We are happy to welcome you in Hungary’s second largest city and wish you a very good time here! Debrecen offers a rich variety of sights and programmes to its visitors who can feel the bustling life of the early 1900s and the atmosphere of a 21st-century dynamic city at the same time. 

Today Debrecen is a steadily developing centre of Eastern Hungary. Its international airport connects the city with several European destinations, and it is only a two-hour drive from the capital, Budapest. 

What do you need to enjoy life in a 21st-century city? Attractive sights to see, modern shopping malls, exciting cultural and sporting events, for sure. But you also need activities that offer holiday experiences without compromise. Debrecen is by no means lacking in activities of this kind. Trendy cafés and bistros are proliferating, the popularity of street food is on the rise, countless cozy terraces and other special venues are getting ready to take visitors. Your leisurely stroll in downtown Debrecen – dubbed “promenade” by locals – will be punctuated by shady green piazzas and refreshing fountains. The slightly eclectic arrangement of architectural styles as well as the streets and alleys, each hiding its very own story, will set up an enchanting atmosphere. What is also important is that Debrecen’s modern public transport including buses and trams makes it easy for the tourists to get to any place at any time. 

Cult Places

The city’s cultural life is very diverse, you can’t get bored in Debrecen. You can find various forms of entertainment and recreation: classical music concerts, theatre and puppet theatre performances, exhibitions and a whole range of open-air events of gastronomy and sports.

Hal köz

The open-air theatre, the Stadium and the Frog Pond in the Big Forest (Nagyerdő) area are very popular places. In the old water tower turned into an entertainment centre the more daring visitors can try indoor climbing while in addition to the dazzling night-time shows you can also enjoy the spectacle of the nearby mist theatre. The nearby zoo houses exotic beasts from each continent along with species which are indigenous to the Carpathian Basin.

Water Tower

We should not forget about MODEM, the internationally known centre of modern art located in the heart of the city. It houses the Antal-Lusztig Collection—one of the most prestigious private collections in Hungary. 

Our Living Cultural Heritage

It may take only a couple of hours to walk through historic downtown, Debrecen’s beating heart, but the attentive sightseer will find a breathtaking amount of historical-cultural nuggets in every single square meter. It is not accidental that Debrecen’s citizens are proud of their city. The first written record of the name of the settlement goes back to the 13th century. In 1361, more than 650 years ago, it was granted the status of a town. Debrecen had soon became known for its famous fairs and schools all over the continent.

The tower of the city’s well-known symbol, the Reformed Big Church, offers a great panorama. The Church with a Truncated Tower, the 150-year-old Csokonai Theatre or the Saint Ann Cathedral are also worth a visit, just as the Reformed College which has been continuously operating since 1538 and has been immortalized in a great number of poems, short stories and novels as well as in a popular musical entitled Légy jó mindhalálig [Be Faithful Unto Death]. You can find a whole treasure trove of collections in the Big Library & Museum of Debrecen Reformed College. The library contains many specimens which are considered worldwide rarities. The museum stores nearly 17,000 artifacts. Especially unique is the exhibit displaying the amazing riches of Hungarian goldsmith’s trade and embroidery. The Déri Museum also belongs to the most outstanding part of Debrecen’s cultural and intellectual heritage. Its present-day material is based on a collection of nearly 30,000 artifacts of ethnographic importance, the result of the special interest and laborious work of the Déri Brothers of Jewish origin.

Debrecen Reformed College


A visit to a new place is invariably seasoned to perfection with local culinary specialties. Your gastro-adventure might only start with a choice morsel from a tasting menu, but you will never forget the peculiar spicy character of traditional dishes from the Hajdúság region, no matter if they are served from sooty stew pots, or the more exquisite crockery of fine-dining restaurants.

Debrecen is one of those very rare cities whose names are associated with a unique flavor. The famous “Debrecen double sausage” is so tasty that it makes perfect sense to serve two in a single portion. Although “Debreziner” features on the menus of countless eateries around the world, the real deal (pleasantly juicy and crunchy) can only be found in the town of its origin. “Debrecen double” is cooked in four, among other things kosher, varieties. You should not miss the opportunity to taste it!

