Welcome to Debrecen!


Ask and Answer

This is a difficult year this year, especially now that theaters, cinemas, museums and restaurants are still closed, events are lagging behind and curfews are making it difficult for us to move around. We look forward to moving out of home again soon and traveling for a long domestic weekend or a smaller foreign vacation. Until then, all we have to do is tour at home and explore our own city, Debrecen, with a slightly different eye.

In this, we will be helped by key players in the local tourist life, who, among other things, “ask” week by week what their favorite places in the city are, what secret travel tips they can still discover while walking in the city, and why Debrecen is a good place.

This time , Hajnalka Makóné Fogarasi, the managing director of the Zsuzsi Forest Railway, answered our questions.

What were you Amazed-by last in Debrecen?

To the lovable city! The fact that even in this difficult period, you can feel the effervescence in the depths of your hearts, which is one of the hallmarks of Debrecen, and you can see the development that is one of the main features of the city. 

I think we need to recall not days, but joyful moments we have experienced that give strength and faith in a more difficult and unexpected period and that can be brought to life again and again by an active community. 

Life has been slowly encouraging everyone to be patient for a year, but I believe that the fruit of paying attention to each other will be many timeless holidays and joyful trainings !

Makóné Fogarasi Hajnalka, Managing Director of the Zsuzsi Forest Railway
(Photo: Makóné Fogarasi Hajnalka’s Facebook page) 

What is your favorite place – attraction, building, street, etc. – In Debrecen?

My little girl and I are passionate about the wonders of Déri Square . The cool shade of the trees, the ripple of the fountain, is a special “fairy world” – as my daughter Emma puts it. The “brother” of the pedunculate oak, which can be admired in Déri Square, awaits the curious eyes, those wishing to hike, recharge and hike at the terminus of the Zsuzsi Forest Railway, in the resting forest of Hármashegyalja

The other magical place for me is the Great Forest, with a walking refreshing feeling among the trees smiling in the sky after a day full of work. The “friends” of the native trees of the Great Forest are also waiting for families, and especially children, who want to go on adventures in the forest in Hármashegyalja. 

I believe that the resting forest of Hármashegyalja is a real cure for tired body and soul and a perfect excursion destination for the city. Whenever I can, I am there, as it is an uplifting feeling to admire the beauties of nature and explore its secrets. In my opinion, the “heart” of Debrecen is the Great Forest, but its “heartbeat” is Hármashegyalja !

Do you have any “secret” places in Debrecen that you would like to recommend to locals or visitors to Debrecen?

I definitely recommend the starting station of the Zsuzsi light railway on Ruyter Street, as the buildings towering here are architectural gems. The Nagyfűtőház and Kismotorszín could tell about their urban architecture guidelines typical of the 1927-30s . With their robust walls and exterior raw brick decorations, they are the gems of the Csapókerti district. 

We respect and nurture the traditions that can be seen in our image and programs in the Zsuzsi Forest Railway. In light of this, they were enriched with a new look last year, leaving the contemporary features of the buildings. 

Many national monuments can be seen at the departure station, including our most original locomotive, the steamer Zsuzsi, manufactured in 1923. I think with us, time stops in a good way and every adult can become a child again just for a while.

You’ve been to many parts of the world. Based on your travel experience, what makes Debrecen an attractive destination for foreign tourists?

Debrecen is a special city with many tourist attractions and in my opinion it would stand its ground anywhere in the world . Its gastronomy, culture and traditions are unique in Hungary. The city is true, it has no coastline or mountains, but it boasts , among other things, Hungary’s oldest small railway

In my opinion, everything you need for a happy and balanced life is given here, as the city is rich in excitement and calm at the same time, and everyone, regardless of age or gender, will find what they want. One of the special features of Debrecen is that nature, the forest and the developed urban environment harmonize perfectly with each other. This can be most enjoyed on the 17 km long historical route of the Zsuzsi small railway.

Many experiences await you with the Zsuzsi train!

If I were to ask you to help shoot a feature film in Debrecen, what locations would you suggest for shooting?

The starting station of the Zsuzsi light railway is an ideal shooting place, where the past of the 139-year-old light railway comes to life in front of the colors of the present

In my opinion, narrow-gauge railways are important development pillars of domestic tourism. The Zsuzsi Forest Railway conveys both the transport history of old times and the natural values ​​of the Erdőspuszta, while preserving the Hungarian cultural traditions in accordance with the requirements of the modern age. 

“Zsuzsi” is an important part of the historical and cultural heritage of Debrecen and the tourist offer of the region., nurtures and preserves old traditions, while attaching importance to the principles of environmental protection, sustainability and environmental thinking. 

The starting point and route of the Zsuzsi Forest Railway and the resting forest of Hármashegyalja at its terminus could not only be the location, but even the subject of a feature film. It’s all in the movie! 🙂

Which season is the best in Debrecen?

Spring with green shoots of plant life and flower petals just around the corner is so dear to my heart, and when the Zsuzsi small railway opens its doors to the delight of families and especially children!