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Exploring Debrecen in Autumn

In autumn, nature shows its glorious face! Maybe there’s no other season when nature is so colorful, so it’s worth taking advantage of the sunny fall days by spending as much time outdoors as possible. You don’t have to sit at home in gloomy, rainy weather either, as cultural institutions are waiting for us with exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances.

Therefore, this autumn period is an excellent time for replenishing our physical and mental resources for the winter with cultural and wellness experiences.

We show what program opportunities Debrecen has to offer in autumn.

Walking at the foot of hundred-year-old oak trees shining in autumn colors

A refreshing autumn walk under the hundred-year-old trees of the Great Forest, located just ten minutes from the city center! The sight of trees, bushes, and flowers in the golden autumn colors, acorns, chestnuts and cones lying at our feet, and wild ducks swimming peacefully on Lake Békás, this is a great experience in itself. For adults, even on weekdays, after work, it is worth taking a short walk in the Great Forest to break the monotony of gray everyday life and suck in the fresh air. For children it is also worth combining a smaller forest tour with the autumn harvest experience; a zoo visit or just a little play outdoors will provide joyful moments, timeless memories for every member of the family.

Wandering in the botanical garden

Behind the main building of the University of Debrecen, the 13.7-hectare botanical garden is part of the protected natural forest. Besides the plants typically found, many exotic species can also be found in the area, situated alongside the oaks and spectacular evergreens that treat us with the autumn colors. The tropical plants, cacti, and succulents will delight the eye. The garden is an oasis, an island of peace at the foot of the bustling campus. It is a “must-see” item for those interested in botany, an ideal place for a romantic date or a weekend family outing, or even if you seek a little solitude.

Culture in all its variations

While in summer we like to spend the whole day outdoors, in autumn it is worth heading to museums, galleries, concert and theater halls and replenishing our spiritual reserves with the help of art and music. Performances of the Csokonai Theater, concerts of the Kodály Philharmonic, and the exhibitions of Déri Museum, the MODEM, or the Reformed College are well worth a visit.

Alternatively, why not visit a long-unseen landmark such as the Pásti Street Synagogue or the Truncated Church. Places steeped in history provide endless hours of discovery, whether for the first time or when revisiting.

Before the winter sets in, it is worth seeing the impressive Christ trilogy of Mihály Munkácsy at the Déri Museum (now accompanied by a thematic light show) and other permanent or temporary exhibitions. Travel in time and space from antiquity to the present day, from Egypt to Japan.

City walks for explorers.

In addition to the well-known sights of Debrecen, it is sometimes worthwhile to start on the less-traveled roads and discover the hidden treasures ​​of the city, while often less obvious, they can be even more exciting. The old town parts of Debrecen, such as the Szentlászlófalva or Mesterfalva formed in the Árpádian era, offer at least as much to discover as the well-known historical city center with their eloquent street names, beautiful cottages, and winding little streets. It is worthwhile for the guidebook to browse Magda Szabó’s works in Debrecen, such as Ókút or the Old-Fashioned Story, or to read János Térey’s Boldogh House, Kétmalom utca – Confessions of a Civic, which opens new dimensions for city explorers.

Wellness experiences in a forest environment

In the fall, we feel more tired and reluctant; our energy reserves and motivation wane, so it’s worth recharging them before the long, gray winter months. There is perhaps a no better way to recharge your body and mind than a hearty wellness experience, be it a special sauna session, a refreshing massage, or just a little bathing in the hot thermal water. The Aquaticum SPA area offers all the conditions for a peaceful and meaningful rest: indoor and outdoor thermal pools, various sauna cabins, themed sauna sessions, traditional and Far Eastern massages, spa baths, spa-based treatments, and quiet relaxation areas for complete relaxation. in the wonderful natural environment of the Great Forest, where we can crown the experience with a small forest walk before or after the wellness.

Forest bath on foot or by train

Not many Hungarian cities are surrounded by substantial wooded areas like Debrecen is. The Erdőspuszta stretches in a semicircle to the east of the city, about 10 kilometers away. The area hides many local and cultural treasures, such as the reconstructed remnants of the ancient defense system, “the Ördögárok“, and many a Árpádian church ruin. The Zsuzsi Forest Railway, Hungary’s oldest narrow-gauge railway, has been working for 141 years. It is worth putting on your hiking boots on the weekend or sitting on the scheduled departure of the Zsuzsi train and leaving the bustling big city behind to take a trip into the woods, at least just for a while. In the golden landscapes of the Erdőspuszta, we are greeted by birdsong, good air, silence, and tranquility on our hiking and study trails. If you want more experiences in addition to hiking, the lookouts, lakes, as well as the Bánki Country House and Arboretum, offer additional meaningful recreation opportunities.

Gastro Exploring

In recent years, a gastronomic revolution has taken place in Debrecen. Epidemic here, pandemic there, while places closed, new ones opened one after another, including a number of restaurants, cafes, bistros, and patisseries, which were right on the map of local gastronomic landmarks at the moment of their opening. You should take advantage of the autumn days and discover these new places: among them, one of the best Hungarian restaurants in Encs, “Anyukám mondta” (My mom said) opened in Debrecen during the height of the pandemic, “Pizza, Kávé, Világbékét” (Pizza, Coffee, and World Peace).

Quietly hiding in the corner of the Golden Bull building, and in the Bajcsy-Zsilinkszky street wing of Sunset Boulevard Jardin confectioner, where we can venture into the world of French desserts.

The milieu of English cafes is represented by the Wellington Coffee & Pie, which opened in the building at 39 Piac Street, where the maternal ancestors of Magda Szabó, the Rickl family, once operated their famous general store. They also included the legendary Foot House in the backyard of the building, where the DG Italiano restaurant can be found offering original Italian delicacies.