Szentendre in Szentendre
Szentendre is a small town on the Danube River, 19 kilometers north of Budapest, Hungary.
This charming little town, whose name means "Saint Andrew", is known for its well-preserved houses and churches, many built in a Balkan style as the area was originally settled by Serb refugees. Today the town's best-known inhabitants are artists and small galleries can be found on every street corner.
Szentendre is not on the state railway lines. The only train connection is the HÉV, Budapest's suburban railway.
Szentendre is easily reached on the HÉV suburban railway line from Batthyány tér (on the Metro red line) in Budapest. Trains leave every 10-30 minutes and take 40 minutes to reach the town.
In winter time, it's quite warm in the middle of the carriage, but may be chilly if you sit near the doors.
Buses leave daily from Budapest's Újpest-Városkapu bus station (on the Metro blue line) and take about 25-30 minutes to arrive. There are also direct bus connections from other towns on the Danube bend. Esztergom is about an hour and a half and Visegrád is about 45 minutes away.
From May to September you can reach Szentendre by riverboat every day from Budapest, Vigadó square or Batthyány square. In April and October boats are operated every saturday and sunday. You can find the timetable here.
Biking to Szentendre makes an enjoyable day trip, at 25 kilometers from downtown Budapest. With a minimum level of traffic, this family-friendly route will take you through a varied mix of environments and terrain, with plenty of interesting stops along the way.
Start your journey by crossing the Szabadság or Chain Bridges, heading north on the Buda-side bike path. This shady path runs nearly the entire length of the river in Budapest, and is a great place for people watching and picture-taking. Keep heading up the river, watching out for sleeping homeless people as you wind through the underpass at Margit Bridge and following the yellow-painted markings of the path. Cruising next to the HÉV tracks, this section takes you past some of the diverse residential areas of Budapest, from cushy and historic uptown Buda to Soviet style housing blocks.
Your first test of navigation will be after going under the Árpád Bridge and suddenly finding the bike path to have disappeared. Take a left, wind through the gates by the bus stop and continue up Tavasz Street, next to the bridge ramp. When you see a giant OTP building, make a right turn onto Polgár Street and cruise through the housing developments until you hit a dead end at Bogdáni Street. Go right, follow the street until you see the graffiti wall on the left, and then continue along the path next to the tracks. Once the graffiti ends you will see a place ahead and to the right to cross the tracks and resume your way along the bike path, which veers away from the tracks and towards the main entranceway of the Sziget Festival Island.
Take a left and ride along the Jégtörő Street path, then a right at the intersection into a few hundred meters of rough but leafy streets, which will spit you out along Keled Street, with the embankment on your left. Follow this for half a click, cut through the car-width tunnel on your left, and continue to the right in the direction of the river. Before you reach it there will be a bridge to cross on your left, which leads to the hottest summer escape within the confines of the city – Római part. Stacked with food stalls, “beaches” and outdoor pubs, this makes an ideal stop for lunch.
Once satiated, return to Nánási Street and continue north. The road name becomes Királyok, and you will follow it for at least 5km before taking on your next big piece of navigation. Street bikers and families should take a left on Hadrianus Street, which will take you up to a busy road crossing and resume the bike path going north all the way into Szentendre. Off-roaders (in spirit and in equipment) can choose to continue straight along Királyok, turning right at a banked canal and following a lovely and twisting path through wildflower fields and canopied forest before bushwhacking back to the main road. Beware that you may have to cross the highway without the benefit of a crosswalk!
Once in Szentendre, grab a langós and enjoy the town. If you’re too tired to make the return trip you can always load your bike onto the HÉV and ride back to town. The total riding time for this trip is 1.5-2 hours barring no serious stops and the terrain is almost universally level, with mostly smooth concrete. You will need at least a liter of water per person for each direction, a good map, and a good headlight, as many of the sections of bike path are poorly lit at night.
The HÉV and bus station are located next to each other, about a ten minute walk from Fő tér, the main square in the middle of town. From there, Szentendre is easily covered on foot. If you're planning on visiting the Skanzen the bus leaves roughly every hour from stop 7. Buy your tickets in advance, or from the driver with an extra fee.
