Conventions

Pécs region for Families - 5 days



How long it takes?
5 Days
Best vehicle choice for this plan:
bicycle
bus
car
This region is famous for:
World Heritage Sites
Museums and exhibitions
Natural values
Hiking
Zoos
Pécs region
Families
Day 1
The sightseeing Dotto train

If you prefer to take your tours with a ‘professional’, just hop on to the little sightseeing train on wheels and listen carefully. The Dotto train is genuinely local and may even know things that people from Pécs may not be aware of. It takes you around Pécs in 50 minutes, and during your journey you’ll meet many smiling and waving locals, as well as covering a large part of the town: the tour starts on the main square and runs up to the Zsolnay Quarter through the narrow streets so typical of Pécs, and some busy roads as well. If you are lucky enough, the driver will even ‘drift’ the train to entertain young passengers. The train on wheels operates every day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and leaves on the hour every hour from right in front of the Nagy Lajos Secondary Grammar School, returning to the same place. The terminus could not be in a better place, since from here you can start your trip around Pécs and discover the city’s World Heritage relics. As you pass through Káptalan utca, you will see one of the favourite sights of the people of Pécs, the first padlock fence in the country. There are only legends about how it came into being in Pécs and no-one knows anything for sure, but what we do know is that every local youngster and their love put a padlock on the fence. End the day with a visit to the Cella Septichora Visitor Centre, which is not far from here. The ancient tombs, which are protected as World Heritage sites, are one of the most important places in Pécs. Don’t worry if the city tour lasts into the night: the Cella Septichora Visitor Centre offers exciting night-time guided tours that the kids will love.

World Heritage relics of the City

As you pass through Káptalan utca, you will see one of the favourite sights of the people of Pécs, the first padlock fence in the country. There are only legends about how it came into being in Pécs and no-one knows anything for sure, but what we do know is that every local youngster and their love put a padlock on the fence. The Cella Septichora Visitor Centre is not far from here. The ancient tombs, which are protected as World Heritage sites, are one of the most important places in Pécs. You are advised to book a guided tour in advance, so that you can learn more secrets about the relics of Pécs.

The Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul

And while on the topic of interesting buildings, we should also mention one of the symbols of Pécs, the Cathedral. When you arrive at Dóm tér, take a moment to appreciate the four-towered symbol of Pécs: the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul. Few people know that you can climb up into the lookout tower of the Cathedral – not on your own though, but as part of a guided tour. The view is simply unforgettable. If you can tear yourselves away from the enchanting building, walk down the stairs into the secret Bishop’s Cellar. Legend has it that if Bishop József Cserháti had something secretive to discuss, he invited his confidants to the ‘Texas bar’, which meant the cellar that they accessed through a tunnel. During the era of the party state, this was the place to where they retreated from the palace full of bugs, and where they could discuss issues concealed from the state administration. The passage opens into the garden of the Bishop’s Palace, and you are advised to book your place for the guided tour in advance.

Day 2
The Zsolnay Quarter

The best place to exploring the Cultural Capital is the ‘miniature town’, built on the site of what was once the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory, in the Zsolnay Quarter, the cultural centre of Pécs. The Quarter is paradise for families, because it has so many fun attractions that children will enjoy just as much as the grown-ups. Take a pleasant walk through the street dedicated to shops selling handmade products, then briefly stop at the Bóbita Puppet Theatre. The puppet theatre, which is almost 60 years old, offers exciting and unique shows, but you can also take part in one of the puppet-making workshops. There is a café in the building, where you can sit down and rest before continuing an exciting day. Then head to the planetarium and on the way, try the fun outdoor toys. The very first optical planetarium of the country takes you on a journey through time and helps you discover the universe. And there is more to see here for kids who are interested in the sciences. Check out the most super-awesome physics class in the entire Quarter and experiment with sounds, collisions and liquid nitrogen. Once you have had your fun in the Quarter, head for the town centre.

The Pécs Zoo

The second half of the day promises just as much as the first. We are off to Pécs Zoo, where fun is guaranteed for everyone from the little ones to grown-ups. If you have a baby and use a pram or a pushchair, just follow the specially designed obstacle-free route around the zoo, or if you want to, you can even rent a baby carrier at the entrance. Keep your eyes open when you get to the mantled guereza house, since a snow white baby was recently born to one of the mothers in the Pécs group. The llama herd also has a new member, a dark black crias born to multi-coloured parents. Even if you miss one of the guided tours through the zoo, there are plenty of information boards that will make your visit a truly exciting and interesting experience. After a long walk around the zoo, enjoy a fine meal at the on-site restaurant, which also has a baby changing room and a souvenir shop.

