Explore the beauty of Szentendre
Just 19 kilometers away from Budapest lies the little village of Szentendre. This picturesque and aged town is nestled on the banks of the Danube and many visitors come here every year to enjoy its architecture, artistic culture and its beautiful surrounds. Being only a 30-40 minute train ride from Budapest, it makes for the perfect day trip out of the city.
One of the first things that will likely strike you as you enter this beautiful village is the 18th and 19th century layout and buildings. The architecture is mostly Mediterranean as it did not develop quite as rapidly as other cities due to floods and crop diseases which devastated the town around that time. In fact, these natural disasters resulted in large amounts of the original Serb population leaving the city for good. Some time afterwards in the 1920's, this seemingly stuck-in-time little village was discovered by artists who made use of its uniqueness to provide them with inspiration for their masterpieces. Slowly, the town transformed from a dormant little village into a thriving emporium of art and sculpture.
As you walk through the streets of Szentendre, you will find that many of the homes which once belonged to wealthy merchants have been converted into museums. There are also many Greek Orthodox churches which are still functioning and which can be visited during the day. In the city center, you will find homes that have been converted into famed restaurants or cozy cafes. Art galleries abound here, and you can either visit a few displaying the works of various artists or you can organize trips to various studios. The Marzipan Museum takes the art of food to a whole new level. It boasts impressive displays of intricately molded and pressed marzipan which are locked up in display cases. However, samples can be found at the confectionery next door.
Also worth seeing is the Open-air Museum or Skanzen. Dedicated to the development of architecture from all regions, many buildings are dismantled, brought to the park and re-assembled here. Inside, you'll find fully furnished rooms and displays which are time-period appropriate. Amongst all this you will also find museum experts reviving the life once lived by the people of the time. This is the largest museum of its type in Hungary.
If you'd like to take in some of the beautiful surrounds, you might choose to go on a hike to the Pilis Mountains or venture to the forested hills of the Duna-Ipoly National Park. If you are lucky you might spot the Rose of Szentendre, and Ice-Age plant species which is indigenous to the area. A walk along the Danube with a stop at one of the many pleasant cafes is also quite enjoyable. All in all, the pleasant weather, beautiful landscape and charming buildings are a great way to spend some holiday time.