Located about 2 and a half hours from Budapest is the small city of Miskolc, Hungary. By walking around you know that at one time it was big and important just based on the fact that there is an abandoned International Trade Center building. Now most of the city seems a bit worn down and you can see decaying buildings next to well preserved ones. This really shows the history of the city and what it has gone through.
It was due to Bebino’s (my boyfriend) writers conference that we ended up in Miskolc so it was not a solo trip. Once I knew we would be visiting this city, I started to do research. Due to his conference, we didn’t get a chance to do everything I had wanted to. It also didn’t help that the weather was cold and it snowed one of the days we were there.
Here you’ll find a place to stay, when to go, where to eat, and what to do. Miskolc makes for a great day trip from Budapest, but can also be done in two days. Let’s dig in!
According to the official Miskolc page, this city is one of the few settlements that dates back 70,000 years in European history. Due to this, it’s considered to be one of the oldest inhabited regions of Hungary.
During the 15th century, it was quickly developing and at one point had 2,000 inhabitants until the arrival of the Ottoman Empire which changed everything. Development slowed down tremendously and Miskolc continued paying taxes to the Empire until 1687 when it finally gained its freedom. Around this time, Miskolc became an important center for wine production.
Today Miskolc is known as the ‘green city’ as it was the first in Hungary to join the Green City movement. Other nicknames it holds include: “Hungarian Opera Capital”, “Hungarian Movie Capital”, and “Hungarian Capital of Graphics”.
Where to stay
This was a couple trip so we stayed in an Airbnb. One I really recommend as it was very well located downtown. It’s a studio apartment with a well equipped kitchen and high speed internet. The owner, Gabor, told us many remote workers spend a few weeks or months and enjoy staying in his place due to the location and very well functioning WIFI. Gabor was very nice and helpful. He even offered to look up additional information on the Miskolc card we were considering to purchase.
When to go
Our visit happened towards the end of January and although it was nice with the snow flurries we had one day, I would recommend spring or fall. The weather will be much warmer to walk around and enjoy the surrounding areas that Miskolc has. During the summer time, you can enjoy the waterpark found towards the southern part of the city near the thermal baths.
Where to eat
On the nicer end for restaurants. We loved that they used very fresh and in season ingredients. More of a splurge compared to the other places you could visit in the area, but definitely worth it for the taste and atmosphere. The space is very open with lots of natural light. The day we visited it there was only one table, so it was rather quiet with ambiance music in the background and lots of privacy. I would go back to Miskolc just to eat here.
Lots of variety at this restaurant, so don’t expect just burgers. I opted for the Ramen because I wanted something warm and it was very flavorful and filling. Bebino opted for a burger which he enjoyed. They have wraps, sandwiches, brunch, salads, and more! Located on the main street, it would be hard to miss.
The perfect spot for all things crepe! From savory to sweet crepes, there’s something for everyone. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to try it for myself as we ran out of time. I would definitely make it a point to visit this spot on my next trip to Miskolc.
Things to do in Miskolc
One of my favorite things to do in a new city is look for the sign with its name. Sometimes it comes as large letters and other times as a ‘Greetings from’ postcard as a mural. I love when I randomly stumble upon it, but I’ll admit that there have been times I’ve looked for one in particular and could not find it for the life of me.
Miskolc being a small city made theirs really easy to find. It’s located off the main street: Városház tér, 6 blocks from the intersection with Kazinczy Ferenc utca.
Located next to Miskolc’s cemetery is a blue and brown Wooden Church. The one currently standing was built in 1999 to replace the wooden church that had been standing but that burned down in a fire in 1997. It gives a Translyvanian feel through its architecture. The church only opens on Sundays for church and it holds funeral services on request.
A cute little bridge with lots of locks by couples securing the duration of their love. Similar to Paris’ Pont Des Arts Locks of Love bridge, but much smaller. Still, the locks are mounted, one on top of another. This is in the center of town and won’t take much time to see.
As a die hard Friends fan, when I found out an actual, real life Central Perk existed in this small city of Miskolc, I knew I had to go! Over the years I have visited multiple Central Perk pop ups in NYC, but they’re all temporary and literally only let you sit on the couch for a quick photo.
This was an actual coffee shop playing all 10 seasons of Friends on a loop. There’s plenty of seating areas and lots of memorabilia to make you feel like you’re on the Friends set. You’ll find Phoebe’s guitar, Monica and Rachel’s door frame window, and a picture that hangs in Joey and Chandler’s apartment.
Do not go here expecting food. They only serve coffee, tea, beer, mixed drinks, muffins, and scones. There’s also shelves in the corner with lots of board games you can use, as well as a children’s play corner so you can enjoy your coffee in peace.
The cave baths in my opinion are the star of Miskolc and a must visit if you find yourself in the area or passing by. It doesn’t matter if you visit during the summer or winter as there is an indoor and outdoor portion. The caves part is inside so you can visit it all year round.
There is the main entrance to the baths which is through the cave and then it continues through winding streams. The water does flow a bit and you can let it just take you if you’d like. Towards the left will be a couple entrances/exits of stairs that if you go through will lead to other pools. Some are cold and others warm to balance your body.
I recommend going early so that you get the place to yourself for a while and get to really relax. The day I went was in the afternoon and it was calm for a while but then a huge group of teenagers arrived and the vibe changed. Would have been great to be there before they were. Early bird gets the worm is my motto.
Miskolc is not very touristy, but the weather may have influenced some people to stay in for the day. The majority of tourists it does seem to get are more domestic than international. Overall, we had a great experience. I would like to go back with more time and in better weather to explore more of the city and its surroundings.
Interested in other places to visit in Hungary? Check out my other Hungary posts!
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