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Get Out of Budapest. Wait what? Why go to Budapest just to LEAVE Budapest? Because you need to go visit Eger as it’s the perfect day trip from Budapest. Eger is around two and a half hours out of Budapest from Keleti station. There are direct trains, but I decided to be adventurous and took one that required I change about an hour into my trip.
How to Visit Eger
The trains in Hungary don’t… tell you what stops are. So you need to look out the window and make sure you actually get off at Füzesabony and not go all the way to a random Hungarian city and wander around until you can find someone who speaks English to tell you to get back on the train and go back where you came from. Oops. Change there and head to Eger! Or get a direct train…
Once you finally get to Eger, prepared to be charmed to hell.
Day Trips from Budapest
As Eger is only about an hour and a half drive away from Budapest, it makes for a great day trip. A city of a few canals and lots of yellow buildings, Eger’s history stems from being the place where the Hungarians defeated the Turks. Nearly every monument in Eger has to deal with this and it’s a source of pride. English isn’t really spoken here, so I had to get by with my rudimentary German, especially as the elderly couple who owned the B&B I was staying at didn’t speak anything but German and Hungarian. There are lots of B&Bs in Eger because it’s the door to Hungary’s wine country.
Eger Wine Country
Though I quickly learned that you should… have a car. Because otherwise you’re walking three miles to the caves outside of Eger where all the wine is stored. It was a nice walk but there was a lot of me wandering around the Hungarian countryside just sort of hoping I was going in the right direction.
And finally I arrived. Dozens of caves wrapped around in a half-circle of a small park, each with its own wine cellar. Eger is known for its wines, specifically it’s red, called Egri Bikavér. And it was goooood. I ended up buying four LITERS of Eger wine. I don’t even know why. Couldn’t take it back to London. I just needed to validate this trek? Don’t know, but I loaded up my backpack and walked back to Eger and then got on a train back to Budapest.
I thoroughly recommend to visit Eger for a day trip from Budapest. Spend some time out there and walk the cobblestone streets around Dobo Square and the Basilica. Visit the cute markets where I bought honey and jam from a little old lady who smiled when I couldn’t speak a word of Hungarian. It’s charming and sweet and vastly different from Budapest, but distinctly Hungarian.