Hungary has much to offer the cyclist, it has a 1000 km route of the National Blue Trail, an internationally recognized cycle path is part of a European Cycling network, however, not everyone wants to cycle hundreds of kilometres a day, from point A to point B far away. If this sounds like you, then the National Blue Trail may not be for you, luckily Debrecen has a great alternative.
There are many shorter cycling routes in Hungary, including cycling hotspots like Debrecen with its 100 km of cycle lanes and paths, and then there is the Great Forest to explore, right in the heart of the Debrecen city. Fly into Debrecen Airport, rent a bike and explore the city and forest by bike.
The added benefit of this strategy is you base your trip from the comfort of a hotel room rather than the discomfort of a tent. After a long day’s cycling, there is nothing better than taking a dip in one of Debrecen’s 36-39 degree thermal baths to soothe those tired muscles. There are also some fantastic destinations close to Debrecen for your cycling excursions out into the Hungarian countryside.
What to Do In Debrecen
The city is extremely easy to navigate with very little traffic and good roads and cycle paths. In addition, if you have technical issues there are many points of bike service with many independent bike shops.
First stop should be the city square ’Kossuth tér’, the heart of the city, both tramlines stop here, so if in doubt just follow the tram lines, ultimately you will get to your destination. We thoroughly recommend going to the Reformed College Museum to gain a greater understanding of the history of the city and the surrounding area and to get your bearings of the city on your very first day before venturing further.
After a morning at the Museum, cycle down through the square and Piac utca a short way, noting the fine Art Deco buildings. At some point do a 180 and return back, following the tram line 1 from Kossuth tér to the adjacent Kálvin tér, continuing on Péterfia utca the road transitions to Simonyi út, note there is a cycle path on the left side of the road. Eventually, this path continues into the Great Forest.
Take your time to enjoy the beautifully landscaped park area, duck pond, stuffed with goldfish, note that at the main entrance of the park there is the Aquaticum Baths, the perfect place to relax in thermal water after you have finished your day’s cycling. Cycle through the park on the dedicated cycle path and on to the grand-looking Debrecen University building. Stop for a few selfies. Return the way you came back through the main entrance of the Great Forest Park. Here you might want to stop for lunch at Krúdy’s a great restaurant opposite the Aquaticum Thermal Bath.
After lunch, continue on towards the football stadium and the water tower. The water tower is the perfect place to stop for a drink and a burger if you decided not to stop at Krúdy’s.
Make sure to take your swimming gear so that on the return trip you can stop at the Aquaticum Baths for a long dip in the thermal waters before calling it a day and heading back to your hotel.
Day Trips Close to Debrecen
Hortobágy National Park is an internationally recognized World Heritage Site, and the Nature Trail of the Hortobágy Great Fishponds includes a wetland of international importance for birdlife. Rather than cycle the entire distance to Hortobágy we suggest catching the train via the Debrecen-Füzesabony line and then cycle the 10 km nature trail from there.
For further cycling routes and bike shops in and around Debrecen, click here.