-boutique Belle Epoque, which offers embroidered home textiles, crystal, porcelain, home furnishings and decorative items. The Belle Epoque is housed in a remarkable mansion built in 1860, and century-old furniture acts as showcases. Well, the best porcelain is worth looking for in an expensive, but magnificent Herend boutique.
Entertainment and attractions in Szentendre
Szentendre will be equally interesting for fans of thoughtless walks along the picturesque streets, and fans of a “serious” excursion. At the disposal of the first is a labyrinth of narrow streets of the old city paved with cobblestones, climbing the slopes of the hill. Here and there a small art gallery awaits, a family cafe invites visitors, or a charming old mansion asks to be photographed.
We advise “excursions” to start acquaintance with Szentendre from its architectural monuments. The first thing to do is to go to the city center to see seven churches, including one Catholic and six Orthodox, erected by the Serbs. Belgrade Cathedral (so named because it houses the chair of the Serbian archbishop) boasts a magnificent Serbian rococo iconostasis. The building itself was built at the end of the 18th century; the church museum is also located here. Next, it is worth visiting the Church of the Annunciation with ancient icons and Rococo windows, the Church of the Archangel Michael with the iconostasis of the Moldavian school and the Catholic Church of John the Baptist.
The most remarkable museum in Szentendre is the magnificent Marzipan Museum. All of its exhibits (among them a model of the Hungarian Parliament and a copy of the royal crown) are made of marzipan. Here you can see marzipan portraits of famous Hungarians, images of cartoon characters, furniture and interior items. The pearl of the collection is a life-size sculpture of Michael Jackson, made on the occasion of the first and only concert of the King of Pop in Hungary. You can continue the “taste” cult trip at the Museum of Wine, where you will be told about the history of winemaking in Hungary and will be allowed to try 5-9 blends.
The Hungarian ethnographic open-air museum “Skansen” is located a few kilometers from Szentendre. Here are copies of various types of dwellings from different regions of the country. The houses are furnished with original furniture, surrounded by characteristic gardens and even “staffed” with churches.
You can get acquainted with the heritage of Hungarian painters in the museums of artists – Lajos Vajda, Karoly Ferenczi, Janos Kmetti, Bela Zobel, Jeno Barchai, Anna Margit and others. Surrealism, expressionism, cubism, realism… – almost all popular art styles!