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Debrecen is the "capital city of the Great Hungarian Plain", and the county seat and largest city of Hajdú-Bihar county in eastern Hungary. It is the second largest city in the country with about 200,000 inhabitants and historically the most important city in Hungarian Protestantism.
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Points of Interest in Debrecen
Despite being the second largest city in the country, Debrecen has very few attractions to show for it. The Nagytemplom is a must see and easily accessible. As for museums, the Déri Museum is definitely worth a trip, but all the others really depend on how much Hungarian art interests you. Most of the major attractions are in the city park, or Nagyerdő, where you could easily spend a pleasant afternoon.
Places of Worship
- Nagytemplom (Great Church) on Kossuth tér is Debrecen's most recognizable building and a symbol of the city. It is the centerpiece of what was once called "Calvanist Rome." Visitors can tour the interior, as well as go up in the tower to see the Rákóczi bell, the largest bell in Hungary, and excellent views of the city.
- Déri Museum. On Déri tér 1. (right behind the Great Church, take tram #1) is a place to see. It's a national museum with all kinds of arts. There is a nature display showing the animal life of the region, another collection featuring historical items from the region, and an art gallery featuring works from Hungarian artists. It's most famous work is Hungarian Mihály Munkácsy's Christ trilogy, three large paintings depicting Christ before Pilate, the Crucifixion, and Ecce Homo!
- Ferenc Medgyessy Memorial Museum. On Péterfia u. 28. (just behind the Debrecen Plaza and most easily reached by tram #1) displays the works and life of the artist.
- László Holló Memorial Museum. On Holló László sétány 8. (located in Tócóskert, take bus #19) is housed on a one-acre park featuring a cottage housing the artist's works and a statue garden.
- Delizsánsz Kiállítóterem - Postamúzeum (Post Museum). On Múzeum u. 3. (across the square from the Déri Museum in the main post office).
- Debreceni Irodalmi Múzeum (Debrecen Literary Museum). On Borsos József tér 1. (just north of the downtown, take bus #12, 15, 31 or 32) has a permanent exhibit from the 1890 Csokonai literary circle. It also houses occasional temporary exhibits.
- Kölcsey Központ (Modem). A recently built modern centre for high-profile art exhibitions and musical/theatrical performances.
They used to say "who in their sane mind would build a city in the middle of nowhere where there are no mountains, forests, water or roads?". Still, the answer is a mystery, but Debrecen is the second (or third, depends on the census) largest city of Hungary.
It used to be Europe's largest Calvinist city (was called "The Calvinist Rome"), and the Grand Church (Nagytemplom) is a reminder of the city's heritage.
Debrecen also has a university with all kinds of science areas. It has about 25000 students. The main building at the Nagyerdő is beautiful.
- Nagyerdő - The City Park just north of the downtown is the 2280 hectare city park which offers fine walks as well as several opportunities for fun and entertainment.
- Vidámpark (Amusement Park) on Ady Endre út 1. is not as large or impressive as the park in Budapest, but nevertheless boasts to be the largest such park this side of the Tisza. There are 15 rides including a fantasy castle, ferris wheel, and a children's railroad.
- Állatkert (Zoo) on Ady Endre út, together with the Vidámpark forms the Culture Park.
- Aquaticum. On Nagyerdei Park 1 is the major resort of the town. It features a water park, public pool, bath house, hotel, and restaurants.
- Műjégpálya (Skating Rink)
- DVSC Stadium. Is where the local soccer team plays (nicknamed "Loki"). They most recently won the Hungarian championship in 2005 and 2006.
- Kossuth Lajos University. On Egyetem tér, just west of the park, is one of the largest universities in the region and good for a stroll, or for taking Hungarian language classes in the summer.
- Flower Carnival (Virágkarnevál): 20 August, every year there's a whole day of celebrating the summer and national holidays, with moving pictures or statues mad of flowers, and lots of other mardi gras.
- Military Band Festival (Katonazenekari fesztivál)
Termal bath with hot spring water is obligatory to visit. It is open all year.
Avoid everything in Kálvin tér (the square on the right of the Great Church, in the middle of the circle of houses), They emphasize style over flavour. Near the Great Church is where you can find nice cafes.
Cafe Melange, Egyetem sugárút 56, is a very fine restaurant with amazing decor.
Palma is a nice restaurant near the University offering a variety of European cuisines.
Csokonai restaurant, main steak house of Hungarian style, on Kossuth street, right in front of Csokonai Szinház (opera house).
Flaska restaurant by the Apollo movie theatre has nice Hungarian dishes. For desert, head to the Mandula cukrászda (one of the best bakery in town) near Ember Pál street.
There are three Indian restaurants:
Kashmir, Indian restaurant, is not too bad if you've never had Indian food before. For those who have, do not have high expectations, and be prepared to be paying over the odds for food which all seems to taste the same.
Govinda, is a Vegetarian restaurant and is the closest you can get in the city to home made Indian cuisine. However, it is only open for lunch.
Sawadee is a restaurant serving both Indian and Thai cuisine. It is a takeaway restaurant.
- Calico Jack Pub and Palma sorozo are very popular with people visiting the town on business.
- Bárka. In the cellar of the Town hall on main square is good for those who like rock, table football and dancing.
- Roncs. Wreck pub at Csapó Street is nice for a drink. Really cool place.
- Around Hal köz (Old fish market) near the main square you can find good places.
Exchanging money can be cheaper here than in Budapest.
- Debrecen Plaza. Just north of the city centre and easily reached by tram #1 is a small shopping mall. There is, however, a multiplex movie theater, supermarket, arcade, and food court with McDonald's.
- Forum shopping mall. A newer mall just a block east of Debrecen Plaza. It also has a food court and many stores - being larger and more diverse than Debrecen Plaza.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Debrecen on Wikivoyage.