Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial and transportation centre. With almost two million inhabitants, Budapest is the biggest and most densely-populated town in the country. One in every five Hungarian citizens lives in Budapest, and over half of the nation’s GDP is generated here. Half of Hungary’s university students study in the capital, and the majority of professors work here too, while the proportion of researchers working in Budapest is even higher.
The town itself stretches along the banks of the Danube, which divides the city into two parts: Buda, dominated by hills and slopes, and the much flatter Pest.
After Budapest, Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary with a population of 200,000. It is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the seat of Hajdú-Bihar county. The city has preserved its ancient mercantile character and also has a rich cultural life.
The symbol of Debrecen is the Great Church, built in classicist style, which is unique in the country. A flower carnival takes place in the city every year on 20 August.
Debrecen is home to the University of Debrecen, whose main building is a widely-praised piece of architecture. The university has many departments and is a major research centre in Europe.
Miskolc is a town situated in north-east Hungary, and is mostly known for its heavy industry. With a population close to 190,000, Miskolc is the third largest town in Hungary. It is also the seat of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county and the regional centre of the Northern Hungary region.
Miskolc is not a very historic city, but by the 19th century it had become an important commercial centre due to its geographical location. Later, with the industrialization of the country, Miskolc became an industrial centre thanks to the coal and ore mines nearby.
The University of Miskolc is a relatively young higher education institution, founded in 1949. Built in the style of the American campus model, it is surrounded by a large park and various sports facilities.
Szeged is the fourth largest town in Hungary, with a population of 175,000. It is the regional centre of South-Eastern Hungary and the seat of Csongrád county. Szeged and its area have been inhabited since ancient times.
The city’s most impressive monument is the Cathedral, which is located in the town centre. Every summer the square in front of the Cathedral transforms into a huge open-air theatre to host the Szeged Open-Air Festival.
Szeged is the sunniest town in the country, with the highest amount of annual sunshine. The charming warm weather is great for excursions to the town of Kecskemét, the Kiskunság National Park or the National Historical Memorial Park of Ópusztaszer.
The University of Szeged was founded in 1872. At present it consists of 12 faculties, where you can study almost everything, ranging from humanities to business studies or health sciences.
Pécs is located in the south-west of the country. It is the administrative and economic centre of Baranya county. The town lies on the southern slopes of the Mecsek Hills, and has a moderate, almost Mediterranean climate. When western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire, the Romans founded several wine-producing colonies here.
Pécs has a rich cultural life, hosts a wide variety of galleries and museums, and boasts numerous historical buildings such as the Basilica of Pécs, constructed in the 11th century. Several Turkish buildings dating back to the age of the Ottoman Empire (16th and 17th centuries) give the city a multicultural atmosphere.
The town of Pécs was selected as one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2010.
The University of Pécs was founded in 1367, making it the oldest university in Hungary. It now ranks among the top European universities. It has 10 faculties and offers a wide range of courses, covering nearly every possible field of study.
Győr is located in the north-western part of Hungary. The seat of Győr-Moson-Sopron county is located on one of the most important roads of Central Europe, halfway between Budapest and Vienna.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. Győr has an enchanting town centre and is abundant in beautiful baroque buildings. The oldest part of the town is Káptalan Hill at the confluence of the Danube, Rába and Rábca rivers. Today, Győr is one of the most important administrative and cultural centres of Hungary. The city is also a university town and a popular tourist destination.