Debrecen double sausage

But the veritable cornucopia of flavors does not end here. Grab a plate of jazzed-up traditional classics or artisanal delicacies based on locally sourced ingredients at the stalls of the city’s various culinary events.

We Are Debrecen!

The past years have witnessed major investment projects realized in the city. A new tram line has been added to the public-transport system. A modern sports arena has been built with a seating capacity of 20,000. Nagyerdei Park has been relandscaped along with other major municipal spaces. Another popular place is the Kölcsey Cultural Centre offering a wide range of cultural programmes and conferences. The new network of 80 km of bike trails has provided locals as well as tourists with a viable green alternative of getting around. 

Absolutely Debrecen

The 65 oC medicinal water of the completely reconstructed Thermal Bath is suitable for the treatment of several kinds of illnesses. As part of the whole complex, the indoor Mediterranean Adventure Bath whose lush vegetation invokes images of tropical summers no matter what season it is provides recreation and fun for every generation.

The Paths of Faith

Many tourists find it essential to visit churches and places of worship. Those who wish to visit not only museums and historic places but also desire spiritual satisfaction can take a memorable trip in the world of Debrecen’s religious life. 

Many things tell stories about this segment of the past in the city earlier called the “Calvinist Rome”. Debrecen’s yellow two-steepled symbol, the Big Church where you can see Kossuth’s chair is a witness of historic times. The 200-year-old lycium tree—a particularly high-grown box-thorn—is a botanical rarity and a significant relic of church history. The Kálvin Square Memorial Garden and the famous Reformed College relate their stories about the struggles of the Reformation to those interested. 

Faith and religion have always had special significance. At the end of the 12th century the area of what is today Debrecen was occupied by villages with their own churches. In the Middle Ages the town was Catholic with the biggest church of the Great Plains, St Andrew’s Gothic church standing at the place of today’s Big Church. From the 16th century Debrecen’s religious life was dominated first by the Lutheran and later by the Calvinist Reformation. In 1551 the aldermen of the town prohibited the settlement of Catholics, and, therefore, Franciscans could return to Debrecen only 300 years ago—in 1715. The Jewish Congregation was established in 1852 while Greek Catholics started to settle down in Debrecen at the beginning of the 20th century. 

Today, the city has several denominations with their own communities including Evangelicals, Unitarians, Baptists and even the Faith Church in addition to the ones mentioned above. They live in peace side by side which is one of the reasons why Debrecen is considered to be a spiritual centre. Besides the Reformed and Roman Catholic Episcopal Residencies, the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Residence and one of the largest Jewish Comminities are located in the city.  

Feeling Festive?

The city’s cultural and sporting events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors year in, year out. The most prestigious and largest-scale among them is the annual Flower Parade, which has a history of more than one hundred years. The week-long extravaganza traditionally starts on August 15 as a celebration of music, dance and flowers and culminates in a lively street party complete with fireworks. 

Flower Parade

The biennial Béla Bartók International Choir Competition and Folklore Festival is truly world-famous but the Military Brass Band Festival is also of great reputation. One of the region’s biggest outdoor summer bashes, Campus Festival displays the cream of the Hungarian music scene as well as overseas bands. Not only is it a boisterous jamboree of concerts but also a youthful celebration of humour, sports, literature, film, theatre as well as civil societies.

Several gastronomy festivals listed in Debrecen’s event calendar are ranked among Hungary’s most prestigious events of this nature. To mention just two: Debrecen Wine and Jazz Days and Debreczeni Zamat Street & Classic Food Festival

Akik a legújabb trendeket kedvelik, azoknak sem kell sokáig keresgélniük a városban. A nemzetközileg magyar sajátosságként ismert, különleges kialakítású romkocsma intézményével Debrecen belvárosában is találkozhatunk. A Roncsbár mellett több jó hangulatú, modern hely van, ahol órákon át lehet beszélgetni vagy akár táncolni, és ahova érdemes lesz újra és újra visszatérni.

E-nnovation, Inno-Nation

Everybody knows Vitamin C, Rubik’s Cube, and Laszlo Biro’s ballpoint pen. But Hungary has a lot more surprises in store due to the fact that the country’s best innovators have given their names to countless internationally renowned technological developments. Debrecen holds a very visible place in the ranks of the world’s innovative cities. 

