I really like Hungary and I’ve been there many times. Many people go to beautiful Budapest and stay just there. But this Central European country has much more to offer. Today I would like to write about one of the national symbols and most interesting places to visit in Hungary, – Hortobágy National Park.
Getting to Hortobágy
To see it you should first get there, right? As Hortobágy National Park is quite big, to get the best of it head to the village also named Hortobágy. Here’s the map:
It is near Debrecen (the 2nd biggest city in Hungary) and approximately 190 km. from Budapest.
The best option of getting to Hortobágy would be taking a train from Budapest.
You can get there from Budapest with 1 change.
Price: starting from 3.915 ft (12 EUR)
For schedules and online booking go to: http://elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/x/index?language=2
Facts about Hortobágy:
- largest continuous natural grassland in Europe
- UNESCO included
- also called Puszta and is an exceptional surviving example of a cultural landscape constituted by a pastoral society
- home to more than 342 bird species
- national symbol of Hungary
This year I finally got a chance to visit Hortobágy and that was really a delightful experience.
I took a bus from Debrecen and went straight to the village of Hortobágy. Upon getting out of the bus that was the view I saw:
This National Park is a big big wetland and such scenery is really a stunning one. Gives you some fresh air and natural relaxation after the pollution and constant noise of the big city.
City of Hortobágy is really small and there is not much of things to do. But the trip to this National Park is the attraction in itself. You slowly travel through the deserted wetland surrounded by nature. If you’re going by train it is like taking some kind of Central European safari – you can see different kind of birds from your window, sometimes a lonely deer would run somewhere in the distance. It is really a peaceful and relaxing experience.
One of the iconic highlights of the park is the Nine Holed Bridge (Kilenclyukú híd if you wondered about Hungarian translation):
This Arch bridge is the longest road stone bridge in historic Hungary prior to 1921 when Hungary was reduced to one third of its former territory. The bridge was built between 1827 and 1833 in a Classical style.
It is a pleasant detail to the overall picture of National Park. Also it is a symbol and you should take symbols seriously.
What I really recommend you to do is to visit the Pusztai Állatpark (Hortobágy Zoo). Now that is a really fun experience! I absolutely loved the variety of animals presented there and it felt more like a walk around somebody’s farm than a zoo.
And there was this cow:
Look at its eyes: they are human eyes and they staring at you and silently judging you for not getting a proper job/making wrong choices in life/not leaving a tip at the restaurant… These eyes can judge for many reasons. And this cow is amazing! And it is definitely a highlight of Hortobágy National Park.
At the zoo you can also see the symbol of Hortobágy itself, the T-shaped sweep well:
It’s looks mysterious and evokes the rich history of Hungarian agriculture on these wetlands.
So that’s how I spend my time in Hortobágy. And I can say it is definitely one of the most interesting places to visit in Hungary.
If you want to visit zoo, here’s their website: http://www.pusztaiallatpark.hu/hu/nyitva-tartas/ (the price of the ticket is 600 ft (2 EUR))
If you want to eat super traditional Hungarian meals in super traditional Hungarian atmosphere check Hortobágyi Csárda.
If you you want some other touristic Hortobágy experiences check here.
Thank you for reading!
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Great stuff 🙂 Thank you for writing it.
Thank you very much!