In Debrecen and Hungary, Valentines Day is referred to as ’Bálint Nap’ or Valentin’Day. Its roots lie in both ancient Greek and Roman beliefs. The ancient Greeks celebrated the Goddess Juno on the 14th February, whom legend has it blessed weddings with fertility for the coming spring. Similarly, the Roman’s celebrated ’Lupercalia’ on Valentine’s day, again the same motives were at play, spring and fertility. The symbols of Valentines Day, including Cupid, the God of love with his bow and arrow, roses and doves are universal, thus have the same appeal in Hungary as elsewhere.
Today, in Debrecen, Valentine’s day is celebrated through the gift of flowers and good food with popular restaurant dishes including the Hungarian favourites, Duck liver, Salmon, Veal, beef tenderloin with the typical side dishes.
For Visitors to Debrecen
If you are looking for a more relaxed, leisurely pace for Valentine’s Day, consider keeping the 14th of February free for a lovin’ and relaxing time, and instead, have a night out on the 13th February.
The Pálma Restaurant Bar/Grill is the place to be on the 13th because Király Iktor is performing, a singer who is pretty famous in Hungary but is well known in America too. As a winner of ‘voice of the Year’ and ‘Best Male Artist of the Year’, Király Iktor is a great background accompaniment to your valentine romancing. The Hungarian language is optional since most of his music is in English, and so entertaining for non-natives too.
Debrecen is a great short break destination to treat that special person. We recommend the Four Star Hotel Lycium for a great-value location in the heart of the city, or to be close to the Great Forest Park and for sheer luxury, we recommend the 5 Star Hotel Divinus. Both hotels are well equipped for Wellness and general pampering.
On Valentine’s day itself, why not opt for sharing a relaxing thermal bath and then a massage directly thereafter. If you wish to make a grand display of your love and affection then there are plenty more, quieter romantic options to consider in Debrecen.
We recommend the Ikon Restaurant, for when you want more than just a meal, but a gastronomical extravaganza, created by artisans of food. Only the best Hungarian wines are served here. If your preference is a bit of lively Hungarian Culture and a quiet drink, in a great location, then consider an evening out at the Water Tower. Down below at the base of the tower there is a concert and dance event by “Törköly és a Pendely család”. Climb up above to the bar for a quiet drink. This is a great option followed by a romantic walk up past the stadium to the Great Forest and lake.
For International Students
For the international students in Debrecen, there is speed dating for the singles, at the Kazánház Egyetemi Klub on the 14th of February at 19:00, organized by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN Debrecen). Valentine’s day is the season-opening day for the Egoist BarClub, this year’s bash with DJ Aly & DJ Noah. Great music and dance vibes can be enjoyed after your romancing. It’s definitely for those who don’t fancy an early, cosy night at home.