Given the steep upward economic trajectory it has shown for over one and a half decades, it is rightfully called one of Hungary’s leading business centres, a vibrant hub of knowledge and innovation. Boasting no fewer than 14 faculties, the University of Debrecen is one of the nation’s five research universities. The most promising fields of research it excels in include the healthcare industry, IT, electronics, agriculture and the development of functional foods.

It is not only in the food or pharmaceutical industries, though, where outstanding achievements have been made. Physics is definitely a case in point. Debrecen-based scientists have been working in close cooperation with major European and other overseas research centres in the fields of particle and nuclear physics.

Industries creating high added value have traditionally felt at home in Debrecen. Major multinationals such as National Instruments (U.S.), TEVA Pharmaceuticals, British Telecom, and T-Systems have all transplanted substantial assets into the city. BMW has also announced to build a new plant in Debrecen.

Thanks to its outstanding English-language programmes UD is the undisputed market leader in Hungary’s higher-education sector as for the size of its international student population. Almost 4,000 students representing some 100 nations from all corners of the globe pursue their studies in Debrecen. 

Competitions, Medals, Champions

If you like sports, you should come to Debrecen. Debrecen’s sporting scene is full of breathtakingly diverse events. Several Debrecen representatives of various sports have achieved excellent results in European and world championships. The city’s popular team, DVSC, or Loki, as it is better known by locals, is a seven-time National Soccer Champion

The world's very best representatives of various sports have proved their mettle on land, in water and air in more than 40 major international meets. Such high-prestige events have included the 2002 World Gymnastics Championships, the 2007 European Short Course Swimming Championships and the 2014 European Women’s Handball Championships.

Nearly 3,000 overseas athletes visit the city’s training camps every year which are perfectly accommodated in state-of-the-art sports facilities. Inaugurated in 2014 as one of Hungary’s most modern sports arenas, Nagyerdei Stadium promises to become a fantastic venue of sporting competitions as well as of other events of cultural interest.

“Tour de Region”

If you come to Debrecen, it is not only the often-mentioned Big Forest or the evocative downtown that you can spend and enjoy your time. Visitors can really have fun in Debrecen! They can go sightseeing, taste our cuisine, chill out, recharge their butteries and get enriched by the float of experience.

Your Debrecen sightseeing tour may well yield other unforgettable experiences if you use the city as a launching pad for further outings. Countless uniquely special tourist attractions are on offer in the other settlements in Hajdú-Bihar County, including more than two hundred national monuments.

Located only a few kilometers away, the seemingly endless prairie of Hortobágy Puszta is not only world-famous for its extremely diverse bird population. Check out the natural wonders of Central Europe’s largest grassland with expert help from the staff of the visitor centre and explore this pristine land on foot, horse-drawn carriage, or four-by-four safari. A UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Cultural Landscape category, Hortobágy was awarded the prestigious title for the preservation of its rich herdsman traditions. 

Hortobágy Puszta

You need to venture only a little farther to visit two other World Heritage Sites, the Tokaj wine region and the caves of the Aggtelek Karst.

A debreceni városlátogatást további élményekkel lehet meghosszabbítani. Hajdú-Bihar megye települései egyedi és értékes látnivalót kínálnak a turisták számára: területükön több mint kétszáz országosan védett műemlék található.

Located a mere 20 km from Debrecen, Hajdúszoboszló boasts Europe’s largest spa complex. Less than an hour’s drive will take you to the Nyíregyháza Zoo, one of the nation’s most popular establishments of this kind.

The early-summer “blooming” of the “Blonde” Tisza is the most amazing natural wonder of the river’s valley. Special tours are organized every year to take visitors to the best places where they can observe mayflies appear en masse to consummate their ephemeral love life over the surface of the water. A wide range of outdoor activities are available in the region of Lake Tisza reservoir. Adventurous nature lovers can take boat or canoe trips to explore the lake’s bird reserve. The nearby town of Tiszafüred offers an abundance of cultural programmes, handicraft displays, and culinary festivals, which makes it one of the trendiest places in the neighborhood.

Let’s meet in Debrecen!