Don't worry too much if you miss the sights listed before: most of the fun of visiting Szentendre is wandering around the streets and visiting the little shops and galleries.
- Memorial Cross, Fő tér. Commemorates the town being spared from a plague epidemic in the region.
- Blagovestenška Church, Görög utca. Contains intricate icons and rococo windows.
Museums and galleries
- Hungarian Open-Air Museum
Is easily reached by bus from the Szentendre HÉV (communal train) station. This is a huge tract of land to which ancient buildings have been moved from all parts of the country. Small farm villages, mostly with thatched roofs, now dot the landscape, along with barns, outbuildings and even churches. Many are furnished inside. Buy the English guide book, some of the attendants are very knowledgeable (and some not so) but few speak English. You could spend a whole day there (even several) and still have things left to see. There are many ongoing events offered, especially for families with children.
- Marzipan Museum, is a colorful exhibit made entirely out of marzipan. One room is dedicated entirely to Hungarian artifacts: the turul monument in Tatabánya, the parliament in Budapest, the Hungarian Royal Crown, and busts and pictures of various kings, queens, and other famous Magyars. There is also a large collection of cartoon characters to delight children, musical memorabilia (including a live-sized Michael Jackson commemorating his first concert in Hungary), and even faux furniture and needlepoint. Afterward you can buy several custom-made candies in the shop.
- Ferenczy Museum
- Kovács Margit Collection
- Szentendre Gallery
- Barcsay Collection
- Kmetty Museum
- Ámos Imre - Anna Margit Collection
- Roman Lapidarium Castrum
- Vajda Lajos Memorial Museum
- Czóbel Museum
- House of Folk Arts
Take a stroll along the widing streets that lead upwards towards the hill overlooking the town. There is small viewing area overlooking the red-slate rooftops and if you look carefully you may even see the strange blue angel perched atop of one of the nearby church roofs.
In winter time, most non-purely touristic shops close as early as 3pm (at least in Sat).
- Belle Epoque -- The Family Run Folk Art Shop (address: 4 Bogdanyi Street, Szentendre)
Belle Epoque is the best place in Szentendre to find ‘country style’ interior decoration articles and authentic artisan souvenirs.
The shop offers table linen, handwoven kitchen towels, century old crochet hook laces, decorative covers, old Hungarian folk outfits, embroidered pillowcases and so much more...
Located a few paces from Szentendre’s “Fo ter” (Main Square), Belle Epoque operates in a typical Szentendre Mansion which has been built in 1860 and is now a national monument. The shop is equipped with beautiful, century-old furnishings.
- Szamos Marcipán Édességbolt (address: Dumtsa Jenõ u. 14) +36(26)310-545
A marcipan store in the same building with Marcipan Museum.
- music shop (directions: bit off the beaten path, can be recognized by jazz flowing from windows)
Great selection, and host is extremely helpful with recommendations, at least in local music.
- Rab Ráby (address: Péter-Pál utca 1/a) 26-310-819
This well-known restaurant is popular with tourists, but for a reason: the attractive interior is decorated like a Hungarian farmhouse and the food is quite good. Gulyas soup is what the restaurant is most famous for, and it's served in a funky manner (see photo). Open noon to 10 PM daily.
- Új Művész (address: Dumtsa Jenő u. 7) (directions: near Marcipan Museum) +36(26)311-484
Located on one of the main street; moderate prices and good cuisine--although nothing really special found so far.
- Langós (directions: on the way to Szentendre by bike)
one of the best langós in the country (so the locals say). This is just a small counter on your left after the first few pubs when you get to the small path going along the river.
In winter, hot wine is extremely cheap (110ft in Jan-2007).
- Hotel Panzió 100, is a family-run hotel in the middle of a wonderful landscape along the Danube.
- Kentaur Hotel, situated along the Danube, in the heart of Szentendre.
- Szent Andrea Pension is located in the most beautiful town of Dunakanyar. It is near the Pismány mountain, in a very silent and beautiful environment.
- Wild Grape Guesthouse  is located 9 kilometres from Szentendre in Pilisszentlászló village in the heart of Duna-Ipoly National Park. It is a family-run guest house / hostel.