Day 3
The Abaliget Dripstone Cave

If you are planning on spending several days in one of the most beautiful cities in Hungary, perhaps it’s time to make your way outside. After all, the region hides a thousand secret treasures of its own. If you packed your hiking boots, then you should head to the forest. The winding hiking routes of Mecsek attract thousands of walkers every year. It’s no wonder, since the flora and fauna of the region is unique, so much so that it even fascinated famous Hungarian nature-goer Pál Rockenbauer. This is why the South Transdanubian Blue Trail – which cuts right through the Mecsek Mountains, leading you straight to the most beautiful natural sights of the Baranya region – was named after him. The trail also includes the Abaliget Dripstone Cave, which is one of the most interesting sights of the region, at almost 500 metres long. There is also a legend about the healing cave and stream, according to which the people of Abaliget hid in the cave when the Ottoman army roamed the land, but the Ottomans found the hideout and tried to smoke the locals out. They did not succeed, because the people of Abaliget were a smart lot and found an exit in the back of the cave, and once they were out, they attacked the enemy from behind.

Lake Orfű and Waterpark

After the dark depths of the cave, the best place to go to is Lake Pécs. In truth, the lake is related to Pécs in name only: it is actually located near Orfű. It is also the location of one of the most fun Hungarian festivals, Fishing on Orfű, but at all other times in the year, it is exceptionally quiet and still. If you smell the tantalising scent of freshly baked bread, that can only be coming from the Orfű Mill Museum. While you are here, you can learn about the history of milling, starting from ancient times when they used the saddle querns, right up to modern grinding technology. The guided tour of the mill will give you a chance to see how the paper mills, the horse-driven dry mills and the grain-grinding watermills worked. You should also walk along the Vízfő educational trail, which is only 1 kilometre long and starts at the Mills of Orfű. The trail follows the route of the Orfű stream and takes you through the protected alder-tree marsh on a row of planks, ending at the Vízfő spring. Take some time here to admire the special Spring House designed by György Csete, today considered to be an early emblematic building of Hungarian organic architecture. Then you cross the stream twice, before arriving at Mecsek House, the headquarters of local speleologists. If the weather is right, make sure you try the Orfű Waterpark, which was named Bath of the Year in 2016. The facility has seven slides, a fun swimming pool, a pool full of attractions, a jacuzzi, kids’ pool, water games and a pool for babies. At the end of the day, visit the Horgász bar on the shore of Lake Pécs to try the hake which, according to locals, is the best in the whole world.

Day 4
Pécs TV Tower

Start your day on top of Misina Hill, where the 197-metre tall Pécs TV Tower looms over the town. The view is simply unforgettable. During lunch time, you can even enjoy a pleasant meal in the television tower on top of the world.

Adventures aruond Siklós

Before you leave the region, you must visit the wonderful Siklós Castle. On your way to Siklós, take a little detour to the statue park in Nagyharsány. The little ones will love it. The park is special because this was the first place in the country where sculptors were given free rein to experiment. This open-air ‘studio’ of young artists has many unique works of art, with a panoramic promenade running along the cliff wall around the park. Don’t forget that Nagyharsány is the central venue for Ördögkatlan, one of the most exciting artistic festivals in the country. When you get to Siklós Castle, visit the dungeon and discover the torture chamber, then relax and recharge your batteries in the wine museum’s wine shop. And while you are having fun in the wine museum, the children can play in the indoor playground of Játékország, where they can meet some legendary characters, like Princess Dorottya, Miklós the knight, Máté the cavalryman, Yusuf the Ottoman and Szellő the horse. At the end of the day, enjoy a good meal near the castle to end this really exciting tour.

Day 5
Thermal Bath of Harkány

To top off your visit to this part of the country, visit the Thermal Bath of Harkány, one of the best places in Hungary to heal. You can soak your tired body in the healing thermal water, as well as enjoying the monthly family and night activities. Spend as much time in the water as you can, for the thermal water in Harkány is unique in Europe, with its mineral content exceeding 1,000 mg per litre. From a medical point of view, the most important mineral in the water is carbonyl sulphide, which helps to rebuild and replace the sulphur-containing compounds that make up joints. Water comes from a depth of 50-70 metres, with an average temperature of 62°C when it reaches the surface, making the hours of healing truly relaxing.

During your visit

Wine
People from Baranya county will claim that their land produces the best wines in the world. Though you cannot persuade them otherwise, you should definitely try the wines! For instance, the internationally recognised Villányi Portugieser, a variant of which is matured in new barrels and is tapped at the St Martin’s day wine festival. Villányi Franc is another must-taste wine. The Villány wine region seems to be the natural habitat of Cabernet franc, and a premium quality wine is produced here.
Gastronomy
Wild garlic is a very healthy and tasty spice. Locals love the aromatic leaves and in season, they are literally used in everything. The ‘wild garlic ice cream’ might not be to your taste, but cream soup is a popular dish in most restaurants in the town. Swabian communities moved to the region in the 18th century, bringing some excellent recipes with them, such as ‘sufnudli’ (potato dumplings with poppy seeds), and the plum jam you can try in many places in Pécs.

Move around like a hungarian