Debrecen: A Closer Look

With approximately 208,000 inhabitants Debrecen is the second biggest city in Hungary after Budapest. Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the capital of Hajdú-Bihar county.

Debrecen is always worth a trip. A large number of the main attractions and sights are to be found at the northerly end of the Piac Utca (Piac Street), inter alia the Neo-classical Protestant Great Church.
Further leading tourist attractions are located within the Nagyerdei Park, where one can enjoy boating on the lake and a stroll along the various trails, before cooling off at the Aquaticum water park. Nagyerdei Park also features its very own zoo and theme park, featuring a range of family orientated fairground rides.



The Protestant Great Church in the city of Debrecen

Protestant Great Church (Nagytemplom)
Address: Piac Utca, Debrecen, Hungary, HU
Tel: +36 52 412 694
Admission: charge, discounts for children
The Protestant Great Church dominates much of the Piac Utca and the adjacent Kossuth Tér (Kossuth Square), with its bright yellow facade and famous twin clock towers, which have become a much-loved symbol of the city. It is the largest Protestant church, not only in Debrecen, but in the whole of Hungary, accommodating around 3,000 people. The Great Church is home to an enormous bell named the Rákóczi. Visitors can explore the interior of the church and also climb up one of the towers, see the Rákóczi and enjoy the spectacular view over the city.

City Park and Aquaticum (Nagyerdei Park)
Address: Fancsika, Debrecen, Hungary, HU
Tel: +36 52 514 100
Admission: free, charge for some attractions
Nagyerdei Park covers more than 2,185 hectares and is filled with attractions for tourists, being at its very best during the warm summer months. The main attraction is the Aquaticum water park complex, where endless curving water slides and waterfalls provide a great way to cool down. There is a selection of swimming pools, both indoors and outside, suitable for all ages. Other attractions within the vast park include the Vidámpark Amusement Park and its fairground rides, the animals at Állatkert Zoo, the Mujégpálya ice-skating rink, and the DVSC Stadium, where local football teams regularly compete. The Kossuth Lajos University, one of the biggest universities of the region, is situated at the Egyetem Tér (Egyetem Square) close to Nagyerdei Park.

The main building of the Reformed College

Reformed College (Református Kollégium)
Address: Kálvin Tér, Debrecen, Hungary, HU
Tel: +36 52 414 744
Directly North of the Protestant Great Church and still within central Debrecen visitors will encounter the Reformed College, which was constructed in 1816, although this actual site has been used by schools and colleges since the Middle Ages. The lower floor contains many interesting exhibits related to religious art and includes a chalice made in the 17th century, crafted from nothing more than a coconut. Upstairs is a large library containing over 600,000 books, along with a small white oratory (chapel), used for private worship.

Address: Nagy Gál István Utca 6, Debrecen, Hungary, HU
Tel: +36 52 321 260
Admission: free
Outside of central Debrecen, the Timárház is a popular folk-craft attraction, where local Hungarian woodworkers, carvers, embroiders and basket makers can all be observed at work. Various workshops take place throughout the day, and all of the handicrafts produced here can be purchased in the gift shop. The lively flea market along the Vágóhid Utca (Vágóhid Street), may also be of interest. It features market traders not only from Hungary, but also from Poland, Romania and the Ukraine.

Puszta Forest (Erdospuszta)
Address: Fancsika Utca 93a, Debrecen, Hungary, HU
Admission: free
Located just a short distance south-east of the city centre, the Puszta Forest is a protected green area, filled with pine trees, heavily wooded areas of acacias, walking trails, picnic spots and similar attractions. The very heart of the Puszta Forest is known as the 'Bánk', featuring an impressive arboretum with trees from all over the world. Close to Bánk is the Vekeri Lake, where boats are available for hire.



Hotel Lycium ****
The air-conditioned hotel offers 88 non-smoking double rooms and four apartments, a total capacity for 192 persons, with all the related furnishing, facilities and service standards perfectly designed for the needs of business travellers. The rooms have been provided with specially designed internal terraces.

Aquaticum Debrecen Thermal and Wellness Hotel****
The four-star hotel is situated in the heart of the Great Forest of Debrecen, in the Aquaticum Medical and Bathing Centre. Thermal baths, outdoor pools, the indoor Mediterranean Pleasure Baths, a medical department, a wellness island, a Thai massage centre, a dental centre and restaurants serving Hungarian specialties offer complex services to the hotel guests.

Hotel Platán ****
Hotel Platán is located in the quite garden suburb of Debrecen in the neighbourhood of the international airport. It is easy to approach by car via main road 47. It offers 34 comfortable and air-conditioned rooms.



Krúdy Restaurant
Address: 4032 Debrecen, Medgyessy Street 4

Belgian Beer Café and Restaurant
Address: 4025 Debrecen, Piac Street 29

Viktória Restaurant
Address: 4032 Debrecen, Oláh Gábor Street 3.

The Venues

Hodos Imre Sports Hall

Address: Kassai Str. 32-34, 4032 Debrecen, HUN
Capacity: 2,000


Olah Gabor Sports Hall

Address: Olah Gabor Str 5, 4032 Debrecen, HUN
Capacity: 1,500



Sports History Of The Area

Debrecen is the second Hungarian city to have hosted the final of a European basketball club competition. In 1986, Budapest organized the final of the FIBA European Champions Cup. This year, it was Debrecen's turn, as the EuroChallenge Final Four took place in Fönix Hall. Szolnoki Olaj KK, Elan Chalon, Besiktas Milangaz and Triumph Lyubertsy battled for the title, with Besiktas being crowned champions. 

Debrecen's men's basketball team plays in the Hungarian first league, while the women's team competes in the second division. The basketball teams of the University of Debrecen take part in the second divisions. Around 1,500 people play basketball on several levels and age groups. 

The city is also home to a professional handball and waterpolo team. 

The most famous and renowned club is the football club, Debreceni VSC. The club has been dominant in Hungary in recent years, winning the national championship in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. The Stadium, which seats more than 10,000 fans, is located in Oláh Gábor Street, in the City Park (Nagyerdő). There are currently plans for a new large stadium to be built in the city, which will serve as Debreceni VSC's home ground.

Apart from the EuroChallenge Final Four, Debrecen has hosted several international sporting events in recent years, such as the second World Youth Championships in Athletics in July 2001 and the first IAAF World Road Running Championships in October 2006. The World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 2002, the 2007 European Swimming Championships and the 19th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship (October 2010) also took place in Debrecen. In 2012, the city played host to the the 31st European Swimming Championship.

Debrecen: Getting There And Around

By Car
The region of Hajdúság and its centre Debrecen can be reached on public roads no. 4, 33, 35, 47, 48, 471 or on highway M3 and through its direct connection on M35. Coming from Budapest, visitors can get to Debrecen in two or two and a half hours by car.

By Train
The area of Hajdúság can be reached via the main railway line no. 100 Budapest-Szolnok-Debrecen-Nyíregyháza-Záhony. Debrecen is one of the best supplied railway junctions in Hungary. There are eight railway lines connecting the county capital Debrecen with the towns in the county. Five of these lines provide connections towards the neighbouring countries.

By Plane
The International Airport of Debrecen is situated five kilometres from the city centre along the main road no. 47 south of the city. It offers a limited number of flights to European destinations such as London, Antalya or Burgas, Bulgaria. Visitors traveling via Budapest's Ferenc Liszt International Airport can reach Debrecen and its area by train or transfer coaches. Local transport in the city consists of buses, trolleybuses and trams.

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