Hungary is a wonderful country, full of lovely people and amazing places waiting to be crossed off your bucket list. Although most choose to visit Budapest, a detour to Hungary's second largest city is an absolute must, especially once you are going to see the following top 10 things to do in Debrecen.
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No 1. Great Church (Nagytemplom)
The symbol of Debrecen, The Great Church, is located right in the city square. This is a vibrant place where you can find shops and restaurants, as well as a wonderful Christmas market during the winter holidays. If you are not afraid of heights, make your way to the top of the Church and admire Debrecen in all its splendour.
No 2. Hortobagy National Park
Although located outside of Debrecen, for nature lovers Hortobagy National Park is an adventure in itself. You can go onto the wagon ride which is filled with narratives about the culture, traditions, and animal breeds. There is a small museum as well as a fairly large open air market nearby. You should take the guided tour, it's well worth it. Be prepared: the wagon ride takes up to 1 hour and a quarter.
No 3. Debrecen Zoo
This is relatively small zoo which can be visited within a couple of hours. It has a really good layout and it's right in the middle of the forest. The entrance fee is really friendly, unlike other European cities, although the standards are just as good.
No 4. Statue of Lajos Kossuth
The statue is located in Debrecen's main square, in front of the Great Church. Lajos Kossuth was a Hungarian lawyer, journalist, politician and Governor-President of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848–49.
No 5. MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts
If you love modern and contemporary arts, the MODEM centre is definitely for you. This is the time to discover marvelous works of art from Central and Eastern European artists. The beauty of the centre is that it has ever changing exhibitions, thus you will never see the same thing twice!
No 6. Agora Science Centre
The Centre for Science and Technology is aimed at families with children. Visitors can learn many things about the modern achievements of science in an interactive and playful way. It features magic, optical illusions and all sorts of fun things for kids.
No 7. Deri Museum
This is really wonderful to visit if you find yourself in Debrecen. Although the museum is quite small, there has been quite a lot of effort put into making it interesting and more appealing to the general public. You will find many great attractions, paintings of Mihály Munkácsy (famed Hungarian - French born painter) being amongst them. You will love the Egyptian and Japanese exhibitions too.
No 8. Spas
After walking around and exploring the mighty, historical Debrecen, nothing says "relax" better than going to a thermal spa! After a whole remodelling and remaking in 2014, the complex looks really modern and inviting. You should go for the sauna and the therapeutic massages.
No 9. Debrecen University
The University of Debrecen is one of the best universities in the country, being renowned for its high-class medical school. Although not specifically open to the public, you can go around and have a wander around. It is the oldest continuously operating institution of higher education in Hungary (since 1538). There are almost 4000 international students attending the University of Debrecen.
No 10. Forum Mall
This is for your inner shopaholic. You will find all the brands you need to keep you occupied, whilst you can also chill in some of the coffee shops scattered all around the mall.
Don't just stick with my top ten things to do in Debrecen! Go off the beaten path and explore this wonderful city. Have you already been to Debrecen? That's great because I want to know all about your experience. Leave a comment below and tell me what you loved most about Debrecen!