After a long stay in Budapest we were ready for the small town life of Northern Hungary. Little did we know there would be so much to do in Eger! Here we were able to experience Hungary’s rich history at the Eger Castle and Minaret while also enjoying the luxuries of the thermal bath, swimming complex, and Eger wine cellars on the edge of town. However you decide to spend your time you’re sure to have a blast in this gem of Northern Hungary!
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Wandering the Streets of Eger Hungary
When you first arrive in Eger you’ll be ready to explore the town. The center is small and peaceful even when we visited in the peak summer which was the perfect speed for us. You’ll see families and couples out enjoying a meal, while others are simply strolling through the colorful buildings.
The main road has a stretch of restaurants, cafes, and retail stores to poke your head into. Don’t be put off the by the McDonalds in the center of town! There’s plenty of other great traditional food to eat. Below you’ll find a couple things not to miss in Eger before we get to the main attractions.
Dobó István Square
The man, the myth, the legend! István Dobó was the commander of the Eger Castle in one of the most famous battles in Hungary, and was integral to the successful defense of the city against the Ottomans in 1552.
During the Siege of Eger his troops were outnumbered by as many as 100,000 people… So you can see how well deserved this statue is! The square is wide open and sits directly in front of the Eger Castle.
Unfortunately, Eger was eventually conquered by the Ottomans. Yet 150 years later they were back flourishing and setting up schools, churches, and businesses.
This produced a magnificent building in the late 18th century which was supposed to be made into the premier university of Eger. Although it never got the honor of being a university, you can still view the ceiling frescoes, colorful library, and magic tower with an astronomical museum inside.
Hungary has a long and diverse history of religion, and Eger is no different. As you wander around the city keep an eye out for these churches, and also take some time to explore the insides if they’re open to the public.
- Minorite Church of St. Anthony of Padua (1771)
- Szent Miklos Greek Orthodox Church of Serbia (1799)
- Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle (1837)
Eats and Treats of Eger Hungary
Like we mentioned before, there’s plenty of great food in Eger Hungary! While there’s a fair share of western places you can also find all the traditional eats you’d expect to find in a small city.
We tried a few different spots, but the place we kept coming back to was Falank Fanny. This local favorite is run cafeteria style so you can pick out all the fresh items of the day yourself. There’s nothing like a plate of pork and spatzle with a glass of Eger wine after a full day of exploring!
Must Try Dessert: If you do head to Falank Fanny make sure to order the Gozgomboc dessert. It’s essentially a cake with a chocolate filling SMOTHERED in chocolate sauce. The dish can be found around Germany, Austria, and France, but Eger was the first time we’d ever seen it!
Climbing the Eger Hungary Minaret
Despite the best efforts of István Dobó, the Ottoman’s eventually did capture Hungary. When they were finally expelled out of Eger they had left their mark on the country in ways that you still see today.
The Eger thermal bath is one of the biggest examples of that, and if you’ve been to Budapest you’ve already had a taste in the premier spa city of Europe. The most unique monument left behind in town is the Eger Minaret from the 17th century.
Originally, it was part of a mosque and used for the Muslim call to prayer. Now you’re able to climb the 40 meters to the top and get an amazing view from the Eger Minaret! It’s honestly one of the thinnest staircases we’ve ever climbed, and the viewing point on top doesn’t provide much room to move around either. Beware of that, and make sure to go early to avoid any lines.
Eger Hungary Castle
First built in 1241 after the Mongol invasion, the Eger Castle has always been the centerpiece of this historic city. Although it will forever be known for its improbable defense against the Turkish army in the mid 16th century, there’s hundreds of more years of history that you’ll find on your visit here.
A museum showcases the history of the castle from beginning to end, and you’ll find numerous art exhibitions and other performances going on depending on the time of year. Not to mention an epic panoramic view of Eger and beyond!
The entrance fee is 1400 Huf ($5 USD) and it’s opened from 8am-10pm every day. We also recommend taking a bottle of Eger wine and enjoying it anywhere on the castle walls for sunset!
Eger Hungary Thermal Baths
The Eger thermal baths are massive and feature two separate areas depending on what you’re looking for. The indoor and outdoor baths couldn’t be more different from each other, however there’s one caveat that makes it an easy choice for which to go to.
Our advice is to buy a ticket for the old Turkish baths inside, which then gives you access to the outdoor pools as well! You’ll then have 2.5 hours to relax and enjoy both parts of the complex.
Indoor Turkish Baths
We’ve discussed the Eger Minaret as being the most impressive thing the Ottomans left behind, but once you soak in the Eger thermal baths you might change your mind! The first Eger thermal bath is the massive circular pool in the middle which was built in 1617.
The rest of the pools were added over time, each possessing their own powerful healing minerals. The indoor space is for both males and females and requires a bathing suit unless it’s the third Thursday of every month. On this day they abide by the traditional Hammam rules where clothing is not required.
Outdoor Baths and Family Park
Once you leave the friendly confines of the indoor Eger thermal baths it will feel like you’re on another planet! We had seen people lining up at the ticket booth earlier, but still couldn’t believe our eyes when we went outside. Most of the main pools were filled to maximum capacity.
We’re used to seeing that in the U.S. in the summer, but in warm thermal baths? This was a new experience! There was families laying out everywhere on the grass, drinking Eger wine and beers by 10am, and even a popular water slide at the far end.
Sampling Wine in Eger Hungary
You’ve made it to the final and most important thing to do in Eger Hungary! The Valley of the Beautiful Women is only a twenty minute walk from town, and well worth the trip. Here you’ll find more than 40 different cellars offering some of the cheapest and most delicious wine we’ve ever tasted.
The star of the show is the Bikaver or “Bulls Blood” which is offered at every Eger wine cellar. Make your way around to each place and try the different wines from around northern Hungary to take part in this unique tradition.
→ Read all about our adventures Tasting 47 Wines in the Valley of the Beautiful Women here!
Have any questions about the Eger thermal bath, Eger Minaret, or any other things to do in town? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Eger Hungary
Ultra Luxury– Imola Hotel Platán – One of the few upscale hotels in town with the highlight being the swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas. Your stay at Imola hotel will also include free access to the famous Eger thermal bath nearby.
Fun Vacation – Hotel Senator-Ház Eger – Set in the lively main square directly under the Eger Castle. This traditional Hungarian hotel offers comfortable rooms and the perfect location. If you’re visiting during the holiday season make sure to try the mulled Eger wine and Christmas punch!
Near the Wine Cellars – Kulacs Csarda Panzio – If you’re looking to stay closer to the Eger wine cellars just outside of town this is for you! In addition to the easy access, you’ll have a buffet breakfast, garden with hot tub, and traditional music played in the evenings.
For more places to stay in Eger Hungary you can explore the latest prices here!
Hungary Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. In Hungary, there are many beautiful cities and small towns to explore.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can book a Széchenyi spa full day pass in Budapest, try a Hungarian wine tasting, or jump on a sightseeing river cruise.
Flights: We always find great flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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